It’s never fun when people inform you that they’ve chosen to leave your church. It’s a hard reality to ponder that more people have left our church over the past 8 years than have stayed. Certainly, there are positive reasons people choose not to be a part of the church any more (a job transfer or a move out of state) and there are painful reasons (e.g. conflict in the church, not meshing with the philosophy of ministry, another church is more appealing to them or – pastors’ favorite one, “we’re just not being fed” — whatever that means).
Depending upon our personality types we may simply want to avoid a face-to-face conversation and “wish them well” from afar. Others feel the need to take a confrontational and maybe defensive posture that comes from being hurt, abandoned or betrayed.
Over the past few years our elders have tried to have a posture of a learner in these formats. Though we’ve done this imperfectly, we’ve purposefully tried to possess a “help us understand” posture of humble listening. Most often, we try to meet with them one-on-one (and, when not possible, over the phone or via email) in an “exit interview” type fashion in order to ask a few questions. To be clear, these meetings are never fun, always emotionally draining and give us clammy hands walking into them. We may not like they are leaving, but we believe we can learn things from them – and hopefully be able to thank them and to bless them as they go.
Here are four questions we ask in these “exit interview” type settings-Read More