Chris Robeson has been the Director of Church Mobilization for the Gregg Baptist Association since March 2018. From deep in the heart of one Texan, he shares his background and thoughts on ministry and the church. To suggest a Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated leader to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.
Where else have you worked, and what were your positions?
- Northrich Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas (1996–2003)—youth pastor
- The Bridge Church, Murphy, Texas (2003–2008)—church planter
- Coulter Road Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas (2008–2012)—senior pastor
- Friendly Baptist Church, Tyler, Texas (2013–2015)—senior pastor
- Various churches (2016–2017)—pulpit supply
- First Baptist Church, Linden, Texas (2017–2018)—interim pastor
Where did you grow up?
I was raised in Pasadena, Texas.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
As a child, my parents brought me and my siblings to church and to Sunday school on a regular basis. We stopped attending church during my fourth-grade year. During my sophomore year, I was invited to a youth service by some friends at school, and my twin brother and I both heard the gospel and prayed to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?
- Howard Payne University—BA with a practical theology major and English minor
- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary—M.Div.
- Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary—D.Min. student for expository preaching
Why do you feel called to your particular vocation?
My primary calling is to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result of this specific focus, I have followed the Lord’s direction for ministry leadership that allows me to exercise the gift of evangelism and to help equip others to share the gospel with lost people.
It is a joy to serve as a director of church mobilization alongside pastors and churches having served as a senior pastor. I believe this gives me a unique perspective as a practitioner to better serve the Gregg Baptist Association.
Please tell us about your association, where it’s located, the key focus of its work and ministry, etc.
The Gregg Baptist Association is located in the Longview area of East Texas. It is comprised of over 50 churches that are working in partnership together to advance the gospel through church planting and revitalization.
What do you like best about leading your association? Why?
I thoroughly enjoy the partnership side of the associational work. By working together as partnering churches, we can always accomplish more for the kingdom of God.
How do you expect your association and/or its mission to change in the next 10 to 20 years?
The Gregg Baptist Association will become a network of Baptist churches working in partnership to advance the gospel through church planting and revitalization initiatives.
Name the three most significant challenges and/or influences facing your association.
- Transition and change of vision and values in order to be a viable ministry to member churches in the coming years
- The member churches need to see and believe in the mission and vision of associational work.
- Member churches will need to continue to give sacrificially to underwrite the ministry.
What one aspect of your job gives you the greatest joy or fulfillment?
Encouraging pastors and leaders as they serve the Lord in their ministries.
What are the key issues, opportunities and/or challenges facing Baptist churches?
I believe the issues and opportunities remain the same as they always have for us as Baptists. We must remain focused on advancing the kingdom of God as our first priority through the gospel of Jesus Christ and the faithful proclamation of God’s Word.
What are the key issues facing Baptists as a people or denomination?
We need to continue to work tirelessly to walk together in unity by choosing to agree upon what matters most: the gospel of Christ Jesus.
We need to discern how we can better equip and resource men and women for bi-vocational ministry.
Who were/are your mentors, and how did/do they influence you?
- Gary Williams—Discipleship leader as a youth: taught me the importance of personal prayer and Bible study method and the identity of being a servant
- Dana Mathewson—Youth pastor at First Baptist Pasadena: taught me what it means to worship God in spirit and truth and to have a passion for evangelism
- John Avant—College pastor and mentor: taught me about revival and spiritual awakening
- Manley Beasley Jr.—Manley was my first pastor that I served under as a youth pastor. Manley taught me about faith and how to trust God. He continues to be a valued mentor and encourager.
Other than the Bible, name some of your favorite books or authors, and explain why?
- Because We Love Him by Clyde Crandford: This book is a proven resource for discipleship.
- Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
- Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby
- Living Out of the Overflow by Richard Blackaby
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?
Colossians 1:28 because it is the verse that God has used to guide me in ministry.
Who is your favorite Bible character, other than Jesus? Why?
The apostle Paul because of his life and service to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Name something about you that would surprise people who know you well.
I’m a secret agent. Oops!