How To Roll Out A New Program

To roll out a new program is an exciting and exhausting experience.  There are people to prepare, logistics to communicate and resources to gather.  But, there is more.

Many youth ministers are caught off guard by some of the intangibles to starting a new program.  And that’s because they are not always easy to plan for.  When you roll out something new you need to know how to:

HANDLE THE PUSHBACK

Even the smallest of changes will create pushback.  Don’t let it stop you and in fact embrace it.  Initial pushback can be from people who aren’t sold and need that little nudge.

Be sensitive to their concerns and listen to them. Ask them to trust you and then communicate with them constantly. Their initial reluctance will soon fade.

GIVE IT TIME

People want instant results.  The truth is that results take time.  Let your new program roll out, give it time to go through a cycle or two (even if that’s a couple of years) before coming to a conclusion.

If people are still pushing back preach patience.  Remember that positive results can take time to harvest.  To avoid ambiguity create a timeline of when you would like to see results.  Ask others for their feedback and then stick with it.

MAKE ADJUSTMENTS

If the program flops when you first roll it out don’t be afraid to make small changes.  These changes shouldn’t be anything that cause you to start from the ground floor.  Look at:

  • How you prepare for the program.
  • How it’s being communicated and marketed.
  • How your team is being trained.

Small tweaks can prevent you from starting all over.  Minor adjustments will help you roll through all the growing pains of starting a new program.

OBTAIN THE RIGHT FEEDBACK

Whether or not you feel it’s going well you need feedback.  That means sitting down with people and asking them, “How’s it going?”  It can be a humbling experience so ask people you trust to help you out.

By getting the right information you’ll know what needs to change and what’s going well.  You’ll understand how to grow your program and take it to the next level.

To roll out anything new can be stressful.  You want people to be just as excited as you are.  Understand that rolling out a new program takes time and buy-in.  Trust your plan and trust God to guide you.

Question: What wisdom would you share with anyone rolling out a new program?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Colleen Vermeulen

    Great tips. I’d also add, that parts of Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger’s mantra from Simple Church are critical–1) The leadership and the church congregation need to be clear about the process inherent in the program (this would help w/ the patience factor in the long-run), and 2) the process of the program has a movement in and out that aligns w/ other initiatives, programs, andor the regular activities of the church…otherwise one can end up struggling to succeed in rolling out in a vacuum. (Background on Rainer/Geiger’s book: http://wp.me/p30bnx-l8)

    • Colleen,
      Great book I would definitely recommend it. Making sure the path is clear and that it doesn’t compete with other programs is key.
      Probably something worth considering before you put anything in motion. Thanks for sharing.