At work the other day, I was in a management meeting where we discussed the possibility of having exit interviews with everybody that left our place of employment. The idea was we could learn why they left, and then work on fixing the problems that caused them to leave.
During the meeting, I wondered if the LDS Church has “Exit Interviews” with formal feedback to Salt Lake. I know John Dehlin has a video where he explores why people leave the church. But I highly doubt that the church would use this.
The normal way the church wants somebody to formally leave the church is to meet with their Bishop. This meeting is not to find out why they are leaving, but to try to talk them out of it, and to make sure they know the consequences of having their name removed. They also probably talk about why the person is leaving, but there is no form the bishop fills out to pass that information back to Salt Lake.
While some people would not want to talk to somebody about why they no longer beleive, I think that there would be many that would do a phone interview from somebody from Salt Lake. For example, with the letter they receive telling them that they are no longer members, there could be a 1-800 number the person could call to leave the reasons they are leaving.
It seems that if the church truly wanted to know why people are leaving, they would make a concerted effort to get to the bottom of the reasons. I know they do surveys of members, and that these lead to changes, but I’ve never heard of exit interviews.
Does anybody know of a formal program in the church to compile the reasons for leaving, or is John Dehlin the only one to do this? What ways can you think of conducting the interview (besides the 1-800 number) that would get people to open up?