When I think of volunteers, this is the picture that I have in my head. Volunteers are in different stages. Some are new, or come occasionally while others are the committed people that do the majority of the work. As I look at these circles, here are some thoughts:
1. Always be recruiting to your outer circle. Ask people to be helpers. Ask them to help with admin work, or organizing stuff. Ask them to help with shopping for supplies. Ask them to help at special events. Ask them to help as fill-ins or floaters. Ask them to serve once a month. When you find you have only a few leaders, and can’t think of anyone to ask to fill leadership roles, it is probably because you haven’t been recruiting to your outer circle on a regular basis.
2. People need to spend time in the outer circles before moving towards the inner circle. It gives you time to get to know them, and find out what they are passionate about or what they are gifted at doing. It also gives them time to learn about your culture & what you value in your ministry.
3. Help volunteers move towards the inner circle. Help irregular volunteers become regular volunteers by providing opportunities that will fit their passions, gifts & availability. Help regular volunteers become leaders by showing them how their influence can be multiplied as they lead a team of people.
4. To help people move towards the inner circle, you will need to personally ask them. Go for coffee with them, share your vision & help them see how the shift towards the middle will be a win/win for them & for the people they are serving.
5. Spend time with your inner circle. Encourage them & appreciate them. Motivate them & challenge them. Invest in them. Take them to conferences & visit other churches to help them grow. Remind them why we do what we do.