Leverage comes from the word “lever”. One of six simple machines, a lever creates more force permitting us to move big rocks or open stuck doors. Similarly, High Impact volunteers can multiply force in any ministry. Let’s explore four ways:
1). Uncover that a High Impact volunteer culture is possible.
During the Christmas break, I was complaining about how often my thumbs text the wrong word. My daughter Becky said, “Well I swipe everything.” To which I replied, “Huh?” Within minutes she taught me how to swipe all my messages. Maybe it’s not news to you, but I was stunned. Now I’m swiping. Though the technology has been around for years, because I had no reference it was difficult to believe it was possible, let alone something I could do. Similarly, if you’ve never experienced or observed an explosive High Impact culture, you’ll have no reason to pursue it or make the investment to implement it. Before you can experience the results, you’ll first have to believe it can happen!
2). Understanding the power of developing one High Impact volunteer.
I love coaching youth basketball. Blake, a new kid on our team said, “I’m terrible at offense, but I can play defense.” Other coaches confirmed his offensive woes. However, we noticed Blake was fast, had a fantastic fake, and a quick first step, all hallmarks of great offensive players. Yet during scrimmages and our first game, he would pass up even three-foot shots. His entire view of offense was limited to shooting. Every time he missed a shot, he reinforced his miss with a negative comment. So, we started to affirm his many offensive skills, telling him to take chances. We encouraged him not to bemoan every miss but to simply concentrate on making the next shot. His confidence began to grow. He began to see “offense” not through his limitations but through his attributes. Soon his shots were dropping. Belief in what one volunteer can do, then trusting that volunteer to do it is a powerful force multiplier! We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
3). Leader volunteers, the ultimate force multiplier
Because of the value and force within each High Impact volunteer, each volunteer must be led, cared for and supported. Yet a leader’s span of supervision is limited to ten or at most 20, so how do we scale High Impact? Won’t a paid staff soon become overwhelmed? There is no greater leverage than that which is experienced through High Impact leader volunteers. We work with organizations whose leader volunteers oversee the ministry of entire countries, states or large geographic areas. Not only that but also, we see those ministries that possess many levels of leader volunteers, allowing them to garner unlimited leverage. It’s not surprising, as Exodus 18 reveals Jethro’s advice for Moses to create leverage. And we can see Jesus’ approach in Luke 9 and 10. Yet, if you haven’t experienced it or seen an organization do this with volunteers, it doesn’t seem reasonable or possible.
Did someone over the Christmas break share a new food, experience, video, technology, app or book with you? Last year my son tuned me in to Spotify. When I have a great experience, I want to share it with those I love. I don’t need prompting or cajoling. Like the Samaritan woman in John 4, when volunteers experience a High Impact culture that has been transformative for them, they are eager to tell others. Each High Impact volunteer organically taps their sphere bringing new volunteer recruits, and new donors. It’s far more powerful, less costly, and longer lasting than direct mail.
Besides acquiring many new tools, processes, and avoiding costly mistakes, a powerful part of our Level 1 or 2 courses is gaining the vision that powerful leverage can be harnessed through High Impact volunteers.
by Al Newell
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