This week in America, most people won’t step foot in a church.

What are they thinking? I mean, really. What are they thinking? Where are they and why aren’t they in church?

I’ve heard a lot of church leaders and members opine about these people and try to speak on their behalf. Then it dawned on me that the insiders may not really know the heart of the outsiders—because the insiders are inside on Sunday morning. Insulated from the outsiders.

So, I decided to step out of the inside and wander outside—on a Sunday morning. I stopped people on the street and said, “It’s Sunday morning. A lot of people are in church right now. I noticed you’re not. I’m curious why.”

I invite you to watch this video. Listen carefully to what they say.


What did you hear? What keeps them away from church?

It’s interesting. I’ve shown this clip to many church leaders. Their responses tend to separate into two categories: 1) acceptance and eagerness to learn; or, 2) defensiveness and deflection.

Those in the first category often express sadness, sometimes surprise, a sense of love for those on the street, and a curiosity toward how they might change in order to reach these “outsiders.”

Those in the second category usually get agitated, blame the interviewees or the life factors that influence them, and look for ways to defend the church’s status quo.

What’s your response?