Theologian and author Gavin Ortlund has announced his departure from his pastorate at the First Baptist Church of Ojai, California, to become a full-time theology YouTuber. Ortlund sees YouTube as a strategic platform for ministry, and he plans to focus on producing online content to address spiritual needs and help people find assurance and security in the gospel.
As part of this transition, he will move to Nashville, Tennessee, and merge his YouTube channel, Truth Unites, with Renewal Ministries, a ministry led by his parents, Ray Ortlund Jr. and Jani. He will also become a theologian-in-residence at Immanuel Nashville, a church founded by his father.
Ortlund’s decision reflects a response to declining religious participation among younger generations, and he has garnered endorsements from prominent evangelical theologians for his online ministry. Despite his role at Immanuel, his primary focus will be producing and promoting online videos.
The Roys Report writes:
Theologian and author Gavin Ortlund has announced he is leaving his pastorate in southern California to become a full-time theology YouTuber, under his father’s Nashville-based ministry.
Gavin Ortlund, currently lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Ojai, California, announced the transition in a video posted to his YouTube channel, Truth Unites.
“YouTube is such a strategic place for ministry,” said Ortlund in the October 18 video. “What I’ve concluded is, this pathway is the most fruitful way I can spend my life for (God’s) purposes.”
As part of this transition, Ortlund announced he will move his family to Nashville, Tenn. And Truth Unites will merge with Renewal Ministries based in Franklin, Tenn., led by his parents, Ray Ortlund Jr. and his wife, Jani.
Gavin Ortlund will also become theologian-in-residence at Immanuel Nashville, a prominent Acts 29-affiliated congregation his father founded and pastored for 11 years. The elder Ortlund transitioned out of the pastorate in 2019 to lead Renewal Ministries. Today, Ray Ortlund Jr. continues to serve as a “Pastor to Pastors” at Immanuel Nashville, according to the church’s website.
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