Payton Burnett

Welcome, Friends!

Where I serve

God has called me to return for a second year as the Team Director at Belmont University in Nashville for my fourth year on staff! My experiences the past three years at the University of Tennessee, the University of Dallas, and Belmont have equipped me in many ways for this, and I am excited to be able to invest deeper in the students here. I know I will continue to learn and grow as I form and love a new team while seeking out lost souls on campus and guiding them in pursuing a personal relationship with the Lord.

My Story

When I started college at Baylor, I was somewhat religious, thanks to my Catholic upbringing and education. I did not, however, have a deep personal relationship with Jesus, know that I was missing one, or realize that having one transforms your entire life. Because of this, the allures of the college environment were drawing me further and further from the Lord. I wanted to fit in, be liked, and do what it seemed like everyone else was doing. My identity was in what others thought of me and how many friends I had. I was also starting to doubt my faith at this time, as I had never before questioned why I believed what I believed and was suddenly in the minority religion-wise for the first time in my life. 

By the grace of God, I met a FOCUS missionary during my sophomore year who invited me into her life through fun hangouts, asking me to join her Bible study, sharing such truth with me in the midst of my doubt, and loving me how I had never before been loved by a friend. Samantha exuded a joy that was so contagious, and I could tell she had something that I didn t. I knew that whatever it was, I wanted it. Through holy friendships, developing a consistent prayer and sacramental life, and reading Scripture daily, I grew to know Jesus intimately and how He loves me so intentionally and pursues my heart ceaselessly. Because of this, I began making big changes in my life, so I could serve Him as He deserves and calls us to.

Seeing how God used Sam and others in my life to bring me back to Him helped me figure out that my biggest passion in life is serving others spiritually. I want to continually strive to be the person God made me to be and to bring as many souls to Heaven as I can. That is why I am here now doing what I am doing as a FOCUS missionary, realizing that there is a cost to taking no action. There s a great urgency knowing that to the degree we respond or don t respond to God s call is the degree to which souls are saved or lost. God placed me at Belmont University for a reason, and I plan to give my all to those in front of me and guide them to transformation in Christ.

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I feel blessed with the most amazing people who journey with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please send me an email at [email protected]. I would love to schedule a time to talk, and I’d be truly honored to share this mission with you!

Some Give by Going, Others Go by Giving Mother Teresa

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