DAVIS—Although “Rewired,” the state men’s retreat now in its fifth year, connects with men in whatever special interest they have—motorcycles, horses, hunting and fishing, disaster relief or mixed martial arts for example—organizer Keith Burkhart is praying that this year’s event draws men closer to their pastor.
Burkhart, family & men’s ministries specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, confirmed that some changes are in the making for “Rewired,” which attracts some 2,500 men and boys of all ages each year. This year’s retreat, April 27-28 at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, will retain the same basic structure, with some attractive enhancements.
“It’s year five for ‘Rewired,’ and one of the challenges is it’s going well and growing every year and we just want to be careful not to mess it up,” Burkhart chuckled. “You know, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
“But” he added, “we have identified the areas where we can make a difference in the quality of the event. One will be the platform design. We’re going to try to go over the top with that this year during the keynote speaker times.”
The worship experience also will be enhanced, he believes.
“We’re going to incorporate some male vocalists and a small men’s ensemble during the worship time,” he commented. “Worship leaders Matt Roberson and Brad Henderson of Tulsa will again coordinate that.”
As is the custom, keynote speakers are top-notch. Men will be challenged Friday evening by Tommy Bowden, former head football coach at Clemson University and son of iconic Florida State University coach Bobby Bowden. Saturday Morning, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, will speak.
A third high-profile speaker makes ‘Rewired’ a homerun meeting, Burkhart said.
“What I’m most excited about is we have Kenny Luck, the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., where more than 7,000 men are connected in small groups,” Burkhart said.
Luck has authored and coauthored 17 books, including Every Man, God’s Man, Every Young Man, God’s Man and the Every Man Bible Studies from the best-selling Every Man Series published by WaterBrook/Random House. He has been a featured contributor to Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox, New Man Magazine, Men of Integrity, The Journal and Young Believer Magazine.
“Kenny has been working on some material that will be released early at Rewired called Sleeping Giant, Burkhart said. “It’s not due to come out in LifeWay stores until May.”
Saddleback pastor Rick Warren said, “Sleeping Giant is to pastors and men what Purpose Driven Church was to pastors and congregations.”
“The book is about unleashing the power of men in the local church—rallying around a pastor’s vision for the church and community. It includes material that will be a men’s ministry model that a church of any size can use,” Burkhart added.
“It’s all centered around moving men out of broken culture, because men, in Adam, are explosive and destructive, but, in Christ, they are like enriched uranium and have a power that we have not yet harnessed to transform the culture around us. This book really focuses on how to do that.”
Of his book, Luck said, “Simple, proved out and biblically supported, this manifesto and movement architecture addresses the ‘800 Pound Gorilla’ in the modern church: men who are affiliated, but not activated for the Kingdom.”
Luck, who also is founder and president of Every Man Ministries, will lead a special session for pastors and their men’s ministry leader or team on Saturday called “Sleeping Giant—Releasing the Power and Promise of Men into the Pastoral Vision,” and also lead two breakout sessions during Rewired: “The Ultimate Fight: Stepping into the Ring against Evil,” and “Different Dimension: Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit.”
In addition to all of the special interest venues and events, which include a 3D archery tournament, Bass tournament at Arbuckle Lake, cowboy camp and Alpine climbing tower and ropes course, “Rewired” features more than two dozen breakout venues. And, once the retreat is over, ministry continues.
“Every venue leader this year has been required to put together a 4-6 week ‘Next Step’ follow-up piece that will be downloadable on our website or from our i-Phone App,” Burkhart explained.
“Church leaders can use these resources free, or an individual can download them and use them at his workplace, for example.
“A man can use the follow-up materials to help a co-worker deal with real-life issues in a hands-on, one-on-one way and build a relationship with that fellow worker, whatever that topic may be.
“My goal is to help raise up men to support pastors around the vision God has given them in the local church. ‘Rewired’ is more than an event, it’s about moving men into transformation through relationships and discipleship.”
While all of the activities are under way, LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC will have a production crew on hand to video the events for an upcoming broadcast production.
“LifeWay Men will be bringing a team of four or five men to do interviews and film various aspects of ‘Rewired,’” Burkhart said. “Most likely, Friday night’s worship time with Tommy Bowden will be captured as well.
“They will go back and prepare the footage for a Stand Firm broadcast that will be made available to churches and individuals around the world.”
Stand Firm is a monthly devotional guide which equips men to be godly leaders in their homes, churches and communities. Each issue contains devotional readings, role-model interviews, reviews and articles that easily fit into every man’s busy schedule and encourage men to cultivate the discipline of daily Bible reading, to keep their commitments and to honor their responsibilities.
Registration for “Rewired” is $50 for ages 13-18, and $60 for ages 18 and up, through April 10. After April 10, the fee increases by $10 per person. For more information about “Rewired,” visit menrewired.com, or call 405/942-3000, ext. 4634.