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Kansas Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists (KNCSB)

Helping Churches Make Disciples of All People

Men examine ‘Why am I here?’

Events at Webster Conference Center, Salina, Kan., this fall ranged from the Kansas Safe Schools Summit to the KNCSB Men’s Retreat. During the retreat, men learned of their crucial roles in leading their families to join God’s work.

“What is God’s call in your life?”

Hands shot up all over the room when Jim Burton asked participants in the KNCSB Men’s Retreat if they struggle with this question. The annual retreat was held recently at Webster Conference Center, Salina, Kan.

The retreat focused on the theme “Built for Significance.” Burton wrote this three-session study that helps men answer the question, “Why am I here?”

Burton is team leader for mission education at the North American Mission Board. He started his career as a photojournalist. While working for the Topeka, Kan., Capital-Journal in the early 1980s, God called him to the ministry. He was a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Topeka. Gene Hawkins, the church’s pastor at the time, helped Burton define God’s calling.

“Built for Significance” challenges men to follow the example of Noah, whom Burton called “one of the best models of being an on-mission dad.”

The topics of the three sessions of “Built for Significance” are:

  • “Calling All Men: The Potential of Men on Mission”—Genesis 6:5-10
  • “What’s the Call About: The Plan of Men on Mission”—Isaiah 43:1-2
  • “You Have an Appointment: The Purpose of Men on Mission”—Philippians 1:16

Many problems in today’s society stem from absent fathers, Burton said. This absence is not only physical, but emotional and spiritual as well. He warned of the dangers of emotional absence—“being home every night but not being there.”

Christians are created with the purpose of being missional. “It’s all about saturating this globe with the gospel.”

Concerning Noah, Genesis 6:8-9 tells how he found favor with God and walked with Him. God chose him to fulfill the mission of building the ark. Although this calling seemed crazy to the people around him, Noah persevered.

“From man’s perspective, this was a crazy idea,” Burton said. But Noah’s obedience led his sons and daughters-in-law to join him.

Burton asked his listeners if their calling from God is so compelling that their wives and children will join them.

He challenged the men to be intentional disciple makers. One way to do this is through working in Royal Ambassadors, the Southern Baptist mission education program for boys in grades 1-6.

A veteran RA leader was one of the retreat participants. Bob Drake, from First Southern Baptist Church, Lawrence, Kan., has been working with RAs since 1974.

“You have one of the most experienced RA guys in the nation in your convention,” Burton said of Drake.

Many resources are available for men’s ministry. John Lucas is the KNCSB director of men’s ministry. Call him at KNCSB, (800) 984-9092 or send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Find more information on “Built for Significance” at Baptist Men on Mission on the NAMB Web site.

Men’s Fraternity is another popular resource in men’s ministry. It is a series of three year-long studies:

  • “The Quest for Authentic Manhood”
  • “Winning at Work and Home”
  • “The Great Adventure”