Leadership Blog

12 Feb A Ministry Revolution – Insight #6 – One is the Loneliest Number

In this blog series’ logo, I posted “Settling For Nothing Less Than a Joel 2 Generation”. I am convinced that is why you are staring at a computer or smart device screen right now. You are a revolutionary longing to see a mighty move of God’s Spirit upon the children in your children’s ministry. I welcome you back for this sixth insight that will help launch a Joel 2 Generation.

I’ll say up front that this One is the Loneliest Number insight isn’t one that I have heard taught at a children’s ministry conference or read in any children’s ministry leadership book or blog post. And, I don’t know why … wait, I do know why … it involves prayer. Generally speaking, lessons are put together, components assigned, the lesson distributed a day or two before the service, and then the service is done. Prayer? We know exactly when that happens – in the service’s opening few minutes by the leader/teacher and then the planned lesson is taught, right?

This revolution insight calls for a major change. Are you ready for this? We must move from the one pray-er’s (that’s you as the leader/teacher) quicky, perfunctory prayer to a ministry that involves faithful, God-touching intercessors that causes heaven to be shaken and God’s Spirit poured out. This insight dictates the following actions:
* The lesson is prepared well in advance and distributed to your ministry team.
* On the days leading into the service, your team is to not only prepare to present the lesson but also passionately, consistently intercede for heaven to supernaturally speak to the boys and girls.
* Early in the week, communicate with a core group of intercessors about the lesson and its desired results. These intercessors are to have what I call a Jacob determination (“I’m not letting go until I get what I’m desiring” – Genesis 32) that will unrelentingly bombard heaven each and every week.
* Immediately after the service, communicate by a phone call, text message or email with these intercessors and tell them about what God has done so that they rejoice along with you.

Is this a radical departure from the way that things are done today? YES! Is this change important? YES! YES! YES!

Consider this example. Two men unknown to many, Daniel Nash and Abel Clary, were key to the revival that followed Charles Finney’s ministry. The two men would enter into a town before Finney’s revival  and intercede for heaven to touch souls. This fervent intercession continued daily throughout the revival. The result? Villages and cities were transformed.  Then Nash and Clary would travel to the next town to start the intercession for the next revival.

Can this happen today? Or, even more importantly, can this happen today in your children’s ministry? YES! YES! YES!

I close with these two quotes …

“Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
~ D.L. Moody

“God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.”
~ John Wesley

Next week, our Ministry Revolution Insight #7 will be No Holding Back Allowed.

 

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05 Feb A Ministry Revolution – Insight #5 – Dealing With the What Ifs

There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this. We need a revolution in our children’s ministries! Why? Because there is a generation sitting in our Sunday school classrooms, children’s church auditoriums, mid-week Bible club rooms that desperately needs both an encounter with Holy Spirit and a constant environment that allows them to develop a relationship with Him. Sadly, in much of today’s children’s ministries, what is presented each week fails to provide the children these opportunities. This revolution is for those with a cry in their spirit for a change in the way things are done, revolutionaries that know that there is more. And, I’m thankful that you are a part of this revolution.

With that in mind, let me share the next insight that will help launch a Joel 2 Generation of children who knows and flows with the Holy Spirit.

For some readers, the insights that I have shared thus far have caused their brains to go tilt, tilt, tilt. Leaving behind the comforts and security of doing things the way that they have always been done isn’t easy. In fact, it can be unnerving. Getting out of the boat and stepping out onto the waters will always bring about what I call the “what ifs”. The very instant that a person senses the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do something that they have never done before, the “what ifs” will begin to bombard their mind. The what ifs might include:
* What if this is just me and not the Holy Spirit prompting my actions?
* What if I “park the bus”? What do I do and what do I say?
* What if I don’t finish the planned lesson?

Here is a much needed insight … Don’t allow the what ifs to be a ball and chain that shackles you to where you have always been. Beginning today, decide to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Remember that the Holy Spirit is assigned to lead and guide you. (John 16:13). You can be confident that because of your relationship with the Holy Spirit, you can expect to have a prompting or an unction in your spirit, or, to use the words of one of my friends, “you’ll know in your knower” what He is communicating. (1 John 2:20). Be sensitive and obey. All that is required of you is for you to take the first step. Hear and obey and then the second step will be revealed to you and then the third step. You can write the following in red letters … step two and then step three are contingent upon you taking the first step.

Let me go one step further with this insight. Be bold in your acts of obedience. There is no room for namby-pamby, weak, apologizing actions. Know that all of heaven is waiting to honor your obedience and boldness. You will find that the what ifs will fall to the wayside as you yield to the Holy Spirit’s unction and confidently take that first step to open the door for Him to undeniably step into your gathering.

I can’t wait for next week’s insight when I share Ministry Revolution Insight #6 – One Is the Loneliest Number. See you next week!

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29 Jan A Ministry Revolution – Insight #4 – Don’t Be Afraid to Park the Bus

Have you had the opportunity read the previous blog posts about launching a revolution in children’s ministry? I know that these posts are connecting with the hearts of those longing for the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy of an outpouring of God’s Spirit in their children and children’s ministry. Around the globe, there is a cry from those that recognize that there must be more. It’s time for a revolution!

Beginning with my first post of this year (January 1st), I began sharing a weekly insight that will help bring about this revolution. Please pay special attention to this week’s insight. To me, this blog post is one of the most important insights given so far. This week, we want to look at …
So, you have strategically determined where you want the ministry to go, purchased a curriculum to use as a resource to draw from, and now you are on your way to seeing the desired Joel 2 Generation, right? Well, you’re kinda’ right. What else is needed?

Warning. Warning. Warning. What I am about to share will go against the grain of the way things are done. Most in children’s ministry today purchase a lesson, prepare the lesson, plow through it line by line, and end it by the time that the parents arrive  at the end of their service. Am I right? Will this bring in an outpouring of God’s Spirit? NO! This way of thinking is a MAJOR roadblock to seeing an outpouring of God’s Spirit.

So, what needs to change? Ready for this? We need to accept a Don’t Be Afraid to Park the Bus way of ministry. For some, this will be a major challenge because it will require us to drop our present title (Sunday school teacher, children’s church leader/volunteer, mid-week Bible club leader, etc.) and become a Holy Spirit tour guide. What is the difference? The present way of thinking has the mindset to git ‘r done, that is, get through the lesson within the allotted time before the parents arrive to pick up their child. A Holy Spirit tour guide will have studied and prepared the lesson and yet, under the prompting and urging of the Holy Spirit, will pull the bus (the planned service) to the side and park so that passengers on the bus (your children) can fully experience what the Holy Spirit is saying at that particular place at that particular time. The tour guide defies the present-day mentality of bypassing the right-now, thus-saith-the-Lord moments just so that they can finish the lesson. The tour guide knows that to push past His prompting would nullify what He is wanting to do at that given moment.

Let me share this illustration. Several years ago, Vickie and I traveled to minister in Mali, Africa. On the way there, we had a two day layover in Paris, France. Of course we went to see the Eiffel Tower, ate some escargot (snails), and visited the Louvre. Since it was just two short days, our time to be at the Louvre was so limited that we literally raced through the museum. We spent micro-seconds looking at the hundreds of works of art. Did we see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de MiloYou? You betcha’. Did we spend enough time to appreciate the beautiful works of art? Because we only had 90 minutes to spend at the Louvre, sadly, no. But, we can say that we saw the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

Here is where a decision needs to be made. Do you want a supernatural ministry or a we raced by it ministry? Please, please, please don’t be afraid to park the bus. Recognize that if the Holy Spirit’s unction is ignored, you can’t come back later and do what He wanted to do at the right time, the right place, with the right people.

I have gone way, way, way too long with this insight. I will pick it up again next week with Ministry Revolution Insight #5 – Dealing With the What Ifs.

 

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22 Jan A Ministry Revolution – Insight #3 – Preach Until There is a Breakthrough

God revealed His heart for boys and girls when He spoke through the prophet Joel and declared, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy …” All across our land, children’s ministry leaders and workers are crying out for the fulfillment of this prophesy. They aren’t satisfied with anything less than a Joel 2 Generation! Many are recognizing that today’s ways of doing children’s ministry aren’t bringing about these results and are calling for a Children’s Ministry Revolution, a revolution to bring about a change.

Three weeks ago, I began a series of blog posts addressing how to bring about the needed changes. This week, we want to look at …
I know that the previous blog posts have gone against the way that most children’s ministries are conducted today. This week’s Preach Until There is a Breakthrough insight will really be revolutionary. Here is the challenge … today’s children’s ministries must drop the four week series teaching methodology and determine that they will preach until there is a breakthrough and they see what they are longing for.

I believe that this illustration will make the insight crystal clear. Picture this … your doctor has told you that an operation is needed. When questioned, the doctor tells you the date for the surgery, the amount of time needed for the operation, etc. You go to the hospital on the scheduled date, go into the operating room for the surgery, awake later in the recovery room and learn that the surgeon stopped the operation at the end of the predetermined length of time even though there was still much to be done. I don’t have to ask what your reaction would be. You would be furious to learn that the surgeon didn’t take the needed extra time to do the needed actions to bring about the needed results.

Can you see where I am going with this? In a day where children’s churches and mid-week Bible clubs teach a predetermined number of services on a subject and then move on to the next subject, I am challenging you to not leave your “operating room” and move on until you see the desired results. If you want to see boys and girls baptized in the Holy Spirit, then preach/teach until you get a breakthrough in this area. If you want to see children experience a depth in worship, then determine that you won’t settle for anything less than this and will not move on to another subject until the breakthrough happens.

Have I messed with your way of doing ministry? I will take this a step further next week when I share Ministry Revolution Insight #4 – Don’t Be Afraid to Park the Bus.

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15 Jan A Ministry Revolution – Insight #2 – Resourcing for the Breakthrough

When Vickie and I left our position of being children’s pastors some 3 1/2 years ago to travel full time and conduct our Ignite & Unite Conferences and Holy Spirit Rallies, a part of God’s directive was for us to be a part of ushering in a move of God’s Spirit in children and children’s ministry. Recognizing that many in children’s ministry have no idea on how to see this manifest, Vickie and I have been called to launch a revolution to change the way that things are done.

Two weeks ago, I began a series of blog posts addressing how to bring about the needed changes. This week, we want to look at …
I stated last week that many children’s ministries today have chosen to teach any and every curriculum that can be easily purchased, downloaded, printed, segments assigned, and effortlessly taught. The content is generally good, fun, and contains sound biblical truths. But, this type of ministry isn’t producing boys and girls who know the Holy Spirit and are equipped to radically impact their world. This revolution requires that we push aside the any and every mentality and teach strategic Holy Spirit lessons.

I admit that strategic Holy Spirit curriculums are few and far between. Thank God for Becky Fischer and Mark Harper who have written and produced great curriculums about the Holy Spirit. Our ministry has produced two downloadable curriculums as well with more on their way this year. (www.billyburns.com/store). But, here is a reality. Merely purchasing and teaching these curriculums won’t produce the desired results. This revolution requires an additional change in the way that things are done.

Here is this week’s revolution insight.  Establish in your heart that these Holy Spirit curriculums are designed to be a resource to draw from rather than a word-for-word lesson to be parroted verbatim. Here is what I mean. As I promote my curriculums in our Ignite & Unite Conferences, I tell people to purchase the curriculums and then don’t use them. The curriculums that I sell are meant to only be a spiritual foundation to build upon and NOT a word-for-word, object lesson-by-object lesson service to be taught. The lessons in my curriculums were a definite red-letter word from God for our ministry. Did you catch that? For our ministry. This insight is to tell you that God has something unique, red-letter, God-breathed-upon for your children!

How do you resource for a breakthrough? Recognize that the Spirit of God lives within you. Know that, if allowed, the Holy Spirit will speak to you as you read through the lesson amplifying a sentence or thought. A single object lesson might become the main springboard (resource) for what God is wanting to supernaturally say. Expect God’s thoughts to rise up within you in such a clear way that you won’t be able to deny what God is wanting to say. The rest of the lesson’s preparation will arise from that thus-saith-the-Lord word in your spirit.

Here is this week’s insight in a nutshell. Let’s quit being parrots so that we can make room for the Dove!

Next week, our Ministry Revolution Insight #3 will be Preach Until There is a Breakthrough.

 

 

 

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