John was born in Rockford, Illinois. His wife Nancy is also a seminary graduate and also served as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. They have been married for over 20 years and have enjoyed watching their own family grow. They are parents of three children, Laura, Mallory and Johnny. They also have a dog and a cat, though they are ambivalent about the cat.
John Ortberg, is passionate about "spiritual formation," which is how people become more like Jesus. His teaching brings Scripture alive and invariably includes practical applications and warm humor. John is the author of "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat" and "The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Growth for Ordinary People". He has also contributed to many other books and periodicals.