Robert came to Christ in the seventies through the Jesus Movement and served as a pastor of the Philadelphia Jesus People. He met his wife Lois there and then attended Westminster Seminary in preparation for further ministry. They began attending New Life Church where he was discipled through the ministry of Jack Miller and his Leadership Training Course that eventually became known as “The Sonship Course.”
Robert and Lois witnessed the birthing of World Harvest Mission (now called Serge) as an outgrowth of New Life Church’s ministry to Ireland and Uganda. They became one of the first missionary families with World Harvest and served in Uganda 1985-1991 on a church planting team. During this time Robert began developing materials for training African leaders.
From 1997-2013 the Carrs lived in Kenya where Robert helped establish New City Fellowship in Nairobi as well as helping the Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church start a church planter training program. Robert now has five Kenyan church planter trainers whom he continues to coach through regular phone correspondence and annual visits to Africa. He also partners with the AEPC with building and water projects.
From 2013-2014, Robert worked in the U.S. office of Serge as a Church Mobilizer. In 2015 Robert transitioned from working with Serge to Metro Philadelphia Church Planting Partnership where he now coaches cross-cultural church planters in the U.S. who are reaching various immigrant communities.
Robert is ordained in the PCA and earned a B.A. from Temple University, a M.Div. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and a D.Min. degree from Columbia International University. The Carrs have four adult children and six grandchildren.
Robert with Church Planter Coaches in Kenya
June 24, 2015 (updated May 13, 2016)
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples…You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…(John 15: 8, 16).
Although focusing on church growth can sometimes be commercial to the point of diluting the gospel, these and other passages in the Bible make it clear that God’s purpose is that, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). From the very beginning, God told Adam that he should “fill the earth and subdue it.” Abraham was called to be the “father of nations” and Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” To keep up with population growth around the world, we need to plant more and more churches!
In John 15 Jesus said that he not only wanted his disciples to bear much fruit; He also wanted to see “fruit that will last.” Church planting conserves and multiplies the fruit of evangelism and that is why it has been called, “the most effective means of evangelism.” It is not enough for someone to hear the Gospel and get saved. That new believer has to grow in his belief and mature in a local community of believers, where he will find his gifts and begin sharing his faith with others. That is why church planting has been at the center of my ministry for the last thirty years.
Working with Metro Philly Church Planting Partnership (MPCPP), I have started coaching church planters working with the many immigrant communities coming here to live, including Asians, Africans, Albanians, Russians, Indonesians and others. At the same time, I continue coaching Kenyan church planters from a distance and making annual visits for two-three months out of the year. Over the next few years of doing training their leaders, my prayer is that the African churches will take more and more responsibility for the training and support of their church planters.
Lois and I have been privileged to return to Kenya and Uganda the past two years to continue what God gave us to do there 30 years ago. It’s a unique calling - working in two continents. Most of the year we are based in Philly, where I coach church planters among immigrant communities with Metro Philadelphia Church Planting Partnership. Lois directs Kianga Kids healthcare and sells Kenya crafts to help support it. We enjoy this work but also look forward to our visits to Africa.
This year we are planning to spread our time in Africa over two visits. In August/September Robert will host a building team, and lead church planter training in Kenya. Lois will visit children’s ministry sites and gather Kianga Crafts. In January/February of 2017, we hope to spend our time in Uganda with leadership development in the Western rural areas, as well as me teaching a course on church planting at the Africa Reformation Theological Seminary.
We are attempting to raise $9500 to help cover our travel, accommodations and ministry expenses for our Africa trip in July. We want to be faithful to what we believe is our mandate from Jesus this year. Would you take a moment and pray about giving a one-time gift to help us complete this next phase of our ministry?
Thank you for supporting our ministry so faithfully and generously!