10 Things I’d Ask in an Exit Interview when Church Members Leave

Most of our churches have members who leave. Some leave well, and others leave poorly. Either way, I’d want to learn from them as they go. Here are some of the questions I’d ask in an exit interview:

  1. Why did you come to our church in the first place? Sometimes, the answer to this question shows a bad start from the beginning.
  2. How often did you attend and/or participate in church? It might be that this person actually left long before he or she officially did.
  3. Did you feel connected to the church? The answer is based on emotions, but it’s still worth knowing.
  4. Were you involved in a small group? If so, which one? People who never attend a small group tend to be disconnected overall.
  5. What did you most appreciate about the Sunday morning worship event? Least appreciate? It’s good to know both the positive and the negative.
  6. What’s the PRIMARY reason you are leaving? Most departing members can identify the biggest reason for their leaving. Draw them out so you learn, too.
  7. What ONE THING must the church do to become a better church?  This is an open-ended question, so be prepared to hear a lot.
  8. What ONE THING must the church continue to do? This second open-ended question can help affirm you and your church.
  9. Are you already attending/joining another congregation? When the answer is “no,” you may still have opportunity to bring this person back into the fold.
  10. How can we pray for you now? Keep the door open to further conversations.

What questions would you add?

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