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If you’re like most leaders, there is a small issue in your organization that you are choosing to ignore. It might be a problem with a staff member, an aspect of your worship service, or one of many other potential issues. Whatever it is, odds are you’ve convinced yourself that small problems are not worth solving. We all do this…myself included. What is the small issue that you’ve been ignoring?


Maybe you’re afraid of looking like a micro-manager. Maybe you don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill. All of those excuses are understandable. But unfortunately, when we ignore small issues we miss out on an opportunity for greater discovery.

Small issues are indicators of much bigger problems. 

What looks like a “molehill” is often just the tip of a much larger “mountain.” Instead of ignoring small issues, use these three steps to identify and address the real problems hindering your church:

1.  Step Back and Look for Other Issues – Small issues rarely appear independently. Before you assume that one is isolated, ask yourself the following questions…

  • What other small issues am I experiencing with this person or team?
  • Are there similar issues in other areas of the organization?

2.  Identify the Theme – Just like a single health issue has multiple symptoms, many small issues are often connected. In the churches I’ve worked with, small issues are generally centered around one of three themes: vision, culture, or leadership.

  • Visionary themes exist when the direction of the church is unclear or not challenging enough.
  • Cultural themes exist when people value the wrong things.
  • Leadership themes exist when a person’s weaknesses hinder performance.

What is the theme behind the small issues you are experiencing?

3. Address the Real Problem – With an understanding of the real problem behind small issues, you are prepared to address something significant.

  • If the problem is visionary, invest time clarifying the big “why” behind everything you do.
  • If the problem is cultural, redefine what is truly important.
  • If the problem is leadership, coach the leader to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses.

What is the small issue that you’ve been ignoring? Is it possible that a larger problem is hidden behind it? Your church has a mission that could transform your community. Take steps to discover and address the real problems that hold you back from reaching it.

Photo Credit: unslugged via Compfight cc

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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