More than 900 men gathered recently at Falls Creek Conference Center in Oklahoma for an annual men’s retreat, with the theme, “Stand Firm.”
Bubba Burcham, men’s ministry consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and program director for the retreat, encouraged the men to grow in their spiritual journeys.
Participants were inspired to do more for their families and in their churches, he noted.
“I’ve been going to the men’s retreat for 15 years or so,” Burcham said. “One thing I love about [it is] the activities and demonstrations [that] allow the men to do stuff shoulder-to-shoulder, where bonds are formed.”
Joe Ligon, BGCO senior associate executive director, preached during the Friday evening session.
“There’s something special about this many men in this room singing together,” he told the group. “There is something powerful about men joining their voices together to praise God.”
Ligon preached from Genesis, emphasizing the creation of man as well as his fall.
“We need to be careful about who we are listening to,” Ligon admonished. “There’s at least a thousand, if not a million different voices competing for your mind … messages are constantly speaking into your heart and into your head, trying to get you to go in some direction that you are not supposed to go or to do something you are not supposed to do.
“Men, we need to be particularly careful about who we are listening to because, at the end of the day, Satan is still talking.”
During an invitation 12 men made professions of faith in Christ, and more made other spiritual decisions.
Brad Clay, emcee for the retreat, introduced a man who was a member of Clay’s student ministry when he was a youth pastor. Clay said the man had run from God for 11 years and recommitted his life to Christ during the Friday evening session.
Activities and demonstrations during the retreat ranged from archery, ax-throwing, dodgeball, skeet shooting, a video game tournament, trout fishing, a Saturday morning 5K run and a Faith Riders motorcycle ride.
Also available were demonstrations of horse training, chainsaw carving, hunting dog training and stunt bikes. Army chaplaincy and outdoor camping ministry also were featured.
‘Being spiritually strong’
Michael McDaniel, pastor of Northeast Missionary Baptist Church Forest Park, preached during the final session. The former wide receiver at the University of Oklahoma (1993–96) preached from 1 Corinthians 16:13–14, emphasizing discipleship and the importance of “being spiritually strong.”
“Knowing your weaknesses makes you stronger,” he declared. “You become stronger when you recognize what your ‘kryptonite’ is. It could be something you touch with your hands or something you think in your minds … . Jesus not only gives us strength, but He is strength.”