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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, August 30, 2010

Look What the Lord Has Done!

Being a children's pastor in a megachurch has its pros and cons. There are a lot of things that a church of 3,500 can do that a smaller church perhaps can't do. At the same time, there are things that can happen in a smaller church that a large church just can't facilitate.

There's one thing that I really, really miss from the days of my upbringing in a smaller church. On Sunday and Wednesday nights, our services included what we called a testimony service. During this portion of the service, individuals would stand up before the congregation and tell of God's goodness. One person might tell of a healing that had taken place last week while another person might tell of a supernatural provision. As a child, these stories helped cement my confidence in an all-loving, all-caring God.

While I recognize that due to time restraints posed by having multiple services and also having the impossibility of an individual's voice being heard in an auditorium that seats some 1,500, having a testimony service in a large church is next to impossible. And yet, I still long to hear those testimonies. I know the value of hearing what God is doing today among the people that I know and love.

Evidently David knew the value of a testimony service. Consider David's instructions:

"Let each generation tell its children what glorious things He does."
Psalm 145:4 (The Living Bible)

I've come to this resolve. While we may not be able to have a testimony service in the adult service, I can't afford to allow our children to miss out on this faith-building tool. I must allow my staff and the children an opportunity to tell of the glorious things that God is doing. Each week, I will start the testimony service by telling of what the Lord has done for me or my family in the last 7 days and then allow a few minutes for my staff and then the children to testify of God's goodness. After building their faith by hearing what God has done, it becomes easy to then trust God for as we go into our time of prayer for the current needs of that week.

David knew what he was talking about. Let's bring back the testimony service and build faith in our children by showcasing God's marvelous deeds. Let's allow the children to see that God is alive and well. Let's build an understanding in our children that what God has done for another person, He can and will do it for you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Law of Sowing and Reaping

We knew that this day would eventually come. It was inevitable. Yesterday, Vickie and I walked away from Southeastern University with tears rolling down our cheeks and aching hearts as we left our youngest son, Aaron, to begin his freshman year of college. Even now, for fear of another gullywasher of tears, I push aside the memory of me giving Aaron a final hug and turning my back towards him as Vickie and I began that long walk back to our car. You would think that after going through this experience with our oldest son, Jason, and then our second son, Michael, this wouldn't be a major trauma. WRONG!

In my rollercoaster ride of emotions, I find a peace in knowing that while Aaron is out of our home and even our watchful eye, God is attentively caring for our son. We know that God has already placed people in strategic positions that will be at the right place at the right time ready to be there for our son. In Aaron's time of need, someone is already positioned to be there to provide what is needed.

How can I know this? In our conferences, I teach that one of the greatest reasons for being in this ministry is that the Law of Sowing and Reaping applies to what we do each and every week. Because we are faithful in ministering to and loving on other people's children, God is honor bound to minister to and love my children. For 31 years of children's ministry, Vickie and I have given our lives to being there for child after child. Now, as Aaron is at Southeastern University, we can expect God to have people ready be there for Aaron. That's enough reason to make me keep on keeping on in this ministry. How about you?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Special Offer to Our Readership

As a way of saying thank you to the faithful readers of my weekly blog, I want to provide an exclusive offer giving a substantial discount to the upcoming Ignite the Supernatural Conference. This is a one time offer and is ONLY being shared through this blog.

Ignite the Supernatural Conference
September 30 - October 2 Dallas, TX

This annual conference is a global gathering of children's ministry leaders and workers who have recognized that just good games and lessons aren't changing this generation of children. These leaders and volunteers long for the information, revelation, confirmation, and impartation that will enable them to know how to flow with the Holy Spirit. With 21 workshops and 6 general sessions, we believe that the attendees will need name tages for when they return home so that their friends and family will recognize them.

To receive a 50% savings on the registration, go to the conference website,, and during the registration process enter the coupon code BLOG. This offer is valid until midnight, Sunday, August 22.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Virtue of Stickability

A few weeks ago, Vickie and I celebrated our 31st anniversary in children's ministry. This week, Vickie and I are celebrating our 21st anniversary of being Trinity Church International's Children's Pastors. That's a long time, isn't it! I can probably count on two hands the number of individuals that I know who have been in this ministry this long and on one hand the number of individuals who have been in the same church this long. Does this place me in the same category as the Model T car and the T Rex dinosaur? Am I an ancient relic?

The purpose for this week's blog is to applaud the virtue of stickability. I don't know whether or not "stickability" is actually a word. In today's world, it is a rare treat to find stickability.
You'll have to agree with me that it is rare to find anyone who sticks with anything for a long period of time. Many have the mindset that the grass is always greener on the other side causing them to move and then move again and then move again.

I admit that I have come by this virtue honestly. The people who shaped my life demonstrated stickability. My parents have been married for well over 50 years. The pastor who greatly influenced my life, B.B. Hankins, pastored my South Texas church in West Columbia for over 50 years. The pastor with whom Vickie and I are honored to serve under, Tom Peters, has been the pastor of Trinity for 38 years.

What is the bedrock for my stickability? I always ask myself this question, "What was the last thing that God told me to do?" and then I'll continue doing what I last heard from God. This means that I'll keep doing what I'm doing whether I like it or don't like it, whether things are going great or if it seems like God moved and failed to give me a forwarding address. What did God tell me to do? Has He given me a new direction? If not, I'll just keep doing what I am doing.

Here's the update for what has happened in our 21 years at Trinity (at least from what I see because I only see a part of the total picture) ... many boys and girls who sat under our ministry are now in full time ministry, only God knows the number of children who have been saved, filled with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, healed, encouraged, and loved on. We have touched not only the children but also the lives of untold thousands of parents and grandparents as we've loved on their children. Need I go on?

Here's the ultimate reason for stickability as written by the apostle Paul ...

(1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV) "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

Because of stickability (stedfast, unmovable) our labor has not been in vain. I think that I'll go on for another 31 years in children's ministry and another 21 years at Trinity. Here's to stickability!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Power of Connecting

Vickie and I will soon celebrate our 21st anniversary as Trinity Church International Children's Pastors. Being a Children's Pastor for that length of time in the same church isn't something that you hear of too often. Add to that feat, being 53-years-old and being in a church long enough to be able to minister to the children of the children who first sat in our ministry back in 1989 isn't something that is common.

How have we stayed in one church for 21 years? We all know that this ministry provides ample opportunity to play ministry musical chairs where leaders hop from church to church every 18 months. Another legitimate question involves my age. In an atmosphere where many church leaders are looking for the youngest of the young to lead their children's ministry, how does a 53-year-old person stay at a church? While the obvious answer is that there is fruit in the ministry (children are being saved, filled with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, healed, etc.), I believe that there is another key reason for my longevity.

Early in ministry, I learned the value of connection. My kids won't keep coming to Trinity just because of my platform skills. My large volunteer staff won't stay with me just because of an occasional box of donuts before service. My success is due to the ability to touch and be touched, be accessible even after a long day of multiple services for a few minutes of "me", make sure that the words "I love you" are consistently being both heard from my mouth and seen through my actions.

Connect. The Book of Acts Church knew the value of connecting. The leadership of the Church saw that ministry wasn't just in the Temple and in front of people. "Every day in the Temple and in people's homes ..." (Acts 5:42 New Century Version). The “real” ministry was outside of the pulpit!

Look for ways to connect. Create opportunities. Find ways to give the two most valuable gifts that you can give, you and your time. Consider that throughout the year, your boys and girls connection might come through a shaving cream fight, a sleepless overnight party, a Sunday afternoon picnic, or an afternoon at a local pool. Connect with your staff as you involve them in these events and then have them over to your home afterwards for a box of fried chicken or a few pizzas. Make time to have “the guys” out for a Dutch treat meal one evening. Or, consider that a game of Pictionary might cement a relationship.

The picture attached to this week’s blog says it all. That time of connecting the content of a can of shaving cream to the body of a child helped cement Pastor Billy as a child’s loving, caring Children’s Pastor. Connect!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Really, Really Great News!

I've got some good news for you. (No, it's not that I saved 15% on my car insurance by switching to GEICO ... my apologies to those readers outside of the USA ... an American insurance company GEICO uses that good news pitch in their television commercials). The news is that God is even more passionate about moving in your children than you are. To Him, this is NOT an afterthought. It is on the forefront of His mind.

I know that you already know this. But, from time-to-time, we all need to be reminded of this. At times, we can go for weeks and not see any immediate change. We can easily forget that the 90 minutes that you and I have with the children is probably providing the only spiritual food that the children have had all week. We can forget that we aren't wrestling flesh and blood in our classrooms. There are literal spiritual principalities and powers that are assigned to keep children from being transformed through the ministry that you faithfully provide each week. We can lose sight of the fact that things are being accomplished in the unseen realm as the Word of God is boldly proclaimed.

Let’s continue to work together with God and see His passion unfold before our eyes. Let’s continue to encourage the children to fall in love with our Jesus. Let’s continue to follow the leadings and promptings of His precious Holy Spirit. As we do, His Kingdom will come and His will shall be done and you and I will see a Joel 2 generation arise!