The church I've been the pastor of for the last year an a half has about 170 members, but we have an average attendance of around 50. Obviously we need to do something about this disconnect, but I've heard lots of opinions over the years on what exactly the best course is. For now, I'm more wondering about definitions. How do you define a non-resident member? The definition I hear most often is that it's a church member who moved out of the area and therefore no longer attends. That makes sense to me at first, but here's where it breaks down in my head. Consider two inactive families at my church. The first family has always lived in a town about 20 minutes driving distance away. Due to a conflict in the church years ago, they stopped attending. They are classified as inactive resident members. The second family lived in our town, but at some point moved to the same town as the first family. At that time, they stopped attending. They are classified as inactive non-resident members. This doesn't make sense to me! How can two inactive families in the same town be classified differently? If 20 minutes seems like a reasonable drive to you, what if it were a 30 minute drive? An hour? Does this change the situation? And perhaps the distance or classification doesn't matter at all. Perhaps we need to simply deal with inactive members the same across the board (whatever course of action that may be). What do you think?