March 2015

30 Mar Struggling With Your Nursery Ministry?

To me, one of the most unappreciated, least-visible ministries in the church is the nursery ministry. Rarely will you hear anything mentioned about this ministry from the pulpit. I have yet to find a waiting list of those anxiously wanting an opportunity to serve in this ministry. It's a mark-it-on-your-calender special day when a parent hurriedly dropping off or picking up their child stops to say thanks. Perhaps some of this might be due to people removing the word "ministry" from the title and instead referring to this as child care. But, in looking at this situation, do those in this ministry perpetuate the "child care" way of thinking? In their minds, are they just providing a safe, fun place for children while the "real" ministry is going on in the church auditorium? Has the "not changing diapers but changing lives" has just become a cliché? I began to have these questions one Sunday when I walked through a nursery classroom and the worker said to me, "Pastor Billy, we dodged the bullet this week." When asked what they meant, they replied, "We dodged the bullet. We didn't have any babies today." Needless to say, the spirit of slap came on me. Thankfully I was able to refrain from doing what was needed. Here's a radical thought ...

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23 Mar Wisdom from John Wesley

I love history. In our Ignite the Supernatural Conferences, I often state that had I not sensed the call of God to do what we are presently doing, I would have loved to teach history. I especially love reading church history. This love of church history caused me to recently read The Supernatural Thread of Methodism by Dr. Frank H Billman. The book, subtitled "Signs and Wonders Among Methodists Then and Now", shared so many insights about the roots of Methodism and its founder, John Wesley. At its formation, the great Methodist Church was no stranger to the power of the Holy Spirit. Signs and wonders abounded. The Holy Spirit powerfully anointed Wesley and used him bring revival to the Church. This week, I would like to share a couple quotes from the book that shows the working of the Holy Spirit in Wesley's life and his keen wisdom on working together with the Holy Spirit. The following italicized paragraph is taken from Billman's book and can be found on page 164. Finally, Wesley himself has noted that the spiritual gifts were not generally exercised after the first two or three centuries after Christ. But the reason for this was not that these gifts were not available. Rather, as he noted, "The real cause was 'the love of many,' almost all Christians, was 'waxed cold,' because the Christians were turned Heathens again, and had only a dead form left." (Sermon LXXXIX, "The More Excellent Way," Works, Vol. 7, 26-27) And Wesley wrote, "I do not recollect any scripture wherein we are taught that miracles were to be confined within the limits either of the apostolic or the Cyprianic age, or of any period of time, longer or shorter, even till the restitution of all things." ("Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained," Works, Vol. 8, 465) A little further down in Billman's book on page 165 we read ...

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16 Mar You’ve Got a Friend in Me

This morning, I felt an urgency to do something that I don't believe that I've done in the 7 1/2 years of sending out this weekly blog posting. As you know, this blog goes out 52 weeks a year for the sole purpose of sharing insights on working together with the Holy Spirit and helps for raising up a generation of children and youth who know and flow with the Holy Spirit. In these blog postings, you'll often hear me announce TODAY is the Holy Ghost as a reminder of His powerful, readily-available presence. But this morning, I sensed that I needed to do something entirely different. To effectively communicate what I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me, I need to borrow the words from a song in the Toy Story movie and say "you've got a friend in me". I sensed a prompting by the Holy Spirit to tell you that I am here for you. With 35 years of ministry to children,  I can identify with almost any scenario that you may be facing. For the first 10 years of our ministry, Vickie and I traveled as Children's Evangelists and were in a different church and city each week for 48 weeks of the year. The next 25 years, we were blessed to minister as Children's Pastors in a great church ministering to hundreds of children each week. Whatever you may be facing, I can almost guarantee that I've been there, experienced that, and would have the t-shirt (if they had one my size!). Knowing that it can be difficult to share concerns or hurts to someone at your church for fear of being misjudged or, even worse, having someone defy your confidence and then share your concerns with everyone, many wounded, tired children's workers just give up and quit. Again, I sensed the Holy Spirit urge me to tell you that you've got a friend in me. You will have my ear and my heart. I promise that I will pray and then do my very best to respond to your email as quickly as possible. I'm waiting. The ball is now in your court. You can contact me at billy@billyburns.com....

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09 Mar Ready for Your Brain to Go Tilt, Tilt, Tilt?

I know that you've heard the story of the healing of Jairus' daughter umpteen million times. You've probably told the story many a time of the young lady who was at death's door yourself in your children's ministry through a puppet routine or skit. But, as I was reading through the story earlier today, I heard the Holy Spirit emphasize something that was a fresh, on-time word to me. Let me summarize this word in just a few short sentences. You know the story found in Mark 5:22-24,35-43 and so I won't retell the story. But, please take a minute and read these two verses. "Taking hold of the girl's hand, he said to her, “Talitha, koum!” (This means, “Young girl, I tell you to stand up!”) At once the girl stood right up and began walking. (She was twelve years old.) Everyone was completely amazed." Mark 5:41-42 (New Century Version) When I read these two verses, I clearly heard the Holy Spirit tell me, "If the 12-year-old would respond to Jesus' command in this story, your children will respond to the bold command that comes out of your mouth today." That might be too much for you to grab ahold of. Is your brain going tilt, tilt, tilt? I don't know about you, but this has me excited. The same Holy Spirit that enabled Jesus to heal all that were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38) is living on the inside of me. There's not two Holy Spirits, one in the Bible days and a downsized, weaker, less compassionate Holy Spirit for today. No. He hasn't changed one iota throughout all of eternity. He is still the same another (Greek ...

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02 Mar Let Us Help You Ignite a Fire of the Holy Spirit

If we continue to minister to children and youth in the way that we are doing, we will continue to have the results that we are having. Study after study shows that we are losing this generation. Something radical has to happen. The answer isn't found in having new teaching techniques or better facilities. The answer comes through having a ministry ignited with the fire of the Holy Spirit and united in the vision to raise up a generation that knows and flows with the Holy Spirit. The need for igniting and uniting is so great. We can't wait until the next generation. That is why Vickie and I are launching out to travel week after week to churches just like yours to ignite a fire of the Holy Spirit and unite your team. There has to be a change in your church and we want to be a part of it. And, we are accomplishing this through conducting a Saturday morning Ignite & Unite Conference at your church. Here is what happens for the Nursery, Children's Church, Sunday School, Mid-Week Bible Club, and Student Ministry workers at the Saturday morning Ignite & Unite Conference. 9 - 9:25                    The Danger of the Status Quo 9:30 - 10:20            The Holy Spirit on Assignment 10:30 - 11:20           The 10 Commandments of the Supernatural 11:30 - 11:50            Flowing in the Anointing 11:50 - Noon          The Commissioning (Personal prayer over each attendee) Just think of the benefits. Aside from the ministry aspect, consider that your team doesn't have to take vacation days away from work, they aren't traveling to a distant city, your team isn't paying a conference registration or for hotel, ...

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