As we approach Spiritual Leadership Conference, I’ve asked a few of the conference speakers to participate in brief interviews regarding what is involved in launching out by faith. I believe you’ll find their perspectives both helpful and faith-building.
This interview is with Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen. Pastor Van Gelderen has served as the pastor of Falls Baptist Church in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, for almost twenty-seven years. We are looking forward to his session at Spiritual Leadership Conference on “Prayer and Revival in the Local Church”
What is an area in the past five years in which you’ve launched out by faith, and how has God blessed?
When we stepped out by faith to build a major college building, I wanted this to be a laboratory for our faith. I determined to take each step with the full knowledge and participation of our people in prayer. As a result, our people had the joy of seeing many specific miracles occur that they had prayed for individually and corporately. This then became the foundation for confidence in prayer regarding greater works in the areas of the Great Commission and revival. We are now beginning to see intense discipleship that is training new believers to reproduce quickly.
How have you seen Satan target leaders who launch out?
I believe Satan endeavors to cause leaders—after they start well—to become self dependent. This will either lead to discouragement and a lessening of the original vision or human ingenuity and dependency that leads to fleshly accomplishment. Either way the original vision from the Lord is compromised.
What reoccurring obstacles do you face when you sense God calling you to launch out, and how do you overcome them?
Immediately I have faced the sense of weakness regarding the ability to accomplish the vision the Lord has given. Even this obstacle, however, becomes a benefit in that it has lead to an intense looking to the Lord for grace and wisdom.
Another obstacle is the lack of vision and resulting unbelief in the lives of leadership that surround you. Through prayer and Spirit-led teaching, the leadership can become deeply convinced to believe God and sacrifice to make the vision become reality.
You have a session at the conference on “Prayer and Revival in the Local Church.” Would you provide a brief overview of this session and how it will be helpful and challenging to pastors to launch out in faith?
I am going to challenge all of us on the need for corporate prayer to become the center of our church life. Every step of the church should be taken through the clear leadership of the Holy Spirit. As the church seeks the Lord, He gives a spiritual and eternal perspective that causes a hunger to develop for the presence of the Lord. This leads to powerful and effective prayer for the outpouring of God’s Spirit as we launch out in obedience to His Word.
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