Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul: things you should know

If there's one thing audiences walk away with after watching "Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul," let it be to question everything. "So much of life can be spent on autopilot that we don't regularly question why we think the things that we think, why we follow the things that we follow," says Sterling K. Brown. "If we did engage in that question a bit more, folks may still make similar choices, but it wouldn't be blindly. It would be intentionally."

Having grown up in a megachurch himself and now portraying a disgraced Atlanta pastor in "Honk for Jesus" (in theaters and streaming on Peacock Friday), Brown knows all about questioning why things are the way they are, especially religious institutions.

Brown stars as pastor Lee-Curtis Childs alongside Regina Hall as Trinitie Childs, devoted wife and first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch. When the pastor's sexual misconduct scandal takes down their once successful church, the couple goes to desperate lengths to repair their reputation and lure back their congregation for a relaunch by Easter Sunday.

Filming in a faux documentary style, director Adamma Ebo and producer Adanne Ebo, her twin sister, wanted to explore a more nuanced and complex style of criticism born from the frustration of loving a flawed institution.

"There's so much about it that we really loved and respected and revered even, but then there were the things that didn't quite line up with what church purported to be: how people communicated with each other, how people treated other people and real actual harm that would go on," Adamma Ebo says of the sisters' upbringing.

The comedy-satire/mockumentary lens was the perfect way to tell that story. "What is truth? What are different people's truths?" Adanne Ebo says. "Where's the gray in between? Where do things converge and not converge when it comes to the truth? Because people tend to take documentaries as fact, as truth-telling vehicles,"

As the pastor and the first lady's relationship with each other and their congregation unfold, we see glimpses of hypocrisy, selfishness, abuse of power and other un-Christian practices.  While the image of church leaders behaving in ways that would make anyone clutch their pearls might seem jarring, Hall says it shouldn't come as a surprise.