Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders How to Roll Out a New Ministry Program

How to Roll Out a New Ministry 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 of 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.  

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Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met his wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, he was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.