David Kinnaman: Reversing the Church’s Irrelevance Problem

David Kinnaman is the author of the bestselling books Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian. He is president of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with nearly one million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies. He and his wife live in California with their three children.

Key Questions:

In your research findings from Good Faith, you mention the words irrelevant and extremist. How are these words being used in the context of Christians?

How do you respond to someone who say Christians shouldn’t be concerned with the perceptions of other people?

According to your research, what are some of the most challenging conversations facing ministry leaders today?

What encouragement or advice can you offer a young pastor or ministry leader?

Key Quotes:

“A lot of the core tenants of Christian belief and behavior are viewed as extremist; they’re viewed as bad for society.”

“A lot of Christians are feeling misunderstood, they’re feeling persecuted, they’re feeling marginalized, sidelined.”

“Christianity has become so relevant, and so much embedded in our culture, that people don’t notice. It’s so relevant, it has become irrelevant.”

“The degree to which we’re cursed on behalf of Jesus shows some level of devotion and we should expect it.”

“So often in the Christian community, we try to change culture, we try to hold culture to account, we try to make sure that we’re persuading people about the rightness of Christianity, when in fact I think the thing we should be most concerned about is the faithfulness of the church.”

“A lot of millennials were losing confidence in the fact that Christianity has something meaningful to say, particularly on the LGBT community.”

“In cultures that are like ours—incredibly skeptical, with an inherent distrust of religious institutions, spiritual hungering—there’s a real opportunity for a revival to happen.”

“You don’t need a researcher to prove the power of prayer.”

Mentioned in the Show:

Good Faith
unChristian
Barna Research Group
Q Ideas
David Kinnaman: Why the Church Isn’t Reaching Young People

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Andrew Hess
Andrew Hess is the director of content at the White Horse Inn and editor of corechristianity.com. He formerly served as the editor of churchleaders.com. His writing has been featured on The Gospel Coalition and Focus on the Family. He lives in San Diego with his wife Jen and they recently welcomed their first child. Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWHess.