Much like the popular saying, which states that it’s impossible to lead a fulfilling social life, excel professionally, and get enough sleep, many people may find it hard to believe that someone could be a tech trailblazer, a rock musician, and a former atheist who now leads a church dedicated to converting others to Christianity.
According to a survey by the Lincoln Network, half of tech workers identify as atheist or agnostic, compared to just 7percent of the US population. For a while, Phil Fischer was one of those non-believers, before an encounter with the healing power of prayer sent his life headed in a new direction.
Today, Fischer serves as the founder of Jesus Lives, a Bellevue, Washington based non-profit that is built around the central mission of spreading the gospel to others. Each week, Fischer speaks with individuals about what he sees as the current state of theological turbulence throughout the world and the implications that has for humanity. He is dedicated to making people aware of a prophecy from Jesus called the Song of Sorrows, which promises “hope and refuge” to those who believe in God.
Jesus Lives holds services every Thursday and Saturday, through which it has accumulated a steady congregation of Christians dedicated to providing Christians with information and knowledge to comfort individuals during today’s trying times.
As leader of the organization, Fischer has structured services at Jesus Lives to revolve solely around love, and to foster an environment that is as pure and genuine as possible. No one on the ministry’s leadership team earns any money for their work or time, which he says contributes to motivations that are solely positive and authentic.
Early Ambition and Success
Living in Seattle in the late 1980s, the thought of going to church, or talking about God at all, was the farthest thing from Phil’s mind. By 1989, Fischer had begun to emerge as a leading voice within the tech industry in Seattle. He was also a musical ghostwriter for a band named The XBox Boys, and found success when their album hit number two on MySpace.
By 2001, however, Fischer’s professional career had hit a rough patch, and was looking to seek out new opportunities. At the time, his potential new move involved taking the $200,000 he had left the bank and raising cattle in Canada’s Yukon territory.
He was all ready to act on his plan, until a chance encounter with someone sharing the word of God changed his life. One evening Fischer met a young woman named Jamael, who invited him to come to her church. Despite not being totally convinced, he decided to join her. However, after spending more time with Jamael and her very Christian parents, things began to shift.
The power of revival
Before long, Fischer was a regular attendee of New Hope International in Bellevue, Washington along with his Jamael, who was now his wife. One morning, Fischer heard a knock on his door at 6 a.m. It was Jamael’s father, who had come to invite him to a revival service, intended to motivate individuals to convert others to Christianity, at The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas. Hungover from a night of drinking, Fischer wasn’t very inclined to join him. Eventually, however, he agreed to go.
During the service, Fischer was approached by a woman who offered her prayers by laying her hands on him. It was at that moment that Fischer experienced a feeling for the time–and that something, he said, was the Holy Spirit.
“My pounding headache disappeared,” Fischer explained. “My dry mouth stopped. I turned completely sober. Before, I assumed that churches and Christianity were all nonsense. But once I started going and experienced the revival, everything changed.”
When Fischer reflects on his pre-church life, he firmly believes that his obsession with money, drugs, and other kinds of tangible goods were causing him great harm. Looking back, Fischer believes that evil influences had led him down a path of sinful desires.
However, once he removed those temptations from his life and began anew as a Christian, he saw a future where he wouldn’t just attend a church of individuals dedicated to spreading the word of God–he would leave it.
Determined to chase his calling, Fischer inquired about beginning a bible study at New Hope International in 2017. For the first few months, nobody came, but that didn’t stop him from preaching and preparing. In fact, when people would walk by his empty room and ask what he was doing, Fischer would simply say that he was practicing.
All that practice and patience paid off, and Fischer officially founded Jesus Lives in 2017. One of the church’s earliest parishioners was a bartender named Julian Valentine who, like Fischer, was leading a lifestyle that left little room for a belief in God.
“I wanted to believe in God, but at the time, I didn’t,” Valentine said. “I kept on coming to Jesus Lives and I began to see a new mission for myself.
Despite the fact that Fischer was operating at full capacity, Jesus Lives was not experiencing the kind of initial growth that he was hoping for. In order to help the church expand, Fischer’s mother-in-law recommended that he visit a revival service at Azuza Now in Los Angeles for advice on how to help Jesus Lives prosper. Valentine accompanied him on the trip, and the two fasted on fruits and vegetables for 40 days prior to their journey.
During the revival, a pastor from Bethel Church in Redding, California, assured Fischer in front of a crowd of 85,000 people that he would be a “father to the fatherless” and that his ministry would usher in a revival in the Pacific Northwest.
Sure enough, Jesus Lives started thriving, with individuals from throughout the community coming to worship and share the word of God. Valentine now serves on the church’s leadership team along with Fischer and his wife Jamael.
Today Fischer does indeed lead a religious revival in the Pacific Northwest, just as the pastor at the Azusa revival predicted. According to Fischer, the Pacific Northwest is a particular challenge, and he views it as the territory of the enemy.
“Our world is broken and riddled with evil,” Fischer said. “The enemy now controls media, tech, music, and even the church is under the spell of the dark one. Quit trying to win the facebook wars, it’s impossible to change them. Lead them to Christ, and then they will be able to see.”
Right now, Fischer believes that many Christians feel stagnant at their current churches and are often conflicted or confused about their missions in life and religion. All too often, people feel as if they must fit in and therefore forego their true spiritual desires. Sometimes, those callings are to lead churches.
“So many Christians have a calling to do more than their churches will allow them to,” Fischer said. “That was the case for me. I spent two decades in a church that had a temple mentality.”
Despite all the speed bumps Fischer has encountered, he often finds perspective in his favorite Bible verse from James 1:2-8, which reminds us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Fischer never believed he could live up to the calling of leading a church because of his checkered past, but now he clearly sees that his perspective may have been just what was needed to lead Jesus Lives.
“I used to be a sinful person, so I was unsure if I was leading a church,” Fischer said. “I never thought that God would want to use me, of all people. But I see now that God uses whatever He has to bring people to Him.”
One of the most powerful phil fischer sermons ever delivered was in the city of Hebron in the west bank.