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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

Equipping You to Minister to the Dechurched in Your Life

If you go to church, do you know why you attend? Do you know why your friends and family have casually just stopped going to church? How can we talk about the necessity of the church in a way that is beautiful and life-giving, but goes beyond personal preference? In this episode, Michael Horton, Justin Holcomb, Walter Strickland, and Bob Hiller answer these questions and more as they discuss how Christians can reach out to their dechurched friends, family, and neighbors.

“When asked how willing they would be to go back to church, 51 percent said they are either somewhat willing or very willing—51 percent! Unsurprisingly, the reasons they would come back also represent a longing to belong. These dechurched evangelicals said they would come back if they made new friends (28%), if they move and want to make new friends (18%), if they became lonely and want to make new friends (20%), if their children want to go (16%), if their spouse wants to go (18%), if a friend invites them (17%), if there is a good pastor (18%), if they find a good community (17%), if they miss their church community (20%), or if they just find a church they like (14%). This group’s high orthodoxy scores also inform other reasons they would come back: if they feel the distance from God (20%) or if God tells them to go back in some significant way (18%). The main takeaway here is that many dechurched evangelicals simply need a friend to invite them to church.”

The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back? by Jim Davis and Michael Graham, with Ryan P. Burge, p. 28.


  • Michael Horton is White Horse Inn’s founder and co-host. In addition to serving as a J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, he is a minister in the United Reformed Churches. He is the author of more than 30 books.
  • Justin Holcomb is a Senior Fellow with Sola Media’s Theo Global. He is also the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, where he has served as the canon for vocations since 2013. He teaches theology and apologetics at Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
  • Bob Hiller is the Senior Pastor of Community Lutheran Church in Escondido, California. He is also the author of Finding Christ in the Straw.
  • Walter Strickland is Assistant Professor of Systematic and Contextual Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has contributed to, edited, and authored multiple books in his areas of research interest, which include the African American theological tradition, education theory, and theology of work.


More from this Series: Reaching the Dechurched

  1. The Great Dechurching, with Michael Graham and Jim Davis Listen Now ›
  2. How the Local Church Can Minister to the Dechurched Listen Now ›
  3. Equipping You to Minister to the Dechurched in Your Life Listen Now ›
  4. A Vision for a Modern Reformation: From Dechurched to Rechurched Listen Now ›