Current position/title: President, The Barna Group
CPYU: Have you always been a reader? If not, how did you become one?
DK: Yes, I have always been an active reader. As nerdy as it sounds, my parents told me that my first word was “book.” I guess right then and there my parents enrolled me in the geek squad.
CPYU: What are your reading habits and practices?
DK: I read a lot of magazines and online content, but there is nothing better than a great book. I love good novels but my favorite thing to read is a mind-expanding author delve into something I’ve never considered before.
CPYU: Name 3 books that have been very influential in your life and one sentence that explains why.
DK: Frog in the Kettle – George Barna’s book about the church and the future; it changed my life because after reading it, I became an intern in his company…and now I am president!
Post-American World – a sobering, but hopeful new book by Fareed Zakaria about the changing role of America in global affairs…the connections to the role of Christianity are staggering.
The Back of the Napkin – a very practical and distinctive book that describes how we can solve problems through pictures, using our imaginations and visual thinking.
CPYU: If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would it be and what questions would you ask him or her?
DK: I love talking with authors. Many of them are so rich with ideas and perspective. But one person would be amazing is J.R.R. Tolkien. One time, a friend and I tried to create our own fantasy world. We worked on it for almost a year. I think we had a small map and about a chapter worth of material. I would love to ask Mr. Tolkien what fueled his imagination and got him to finish such an ambitious project!
CPYU: According to a recent study by the National Endowment of the Arts, very few young people are reading. Do you have any ideas on how to get young people to read?
DK: Well, there are lots of people and thinkers trying to tackle that huge issue. I think you have to get young people focused on a set of topics they love. You can’t force a person to read, but you can help him or her grasp the power of reading to deepen their mark on the world.
The Barna Group's website
Official website for the book Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
Read Walt Mueller's review of Unchristian
Listen to an interview with Walt Mueller and David Kinnaman
(right-click to download)