ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Tony Robinson knows how important men are to the church he pastors. That’s why, for the second year in a row, he plans to gather the men of Piner Baptist Church to pray, learn and fellowship during “The Bigger Breakfast 2010” on Sept. 25.
That Saturday, they also will kick off 40 days of prayer for the men of church and the nation. The period of prayer at the Morning View, Ky., congregation will conclude with a church-wide revival.
“If we’re going to do anything to begin to reverse the trends in America, it will have to begin with men and the home,” Robinson said. “Anything we can do to jumpstart that, I believe, will be crucial to the future of America.”
The North American Mission Board once again is encouraging Southern Baptist churches to participate in The Bigger Breakfast 2010, which organizers hope will be the largest simultaneous breakfast in history.
The men of Lincoln Heights Baptist Church in Mansfield, Ohio, used The Bigger Breakfast 2009 to launch a “Baptist Men On Mission” group in their church. The men already were meeting weekly for Bible study and monthly for breakfast, but the opportunity to break a world record drew 40 men — a considerably bigger crowd than normal. Lincoln Heights has about 150 members.
“Men are naturally competitive, and many men see The Bigger Breakfast as a challenge that goes beyond a typical church men’s breakfast,” said Jim Burton, NAMB’s mission education team leader.
But The Bigger Breakfast transcends competition or a hearty breakfast.
“On the heels of the Southern Baptist Convention adopting the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force recommendations, The Bigger Breakfast 2010 is particularly timely for our churches,” Burton said. “For Southern Baptists to penetrate lostness, we must recruit, train and mobilize a host of men who embrace this vision and will lead their families and churches to be on mission.
“The primary goal for The Bigger Breakfast 2010 is for every man attending to participate in a 40-day prayer plan for spiritual awakening.”
This year, The Bigger Breakfast 2010 marks the second consecutive year NAMB has organized Southern Baptist men to take part in the breakfast, which originated in the United Kingdom in 2008 before spreading last year to North America and Africa.
Robinson, at Piner Baptist, said his interest in last year’s event was piqued because the breakfast highlighted the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. As he researched what Southern Baptists are doing to combat hunger, he found materials about the breakfast. Since his church had struggled to organize men in the past, he thought he’d try participating in the breakfast.
The men of the church responded in larger numbers than they had in previous men’s events, with 15 men attending the breakfast. Robinson plans to follow up the breakfast by mobilizing the men to use NAMB’s 40-Day Prayer Plan for Spiritual Awakening.
In conjunction with the aim of this year’s breakfast to encourage men to grasp a vision for mobilizing the men of Southern Baptist churches to lead their families toward a Great Commission Resurgence, NAMB’s mission education team has prepared a planning guide and speaker’s outline to help churches prepare for the event.
“Jesus set the example in John 21:12 when He prepared breakfast for His disciples during one of His post-resurrection appearances,” Burton noted. “Shortly thereafter, Christ issued the Acts 1:8 challenge” to reach people with the Gospel locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
“Churches struggle to get their men’s attention. The Bigger Breakfast 2010 represents an event that can gather men for the purpose of personalizing the Acts 1:8 mandate in light of today’s challenges and opportunities.”
Entire Southern Baptist associations are planning to involve men in The Bigger Breakfast this year. Milton Schmitt, who coordinates men’s work in the Dallas Baptist Association in Texas, is working to get at least 500 men to gather for The Bigger Breakfast 2010 in Dallas.
Schmitt plans to use the event to get men involved in ministry in their local churches, noting that many men don’t know what ministries and resources are available. The association also plans to open up the event to young boys and teenagers with the hope of introducing them to men’s ministry along with Royal Ambassadors and Challengers age-level groups.
Schmitt believes men will be drawn to the opportunity to fellowship with other men. Yet he knows that many will also be drawn by the food.
“Men also like to eat,” Schmitt said. “We’re really working hard to prepare a good breakfast — a big breakfast.”
Tobin Perry is a mission education staff member at the North American Mission Board. For more information about The Bigger Breakfast, visit www.bmen.net.