John Ortberg

John Ortberg on Detaching Identity from Performance

About The Episode


Today’s episode is all about the complexities of life after ministry, exploring how the roles we inhabit can become intertwined with our identities. John discusses the importance of separating one’s identity from his or her role, the challenges faced in transitioning from local church ministry, and the significance of cultivating deep and meaningful relationships. John shares insights from his own journey, emphasizing the necessity of vulnerability, intentionality, and daily obedience in serving God joyfully.


  1. Identity and Role: Sean and John explore how roles in ministry can become deeply entwined with one’s identity, making it challenging to separate who you are from what you do. They discuss the importance of recognizing this dynamic and the need to find fulfillment beyond one’s role.
  2. Transitioning from Local Church Ministry: John shares his personal experience of transitioning from local church ministry, highlighting the difficulties and uncertainties involved. He emphasizes the need for pastors to cultivate relationships outside the church community to maintain a sense of identity and purpose.
  3. Cultivating Deep Relationships: Sean and John stress the importance of cultivating deep and meaningful relationships, both within and outside the church context. John shares insights into the qualities of a strong friendship, emphasizing vulnerability, trust, and mutual support.
  4. Daily Obedience and Joyful Service: John reflects on the importance of daily obedience and finding joy in serving God, regardless of circumstances or roles. He shares how his Enneagram type (Type Three) influences his desire for recognition and performance, highlighting the ongoing struggle to find fulfillment in God alone.
  5. The Journey of Self-Discovery: The conversation delves into the ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth, emphasizing the importance of introspection, self-awareness, and reliance on God’s grace. John shares how daily struggles and challenges can become opportunities for deeper connection with God and others.

Episode Links

If you’re a leader approaching a succession or transition. Or maybe you’re a few years in and beginning to see how complex transitions leadership is… go to The Art of Pastoral Succession and check out my brand new course in partnership with Carey Nieuwhof. 

Are you in Transition or have one on the horizon? Check out our 2023 cohorts and get connected with us at: 

Who is John Ortberg?

John Ortberg is a pastor, author, and speaker. He’s been in ministry for over 40 years and teaches around a central theme of spiritual formation. John is a deep believer that the main thing God gets out of your life is the person you become.  He desires for people to know God in an interactive, life-transforming way. Presently, John leads the ministry,, focused on leveraging online technology for life change and spiritual community.

John Ortberg


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About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

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Leaders in Living Rooms
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