Meeting: Spiritual Giants

Posted on July 23, 2015

On July 14, I (Pastor Wendy) was honored to be a part of bringing two spiritual giants together to meet each other and share in conversation. Pastor Gemechis has known of Pastor Vaagenes for several years and always wanted to meet him. Both men share an intense passion for renewal, discipleship and the need for the empowering of the Holy Spirit. These were the topics of conversation. Pastor Vaagenes has studied “revival” movements for many years and shared his own experience of revival and renewal as he pastored North Heights Lutheran Church for forty years until his retirement and as he also preached and taught around the world. Some of the common elements of revival are: repentance, passion for the Word (Holy Scriptures), intense prayer, vision (revelation of God through waiting upon Him and listening prayer), miracles and empowering of the Holy Spirit. These elements often lead to kingdom growth in Jesus’ name (increasing Jesus’ rule and reign to people, problems and places), witness, mission, evangelism, and sometimes unpredicted congregational growth.
Pastor Morris (85) was the pastor of my family’s church, the church where Joel and I met each other. My mom continues to be a member of this church, for over 40 years now. As a result of revival, we personally witnessed the explosive growth of this church from a few hundred to several thousand people in a few years, and learned about revival as a result. Pastor Vaagenes has been a leader in church renewal and preached all over the world. I love that Pastor Vaagenes has said many times (as leaders of other revivals have), that the Lord surprised him with the numerical growth that occurred in our church. It is an acknowledgement that God is the one who “adds numbers.” (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 3:6-7) I love his humility, the absence of arrogance and being stuck on one’s self as the instrument for growth or that growth can somehow be engineered by human plans, methods, initiatives, programs, the latest popular church fad or projections on paper (It is easy and shallow to project church growth/numbers on paper, as if the church is a business which it is not. Beware of anyone who thinks that they can do this!). See article below from “Sola Publishing News” on the revival of 1857, by Pastor Vaagenes: “A Call to Pray”
Pastor Gemechis (39), a very gifted and anointed evangelist, has preached and taught at our church a couple of times. Presently as Assistant to the Bishop of the North American Lutheran Church, Pastor Gemechis preaches all over the world and the last time I heard, preaches to over 18 million weekly on his television program which our church and individuals in our church have supported financially. He is the founder of Leadstar University, a business university and theological school.
We had an awesome time of prayer at the end of our time together.