Jim Burns

At a glance

I have been in lay ministry positions for the last 40 years primarily in teaching ministries but also in leadership and service ministries. I have completed a career in engineering and I am currently focusing on my ministry calling at MABC and service to my family. I was ordained as an elder at MABC in 2016. At MABC I am tasked with leadership of the elders, administrative support of the church and the staff elders, and various teaching and shepherding ministries. It is deeply satisfying and a great joy to serve Jesus Christ by serving in the church and answering His call and equipping!

Education

BS Mechanical Engineering, California State University of Northridge
MA Theology, Talbot School of Theology at Biola University

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My father was a career military man and so I grew up living in various places around the world until he retired in 1970. We attended various churches in the places we lived and I attended a variety of schools as we moved around.

It was during high school that the Lord first started to reveal His gospel to me but it wasn’t until I was 21 that I came to fully trust the Lord. Everything in my life has been focused on Him since that time; He is my purpose, confidence, and joy.

I spent 3 years after high school in the US Army during the cold war. I worked as a chemical lab technician and served in the 9th Infantry division at Fort Lewis Washington and in an aircraft support battalion in Germany. I completed my military service in 1975. It was in Germany that I came to trust Jesus with my life.

Upon my return to California from military service, I worked my way through engineering school and spent 41 years working in the engineering field. During that time the Lord brought many life changing blessings to my life. In 1980 I was married to my wonderful wife Joyce who has been my life’s companion and partner in faith and ministry ever since. We have been blessed with 3 fine sons: Sean, Scott, and Stephen who are all men of faith and service. Sean and his wife Amanda both serve here at MABC and have two children Lea and James. Scott and his wife Tarryn have two children Alina and Zachary.

In the middle of my engineering career, I felt the Lord’s call to a deeper commitment to my ministry calling. In response I went back to school and completed a graduate degree in theology to better equip me for teaching. Now I have felt the call to greater focus in my ministry efforts and so I have chosen to retire from engineering and make myself more available to Christ and His calling for me.

Do you have any hobbies, things you like to do with your free time?

I enjoy my family and spending time with them doing anything. I enjoy being a husband, father, and now being a grandfather. I enjoy being outdoors. I like to hike, climb, camp, backpack, bicycle, and generally anything outdoors. I appreciate God’s creation all around me and find reasons to get out in it. I also like to build things, fix things, and install things. I spend some time with music and have enjoyed contributing to the worship team when called to do so.

Favorite books or authors?

My favorite book is the Bible! While I have hundreds of books about the Bible, the Bible is always the focus. I do very little recreational reading other than the Bible and my theology books, but when I do it is usually a technical manual about how to assemble or fix something, or about how to climb a particular mountain. So my favorite author is God in His inspired, infallible, inerrant, and completely reliable Scripture.

Any favorite passage?

God reminds me that redemption is in Jesus through His work on the cross; He is the only reason that I live and breathe! How He loves me, how I trust Him!

Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (ESV)