CNLP 082: David Kinnaman on How Christians are Increasingly Perceived by the Unchurched as Irrelevant and Extreme

Is telling others about Jesus an act of extremism? What about waiting for marriage to have sex?

David Kinnaman, author, speaker and President of Barna Research,  joins us with some shocking findings on what unchurched people really think about Christians and gives us practical ideas on how to bridge the gap between Christianity and the culture we’re trying to reach.

Welcome to Episode 82 of the podcast.



Guest Links: David Kinnaman

Episode 24

The Barna Group

Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme

Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them

You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith 

unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why it Matters

David Kinnaman on Facebook

David Kinnaman on Twitter

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Gabe Lyons

Chris Lema

Connexus Church Online 

Ravi Zacharias; Episode 53

Jeff Henderson; Episode 16

John Ortberg

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

When you look at how culture is shaping the church, and how the church is shaping culture, their influences are moving at different paces. David elaborates on how Christians can shift the conversation.

  1. Recognize the Kingdom things happening in the church. Encourage others by telling them that the church is doing things out of faith, and do more of them. We need to bring the Gospel to the forefront more. Get it out there, and celebrate it! Create a bubble of good faith and acknowledge others’ love of Jesus.
  2. Acknowledge the opportunity for revival. Conditions of culture in North America are ripe for the church to be revived. There’s a hopelessness in our culture in which we think this is going play out. We think people are going to come to the end of themselves, and the church will be a counter-cultural response. We think there is a crisis in how we think about humanity, but the revivals begin within the church. They can happen because the people of God are revived to His purposes in their lives, and we live counter-culturally to the spirit of the age. We think there are tremendous opportunities for revival and renewal, and it should be seen as an exciting time.
  3. Pursue diverse relationships. If we want to live in good faith, ask yourself in you’re in good dialogue with those who have different beliefs. Do you have people of different faiths, backgrounds and world views that you engage with? We need to teach our communities to ask the right questions: what’s wrong, what’s right, what’s missing, and what’s confused? As Christians we believe every person is created in the image of God. When we only understand the brokenness of humanity, we’re only getting a partial description.

Quotes from this Episode

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Next Episode: Ravi Zacharias

Few people alive today have spoken to as many non believers and believers alike as Ravi Zacharias. In this interview, Ravi shares what’s changed in people’s attitudes toward Christianity and what needs to change in Western preaching to effectively share the Gospel with the next generation.

PLUS…next week we have something very special for our listeners. Don’t miss it!

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CNLP 082: David Kinnaman on How Christians are Increasingly Perceived by the Unchurched as Irrelevant and Extreme


  1. Cheryl Cavanaugh on July 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Episode 82: boy have I been in the mix! I stumbled onto an athiest page on Facebook. Their misconceptions about who Christians are has everything to do with the “Chrisrtians” who get the most airtime, like Westboro Baptist Church. They are painting every Christian with the same brush and the language reminds me of the various propoganda that circulated in Europe regarding the Jews in the early 1930s. It’s terrifying. The most important goal for a Christian in addressing this group? Know your science. Ask yourself this question: how do you bring God and what we know of science together in a way that makes sense? Know your history. Be in the world but not of the world. But be in it. The conversations I have had on that page start out in a horrific way, where I’m glad I’m safe at home, but through *conversation* perceptions of a few are changed every day. Christians who don’t wake up might wake up one day on the inside of a concentration camp.

  2. Youth Specialties | on April 9, 2016 at 7:01 am

    […] Carey Nieuwhof’s Leadership Podcast hosts David Kinnaman to chat about how Christians are perceived — CLICK TO VIEW […]

  3. zengda on April 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm


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