Seeking Staff Criticism as You Roll Out Ideas

Seeking Staff Criticism as You Roll Out Ideas

May 25, 2016 by

Rolling out something new at your church can be a challenge. Everybody has an opinion. Trying to build something effective can often feel impossible.

One solution is to create a staff team to test what you’re working on before you roll it out to a wider audience. Gerry True talks about doing this in his church, sharing things with six to eight people and getting helpful feedback. It makes the ultimate idea stronger and more effective.

And one idea that really helps: Ask for what people don’t like. Gerry has found that when he asks what people like they just get lots of pats on the back. That’s great, but it doesn’t help his team improve. When they ask what people don’t like, they get better feedback from this staff testing team.

“If they tell us what they don’t like it gives us the best opportunity to improve.”

Watch as Certification Lab instructor Gerry True talks about inviting criticism:

“Lately we’ve been working through the idea of pursuing criticism. Instead of trying to get everybody telling us what they like about what we created, we’ve really become more focused on what do you not like about what we’ve created. Because what we’ve realized in using what we’ve created, if they tell us what they don’t like it gives us the best opportunity to improve. If we’re only looking for pats on the back and only feeling good about what we created, we’ve missed the mark. We’re really working to go after that criticism and pulling out of people what they do not like. I’m talking about identifying six to eight people within your staff who you trust and you invite them into a collaborative conversation where they test what you’re creating. This is before it rolls out to the entire church where you have maybe 20 or 30 staff members upset because you expect them to use something you created but they haven’t had the opportunity to collaborate. So you start with a smaller pool that you’re collaborating with, trying to make sure that you’re addressing the primary concerns that most people would have. So once you start that broader introduction of what you’ve created to more people, you’ve addressed the primary issues and there are fewer criticisms and problems once you roll out the change. It’s more of a strategy of implementing for success long term.” -Gerry True


  • This video is from a 2015 Google Hangout with our Certification Lab instructors. You can watch the entire hangout.
  • Check out our upcoming roster of Certification Lab events and consider attending to soak up this kind of insight and encouragement.
  • Get a taste of what you can expect at Certification Lab with our round-up of Certification Lab resources.

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Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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