Early in 2010, I started trying to profile different coworkers at Christ Community Church. I started off with Steve Walters and then wrote about Micah Yost. I was then going to write about Dusty White, but then I found out he was going to work at another church (Coram Deo). I turned my attention to Andre Sims, but he was leaving as well. And then I was going to write about Jay Castillo, but he headed off to Fuller Seminary before I could write about him.

I can’t recall when it was last year, but Lead Pastor Mark Ashton said at one point that the average length of stay for a staff person, at a megachurch*, is 2.5 years. However, he added that the average length of stay for a staff person at Christ Community Church is 5 years.

*To qualify as a megachurch, you have to have 2,000 in weekly attendance. Christ Community Church averages 3,000, and 5,000 people consider it their home church.

I was thinking about the length of stay for a CCC staff person because I’ve been on staff for five years now.* So much has changed since I first started working there.

*I consider April 2005 as when I started at CCC. I may have been considered a paid consultant, but I was quickly working full-time and was there on a daily basis. February 2006 is when I was officially considered staff.

Five years later, and I’ve been on staff at CCC longer than 75% of the staff. It sounds funny, but it’s easy for me to comprehend.

I got use to staff turnover when I was a missionary. It almost seemed like a turnstile with fellow missionaries. It was hard to develop friendships because you’d get to know someone, and then they were called overseas or back home to work.

There were always those pillars, though, at the missions organization that had been around forever. So while a lot of people were coming and going from the mission field, you had a core group that was almost “the tie that binds”.

When someone on staff leaves CCC, it usually doesn’t phase me. More often than not, the person is being called to something that’s a better fit, or will benefit a number of people. Knowing that adds perspective to things and is why I’m usually not sad when they leave. Another factor could be I’m numb to the transitions.

  • Right now, there are over 60 individuals on staff at CCC. (64 by my unofficial count.)
  • Nearly 60 people have been hired for staff positions since I became an official CCC staff.
  • Of those 60 since I was hired, nearly a third no longer work at CCC.

Staff turnover is a part of most companies. It’s a part of ministries, and especially at megachurches. While you may think that’s high, think about those that have been on staff for awhile at CCC. People like Wendell Nelson, Nancy Davies, Nancy Fager, Virg Ediger, Steve Yost, Steve Walters and others. That’s an amazing group of staff there, a pool of wisdom, talent and spiritual maturity.

What excites me is we have a great group of “veterans” along with a new staff group. It’s not coincidence this staff team is working together, at this point in time, as CCC pursues the Double Your Impact vision for the next few years.

There will always be staff coming and going. And me? Right now, I don’t have plans to go anywhere.

6 thoughts on “Staff Turnover

  1. losing me was pretty devastating to CCC. I'm just glad you guys have all been able to pick up the pieces and keep things going….

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  2. What part of that turnover – do you think – is due to the new pastor? When did Mark Ashton start? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with him! I personally really enjoy his sermons when I'm in Omaha. I just know people in general have a hard time with change and perhaps as time goes on the turnover will slow down a bit as fewer people will remember “the way it was” before.

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  3. An interesting question. We should do some research on it. My dad would probably have some input and research on it. (For those who don't know, my dad is the Resource Manager at CCC.)

    I think in most cases, it is a good thing for the individual and CCC. A case by case situation, though.

    I think if CCC was at the average of 2.5 years for length of stay, that would be disconcerting. However, it is double that.

    Besides the number of staff that have been at CCC long term (mentioned a few in the post), you also have a great group of elders that have been at CCC awhile. People like Dave Bishop, Ken Dick, Jim Jensen, Brian Smith and others. Another plus for CCC and its leadership. They provide good perspective, along with staff like Nancy Fager, Wendell Nelson and your dad. (For those who don't know, Micah's dad also works at CCC. A distinction that only the two of us share.)

    I think in ministry it's going to be tough because you have a lot of young adults that are in positions that aren't necessarily long term positions. Interns, student positions, college pastors, etc.

    Some of our good employees, like Traci Davies(!), move on because of their spouse's work.

    Some are called to the mission field, church plant (Bob Thune, Joe Darago, Phil Human, Ethan Burmeister), seminary (Jay Castillo and David Potter) or another church (Dusty White). Those staff being sent out will have a multiplication effect in their work. They are much more effective than if they'd still be at CCC. It's be nice to have Joe around, but I can't help but think it's a bit selfish to think that when I hear of what God is doing in and through him down in Arizona.

    An interesting thing my dad told me was that 70% of the new hires, since Mark Ashton started working at CCC, have come from within the church. I think that's good to see. Makes the transitions go smoother because people know the CCC culture already. It gives people the chance to step up into new roles, responsibilities and leadership. It brings a fresh perspective on matters from time to time.

    We've also seen some new positions pop up in the past few years which probably lower the average length of stay at CCC.

    Those are some thoughts. I would hope CCC wouldn't hoard people, or make people feel guilty for leaving when God has called them to new opportunities. I would also hope there's always a group of staff/elder “veterans” that have a track record of faithfulness, love and proven work. Good to have the mix of veterans and newbies.

    What do you think? (And, thanks for reading the post!)

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  4. Nice. Get done commenting on Micah's comment, and another one!

    Hey Kelly, thanks for reading!

    I think the statistics show that whenever a new pastor comes there is always some bit of turnover within the congregation and staff.

    While I believe God called a number of the staff elsewhere, I do think for some it may have been hard to work under Mark. Some were probably use to Bob Thune Sr. leadership, or others may not have meshed well with Mark.

    What's been cool to see behind the scenes is Mark's lack of ego in those matters. He's all about blessing those individuals and sending them out. He wants to make sure unity is kept, that relationally CCC keeps good ties with those staff.

    I think it's better to have unity than people staying on that could become cynical and/or cause internal strife. I'm not saying any of those staff that have left CCC would have done that. I have seen that be the case at other churches and ministries.

    Those staff that left to pursue God's call have kept good relationships with CCC. And, they have a chance to do more and step up in preaching and leadership. I like hearing what former CCC staff are up to in the area and around the world.

    I do think the launching of the Double Your Impact vision is another factor with some of the recent turnover. I think some of the new staff that have come on have been key as the campaign starts. They are people that will help make that vision a reality. People like Micah Yost, who has a vital role with Tech Arts and making the services have a standard of excellence. I think of the new Middle School and High School Pastors (Klint Bitter and Brad Mock) that just started within the past 8 months. They are great guys that connect well with the students and will help lead those ministries into this next generation of the church's life.

    Change is always hard, especially at a church when people experience such life transformations there! There have been some bumps in the road since Mark started, but considering everything I think it's gone really well. I enjoy working and serving under his leadership. I don't think it's coincidence I started around the time he started!

    Thanks again for reading.

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