Low to High

One of the challenges of every ministry is moving people from low levels of commitment to high levels of commitment. Every once in a while we meet people who dive in and are ready to change the world alongside you, but they are the exception - not the rule.

It takes quite a bit of intentionality on the part of the leaders to find people who might be on the verge of taking steps in the right direction, but the intentionality almost always pays off.

The first step is to inform people about the opportunities that are out there. This is the hardest step because it's kind of nebulous. But if you give people a broad glimpse of what God is doing in various ministries, before long something is going to jump out at them.

After they're informed, we try to encourage the people we know who we see might be good fits in a particular area.

Once someone is informed and interested, we keep them at a low level of commitment, but begin to equip them by giving them small but meaningful opportunities to serve. We don't want to overwhelm them, but we also don't want them underwhelmed. All we're trying to do is light their fire.

After they're informed, encouraged, and equipped, we encourage them again. People need feedback here - especially if you see potential in them. I'm always amazed at how much we assume people know about how valuable they are.

The next step is to engage them in higher levels of commitment, again making sure they're meaningful opportunities that fit the gifts, talents, and abilities of the people we're trying to connect.

Finally, we encourage them again. Especially when people are engaged at higher levels of commitment, they need a reminder that what they're doing is significant. It's easiest to burn out when you're serving at a high level of commitment, but lose sight of the bigger picture.

Everyone doesn't make it through this "process" at the same rate; everyone doesn't make it through this process. But a small step is better than no step. And I'd rather have a group of people who are informed and equipped, but not ready to engage, than a group of people who aren't even close to higher levels of commitment.


transplanting me said...

i think the step you mention that resonates with me the most is to keep them at a low level of commitment while you equip them. so often i volunteer for something and end up being given far more responsibility than i intended to commit to. and all this does is lead to quick burnout and a resistance to volunteer again. at least for me.