WITH JACK BURKE
Whether you’ve visited with Jack before or met him once, chances are, you’ve traded stories with him because he’s not only an open book himself, but he invites others to share their stories, and they do so knowing he is there to listen.
Jack, let’s start with your story …
I’m not only from Lincoln Nebraska, but I’ve never lived more than 3 miles from my original house!
Tell us how you met Jesus:
I was 10 at the time. The “Thief in the Night” movie was being shown at a local Church and I was so scared about the Rapture happening and how terrible being left behind without Christ would be that I could not sleep for 3 nights. Each night I would creep over to my mom and dad’s bedroom to make sure they were still breathing and that the rapture had not
I told my mom about my fears, and she invited me to come pray with her and dad that night (March 10, 1970) in their bedroom to ask Jesus into my heart. I remember how all my fears went away immediately! (Ironically, that was the only time that I ever saw my parents turn off the Johnny Carson show on TV, Lol.)
Your wife Barb is your faithful, cheerful companion and she is well loved by all. How did you meet her?
I met Barb on St. Patrick’s Day 1985 at church. I saw this cute little redhaired girl over by the foyer window and went over to introduce myself to her. We started talking, and 3 hours
later we were still talking; they were literally turning out the lights in the church on us and neither one of us made it to the evening church service that evening. I knew that night that
Barb was the girl that I was going to marry, and sure enough it happened on June 21, 1986.
Jack, you had a very dramatic experience with cancer. How did that impact you?
When I was diagnosed on January 17th, 1996 with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Disease, it completely changed me. The concept of a DAILY walk with Christ (not just when I needed Him) became a reality. The power of prayer covered me in the scary moments; I became much more thankful for the little things in life, and the Lord showed me how great He was and that He was with me wherever I went (Joshua 1:9 is my life verse). You really aren’t ready to live until you are ready to die, and having cancer was how the Lord “broke me” so that He could use me as His vessel to serve others.
What brought you to Back to the Bible?
I was literally “drop kicked” and called out of an Accounting/Finance career to serve the Lord here at Back to the Bible. I had been laid off by an insurance company after 9/11 and had applied for over 350 Accounting/Finance jobs across the country. Then a friend of mine living in Virginia suggested that I go to the website “Christianjobs.com” to look for job
opportunities. Wouldn’t you know it? That was the only place outside of Nebraska that Back to the Bible had posted for my job position, so I applied and got the job! What’s even cooler is that my grandmother got saved over 67 years before by listening to Back to the Bible radio, so now I get to serve the Lord at the same ministry that has had such a spiritual legacy in my own family.
You’ve met so many people who have shared their life stories with you within minutes of meeting you. What’s your secret? Can you share your tips for ministering to others?
You must be transparent, be a good listener, ask lots of open-ended questions, love others unconditionally, and be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading, because it is ALL about serving
the people you visit. I love celebrating with our Kingdom investors about the amazing impact of their gifts and updating them on how their investment is helping Back to the Bible make history for the Kingdom. But just as importantly, I love to encourage them spiritually. One of my favorite sayings is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how MUCH you care,” and that is very true in creating long-lasting relationships. One tip that I would share in ministering to others is to learn how to block out the “noise” in your own life so that you can 100% concentrate on the person that you are visiting; make them feel like they are the most important person on earth!
Do you have any stories of transformation that took place because of someone’s life being touched by Back to the Bible?
There are so many stories that I could share that I should write a book someday! I recently met with a young couple in the Philadelphia area who just had their first baby, and they love
the goTandem Spiritual fitness app. The biblical messages they get every day are exactly what they need in the midst of this busy new season of life for them.
Two weeks ago, I spoke to a 97-year old ministry partner who shared with me how his dad helped pay for new tires for Theodore Epp’s personal car shortly after he started Back to the
Bible in 1939 so that he could travel safely for the ministry.
One of our Kingdom investors just completed a short video that will be shared with others soon on how Back to the Bible has provided much needed “shade and refreshment” in her own spiritually dry times and how much the faithful prayers of our ministry have meant to her. Many others have shared with me how Back to the Bible’s bible teaching, apologetics, and digital tools have led to the salvation and spiritual growth of themselves and loves ones. Almost ALL of the people I meet with agree that customizing biblical content for each user’s struggles is THE GAMECHANGER for how we spur revival in this country and reverse the current trend of 60% of kids 15-17 raised in Christian homes walking away from their faith. This spiritual fitness initiative is becoming a movement, and it is so exciting to see the new
partnerships being forged with other churches and ministries Our Daily Bread, the Green Family/Hobby Lobby, the Get R Done Foundation, and others. Together we can change the world for Christ and I love being a cheerleader and messenger of great news for such a great organization as Back to the Bible!