Meet Robert Frank, March’s featured author. Robert is the author of a unique book about the team concept of Christianity entitled Christ’s Team: A 21st Century View of Christianity and a pioneer of sorts in advancing that concept. When Robert and his wife lived in Michigan, they helped establish a new mission congregation. Over time, it dawned on Robert that rapid changes were happening in the world of technology and communication because of human participation in creation.
Thinking back about the Apostle Paul’s description of the followers of Jesus working together as a unit that he called the Body of Christ, it occurred to Robert that he was describing what we in our modern world would call a team. Robert began to think of the Trinity as being God as the source of all creation; Jesus the spiritual leader, teacher, and mentor of the human participants; and the Holy Spirit as the unifier who attempts to form all of the followers of Jesus into a team using the Bible and the Church. After Christ’s Team was published, Robert realized his book was part of a quietly evolving modern day reformation of Christianity. Robert is one of only a very small number of authors who have written books about team-based ministry. Christ’s Team: A 21st CenturyView of Christianity was originally published in 2009 as an e-book by Kolb Net Works in Pennsylvania who published it as a paperback about 9 months later. In November 2011, Robert added Discussion Questions to the end of the book to make it more useful for Christian education classes and republished it. Christ’s Team is available for sale at MWC.
Robert began his career as a research scientist at the General Motors Research Laboratories near Detroit in the 1950’s and early 60’s; his research articles were published in American and European journals. His science writing continued when he came to Augustana College in 1964 and carried out research in collaboration with scientists at Argonne National Laboratories and the University of Illinois. He gave the commencement address when he retired from full time teaching at Augustana in 1992. Robert now spends his time on writing and volunteer work. He also reads books and information on the internet and writes short articles about team-based ministry posted monthly on his web site http://www.christsteam.com/.
Robert will be one of the speakers at the Congregational Resourcing Event sponsored by the Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at Kishwaukee College near DeKalb, Illinois on March 10, 2012 which is open to the public, but will be attended mainly by leaders from the various Lutheran churches across northern Illinois. He offers this advice for writers: “Writing a book takes a lot of work, but is a wonderful way to keep your mind active. Do it if you enjoy writing and feel that you have a unique message to present. Most writers have found that if you are not a celebrity to start with, it is a poor way to try to achieve financial or celebrity status. Once a book is finished and carefully edited, it is easy to get it published on the Internet, but then the work of marketing it is just starting and that takes a lot of hard work for a long period of time. I was fortunate to find a literary agent in Pennsylvania sympathetic to my work who stuck with me.”