Last week we cranked the fifth iteration of our High Capacity Volunteer (HCV) Cohort. Back in January 2013 – after realizing the huge need for our Connections staff to gain some alignment and traction with each other – we launched on a year-long journey of meeting monthly and reading through some key books that have shaped our philosophy of ministry here at the Summit.
After that first year, the obvious question was “What’s next?” And the answer came from some staffers who wanted to see their key volunteers embark on the same growth plan that they’d just completed. So in 2014, we started two different Cohort tracks for HCV’s: one for those in guest service ministry, and one for those who lead in our Starting Point ministry.
The goal is relatively simple: each campus nominates one to three leaders, depending on campus size, and we invite them to a six or nine month commitment, depending on the specific Cohort track. And while the goal is simple, the commitment is huge. Participants have to read a book per month and then show up to discuss that book at the non-book-discussing time of 6:30 AM. (And if you were keeping track, last Wednesday at 6:30 AM it was about 19 degrees. Ouch.)
After five cohorts and dozens of volunteers, my prayer is still the same: I want to see good leaders come into the Cohort, and great leaders come out of the Cohort. Our team does that by investing heavily in those leaders. Sure, there’s the investment of a few books, but there’s also the investment of time, of delegated responsibility, of open channels of communication, and of shared knowledge. What is our return on investment? A few of those volunteers have gone on to be a part of our staff or sent out with one of our church plants. But all of them have discovered the win behind their personal ministry and figured out how they can more effectively impact the kingdom.
How are you investing in your high capacity volunteers? What can you do in 2016 to develop them? Comment below.
(Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s the overview and reading list for this spring’s Cohort.)