Language Translation

Books I'm Reading

  • "Surviving the Anointing" by David Ravenhill

Books I've Read

  • "Revival God's Way" by Leonard Ravenhill
  • "Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room" by Kenneth E. Hagin
  • "The Dynamic Duo: The Holy Spirit & You" by Rick Renner

Monday, April 8, 2013

Are You Smarter Than the Average Bear?

If you are a product of the 1960's, you grew up watching some incredible cartoons. There's nothing on television today that remotely comes close to cartoon shows like The Jetsons or The Flintstones or cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny or Woody Woodpecker or Top Cat or Tweety Bird or Magilla Gorilla!

One of my all time favorites is the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Yogi Bear. If I close my eyes, I can still see him looking at his Jellystone Park sidekick, Boo Boo, and saying, "I'm smarter than the average bear." Yogi snatched many a picnic basket as he showcased his brilliance.

Whether you are a Yogi Bear or an average bear like me, here is a truth found in God's Word that is so simple to understand. In praying with boys and girls to receive the infilling or baptism in God's Holy Spirit, you don't have to be smarter than the average bear to know that you know that you know that God ALWAYS wants to pour His Spirit into our children. Luke 11:13 makes His will known.

"Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things
to your children. 
How much more your heavenly Father
will give the Holy Spirit 
to those who ask him!” 
Luke 11:13 (New Century Version)

It's so plain. It's so simple. Even Yogi would know that it is God's unequivocal will to ALWAYS baptize EVERYONE (and this includes children) who asks to be baptized with His precious Spirit. 

I love what Charles Finney stated in his Revival Lectures.
"God says he is more ready to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than parents are to give bread unto their children. Here we are bound to believe that we shall receive it when we pray for it. You have no right to put an if, and say, "Lord, if it be your will, give us thy Holy Spirit."  This is an insult to God. To put an if into God's promise, where God has put none, is tantamount to charging God with being insincere. It is like saying, "O God, if thou art in earnest in making these promises, grant us the blessing we pray for."

Are you smarter than the average bear? If not, don't be discouraged. Luke 11 tells us to give our brain a  break. No thinking is required. When you pray with a child to receive this gift from heaven, they can and will be filled to overflowing. It's just that simple. So, go ahead and allow the children to ask. Rest assured. They will be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Post-it Note from God

We all need reminders from time to time, or at least I know that I do. I survive a crazy lifestyle and keep on track of appointments and on top of projects because of the reminders that I place in my iPhone and the usage of a ton of Post-it Notes. My friend Jim Wideman teaches in his leadership conferences that God didn't give you a brain for memory. Your brain was placed inside your head to be creative. God gave you tools to assist you with your memory. To that I'll say a big, hearty amen!

This week, I want to serve as a Texas-sized Post-it Note and remind you about a truth that we quote and purportedly live by.

"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,
saith the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6

I know that you know this verse. But, while many of us know this verse, somehow or another we constantly fail to heed God's instructions. Let me allow God to tell us His instructions one more time ...

"You won't «succeed» by might or by power, but by my Spirit,
says the LORD of Armies." (God's Word for Today)

And, one more time ...

"It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit,
says the LORD Almighty." (New Living Translation)

And then, one last reminder ...

"It's not by your creativity, personality, or talents nor by your
sets or props ... "  
(Billy Burns Translation)

We all know that God's instruction to Zerubbabel is applicable for us today. I know that you know it. I guess that this reminder is so that you will show what you know to be true.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Make Every Lick Count!

Meet America's most adorable grand sons,
Gavin (2-years-old) and Joey (5-years-old)
Here is a Billy Burns Kid's Ministry 101 teaching point. Young kids CANNOT eat ice cream without getting it all over their face. You don't even have to be in children's ministry to know this. EVERY parent and grandparent knows that once the cone hits the lips, the ice cream will soon be all over the child's face and on the clothes, right? Fortunately, the children eventually learn how to make every lick count and not a single drop of ice cream will be wasted. That will be a bitter sweet time. The face and clothes stay clean but you won't get to experience those beautiful ice cream smiles and kisses.

Here's a question for you. Are you making every lick count in your children's services? Is every second that the children are with you being used to its maximum potential?

Several years ago, I had an adult call my office and request that I officiate a memorial service for her 10-year-old nephew who had just been brutally killed by her sister's live-in boyfriend. She shared with me that her nephew had recently been in our Easter Extravaganza service. The boy had specifically attended because we have a helicopter fly over our soccer field in each of our 3 Easter services and drop 15,000 pieces of candy per service. (Watch the candy drop In this conversation, I learned that this was the only church service that the child had attended in his entire life. After hearing this news, my first thought questioned if we had made every lick count. Did we effectively, clearly present the good news of a risen Savior? Did the message penetrate beyond a candy-obsessed brain and reach into his heart? Only eternity will answer my questions.

How about your children's ministry? Are you making every lick count? Are licks being wasted that could have impacted a child's life? You just might have a first-time and only-time child in your service. Let's make every lick count!

Monday, March 18, 2013

It's In Your Genes!

Have you ever heard the phrase "You can't deny that he's your son" or "Your son is the spitting image of you"? It's not uncommon at all to see children in our ministry who are carbon copies of their parent or have a mixture of the distinct characteristics of their dad and mom. It's easy to notice identical personality traits or physical characteristics between a parent and a child. And, it's not a mystery that what we have noticed is genetics, or to explain it a little differently, it's in the child's DNA. It's not something that they have to make happen. They inherently have their daddy's height or their mom's quick wit or their mom's and grandmother's blonde hair color. We see this often in our ministry don't we!

Have you stopped to think about the DNA of a New Testament children's ministry? As you read through the Book of Acts, you see the distinct characteristics of the Church. While religious organizations abounded during this time and synagogues and temples were plentiful, the distinct "gene" birthed in the Upper Room became inherent and undeniable in the new Church and its lineage. And, that same unique "difference" is in you!

The reason for this week's blog post is to challenge you to take the time to take inventory of your DNA. Look at your ancestors found in the Book of Acts and define what has been passed down to you. Doing this is so, so important. What is in your genes?

I'll get you started by sharing just a few things found on my list.

1. We are a ministry of passionate worshipers.
2. We are a ministry of hilarious givers.
3. We are a ministry who knows and makes room for the Holy Ghost.

Ready for your assignment? Compile your list. Next, expound on each trait with a paragraph overview of why this is (or should be) noticeable in your DNA. For example, why do you claim to be worshipers? For our ministry, I quoted Jesus' statement that praise and worship is inherent in the mouths of babes and sucklings. It's in our genes! And then lastly, share your list with those who work alongside of you in your ministry. Doing so will cause the entire ministry to be aware of what should be undeniably noticeable!

New Testament children's ministry, be who you are! Unashamedly showcase your distinct uniqueness that has been flowing from generation to generation ever since the birth of the Church in the Upper Room. Why? It's in your genes!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Danger of "JUST"

Whether we like to admit it or not, to some degree or another we are all very label conscious. For many of us, we walk into a department store and go straight to the clothing section that is made by our favorite designer. Come on. You know that it's the truth. Young, old, rich, not so rich, we all have "our" label. We generally don't even consider looking at clothes made another company. Why? Because that one designer or label describes who we are and what we like. I might even go so far as to say that the label "defines" us. One more time ... you know that it's the truth.

Many of this blog's readers have a label. It might be "children's pastor" or "nursery director" or "children's choir director" or "sidewalk Sunday school volunteer". Just like the labels at the department store, the labels are numerous. Children's ministry is filled with labels, labels that define who we are and what we do.

The reason for this week's blog is to issue a warning. There is an unseen danger in labels. Whether we recognize it or not, that defining label also is a confining label. It places boundaries on who we are and restrictions on what we can do. He's a children's pastor. She is a nursery master teacher.

Let me personalize what I am trying to share. My label is children's pastor. I am a children's pastor and have been for almost 24 years at Trinity Church International. I love the church. I love the children. But I am keenly aware that if allowed, this title or label given by men or organizations can place restraints on who I am and what I can do. After all, he IS (unsaid ... "just") a children's pastor. Thankfully, I guard the way that I think. I recognize that I am so much more than a children's pastor. This isn't ego talking. I just know that my God-given dreams and passion stretch far beyond the constraints imposed by being "just" a children's pastor. In writing this, I'm not minimizing the ministry at Trinity or disrespecting their perception of me. I'm just not allowing it to place boundaries that prevent me from fulfilling my God-given assignment.

The same can be said for you. Before you were born, God placed dreams and purpose on the inside of you. You have an assignment. Don't smother or constrain your assignment because of boundaries imposed by a label placed by others. Be loyal to your place of ministry be it nursery or children's choir or Sunday school teacher or children's pastor. But at the same time, don't be defined or confined and go through life with your wings strapped to your body. Go ahead and spread your wings. Begin now. Fly. Soar. Fulfill your assignment. Your destiny is waiting on you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Brain is Working Overtime - Your Responses

Last week, I posted a blog titled "My Brain is Working Overtime" in which I listed several questions that I believe must be examined by everyone working in children's ministry. If you haven't read the post, I would ask you to take 3 or 4 minutes and read my ponderings. At the end of the blog, I asked for your input. This week, allow me to share some excerpts taken from your tremendous responses. 

* "Great questions and sad we have to ask."

* "Happy to say that the Spirit of the living God is upon our children who experience His presence and been baptized, and prophesied regularly in our mist. Children continue to go deeper and deeper each week. That is so exciting to see and experience."

* "The questions you posted are exactly the ones I asked as I came here. My heart is to see these children know God and through that paradigm how to walk in the Spirit and pursue the things on Father's heart such as missions and ministry. The book "Teaching Kids Authentic Worship" was also a great confirmation and encouragement."

* "I found in my own life that I don't do the things you asked about because it's easier not to. When we choose not do those things everything can be easily controlled, predictable and BORING! It costs our flesh to step out and trust the Holy Spirit."

* "We are seeing kids more hungry for God. Children are still being baptized in the Holy Spirit. We are teaching them to enter into the prophetic realm.... (9 gifts of the Spirit). Teaching them they are hearing God's voice just that they need to recognize His voice and step out in faith. It is not easy.... but God always comes through. My deepest concern is that I may miss the mark and I truly don't want to miss the mark."

It's me again. What is your response to the questions that I posted? I'd love to read your input. You can write me at

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Brain is Working Overtime

Rather than share a lengthy blog entry this week, allow me to just share a few questions to ponder. The questions may not mean anyone else but me. Judging by what I am hearing from Children's Ministry leaders across the nation, these questions cause me to be very concerned.

* Why is a salvation altar call almost non-existent in children's services?
* While having fun is an essential element of children's ministry, where are the somber moments that allow the Holy Spirit to grip the very core of our children's heart?
* Why is receiving an offering just a part of the check-off to-do list of the service rather than an act of worship?
* Why is the content of teaching and ministry more like cotton candy fluff instead of life-changing Rhema (red-letter) words from heaven?
* When was the last time that you heard or taught about the full package delivered on Calvary's cross?
* Why is prayerless preparation and prayerless delivery the norm rather than the exception in our ministries?
* Why is Book of Acts children's ministry only provided to the fortunate few that can afford to attend a Kid's Camp or children's ministry retreat while the majority of children sitting in children's churches and mid-week Bible clubs are never given that opportunity?
* Why is it the greatest majority of the children (and staff) in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches would be like the Ephesian Christians in Acts 19 and would answer, "We didn't even know that there is a Holy Ghost"?
* Is the "these signs will follow those who believe" (Mark 16) only relegated to adult Christians?

Believe it or not, I have plenty more questions to ponder. But, this is enough to hopefully stir the children's ministry pastors and leaders. If you have any response, you can write me at