Should churches do exit interviews?

Employers use them; businesses use them to find out why customers leave them; William Byron in this week’s America wonders whether churches should use them as well. He’s reflecting on responses to an earlier article he wrote for another Roman Catholic publication:

As a long-time writer of a biweekly column called “Looking Around” for Catholic News Service, I devoted a recent column to the exit interview idea and was inundated with responses from readers. Many indicated that they had been waiting to be asked why they left. The high response rate is all the more unusual because the column appears only in diocesan newspapers around the country. Evidently, respondents who claim to be no longer “in the boat” are still keeping in touch. Many of my respondents identified themselves as older persons.

He includes in this article a number of the responses he received; nothing too unexpected: the church’s teachings on contraception, women in the priesthood, end-of-life, and of course, the clergy sex abuse scandal. All of that is unique to the Roman Catholic Church. But there were other things, too.

They are soliciting feedback on America’s facebook page.

We might think about doing exit interviews ourselves. But what should we ask?

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