The Pulse of Ecclesia

September 10th, 2015 | Sermon Topic

I often tell my nine-year-old daughter, Addy, about the night she was born. Kristyn was asleep in the hospital bed under the influence of an epidural while I sat by her side keeping friends and family up to date on our progress from my laptop. What I vividly remember was that the only sound in the hospital room was the rhythmic beeping of Addy’s heart monitor attached to Kristyn’s stomach.   After anticipating the joy of becoming a father for so long, the sound of my daughter’s life was literally filling the room where I sat waiting for her arrival. I love telling Addy how excited I was to meet her and hold her for the first time and how much I already loved her before I had even seen her face.


What I don’t tell her about that night was how much I panicked during the delivery when that sound stopped. Eventually, I would come to learn that the monitor no longer picks up the heartbeat as the baby moves down the birth canal, but in that moment I was sure that my baby girl’s heart had stopped beating. To my ears, that pulse was proof of her life and its silence sent me into an emotional spiral.   Kristyn loves telling people about how I almost fainted during the delivery before the doctor forced me to sit down.


For the next 9 Sundays at Ecclesia we will listen to God’s Word to see what the Pulse of the church should sound like and feel like in our City. We will study the Apostle’s Paul’s letter to the early church in the Greek city of Colossae and find 8 unique signs of health in the Body of Christ. As we discover them, we will take our own pulse as a church to see whether or not we are beating in the same rhythm. We will assess our personal health and see if we are giving proof of Jesus’ life to the rest of the world around us.


The life of a church is often best experienced, not in large rows as we gather on Sunday morning, but in the small circles that come together as Community Groups all over LA during the week.   Community groups are where people can get to know others and feel known themselves. It is a place to love and be loved, serve and be served, celebrate and be celebrated. It is in these smaller weekly expressions of the church where the heartbeat of God is most often discovered and where our own health is most often nurtured. September is a great time to join a Community Group. Find a group that meets in your area of LA or connects with a common interest or stage of life.


Pulse: 8 Signs of Health in the Body of Christ

When the heart of God beats in His Body on Earth you can feel it pulse throughout a city.  This fall, our new Lead Pastor, Jon Ritner, will guide us through the Book of Colossians looking for 8 unique signs of life in the Body of Christ.  As we go, we will take our own pulse as a community and seek to revive any areas in which our faith has flat lined.


Week              Date                Colossians       Content

Introduction  Sept 13           1:1-14              The Pulse of Ecclesia

Week 1:          Sept 20           1:15-23            Pulse: A Healthy Church Puts Jesus in His Place

Week 2           Sept 27           1:24-2:5        Pulse: A Healthy Church Invests in People

Week 3           Oct 4               2:6-19              Pulse: A Healthy Church Walks the Walk

Week 4           Oct 11              3:1-4                Pulse: A Healthy Church Keeps Her Head Up

Week 5           Oct 18             3:5-3:17           Pulse: A Healthy Church Knows How to Dress

Week 6           Oct 25             3:18-4:1           Pulse: A Healthy Church Has Her House in Order

Week 7           Nov 1              4:2-4:6             Pulse: A Healthy Church Engages Her Community

Week 8           Nov 8              4:7-4:18           Pulse: A Healthy Church Invests in Relationships


Jon Ritner joined Ecclesia as Lead Pastor in August of 2015. Before moving to LA, Jon had served for three years as a Pastor in a small church plant in Brussels, Belgium and for 10 years as a Pastor in a large church in Williamsburg, Virginia. Jon and his wife, Kristyn, have been married since 2002 and have two children, Addy (10) and Jax (7). Jon is a native of New York and a graduate of The College of William and Mary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Also, he keeps himself humble by rooting for the Chicago Cubs and playing pick up basketball with guys half his age.

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