Chris came to GCC in 2004 after graduating from the Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, CA with an M.Div and a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling (MABC). Before attending seminary Chris was involved in youth work for fifteen years, nine of which he served as pastor to Jr. and Sr. High youth at Cape Bible Chapel in Cape Girardeau, MO.
Chris is married to Alisa (since 1989) and has four children, a son, Josiah, who was born in 1995 and three daughters, Johanna (2003), Maria (2006), and Salena (2008). Maria and Salena are biological sisters who were adopted from Haiti in 2010. The Riser household has been immeasurably enriched (and dramatically enlivened) by the privilege of sharing God’s goodness and grace with these precious little ones. They are a constant reminder of God’s unmerited favor and boundless love in choosing to adopt us into His family through the sacrifice of His own precious Son.
Chris’ great passion is to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to be a godly husband and father, and to shepherd the local body of believers at Grace with passion, grace, and truth. To this end he is committed like Ezra to “study the law of the Lord, to practice, it, and to teach His statures and ordinances …” (Ezra 7:10a&b). It must be noted that although this is my passion, it is not always my practice and I am overwhelmed by the grace of God in continuing to love me, nurture me, and forgive me (“If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord who could stand, but there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared”) – Psalm 130:3-4).
Chris’ one hobby is working with teens, helping to prepare these vital members of the church for a lifetime of faithful, evangelistic service to the body of Christ. As a side benefit he also gets to plan all the stuff he likes to do like rock climbing, skiing, playing ultimate Frisbee, and going door to door witnessing!
Chris’ life verse is Hebrews 12:1-4:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;”
His favorite quote (currently) is: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot