It was one year ago today that Vickie and I took the biggest step of faith in our marriage and ministry. On July 13th, 2014, I preached my final message at Trinity Church International, we hugged literally hundreds of people, shed a ton of tears as we said emotion-packed goodbyes, and then walked out of Trinity’s doors to step out into this new, God-ordained season of ministry. It was a day that we will never forget and will always treasure.
Here is the twelve month update. Has the transition been easy? Do you want spiritualees or honesty? (To hear some preachers talk, you’d think that they wake up every morning with their hair perfectly combed, have minty fresh breath, and their face is either cleanly shaven or “make-up-ized”.) Honestly, walking into this new season has been a gigantic, more-than-I-could-have-ever-imagined venture of faith. It’s been a challenge. I remember one particular Saturday morning when I felt overwhelmed by intense pressures and the weight of unanswered questions. My desperation gave me the nerve to boldly complain to the Holy Spirit. I had the gumption to tell Him that I wish that I’d never have left the comforts and security of being a children’s pastor at a great church. But, He trumped my boldness. After listening to my complaints, He said several clear directives to me and concluded with, “If you will walk out this transition, you will see every thing that I have promised.” Suddenly, my complaints disappeared. The promise was too great to be nullified by my present fears, uncertainties, and discomforts. Have those fears returned from time to time? Yes. But, I know that I heard the Holy Spirit and remind myself of His promise. The promised land is greater than the price of the transition.
What has happened in the last twelve months? We have been in some incredible churches in Texas and Florida and ministered alongside some wonderful pastors. God has so blessed our Saturday morning Ignite & Unite Conferences. I believe that we are sharing needed, strategic insights in these conferences with children’s/student ministry leaders to work together with the Holy Spirit to maximize their ministry in these last days. Saying that we’ve seen hundreds of people baptized in the Holy Spirit in our Sunday services would be no exaggeration. God continues to increase our influence through the weekly blog. In looking at Google Analytics a few minutes ago, I just learned that in the last 30 days, people from 80 nations have read at least one of my blog postings. The top ten countries hitting on the blog are (in descending order) the United States, China, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Italy. A little further down on the list are the countries of Russia, Israel, Indonesia, and Netherlands. All that I can say is WOW! I am also writing two books, one that I’d love to have published and available for a conference in September and the other by November. Vickie and I continue to pray that the right doors will open in churches and conferences. Last year, I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say, “The nation is waiting on you. The nations (plural) are waiting.” So, we know that He is at work doing what only He can do!
Thank you for standing with us. I know that many of you pray for us. Your prayers are felt and so, so appreciated. Others of you support us financially either occasionally or on a monthly basis. Your financial support is the sustaining factor in our ministry. During this transition time, the number of weekends without meetings exceeds the number of weekends that we are ministering. We are keenly aware that it will take time for pastors and leaders to learn of what we are doing and this means that during this time there might be several weeks in a row without ministry. And, no ministry means no financial income for those weeks. But, with God as our source, people just like you are filling in the gaps through a one-time or monthly financial gift. To help us financially, your tax-deductible gift can be given at www.billyburns.com/donate.
After one year, here is our resolve. Our dear friend Pat Holland said it best. “Billy and Vickie, you haven’t stepped out on thin air. You’ve stepped out on a promise.” Twelve months are behind us. Our best days and the days of seeing the promise fulfilled are ahead of us because “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24. The best is truly yet to come!