10 Years in Print: Special Edition
Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the
results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives.
Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.
LEADER PROFILE: Robert Posner, Jr.
Every leader in this column possesses qualities and characteristics that make him or her worth reading about. Over time, you find repeated styles and traits among these leaders, and occasionally you read about a unique leader who challenges your thinking.
Robert Posner is unique in multiple ways, but you will understand quickly why he is different. Robert has pastored for 23 years, 17 years at Collin Creek Free Will Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. He and his wife Judy are blessed with three adult children: Bethany, Anna, and Nate, who all live in Plano and serve in some capacity as volunteers at the church.
Robert is serious about prayer, Scripture, and family. While a teenager, he felt God’s call to the ministry and was both nervous and unsure about surrendering to it. His youth pastor, Doug Henderson, encouraged him and provided opportunities for him to teach. Even with a supportive youth minister, Robert was frightened by two experiences that almost kept him from the ministry.
The first occurred during a failed speech where Robert’s embarrassment gripped him to the core. The second came from a distasteful experience in community college, after which he wanted no part of higher education.
A year or so after the second event, Robert shared his apprehension about God’s call with his friend Tim Rabon. Tim committed to pray with Robert ten minutes each day about Robert’s career and calling. Within a month, the call overwhelmed Robert, and he surrendered. As a result, Robert makes prayer a priority. Prayer, Scripture, and family— things he learned from his mother’s example. Described as one of the greatest sources of support, Robert credits his mom for her prayers, love, and encouragement.
His quiet time routine involves repeated readings through a specific book in the Bible over several months. He reads a chapter and sometimes journals his thoughts. Other times, he outlines major points, but in Robert’s words, “I let The Book consume me.” He does not read commentaries until he has spent many hours and weeks studying Scripture itself. After 3-6 months, he considers what commentators say about the cultural setting and difficult passages. He does not read the Bible for sermons, but at times, he shares what he is learning with his congregation.
Robert and Judy both spend serious time studying Scripture, working with young adults, and both are prayer warriors. His entire life and ministry is the result of prayer.
Robert, you are a great leader!
Get to Know Robert
What connects you and Judy these days?
We share several mutual passions: missions, mentoring others in their faith, reading books, and seeing either a play or watching a movie.
What does your ideal date look like?
We thrive on uninterrupted time together. The ideal date consists of three items: a tasty, unhealthy dinner; a play or movie; and uninterrupted time into the middle of the next day. We usually only get two of the three.
What are you reading right now?
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
How would others describe your leadership style?
I think they would say I like to be personally involved, and that while there is value in the 30,000 feet perspective, I like to be close enough to help with the ups and downs in people’s lives. They would say I delegate only to help others grow. That I see benefit in failing as well as succeeding. Everyone knows I believe God works mightily in those whom other people reject. And hopefully, they recognize that my patience comes from reliance on the Lord.
Why do you feel that God called you to ministry?
Since I found Christ, my burden for others has increased. I work to teach and make the complicated simple; doing so encourages others. I also have a soft spot for the underdog,
the rejected, and the outcast. I realize God’s grace did not give up on me, and I cannot give up on others.