Leadership Blog

26 Feb A Ministry Revolution – Insight #8 – Confirm the Word

Let me remind you of God’s promise concerning the boys and girls in your ministry …

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy …”
Joel 2:28

On the day of Pentecost, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, announced …

“But [instead] this is [the beginning of] what was spoken through the prophet Joel …”
Acts 2:16 (Amplified Bible)

Did you catch that? The day of Pentecost was the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s plan. When the 120 individuals walked out of the upper room, that didn’t end the pouring out of God’s Spirit. The outpouring is ongoing … unfolding … continuing … still in process … available in 2018! This means that every boy and every girl in your ministry can be filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit TODAY.

With that in mind, let me share another insight that will help launch this in your children’s ministry.

Here is how many today conduct their children’s ministry … pack 90 minutes of teaching/preaching into a 60 minute service and then quickly wrap up the service so that you can get the children out the door into the arms of impatient parents. Sound familiar? For those truly wanting to see an outpouring of God’s Spirit, I once again am calling for a revolution, a change in the way things are done. But, before I share this insight, let’s look at this verse …

“And the disciples went everywhere and preached,
and the Lord worked with them, confirming
what they said by many miraculous signs.”
Mark 16:20 (New Living Translation)

Here’s the insight. MAKE ROOM FOR THE LORD TO CONFIRM HIS WORD! For those with a 60 minute service, I am challenging you to have just 45 minutes of teaching/preaching and leave 15 minutes for the Lord to confirm the Word. Make room for the gospel to walk off of the pages of the Bible and be confirmed with mighty displays of God’s power. Dare to act as though the gospel is true. Boldly expect the confirmation to be seen. And, best of all, allow the children to boldly minister to each other and expect the Lord to confirm His Word through them!

Radical? For some, yes. Uncharted? For many, yes. But rest assured, the Lord WILL work with you and confirm His Word.

Next week, our Ministry Revolution Insight #9 will be Establish the New Norm. 

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19 Feb A Ministry Revolution – Insight #7 – No Holding Back Allowed

REVOLUTION – (noun) – a radical and pervasive complete change in something. Of course, you already knew the definition. After all, you’re a Holy Spirit revolutionary, one to be counted with those across our land that will settle for nothing less than a Joel 2 Generation, one willing to make whatever changes that are needed to see this manifest in your boys and girls. With that in mind, let’s look at the next insight necessary to usher in this move of God’s Spirit.

I will say this upfront … a revolution is not for the faint of heart. Leaving behind the comfort and security of “it’s always been done this way” can be very unnerving and frightening. That is why this No Holding Back Allowed insight is a major ministry-changer. It is the new way of ministry!

Here’s a reality. There is no room for holding back or for partially taking action. You can’t walk on the water with one foot on the water and the other foot still inside of the boat. Those that will see a mighty move of God’s Spirit will dare to go where they have never gone, say what they have never said, do what they have never done, and expect to see what they have never seen.

I’ve got you shaking in your boots right now, haven’t I! You saw the word dare and it is messing with your brain. For many, you are possibly thinking, “Billy, dare? Are you kidding me? You don’t know me. That’s just not me. I am a quiet, reserved, predictable person.”

Ready for this? This No Holding Back Allowed insight calls for you to defy what your head is shouting at this moment. To those thinking, “that’s just not me”, I would reply, “That’s what I am excited about. It’s not you! It’s the Holy Spirit coming upon you and making you to be exactly what is needed when it is needed.”

I have scripture to back up what I am sharing. Here is what Samuel told Saul …

“At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you
with power, and you will prophesy with them.
You will be changed into a different person.
1 Samuel 10:6 (The Living Bible)

Revolutionary, allow me to introduce you to the new you! Filled to overflowing with His Spirit, mighty revolutionary, I challenge you to boldly obey His promptings. Say what He tells you to say. Do what He tells you to do. It’s a new day, a new beginning.

Next week, our Ministry Revolution Insight #8 will be Confirm the Word.

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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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