Conversation with John Ortberg

I had the chance this weekend to spend some time talking with John Ortberg as he was at Parkview speaking on his book “The Me I Want to Be.” I think I started reading John’s stuff back in Bible college, thinking he knew what he was talking about, and then sort of losing him in a period of my young life I like to call my anti-Willow phase.

It’s a long story.

I was happy to read this new book (though I’m not sure about the title) and when I knew he was coming to speak I hoped to talk with him a few moments about formation, etc. Here, in no certain order, are my reflections on the conversation. It should be noted that I didn’t write anything down while we were talking so these aren’t direct quotes.

  • John is authentic, engaged, and anxious to have discussions on anything from colleges in southern California to Dallas Willard and the latest research on brain patterns.
  • Formation is a moment-to-moment activity that HAS to begin with in the life of the person helping everyone to enter into a life of formation in Christ. How often do our minds stop and think on the presence of God in every single moment?
  • All we do, as pastors and missional folks, is translate. We translate God through our life, preaching, teaching, living, loving and being for the rest of the world.
  • Dallas Willard is actually smarter than we thought. Frightening I think.
  • Sarcasm may be a spiritual gift – John has honed it into an art.
  • There is an undercurrent of Christian spiritual formation growing all over the place and it is reaching places where we never thought it could go - within the church, outside of the church, in colleges and universities. It's exciting.

I really appreciated John’s time and I think it’s good to surround ourselves with people we respect and get challenged on a regular basis.

Are you doing that? If not, why not? If not, what will you be cancelling this week so that you can?