Jump directly to the Content

The High Turnover Church

One month into my first pastorate in Athens, Greece, an elder advised that three years' experience there would equal ten years anywhere else. A high turnover church gives you lots of practice doing most everything.

In my present church in Seoul, 70 percent of the newcomers leave within three years. Here for a while on business, they bring plenty of ideas and energy to the church. But the constant flow of people erodes the traditional bases of ministry.

I see 500 visitors each year, yet our church has plateaued at 250 attendees. At first that discouraged me. I figured I've said goodbye to more than 1,000 regular attenders in the last ten years. While I haven't put it on my resume, I've pastored a congregation of 1,000, just not all at once. This helps me keep perspective—I minister to a procession.

Reaching the sojourners

The high turnover church has two constituencies with different needs. For the church to thrive, these groups must reach a comfortable balance—of power and ministry. ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Is Sexuality a Matter of First Importance?
Is Sexuality a Matter of First Importance?
The apostle Paul’s discussion of same-sex sexuality in 1 Corinthians 6 is a clear, compassionate, and proportionate model for church leaders.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.