Priest and Professor William J. Byron talks about the importance of Catholic churches finding out why people are not attending church anymore (an idea he attributes to a former corporate CEO):
… if businesses were losing customers at the rate the Catholic Church in the United States is losing members, someone would surely be conducting exit interviews.
The church in America must face the fact that it has failed to communicate the Good News cheerfully and effectively to a population adrift on a sea of materialism and under constant attack from the forces of secularism, not to mention the diabolical powers that are at work in our world.
Right. The pedophilia, opposition to condoms, treatment of homosexuals, anti-women policies, and perpetuating a giant myth about God’s existence all take a backseat to my “materialism”…
But I do like the idea of an exit interview, even though the Church would never do it because they don’t even seem to acknowledge that people are leaving the church in the first place. (Good luck getting your name off their rolls…)Here are some of the questions posed by Byron:
- Why have you stopped attending Sunday Mass regularly?
- Are there any changes your parish might make that would prompt you to return?
- Are there any doctrinal issues that trouble you?
- Does your pastor or anyone on the parish staff know you by name?
- Are you in a mixed-religion marriage?
- Do your children go to church?
- Did you ever really consider yourself to be a member of a parish community?
Consider this your chance, whether you used to be Catholic or a member of any other faith.
Pick a question or three. How would you answer them in your exit interview?
(via Faith & Reason)