Global Missions Week fosters Great Commission focus

“Our main call is not to this location; it’s to be disciples and make disciples.”

Phil Bartuska, a missionary in Vienna, Austria, encouraged students with this message along with other panelists at “Knowing Your Call,” one of the many Global Missions Week events hosted by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s (SEBTS) Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies (CGCS). Global Missions Week, which took place April 10-12, occurs every spring as a way to promote North American and overseas missions among SEBTS students.

Knowing how the Lord calls individuals into specific ministries is key for students to understand. This was the main topic of “Knowing Your Call, a panel discussion on Thursday. Along with Bartuska, panelists included Skylar Anderson, a church planter in Denver, Colorado; Don Lynch, a missionary in Ghent, Belgium; and Michael Guyer, a church planter in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Anderson said at his church, he helps people think through their calling in terms of the desires God has given them, how the Lord is affirming those desires and where they are seeing opportunities to use their passions.

Lynch said that calling is God compelling a person to go and be obedient.

“You have this sense that God is calling you to do something and he just wants you to be obedient in those steps,” said Lynch.

Guyer noted that one of the ways calling is affirmed through the feedback of others.

“I think having honest conversations and asking people to give you feedback is vital,” he said.

Bartuska spoke honestly about the difficult reality that following God does not mean everything will work out perfectly. Instead, Christians are to obey God in order to grow closer to him.

“Your first calling should be your primary calling, which is God calling you to himself,” said Bartuska.

Early in the week, David Platt, president of the International Mission Board and pastor-teacher at McLean Bible Church, told the story of Adoniram Judson and his missionary service in Burma.

Platt prayed for 14 of Southeastern’s International Church Planting students. Fellow students, faculty and staff surrounded them, laying hands on them and commissioning them to the ends of the earth.

Along with the commissioning service, the Southeastern family gathered together to enjoy food and fellowship throughout the week at Taco Tuesday and Taste of the Nations on Wednesday, two of staple events of Global Missions Week. Taste of the Nations featured food from 12 countries, including India, Vietnam, Mongolia and the Netherlands.

Also, booths were set up in the CGCS to foster conversation among students and missions organizations, including the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board and Reaching and Teaching Ministries.

The CGCS is a ministry center of SEBTS that helps students to engage in international and North American missions through events and short-term trips. To learn more about the CGCS, go to

To view photos from Global Missions Week, click here.

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