People leave ministries.
At every church.
Big and small.
Time and again.
Some churches deal with it better than others.
Those who deal with it in the most mature and productive manner will have a system in place to speak with those who are leaving. Most often, this is done through a type of exit interview.
For those heading through the exit door, these are the questions I'd want to ask...
Now, these questions work best with a few ground rules.
First, the church needs to accept that the person is moving on. The aim isn't to try and "win the person back."
Second, all parties should want this to be an opportunity for learning and growth, not a moment for finger-pointing.
- What's your first memory of xyz church?
- What's your favourite memory of xyz church?
- What are you going to miss most about xyz church?
- When did you come to the decision to leave xyz church?
- What, if anything, changed/caused you to come to this decision?
- Are you going to a new church?
- What drew you to that church?
- What could we at xyz church do better?
- What are your feelings about xyz church?
- How could we, at xyz church, bless you at this time?
- Would you feel comfortable if we kept in touch, and if so, what degree would you like that to be and how's the best way of staying in touch?