With Denise Burns
Considering her contagious passion for ministering to children, one would never guess that Rev. Denise Burns once had other plans in life. “I wanted to study fashion merchandising. I always liked children, but I never considered pursuing children’s ministry,” said Rev. Burns, children’s minister of RHEMA Bible Church.
During her senior year in high school, the Lord spoke clearly to Denise’s heart about working with children instead of entering the fashion industry. In obedience to Him, she changed her college major to Early Childhood Development/Education, and then the Lord placed a specific vision in her heart for children’s ministry.
“One of my dad’s [Rev. Kenneth W. Hagin] favorite sayings is, ‘When you take the natural and the supernatural and put them together, it makes an explosive force for God,’” said Denise. “That’s exactly what the Lord laid on my heart—to take the natural things I learned in college and combine it with spiritual principles to make an explosive force for children!”
Denise’s vision for children’s ministry is clearly about more than just teaching Bible characters and selected topics; it’s about incorporating God into every aspect of a child’s life.
“The spiritual foundation comes first and foremost,” Denise explained, “but it is equally important to help them develop socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. For example, the Bible says a lot about how to be a good friend and how to love your neighbor. The Bible also says we have the mind of Christ. I want kids to remember that in school and to realize that if they need help, they can ask God for wisdom. In essence, I want to teach children how to experience God 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
Since May 1993, Denise has been doing just that. And part of her motivation is that God revealed to her that children have a vital role in the end-time revival! They are not too young to be taught how to minister to people around them: friends, siblings, and even their parents and teachers. Children need to learn how to minister right now, not when they’re adults. They have incredible faith, they believe whatever you tell them, and they don’t doubt God’s Word.
Denise says, “We need to take kids to the next level spiritually. Kids today are maturing faster, and we need to teach them about prayer, faith, healing, and the Holy Spirit—breaking it down on their level. They need to be equipped to go out into their world and minister!”
Denise shares this practical advice to parents: “The most important ministry your child will receive is at home. Parents, you are the greatest teachers and examples of the Word of God. It is vital that you make God a priority in your home. Have devotional time with your children; let them see you praying and reading the Word. Include them in it, too. Bring the family together to pray about different situations and ask your kids to do the praying! It will build their faith and confidence.”
A scripture passage that inspires Denise about ministering to children is Matthew 18:1-4. She said it shows clearly how Jesus Himself felt about children. “These verses represent so much,” said Denise. “It expresses how important children are to God and it shows the incredible faith of children—incredible enough that they could be considered greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Children simply need parents and other positive influences to teach them how to use their faith for God’s glory! They can know and serve God right now—no matter how young they may be!
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This collection of timely sermons by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin and Rev. Kenneth Hagin Jr. provides believers with invaluable spiritual weapons to overcome the satanic forces arrayed against their families.
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