A couple years ago, I took a class in seminary that covered both youth/children’s ministry and evangelism in the church. Part of the required reading for the class were two books that covered interviews of the “unchurched,” conducted by a Southern Baptist man who runs a well known Christian book company. These books were written to encourage Christians in evangelism, drawing the conclusion that most unchurched people would come to church if you simply invited them. The books were well-written and fascinating. But as I read them, I began to wonder: what about the formerly churched? What would they have to say about church?
This was not a topic that just came up out of the blue for me, however. I have numerous friends and family who fall in the category of the “formerly churched.” I myself nearly joined their ranks. I knew and had experienced many of the things that result in someone leaving the Church. I had read many articles speculating why people left the church, but none that I read seemed to actually have a discussion with someone who had left the church. These articles often unintentionally spiral down into existential navel-gazing, with the writer assuming they know why someone left without asking that someone for their reasons.
And from this, came the inspiration for Exit Interviews. I knew that in order to understand why people are leaving the church, we need to ask them why. We need to learn their story. Because here’s the thing: I know why. Many people know why. You only have to search the #exvangelical or #churchtoo hashtags on Twitter to get a glimpse into why people leave the Church.
I want to take those hashtags, Twitter threads, and Facebook posts from the formerly churched a step further. I want to write a book about the people who left the Church. My first book will focus primarily on former evangelicals, but I have plans for future books addressing other religions that claim Christianity (Catholicism, Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.).
If you were raised in the Christian Church and are no longer part of the Church, you have a story to tell. I want to help you tell it. These are the Exit Interviews.
If you would like to participate in the Exit Interviews project, please get in touch with me via the contact page on this website.