Leadership Blog

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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08 Jan A Ministry Revolution – Insight #1 – Strategic Ministry

In last week’s blog post A Ministry Revolution – The Introduction, I shared about the urgency in my spirit to see a much-needed change in the way that children’s ministry is being conducted today. If there is to be an outpouring of God’s Spirit in our children and children’s ministry, there has to be a change, or, to be bolder, a revolution in the way that we are doing things. I promised last week to begin a series of blog posts sharing insights for launching this revolution. Here is insight #1.If the truth be known, much of today’s children ministry consists of leaders going online, finding a trendy curriculum, downloading the curriculum, assigning the various parts of the lesson to the volunteer staff, doing the series, and then four weeks later starting the process again with a new curriculum series. Am I right? To the overworked, time-pressured, resource-limited leader, this is a sure-fire way to quickly have a lesson for the service and effortlessly provide the auxiliary visuals and creative games. Here is the insight … Teaching anything and everything other than what is needed will keep us from seeing the thing that we desire.
The Holy Spirit gave me this picture the other morning using a surgeon and an operation to illustrate the importance of strategic ministry. A person has been diagnosed with a severe heart problem and needs immediate surgery. Upon going into the operating room, the surgeon cuts open the patient, begins to probe around the kidney, a few minutes later directs his attention to the bladder, and then sews up the patient and sends him home. While the surgeon is definitely operating and performing a service to the patient’s body, the person with the serious heart condition will leave the operating room with the same serious need that he had before the operation. Can you see how this applies to the way that ministry is done today? The curriculums used in many children’s ministries are good and provide biblical truths, but they aren’t strategically moving us towards our desired goal of Spirit-baptized, Spirit-equipped, Spirit-led boys and girls boldly impacting their generation. There is a time and place for these other curriculums … but the time isn’t right now!

In this children’s ministry revolution, we must strategically teach where we want to go. If we want to see our boys and girls baptized in the Holy Spirit, then we must teach about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. If we want to raise up boys and girls that know how to dwell in God’s presence, then we must teach about the presence of God. Push everything else aside and strategically lay the foundation for a move of God’s Spirit through your teaching.

Next week, our Ministry Revolution Insight #2 will be Resourcing for the Breakthrough.

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01 Jan A Ministry Revolution – The Introduction

My how children’s ministry has changed during our 38 years of being involved in this ministry. For most children’s ministries, long gone are the days of not having an abundance of curriculums, using embarrassing props and visuals, suffering with “backwoodsy” (I know that this isn’t a word but you get the idea) music, apologizing for antiquated room ambiance, struggling with poorly trained volunteers and staff, and … I could go on and on. It’s a totally different world today for children’s ministry. And yet, with all of these tremendous advances and improvements, I find many children’s ministry leaders and staff that have come to the realization that something is missing. They aren’t seeing the results that they desire. And, because they don’t know what to do, they continue to do what they have always done. While I am no prophet, until there is a change, I will prophesy that they will continue to see the same results week after week, month after month, year after year.

I am keenly aware that among the blog’s readers from over 80 nations there are many children’s pastors and volunteer team members, Sunday school teachers, and mid-week Bible club ministry teams, people that are desirous of a move of God’s Spirit in their ministry and children. These readers are ones who don’t want to have a children’s ministry just for the sake of keeping children entertained while the “real” ministry is done for the adults in the sanctuary. They don’t want to just be dispensers of Bible information nor do they want to be cultivators of a generation that will be church dropouts when the children come of age. These children’s ministry leaders and workers genuinely want a move of God’s Spirit.

With that in mind, in the blogs posted for the next few weeks, I want to share some thoughts focused towards those involved in children’s ministry desiring to discover that missing something. The old way of doing things hasn’t worked. It’s time to start a ministry revolution so that we can see a Joel 2 Generation. I guarantee that what I am going to share isn’t taught in most children’s ministry conferences. Get ready, get ready, get ready.

There is more to come. A Ministry Revolution – Insight #1 will kick it off next week.



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