One of the founders of the ILI movement was British evangelist, Dr. Rob Frost. He helped craft the ILI vision, wrote portions of our leadership curriculum, and launched the ILI movement in Europe. Dr. Frost inspired us with his mobilization strategy, effectively taking people closer to the vision and into deeper involvement.

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The beauty of this mobilization strategy is its simplicity. The strategy could be compared to a multi-layered wedding cake, as you add layers, you move closer to the top tier of the cake and each layer gets smaller in size than the previous layer. The same is true of a mobilization "cake." At the center of the top layer lies the vision. People begin at the bottom, outside the movement, then are mobilized to join to the vision and climb each layer of the cake. With each new level people:

  • Move closer to the vision

  • Become more deeply involved with the movement

  • Grow both on a personal level and in their level of influence as a leader


The task of a visionary leader and master mobilizer is to craft a personal “mobilization cake” and create opportunities for people to climb higher and closer to the top tier. Here is an inside look at the five layers of the mobilization cake:

  1. From the Outside In. Whether evangelizing or inviting others to church, the base tier of the mobilization cake casts vision and invites partners or supporters to join the movement.

  2. Attendees to Volunteers. We all want to be part of something greater. It is important to invite people into deeper involvement through some type of volunteering, uniting those involved. This step is often a small, incremental change since newcomers prefer baby steps.

  3. Volunteers to Team Members. Whether through baptism or the joining of a small group, shifting from a volunteer to a team member is a serious step. This layer requires a more structured, long-term commitment.

  4. Team Members to Leaders. Developing leaders is hard work, but the process pays off. Not everyone will move to this layer, but those who do will gradually become co-owners of the vision. This will require intentionally creating your own leadership-development track which encourages and builds up those within the organization.

  5. Leaders to Stakeholders. From the many leaders you develop, some will take their commitment to the next level. Some leaders will come on as paid staff, while others will remain long-term volunteers, owning the vision and actively participating in the decision making process.

The layers of the mobilization cake are a natural progression, but by no means are they automatic. Creating a culture of mobilization requires an intentional strategy to create the multi-layered process, giving members the opportunity to climb from one layer to the next. This is mobilization at its finest.

Are you mobilizing leaders? What would your mobilization cake look like in the organization you lead?