ST. LOUIS — The Rev. Kevin D. Robson of Baxter, Minn., was installed May 18 as chief mission officer of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Preaching on Luke 12:22-34 at the installation service in the LCMS International Center chapel here, Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison echoed Jesus’ words to His disciples: “Don’t be anxious about your life.”
Staff at the Synod’s national headquarters “tend to think … that we’re really important and indispensable. But we’re not,” Harrison said. Or think they have all the answers, “but we don’t.
“What we have is a vocation — we are called at this time and this moment” to serve God.
The Synod president said Robson — an ordained pastor with extensive experience in the business world — would wear “a unique cap” as chief mission officer (CMO), and jokingly added, “That’s what Jesus with an MBA looks like.”
With difficult days ahead — which likely will include making tough financial decisions, handling thorny conflicts and enduring painful public criticism — Robson need not worry because “the Lord will take care of what you need,” Harrison said. “It is His good pleasure to give you the kingdom so that you may live in joy.”
Added Harrison: “Do not be anxious. You’re cared for. And you will be cared for in this position. You can count on it.”
In brief remarks after his installation, Robson said he was “awed and humbled” by the position.
As CMO, Robson is responsible to the Synod president for the mission, ministry and programmatic functions of the Synod’s national office. His duties include serving as the president’s liaison to LCMS corporate entities; working closely with the Synod’s chief financial officer and chief administrative officer in carrying out their respective responsibilities; supervising the work of the offices for National and International Mission, and the fundraising and Communications departments; and providing leadership, coordination and oversight for pre-seminary, seminary and post-seminary education as well as advocacy for pastoral education and health within the Synod.
The CMO position was mandated by the Synod’s 2010 national convention with adoption of Resolution 8-08A, which also realigned the church body’s national ministries under the two mission boards.
Robson, who had served as pastor of Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baxter, Minn., since 2006, began serving as CMO on May 13.
“I’m a parish pastor at heart, and it is a great challenge for me to depart from the duties of caring for a faithful, much-loved congregation,” he said after accepting the CMO call. “Living only under God’s grace, I intend to do my very utmost in a new field of service to support our blessed church body in the accomplishment of our common mission. I eagerly anticipate the privilege of working alongside the multitalented and energetic saints who are daily and diligently carrying out their vocations at the International Center and elsewhere around the world.”
Prior to earning his Master of Divinity degree at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., in 2001, Robson enjoyed a broad career in corporate research and development, product management, business development, sales and consulting with Union Carbide Corporation, Chicago, and Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown, Pa.
He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, with a master’s degree in Finance and Marketing, and a 1982 graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, earning both a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science and Engineering in Chemical Engineering.
He is currently engaged in a dissertation project for the Doctor of Ministry degree (Pastoral Care and Leadership) at Concordia Theological Seminary.
As CMO, Robson succeeds the Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, who served in the post from early 2012 to mid-2014, and the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Office of National Mission, who had served as interim chief mission officer since then.
For more information, see the Reporter Online story, “Robson accepts call as LCMS chief mission officer.”
Posted May 19, 2015 / Updated May 27, 2015