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

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Don't Plan to Ever Quit the Children's Ministry!

Many things have changed in the 29 years that Vickie and I have been in full-time children's ministry. I just caught myself writing full-time as though there is a part-time alternative. We all know that it is full-time to do all that is required to effectively minister to children. Many leaders put in full-time hours and energy for the children's ministry and receive their finances from an 8 to 5 job.

While many things have changed over the years, there is one thing that hasn't changed. Every children's ministry is always in need of additional staff, right? I haven't heard of anyone with a waiting list of those biding time until an opening pops open.

I am convinced that this could change if you were allowed just a few minutes to share why you are in children's ministry and don't plan to quit. Many people aren't involved because of the fact that they just don't know what is going on in each of your services!

If I were allowed to address your congregation, I could list ten reasons that I am in this ministry and don't plan to quit. This isn't just hype. I have 29 years of being in this ministry and 19 years of being the children's pastor in one church. I live for each and every opportunity to touch the lives of children.

Allow me to list four of these reasons. I apologize for not having the space to elaborate on each reason. However (here comes an unapologetic promotion) I can provide the entire teaching and my notes that I use to teach this lesson by having you visit the Billy Burns Ministries website to purchase either the CD teaching that can be mailed to you or downloadable teaching that you have within in couple of minutes.

Here are the first four reasons. Each when I step into the classroom,

  1. I am a supernatural interruption to the plans of the enemy.
  2. I am commissioned to eliminate the need for spiritual hospitals (otherwise known as support groups).
  3. I get to be a spiritual tour guide to our kids.
  4. I set the pattern for the future of the church.

One more thing as I close this week's blog ... the website for the 2009 Ignite the Supernatural Conference is up and running. Take a minute and go to to learn about a global gathering of leaders and volunteers longing to see Joel's prophecy fulfilled in their children. The dates are February 5-7, 2009. The price is so affordable! And, you can check on the website to learn how your senior pastor and spouse can have free registration!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Greater the Sensitivity, the Greater the Power

If you have been in children's ministry for any length of time, you will agree that this is an on-the-job training ministry. At the beginning, mistakes are plentiful. As you continue through the School of Hard Knocks, you soon earn your bachelor's degree and the mistakes become fewer and fewer.

One of the dangers of being a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks is that, after a while, it is so easy to begin to operate off of previous experience. There is security in having done things before. In our ministry, we know what works, what to do/what not to do, etc. There can't be many mistakes made if we always follow the lessons learned from experience. The downside of experience is that it can cause us to develop a cruise control mentality. In our ministries, we can begin to work off of an auto-pilot mentality. What is the end result? Instead of being Charismatic, we can become cruise-a-matic.

Thank God for the experience and formulas. But, to accomplish our ultimate call, at times, we must push the safety net aside and, having heard the voice of the Spirit of God, leave the comfort zone behind and walk into uncharted territories.

For those who see true moves of God, vulnerability, or perhaps best said "sensitivity", will cause us to join the ranks of the Abrahams who will leave family behind to go on an uncharted journey of faith, the Moseses' who will dare to lead an at times uncooperative group to a land of promise, the Esther's who will risk it all to stand in the gap for her people.

Today, there is an inward voice calling for us to push the safety net aside and step out of the boat, walk on waters thought impossible by man. There is a voice crying out for us to become dependent upon our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's voice in our services. There are places in the Spirit that our children haven't been. There are things that they haven't seen. There is a freedom that they haven't experienced. There are Gifts of the Spirit that they haven't operated in.

Remember, the greater the sensitivity, the greater the power!

Monday, September 15, 2008

They are Children!

After moving from South Texas to South Florida in 1989, we began to behave like the Israelites after they left Egypt and began to crave the foods that are peculiar to back home. (Forgive me fellow Texans. In no way is Texas like Egypt. It is just a biblical example to make me look studious.) We longed for GOOD Tex-Mex, Dr. Pepper in every restaurant, and real Texas BBQ.

Not long after moving to Florida, we were blessed with a smoker (the kind that is used to smoke meat ... don't go and try to ruin my testimony). Soon, we were smoking brisket and once again enjoying hickory or mesquite smoked meat that was so juicy and tender that you could literally cut it with a fork. For parties, we would smoke 40 to 50 pounds of brisket. For days after the party, we would enjoy the leftovers (the meat that I hid so that there would be leftovers).

One thing that I noticed after a few days of eating the Texas delicacy ... as good as it was, it somehow or another lost its specialness. After the third day, I just didn't enjoy what was once a feast. After several days of consistently eating brisket, I'd gladly take a bowl of soup over a brisket sandwich.

Here's the thought for this week's blog. In ministering to children, I am ministering to a triune being, spirit, soul, and body and variety is the key to being successful in this ministry. If each and every service is a glory hallelujah service, after a while the specialness will dissipate. If however, after several weeks of teaching and touching a child's spirit I change the focus of ministry and touch his soul and body through a memory-making Super Sloppy Double Dare Sunday or a Wild and Wacky, Don't Be Tacky Sunday or a Deal or No Deal Sunday, soon the child will once again appreciate go-after-God ministry.

Let's not over "brisketize" our boys and girls. Sure, we need to put out the meat and potatoes. But occasionally and often, let's give the children some variety. Variety is truly the spice of life. Let's not forsake the movement of the Holy Spirit but from time-to-time let's touch the other two parts of the triune being by bringing out the games and videos, throw a whipped cream pie, make a human pizza by rolling a child around in pizza sauce and sprinkling on the cheese and pepperonis.

Remember, if you fail to impact the whole child (spirit, soul, and body), you will fail to impact the child as a whole and will lose them!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Greater the Dependence, the Greater the Power

One of the traps of longevity in children's ministry is that we can become so good and self-sufficient that we don’t need His presence and power. In the natural, no challenge is too difficult, no circumstance is insurmountable.

It would be wise for us to learn from the apostle Paul in this matter. We all know that Paul had credentials and qualifications second to none. And yet we read in 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NCV) "We are not saying that we can do this work ourselves. It is God who makes us able to do all that we do."

Here's the reason for this blog. The measure of your dependence will determine the measure of His power. In saying that, please understand that this doesn't give license for you to not prepare and do your part. Paul instructed Timothy to study to show himself approved unto God. We are to walk into ministry knowing that we have done everything that we can do. We have thought of creative ways to communicate the gospel. We have sought after fresh, new ideas to capture the attention of our children. And yet, with all of our training and preparation, we must walk into each occasion of ministry with a cry of desperation for His anointing and presence. We must be helplessly dependent upon Him to do everything that He can do.

This dependency might even require that we cast aside all of our preparation so that we follow Him step by step through the ministry. It might require that the expensive object lesson be shelved for a later date, the much rehearsed skit be placed back into the filing system for a later performance.

As your dependency increases, so will the anointing. Learn to depend upon His leading and prompting. Learn to decrease so that He can increase. One more time ... the greater the dependence, the greater the power.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Priorities in Revival

Here are a couple of thoughts about priorities in revival ...

* Desperation will cause you to let go of the LESSER so that you can grab ahold of the GREATER. Your desperation for a move of God, an outpouring of His precious Holy Spirit will cause you to change your priorities. Finding time to be in His presence will no longer be an issue. The things that are unimportant will yeild to things of eternal significance.

* Withdrawing from the masses must become a priority so that you can become effective to the masses. Your time alone with His Spirit will determine your availability for Him to use you. Your intimate time in private will determine the measure of His ministry in public.