Bob Roberts on Church Planting, Missions, & Politics

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Dr. Bob Roberts, Jr. is a modern-day Missional Renaissance man. He is pastor, church planter, mission, prophet, apostle, and proud Texan. He is also someone who I proudly consider a mentor. He has helped shape my thinking on global missions, specifically through his many years of investing in my native country of Vietnam.

During a recent session with Exponential, Bob opened up his treasure chest of wisdom and generously shared many gems with the audience.

Watch the replay here for free.

By the way, if you know Bob personally, you know that he’s like a hyperactive squirrel on Red Bull. He wrestles with ADHD as I do. His session was passionate, inspiring, and touched on a bunch of important topics.

So here is my 3-2-1 with Bob Roberts where I distill the session into 3 Lessons, 2 Questions, and 1 Takeaway.


1. Don’t overcomplicate church.

Bob says that we’ve made church too complicated. As he traveled and studied church movements around the world, he’s noticed that they all have the same things in common. They focus on the basics and they have simple structures.

The three common elements are small groups, serving the people in your community, and teaching people private spiritual disciplines. He says that “the Gospel always spread through relationships in small groups” and we should serve the people right around us and look for ways to meet their needs.

That’s one thing that COVID-19 taught me about church ministry. What I thought was essential really isn’t.

2. Stay out of politics.

Bob gave a passionate plea for Christians to remain a-political. This was my favorite part of the interview (starting at at 26:50 into the conversation). He went on to explain how getting involved in politics has led to negative Kingdom impact.

We do more to undermine the Great Commission by our uninformed opinions (about geopolitics) than anything else we can do.
—Bob Roberts

We don’t have a clue about the way the world operates. We see it through the eyes of Americana, not the Kingdom of God.
—Bob Roberts

If you want to reach lost people, not just backslidden Baptists and Methodists, you got to stay a-political.
—Bob Roberts

We can’t ‘Christianize’ either political party, or we will wind up being pundits instead of prophets.
—Bob Roberts

3. Mission starts with loving people and making friends.

Mission and evangelism don’t have to be as complicated. Bob says that reaching people begins with relationships.

[You can listen to Bob’s discussion on the importance of love and friendship in evangelism beginning at 15:40 into the conversation. Watch the replay here for free.]

Here are a few more awesome Bob quotes:

Do you realize what it would do to your evangelism if you didn’t see everyone you looked at as a sinner that’s going to hell? What if you saw them as sacred human beings created in the image of God?
—Bob Roberts

The best thing you can do is realize that Jesus calls us to love these people. Love God. Love your neighbor. Even love your enemy. Who’s left out? No one. Everybody is in the game.
—Bob Roberts

We are hypocritical in what we are saying and teaching (about church and missions). If we can’t love the Muslims here (in America), let’s stop funding missionaries to go to the Middle East.
—Bob Roberts

If you love people you’re afraid of, it not only changes them, it also changes you.
—Bob Roberts


As I listened to this session, I couldn’t help but be personally challenged. Here are the two questions that I’m personally wrestling with.

1. How can we regain our role as prophets?

We’ve lost our role as prophets because we prefer to become political pundits. This is an especially important question to wrestle with as we approach another election season.

2. How do we plant and lead churches for lost people?

Maybe we need to get back to the basics and simplicity that characterizes the growing global church movements. What would have to change if we wanted to reach lost people?


Here’s one last quote that challenges me:

You’re going to have to be committed to the ways of Jesus. And you’re going to have to be willing to be misunderstood and have people, not like you.
—Bob Roberts

Bob is a pioneer and a contrarian. He says it like he sees it. He has many critics. He said,

But I can’t think of anyone else that has done more to further the cause of the Gospel to the nations than Bob Roberts, Jr.

So here’s my one final takeaway from this session:

Following the example of Jesus is neither easy nor popular, but it’s only way to live!

Bob, thanks for blazing the trail for us.

Watch the replay here for free.

We are better together!

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

Scroll to Top