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The 5 Best Ways to Start or Strengthen Your Ministry

(Without Breaking the Bank!)

 Written by Suzanne Burns

Suzanne Burns

Expert, Trainer & Speaker

I bet you’re a lot like me.

You serve in ministry because you love Jesus – and you want to show other people how deeply He loves them; He wants them to follow the path HE laid out for them.

I loved poor mothers so much that I founded a maternity home and training program for them. Following a challenging 4-year period where I was involved in terrible life choices, (drugs, alcohol, abuse, unplanned pregnancy, & single parenthood) I knew that my return to Jesus had to be marked with giving back to other women, who have no one else to care for them. They are truly “widows and orphans”.

Some of your favorite Scriptures may be two of my favorites, too:

  • “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14


Like me, you may have started out in ministry wide-eyed and ready to change lives! And then you met some of the people whose lives desperately need changing.

Surprisingly enough, folks don’t always want their lives to change. Sometimes, they want to stay exactly where they are, except they do still want you to give them money or material help to make their current situation a little more comfortable.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Until I began to learn about the interplay between generational poverty and complex trauma, I didn’t understand them either.

I wanted to serve “the least of these”. To be the “hands and feet of Jesus.”

But I just wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I felt like I was more invested in the success of the people I was serving than they were.

And that burned me out FAST!

Fortunately for you, I’ve learned so much about trauma, addiction and the poverty world-view in over 15 years of servant-leadership that I can now help you learn the exact same things, in a fraction of the time it took me!

I can help you implement changes to your ministry programs that will revolutionize your impact on the poor and broken-hearted that Jesus has called you to serve.

You’ll be amazed how quickly you can begin to see real, lasting change in the lives of the people you serve.

Bus kids accepting Jesus and transforming their neighborhoods with TRUTH!

Mothers staying clean and regaining custody of their children.

“Baby daddys” becoming fathers.

                                    Alcoholics attending AA meetings faithfully.

                                                        Food pantry recipients now serving other families, in joy and love.

How can you use ground-breaking research in brain science, addiction, and poverty mindset to radically transform your approach to serving the poor and disenfranchised in your community, and even in your church pews?

I’ve read the books and articles. I’ve received the training. I've earned the degrees. Now, I train other servant-leaders to transform.

Do you have a food bank? Jail ministry? Bus ministry? Want to start one but don’t know where to begin?

I’ve helped hundreds of other servant-leaders to develop new tools and methods for working with “the least of these” in their communities.

And I can help you, too.

My background

I have a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Studies from Lee University, Cleveland, TN. I’m a Certified Family Trauma Professional. And a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals, the National Center for Crisis Management, and the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. I also serve on the Executive Council for the National Maternity Housing Coalition as well as the Leadership Council for the Southeast Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

I am Founder and Executive Director of Foundation House Ministries, a faith-based maternity home and training program for pregnant and parenting women in critical situations. 

I love to speak regionally and nationally on the multi-faceted topics of chronic poverty, trauma, and addiction.

My husband, Tim, and I reside in Cleveland, TN, with our younger son, Ethan. Our older son, Kaden, my own crisis pregnancy, is a US Marine, stationed stateside and married to his best friend.

My family

"I’ve learned so much! My ministry team is so much more effective now!"

"My relationship with my youth group has dramatically shifted now that I have a better understanding of the impact of trauma in many of their lives"

"I wholeheartedly recommend Suzanne Burns and Be Charity Wise to any church or ministry looking to start or strengthen an outreach ministry to the poor"

"Suzanne’s insights into poverty mindset and trauma have transformed how we serve our community."

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