In Isaac Asimov’s future universe, the Spacers are set in opposition to the Earthers/Settlers. The key to the Earther/Settler success is that they retain short lifespans. Their culture constantly turns over and they must share scientific and other discoveries with each other in order for them to get anywhere. In contrast, the Spacers have extended their lifetimes to many hundreds of Earth years. Their society is pristine and perfect, but completely static. Scientists hoard their discoveries for themselves hoping to personally benefit from them in the many centuries to come, during which they might improve upon the ideas themselves. Eventually, this leads to their demise because they cannot (and will not) adapt.
Sitting in a huge leadership community meeting for the college ministry at my church, I wondered if our high turnover rate, though certainly not the key to our vitality (that’s Christ!), is a part of it. Every May we see roughly 1/4 of our population graduate, and every August we gain at least that many new students. Leaders have (on average) a maximum time in leadership positions of three years (freshman year to learn, sophomore, junior, and senior years to serve as a leader).
If that’s a part of what makes this college ministry so wonderful, what do you do with that? You certainly don’t want to enforce a high turnover rate in a “big church.” Hmm.