Leadership Blog

04 Sep Seeing the Whole Picture

Don’t you love Saturdays? It is a day off, isn’t it? Not for those involved in children’s ministry. Give me a break. There’s usually too much to do and not enough time to do it in, especially for those who also have a Saturday night service.

Something happened this past Saturday that set it apart from any other Saturday. At the end of our service, I received a call from a parent who hasn’t had a child in the Children’s Ministry age bracket for some time. They called to tell me that their youngest child, a 15-year-old, had told them of a report that they had written as a school assignment to tell of people that had greatly influenced their lives. You guessed it. Vickie and I were among the three people listed in the report. The parents were so grateful for our investment in their child’s life.

On this particular Saturday, I needed the call. The crowd wasn’t one that I’d use as a promo picture for a church growth conference. In fact, there were only a handful of kids that night. I don’t remember a single parent offering accolades for ministering to their child. It would have been an opportune time to have a pity party and concede that perhaps I had wasted my time. And yet, God took time out His hectic agenda that night to send me a much needed reminder. He used this call to remind me that I don’t see the total picture. A minute looking a child in the eyes and telling them that I love them, offering a message that challenges the child to go after God, and finally providing a rub on the head or a Texas-size hug as they leave … I was reminded that night that with His help, each week I’m helping the heart of a child know the heart of the Father. I’m making an eternal difference.

Thanks God for the reminder.

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29 Aug Your Seed’s Seed

If you’ve ever been in one of my conferences or workshops, you know that I’m into circling important dates on calendars. I often show the page of a wall calendar from May, 1975 where I’ve circled and made annotations on the following days:
2nd – I ‘ve written the one word “bowling” as a reminder that I went on my first date with Vickie, bowling after the church high school graduation dinner (I slipped my arm around her … she never knew it happened!)
3rd – a great big “HH” is written on this date signifying that I held hands with Vickie
4th – an even bigger “FK” is written on this Sunday night reminding me that I got my first kiss!

While wall calendars have been replaced with PDAs and MS Outlook, I still make special entries and annotations in Outlook. I’m circling dates in a whole new way. The latest imporant day happened at 5:35 PM on Saturday, August 25. That’s when William Joseph (Joey) Burns entered the world. In my totally unbiased opinion, he’s the world’s most beautiful baby boy in diapers today … and I double dawg dare you to argue with me about it!

While Vickie and I are ministering to our second generation of children at Trinity, on Saturday, August 25, at 5:35 PM “seed’s seed” ministry became a whole lot more personal. All of a sudden, a whole new bunch of God’s promises became even more important to me. While I’m still walking in covenant about my three sons, God and I are now talking about His covenant concerning my seed’s seed. (Isaiah 59:21).

It’s great to be a part of the Grandparents Club. It’s even more exciting knowing that God has made special promises form-fitted, specially-crafted just for my grandson. Joey, watch out! You’re in for one exciting, miracle-filled life!!!

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20 Aug Dare to Dream

They say that confession is good for the soul. So, here goes. In my childhood, I had a major drug problem. It’s true! I was drug from one church service to the next church service. (Sorry for disappointing you with my sordid past!) Summer vacations consisted of being drug from one vacation bible school to the next. It didn’t matter the religious flavor. I was a Baskin-Robbins kid. I enjoyed all 31 flavors of Christianity.

Because of my drug problem, I never saw the end of The Wizard of Oz until after I was married. After all, it was televised on Sunday nights beginning at 6 PM and every good Pentecostal child went to EVERY Sunday night service. With our service beginning at 7 PM I never knew if Dorothy and Toto ever made it back to Kansas.

I’ll never forget the night that Vickie and I watched the ENTIRE program and for the first time, I discovered that Dorothy and Toto made it back home. It was a genuine tear-jerking moment. I instantly fell in love with the Over the Rainbow song, especially the line where “And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”

I’m living out a dream. Last Sunday, Vickie and I celebrated our 18th anniversary as being the Children’s Pastors at Trinity Church International, Lake Worth. Not many Children’s Pastors can say that. In just a few days, Vickie and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. In just a very few days, our first grandchild, William Joseph (Joey) Burns, is going to be born to our oldest son, Jason, and his wife, Elisabeth. They are pastoring Access, a church community, in Lakeland, FL. (Check out http://www.accesslakeland.com/) Our second son, Michael, is starting his final year of Bible college as he prepares for the ministry. Our youngest son, Aaron, is 15 and loves God and the church … there’s not many PK (Preacher’s kids) that can say that. Vickie and I are also hosting regional, national, and international Ignite the Supernatural Conferences (check out http://www.ignite-conference.com/) and also speaking at other one and two day conferences around the country. Starting today, I’m beginning the blog which will be added to each Monday and in a few days posting our first e-newsletter. Dream after dream is coming to pass.

Dare to dream. Dorothy had it right. Dream … with God’s help, they really do come true!

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