Getting to Know Pastor Bryan Loritts

Recently, our communications director, Monique Funnie, asked our new lead pastor, Bryan Loritts some questions about his life, ministry and hopes for our Abundant Life family.

Monique:

What excites you about ALCF the most?

PB:

Wow.  I typically struggle with questions like these, you know “the most, the best, the worst,” so maybe if I could give you a couple of things that excite me “the most.” One I would say the opportunity God and you all have afforded me to step into an already multi-ethnic church, and to build on this value of diversity that has been a part of the fabric of the church for years. I mean, just look at our leadership—there are Indians, Hispanics, African Americans, Whites, Asians and so on. I don’t know of too many pastors who begin their tenure at a church that is already steeped in Christ-exalting, ethnic diversity. That’s pretty amazing.

The second thing I would say is where the church is positioned. We are in Silicon Valley, the tech empire of the world. Down the street is Google, Apple and Facebook (among a host of other companies). Then there’s Stanford, an elite institution. All this and more means some of the most forward-thinking, sharp, entrepreneurial people are right in our backyard, and we get a chance to shape and influence them, and, therefore, the world.  

Finally, I would say, and this is closely related to our location, but just the chance we will hopefully get to see God bring about renewal in the Bay.  Someone told me that there’s been no documented widespread spiritual renewal—what some would call revival—in the Bay Area. I don’t know how true that is, but I want to see God use me and other Christian leaders to be a part of something that would really be historic. I will spend the balance of my days praying for this.

Monique:

What character qualities would your wife and three sons use to describe you?

PB:

Watch it now. I’ve got two teenagers, so I’m not sure what they would say! No, I’m just kidding, I think. We actually just did this the other night at a birthday dinner they took me to, so this one’s easy to answer. My wife Korie, asked each of our sons to give five things they love about me. I won’t give you all of them, but they said things like disciplined, hard worker, fun, gracious, compassionate.  I won’t lie, the last two kind of shocked me, because as a parent I’m always thinking I’m too hard on my kids, so that was kind of nice to hear.

Monique:

How would you describe your devotional life?

PB:

Wow, good question. For the last 10 years, I’ve had it as my aim to read through the Bible at least once, if not twice a year. I read about nine chapters a day which gets me through the Scriptures about twice in 12 months. This year, I want to read through the New Testament once a month, and, if I move along about nine chapters a day, that will get me there. So, in my Bible reading, I fly at a really high altitude.  

But, I also see my weekly sermon preparation as devotion as well. To be sure, it’s different because I’m not flying at a high altitude, but landing at ground level and taking one passage and drilling really deep for like 15–20 hours a week.  Overall, I’ve found this combination—of soaring over Scripture and reading broadly while at the same time drilling down deeply—to be incredibly shaping in my life.  

When it comes to prayer, about a year and a half ago, I read a book that really emphasized praying Scripture. I had heard of this before, but I really felt moved by God to do this. So I memorized eight lengthy passages of Scripture, and will spend about 20–30 minutes a day praying them back to God. And then in the afternoon, I will typically take some time to intercede for my family, Abundant Life and others.  

Monique:

Who are your mentors?

PB:

My dad, Dr. Crawford Loritts. I’ve been blessed with a godly father who I still look to for guidance. Then there’s my godfather, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer. I’ll probably cry just as hard at his funeral as my own dad’s—that’s how close we are. He really taught me pastoral ministry, and shaped me into the preacher and pastor I am today. Finally, there’s Dennis Rainey, president of Family Life.  Dennis, and his wife Barbara, have been huge influences on Korie and me, helping us in our marriage, and to be better parents and people. Once a month, Dennis and I have a conference call where we check in with each other. I’ve been blessed to have this tribe of leaders around me.

Monique:

What are your favorite Scriptures and why?

PB:

There you go with the “favorite, most, worst,” questions (lol)! Hmm, that’s a tough one. I guess I could sound super spiritual and say the whole Bible, right?  What if I just gave you the eight passages I pray through: Psalm 1; Psalm 8; Psalm 15; Psalm 16; Matthew 5:2–10 (the Beatitudes); Matthew 6:9–13 (the Lord’s prayer); John 15:1–8; Colossians 3:1–4.  

Monique:

Thanks Pastor Bryan. We are so excited to have you at ALCF, and look forward to your ministry to and with us!

For more information on Pastor Bryan’s passion for the church and Scripture, check out the latest “Bible Study Magazine” article: http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/

Hear Pastor Bryan’s messages: ALCF Weekly Teaching Podcast