Leadership Blog

25 Feb Move Jesus from the Past to the Present

Here’s a powerful verse from a book of the Bible that is rarely preached from. Grab your highlighters and mark this verse. “I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” (Job 42:5, New Living Translation).

Let’s face the facts. Many of our children are experts on Biblical knowledge. They could possibly outdo us in Bible trivia games. After all, they have been a part of our Sunday schools, children’s churches, and mid-week Bible clubs for years. Yet sadly, many of these children are like the first portion of Job’s statement. They have only heard about Him, they have never seen Him. To most of our children, Jesus is a great historical figure that they hear about week after week.

So, how do we transform Jesus from a character that our children hear about week after week into Someone who walks off the pages of the Bible or Sunday school quarterly? How does Jesus differentiate Himself from other historical religious leaders?

Here’s the answer. As children’s ministry leaders and workers, the answer is already an obvious answer. We all know that value of seeing and hearing, right? Each week, you don’t just tell a lesson. You and I are always looking for some visual to reinforce what we are teaching. In Acts 1:3 we see that Jesus knew the value of seeing and hearing. “He appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive.” (New Living Translation). He showed Himself and demonstrated His power. Through DEMONSTRATION, Jesus walked from the past tense (Someone who is heard or read about) to the present tense (Someone who is seen).

Here is where you and I come into this equation. Jesus continues to show Himself and demonstrate His power today by the working of the Holy Spirit through YOU! As we allow the Holy Spirit to demonstrate through us, you and I turn what would possibly have been just a historical figure or religious myth into an “I have seen and now believe” (John 6:30).

Many years ago, I heard the great T.L. Osborn state, “If you can’t demonstrate the Gospel, you aren’t fit to preach it.” I double dawg dare you to show and demonstrate the Gospel. Demonstrate that Jesus is alive and well and still full of power. Make room for the Holy Spirit to manifest His presence and touch lives. Lay hands upon the sick and know that they will be healed. Preach with the anointing and expect yokes to be broken.

The Holy Spirit is waiting on you. Now go and do it!

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19 Feb A Confession from a Holy Ghost Arsonist

It is unbelievable how this blog is spreading around the globe. Since its inception, this blog has been read in 23 states in the United States and in 16 nations with many of the readers reading the blog every week. I am literally touching lives around the world while sitting in my office in Lake Worth, Florida. That’s the upside of the blog.

There is a downside to writing this blog, two areas that I struggle with each week. The first is that I would love to literally be with you and share this passion face-to-face. What I write each week isn’t an afterthought. I am consumed with the desire to help ignite a fire of the Holy Spirit in children’s ministries, to fan the flames of revival, to enable you to fulfill your God-given passions, and finally see children fulfill Joel’s prophesy and become a Holy Spirit-empowered mighty army. Looking into a computer screen is a far cry from being able to look into your eyes and see the flames of the fire rise higher and higher in you.

The second struggle is that there is so much to share. Trying to keep the blog to 350 words is so difficult. I constantly wrestle with not turning a powerful point into a full-length article. I battle with wanting to write three and four blogs at one time. In writing this blog, I wrestled with the thoughts of whether to share a strong verse from Job or a reminder from Zechariah or God’s prompting for 2008 being the “year of the radical.” At times, containing this overflow is almost more than I can handle!

I know that this week’s blog isn’t typical. I haven’t shared a teaching thought. Today I’ve shared my innermost passion, what makes me tick. I am consumed with seeing this fire burn within you and your children because TODAY is the day of the Holy Spirit!

I’ve failed again. The count is way above the desired 350 words. I need a support group. I am consumed with this assignment. There might be someone reading this blog that can help with this “problem.” Allow me to come to your church and area, pour out my heart, look fellow igniters in the eyes and fan their flames. Allow me to help ignite this fire with your team and other churches in your area. Contact me for more information.

Do me two favors. First, connect me with others who are consumed with seeing a Holy Ghost revival in children’s ministry. Help me spread this fire as you tell others about the blog. Secondly, connect with me by sending a note telling me that you are with me and what this blog is doing for you. I want to help you. I’m only an email away – billy@billyburns.com.

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11 Feb Preparing for the “Suddenlies” of the Holy Spirit

We all want the “suddenlies” mentioned in the Book of Acts to happen in our children’s ministry, don’t we? We desire for the Holy Spirit to come and demonstrate His presence and power just as He did in Acts 2, 10, and 16 causing children to be empowered to fulfill their God-given assignments (Acts 2), bringing Holy Ghost interruptions to our ministries (Acts 10), and setting children free from chains and shackles (Acts 16).

Have you ever stopped to consider that the “suddenlies” were only a time issue and not an if issue? Take a few minutes and reread these accounts. It wasn’t a question of if the Holy Spirit would show up. In each of these stories, those involved had opened the door for His manifestation. In Acts 1:14, the disciples in the upper room “all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication …” In the account of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon Cornelius’ house, notice that “Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour.” Note that in Acts 16, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

suddenlyDo you see the common thread among these “suddenlies”? They prayed. The private time of desperation and intimacy opened the door for the public appearance. The time of communion in the secret place opened the door for Him to show up in the public ministry.

Children’s ministry leader, once again pardon my Texanese. I double dog dare you to learn the secret to the Holy Spirit walking into your classroom. David had the answer. “I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1, Amplified Translation) Those who learn the importance of “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High …” (Psalm 91:1, Amplified Translation) can expect Him to make an unannounced appearance in their service.

Get ready. The Holy Spirit is waiting to make an unannounced visit to your ministry.

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05 Feb How to Initiate a Revival

The great revivalist Gypsy Smith was once asked about how to see moves of God or how to have a Spirit-filled ministry. He answered, “Go home, lock yourself in your room, and kneel down in the middle of the floor. Draw a circle all around yourself and ask God to start the revival inside that chalk mark. When He has answered your prayer, the revival will be on.”

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28 Jan Where’s the Beef?

In the 1980s, the Wendy’s hamburger chain used a commercial shown across North America and Canada featuring an elderly actress named Clara Peller who receives a competitor’s burger with a massive bun (the competitor’s slogan was “Home of the Big Bun”). The small patty prompts the gruff Peller to angrily exclaim, “Where’s the beef?”

In evaluating children’s ministry, we must ask Clara’s question, “Where’s the beef?” Have we become the “Home of the Big Bun”? Have we forgotten what it is like to have a “real” hamburger? What I am seeing is that we have all of the “fixin’s” associated with the hamburger and settling for a tiny portion of the hot and juicy meat patty.

We can’t settle for the status quo. The bun and “fixin’s” aren’t enough. Let’s follow Paul’s admonition to Timothy. Let’s “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Let’s expect the Spirit of God to manifest His presence with children being born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, healed, and set free from strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation. Let’s expect the Holy Spirit to make His presence known by His visible demonstrations of power.

What will happen as we cry out “Where’s the beef?” and begin to expectantly long for the Spirit of God to move among us? We will see the same results as the psalmist David when he said, “I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1, The Amplified Bible). Jesus will once again walk among us by His Spirit. We will see Acts 1:3 begin to happen in our services. “To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations [unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God.” (The Amplified Bible).

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