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. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Building (or Rebuilding) a Healthy Small Group Ministry
Building (or Rebuilding) a Healthy Small Group Ministry
7 important questions to consider.
From the Magazine
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
We aren’t all equally afraid of the same things. But Scripture’s wisdom can apply to all of us.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close