When Philip Renner was six years old, his father Rick Renner became a missionary to the former Soviet Union. Philip grew up in Russia and God used his musical talent to reach hundreds of churches and thousands of people. Now God has given Philip a burden for America and so he is using his music as an evangelistic tool to change hearts in the biggest cities in America.
About Philip Renner: Philip Renner is a missionary, author, worship leader, speaker, revivalist, recording artist,
and songwriter. He has been used by God in Russia and in America.
What is God doing in Russia right now?
What is the connection between worship and evangelism?
How is God using worship meetings to change the atmosphere in American cities?
Listen to The Evangelism Podcast with Evangelism Coach Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
When Philip Renner was six years old, his father, Rick Renner became a missionary to the former Soviet union. Phillip grew up in Russia and God used his musical talent to reach hundreds of churches and thousands of people. Now, God has given Philip a burden for America, and he is using his music as an evangelistic tool to change hearts in the biggest cities in America.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:26):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King we’re Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:03):
The evangelism podcast on Daniel King. And I’m excited about leading people to Jesus today. I have a special guest Philip Renner. Thank you so much for being with me today.
Philip Renner (01:13):
I’m so excited to be here. It’s so awesome.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:17):
Well, I’m delighted to talk to you because your father has been one of my heroes ever since I was in college at oral Roberts university, your father pastor Rick Renner. I was listening to some tapes in the holy spirit library at ORU. And I heard him teach on some revelation he had from the Greek language. And it really caught my attention because all the preachers that I heard always talking about the Greek language would say, you know, the word dunemas means power and that’s all that they knew, but your father really knew about Greek. And so I found out he was in Tulsa and I called him and, and went over and met with your father. And he gave me so tremendous resources for studying Greek. And of course your, your father has been a missionary in Russia for many years. How old were you when you first went to the former Soviet union?
Philip Renner (02:16):
I was six years old.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:18):
And what was that like growing up in Latvia and then Russia?
Philip Renner (02:23):
Well, I think the most interesting moment is that dad really didn’t want to move. And he was trying to find somebody who would say, it’s not God’s will. So we talked to his pastor and he said, the pastor said, oh, that is God’s. Well, that sounds awesome. They need your teaching. And he was trying to find somebody. So he talked to my mom who was having a nightmares at the time that the KGB were chasing her through the night and she would be running down the street and then she would jump into a trash. And then as they would open up the lid of the trashcan that KGB had found her and she would wake up, she was having those kinds of dreams. And she said, oh, that sounds like Godspell. But he was trying to find somebody who would say no. And so he sat us all three down and he said, okay, God is calling us to the former Soviet union.
Philip Renner (03:25):
And it’s very possible that we move over there and you all become orphans. Me and your mom are killed for the gospel. You’ll never go back to America. You can forget about it, who your, who your grandma is and forget about everything because we could be killed. Do you understand? And we’re like, yes, daddy, we understand, we didn’t understand the former Soviet union. I mean, I’m six years old. My, my other brother is turning three and Paul is eight. So Joel is two and Paul is eight and I’m six. And so we don’t know what the former Soviet union is, but he said, what do you think? And I said, dad, well, if if you’re going to do something for the Lord, you know, if we’re going to die, we might as well die for Jesus. And he was like, oh, no, it’s happening.
Philip Renner (04:14):
So we moved. And I remember there was there was nothing I remember. I remember standing in line for food and because there was no food. I remember everything being gray purple or black. So there was no color in anything. A blue shirt would be, you know, non-existent all this stuff. Remember how cold it was, but also remember the miracles when dad started the ministry and he started the TV program and the TV program, it was really funny because it was just like the setting of we’re here right now, except the microphone was in it was in a plant and you would speak into the plant. And those first programs were horrible, but they did the job. And I remember going to the stadium and seeing the miracles and seeing how God was really moving. And then dad started the church and then unraveled. And it’s, you know, 25 years later. And,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:23):
And now your family has had a tremendous impact all over the former Soviet union. And your, your family is very well-known in ministry over there. And you actually grew up loving the Russian people, loving music and participated in a program where they were searching for the next music star. And you won and you are offered a recording contract, but you turned it down. Why did you return it, turned it down.
Philip Renner (05:54):
I turned it down because the Lord told me better and different three words that completely transformed my life. He said later, because you’re not ready for that platform right now. You’re not ready spiritually. You’re not ready. You would break in the Russian show business and better. Cause I’ve got a better plan at different because it’s going to be wild. And it’s not what you imagined. Those three words later, a better and different transformed my life that day. And I said, okay, Lord, which at that time, I really wasn’t on fire for the Lord. If I had signed the contract, I would have basically been saying goodbye to my Christian life and being controlled by the Russian show business and become the next star. But that wasn’t God’s plan. But the amazing thing is he said, I’ll still bring you these people. And so through a course of events that happened, I said no to all of that.
Philip Renner (06:57):
And I actually stopped doing music for about three years because I told the Lord, you know, this is an idol for me. I’m not going back. I’m going to Bible school. I am going to delete music from my life because music is so it’s an idol. And so I’m going to Bible school and I’m going to be focused on you, really rededicate my life. And it’s amazing that the things that you say no to the idols that you say no to when you change your motive, God has a way of resurrecting them back because now you’re ready for it. And it was a couple of years later that I actually started writing music for the MTV artists of, of Russia. And even now I’m writing music and for one of the biggest artists of Russia right now.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:49):
And so God opened up the door for you to minister tremendously through music in Russia. What were some of the things that you were able to impart in the area of music to the church in Russia?
Philip Renner (08:07):
Well, I think that something that’s important to establish is in America, you have a new worship song from hundreds of different artists coming out every single week. Well, in Russia at that time, there was nothing. There’s a lot of animalistic stuff that was coming out, but there was nothing that was available as far as worship. Everybody was doing a copy of what Hillsong did or, you know, all the, all the artists in America or abroad, planet shakers all those guys, Chris Tomlin. So they’re just translating everything that they do and then re recording it. And I said, God, I don’t like this. I don’t want to sing under the cover. I want to release the sound of Russia. And I beginning asking him, Lord impart into me the sound of Russia. And we recorded an album and released it. And it went viral pretty much overnight.
Philip Renner (09:11):
And it became the first album in about 15 years that had been released of original worship music. And I had said, Lord, I’m ready to start traveling. But I thought maybe it would be once a week while it turned into nine months out of the year very quickly. And it kind of reminded me, you better be careful how you ask God to use you because he will. And then it’s kind of shocking. Then you say goodbye to your wife for nine months. But that’s the way it happened. And we saw miracles. We saw demons cast out. We saw the supernatural happen. We saw, you know, mosh pit worship where people were just there’s such an expression of joy and freedom. And then, you know, 30 minutes later, they’re all on their knees because the presence of God is so strong and you don’t even want music because you just want silence. You know, that even to play a sound at that moment would maybe even interrupt what God is saying, because God is speaking to the people at that time. And so yeah, it’s been, it’s been powerful and that has released a, a sound and a movement of worship all over Russia. And when I say rush, I mean the 15 republics or nations that surround Russia
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:36):
And you really love Russia. You, you grew up speaking Russian, you’re married to a Russian wife. Your kids speak Russian, but just a couple of years ago, God really sent you from Russia back here to America as missionaries, because God wants to do something here in America. Talk me through that process. Why, why did you come back from Russia? You you’ve got tremendous open doors all over Russia, speaking in churches ministering. Why did you come back here to America?
Philip Renner (11:13):
Well, I read God’s generals and as I read God’s generals, I realized that America has been sending out missionaries for the last 200 years, all over the world. And my Russian friends at the time, bishops that have, you know, hundreds of churches underneath them have been saying, Philip, we need you in Russia. If you ever think about going somewhere don’t don’t and especially America, because America is doomed, there’s going to be no revival in America. Nothing is going to happen in America. Stay here in Russia. And I began talking to them and saying, wait a minute, wait a minute. What you are saying does not make sense spiritually. I respect you a Bishop, but how were you saved? And they said, well, an American came over preached to us and it started a movement we got saved. So the Bible says you reap what you sell.
Philip Renner (12:08):
So if America sewed into Russia into the surrounding nations for 200 years, that America is about to reap a harvest that is going to blow, you know, blow our socks off. It’s going to be amazing. And I remember thinking to myself, I want to be a part of that. And the Lord told me, he said, there are two nations in you. And the older will serve the younger. And I knew that the Russian in me, cause I lived there for 25 years would come back that I wouldn’t come back as someone who was trying to look for a better life or, or a different climate to live in, or, you know, running away from Russia because of persecution or there’s no persecution in Russia, but I’m just creating different scenarios of what people think. And that’s what the Lord said to me. He said, the older nation in you will serve the younger.
Philip Renner (13:07):
And so we moved here with our family and the first three years was a little weird because I thought that it would be very well accepted here in America because I’m very well accepted in Russia. And the Lord really took me through some humility, but I really, it had to start from zero all over again. But God really taught me. It’s not, it’s not what you do. It’s who you carry. And he loves you. Not because of the songs that you released, not because of the healings that happened through your ministry, not because of your plans. He loves you just because of who you are. And it was like going through a desert. I came back and it was, it was weird because I still went to Russia all the time. I went to Kazakhstan, I went to Belarus. I went to all these nations surrounding Russia, Ukraine.
Philip Renner (14:01):
I went to all these places, but even people from Russia would say, okay, fellows. So you say, you ha you got a word from God, right? But you’re still just going back to Russia. Why aren’t people in America calling you to minister? And I would say, I don’t know, but I know I have a word from the Lord. And I think it was just a process of dying to myself. But to really minister, you have to die to yourself. You have to die to your dreams. Because when I moved here, I just thought myself, man, it’s just going to be instant. I’m going to be the next big thing. And then God put me through this desert. She, because I’m humble. It was a lot of and breaking on the inside of me. And it’s like God, I don’t care if I’m the next, the next big thing.
Philip Renner (14:56):
I really don’t care about gout going to the biggest church. I don’t really don’t even care if my name is on a flyer or not. I don’t want my name on a flyer. I want your name on the flyer. And I want God to be glorified in the center of cities and shift the atmosphere. And so once that orphan mentality was, it was about the time that COVID hit. And the Lord taught me that there is a sound in America that is very different from Russia, which I came here with the Russian sign thinking, oh, I’m going to cause people to love the Russian sound and teach them that the American sound is not right. But God said, I’ve brought you to Tulsa to teach you the American sound. And I really began to adapt that sound. I hated it when I moved here. I mean, I think this is, this is horrible.
Philip Renner (15:51):
But then the Lord began to, to work in me and change me. So there’s an American sound here and it’s not the Russian sound and you must learn the American sound. And so that was why I moved to Tulsa and I was a pastor or worship pastor here millennial church. And that was where I, I learned the American sound and I’m very grateful for that. And but when I learned that sound that was about when COVID hit. And that’s when the Lord said, it’s time to start your restart your ministry in America. And I said, Lord, this is really weird because all the churches are shut as a traveling evangelist as a minister. I mean, how am I going to preach to people? If all the churches are shut, you’re breaking my whole idea of ministry because my idea of ministry is go to a church preach and get people saved in the church.
Philip Renner (16:53):
But if all the churches are closed, how do you do ministry? And he began to show me Phillip, it’s time to go and shift the atmosphere. And I really didn’t know what that meant, but I remember one night, which it didn’t start from that night actually started from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He said go to Guthrie green. And it was the middle of the day. It was a hundred degrees outside. And he said, go to Guthrie green and begin to shift. The atmosphere, began to prophetically speak and shift what has been said over a downtown. And I didn’t really understand that except that Lamar Boschman it was really become very dear to me said that the prophets in the old Testament, they would go to a place. And if it was a school of profits back then, it wasn’t just a school of profits. It was school of musicians and they had the right and they were taught to either speak over a specific geographic location or to sing over that geographic location.
Philip Renner (18:06):
And they would literally shift the landscape and shift the atmosphere. And so I did it in Guthrie green, and I said, Lord, what will that, what does that look like? And it wasn’t long after that, that I really had an encounter with the Lord. And that was when he said, it’s time for you to pray. You have to go and pray. And I felt like, like I don’t know, like 300 pounds had been dropped on my chest and I could not move until I began to pray and begin praying in the spirit. And it was instant. One second, you’re in the holy of Holies and there you’re crying and you’re crying. You don’t know what’s going on. And it’s just, just an immediate encounter with God. And I said, Lord, what is this? And he’ll say, he said, you don’t know yet, but before you go to bed, you’ll know.
Philip Renner (18:59):
So I went to bed and I opened up my phone and I see the notifications and I see Chicago and fire. And he said to me, I want you to go to Chicago and shift the atmosphere downtown the center of the Chicago, the heart of Chicago, that’s where you’re supposed to go. So me and another evangelist, Brian McKnight, we got together and we did Chicago. It was in the middle of three riots, a daily Plaza, which I didn’t know was right next to city hall. And, and it was amazing because we saw stateness, that would try to cross the street to curse us, but they couldn’t because we had literally taken communion. And when we took communion, it was like a shield of favor that surrounded us. The interesting thing is, is there was nothing physically that could have stopped them to cross the street and curse us nothing, but they would come halfway across the street and then go back halfway across the street and then go back because they couldn’t get past the spiritual bloodline that had been established because we had taken communion and done a, you know, a walk of prayer in and said, we’re going to establish a bloodline around this place, but we could cross the street to preach to them.
Philip Renner (20:20):
And it was amazing. But then there was another group, about 600 people, because I said, this was in between three riots that were supposed to come through us. And and they were surrounded with about 300 different different policemen, all using crowd control to try to stop them from doing what they were doing. And they got within about maybe 50, 60 feet of our event. They just freaked out and they could not pass. They could not pass. And they went the other direction and it was that shield of favor. And the Lord showed me, he said, Philip, when you bring worship to the center of the city, true worship, then, then you bring confusion in the enemy’s camp, which is what happened with Gideon. The shout of the Lord, you know, the breaking of the vessels with fire coming out, which is us. Then the confusion came in the enemy’s camp. And since then we’ve done about 13 cities, including Sacramento, the Capitol. And it’s just been phenomenal to see the healings, to see the shifting of the atmosphere. Something that’s very close to me. As, you know, some places you go and you think there’s going to be thousands, or you think that there’s going to be hundreds, but God didn’t call you to hundreds. God called you maybe to one, you
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:00):
Have been shifting the atmosphere in different cities. Talk to me about some of the places that you’ve.
Philip Renner (22:07):
So some places you go to thousands and sometimes you minister to the one, that’s something that’s very close to me. And especially if you’re an evangelist, you know, sometimes it’s like, I want to see the thousands, but sometimes God didn’t call you to thousands. Sometimes he called you to the one and the Lord told me after 10 people were killed in king Sooper in Boulder, Colorado. He said, Phillip, I need you to go. And I need you to shift the atmosphere from that place. And it was about 10, 10 days later we came and it was just, wasn’t a big setup with a ton of musicians. It was just, just one speaker and an acoustic and singing over the atmosphere. And it was really interesting cause I planned one day and then the Lord shifted it to another day. And I, I didn’t even call churches together.
Philip Renner (22:58):
Really. I just called a couple of friends. I think this is really important. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but this is important. And as we were playing, there was a young man who came up and he came there to lash his anger towards God because he knew one of the people that was killed in king Sooper that day. And so he came to say, God, why did you do this? Why did you let this happen? Why, why was my friend killed in that supermarket that day? And so he came to basically yell at God. And when he got there, he heard worship and his heart was broken and he said, God, I repent. God, I love you. God you’ve encountered. And sometimes you go after the one. And so that’s something that I hold dear to my heart because because we can’t forget about the one we can’t forget about you know, life being just, oh, we got to do this event. And that event, that event if you’re a true Vangelis, if you’re an evangelist, then you carry what is on you 24 7. And it could happen at a coffee shop or it could happen at a quick trip. You don’t live your life from a big event, but you live your life from a place of God. Use me wherever I am to go after the one.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:34):
Let’s talk about the link between worship and evangelism. You go into different places often, right? In the center of a state in front of the, the state house or in front of the, the city courthouse. You get a permit. If you can, if you can’t get a permit, you still go and you begin to worship to sing. And then you also evangelize what is that link between worship and evangelists?
Philip Renner (25:05):
Well, in DC, this is, this is how it worked is the Lord told me, he said, you need to get musicians together to shift the atmosphere. But as people gather, you need to, you need to know how to fish. So worship and the sound, the shifts, the atmosphere is the bait. But then, you know, you got to know how to fish. You gotta bring in the line to catch that fish. And so I believe that when you bring worship to the center of a city, you establish the government of God in that city, which is why it’s so important to go to the stronghold of that city, because you’re saying, okay, I’m reclaiming this place because this place has God’s place, which is something that was very important that you talked about here in Tulsa that I didn’t know about the Guthrie. Green was actually a place where that God broke out a hundred years ago, there was like a Pentecost.
Philip Renner (26:04):
And the first church was established there at Guthrie green. And so that’s an important place for God. And it’s also the center of authority in Tulsa, but you go to that place and you establish the government of God. And so you do this, and then you have evangelists that are around you that are watching who’s, who’s taking out their phones or who’s stopping to listen. And as they’re stopping to listen, you go up to them. You pray for them. You speak to them, you pray for healing. You ask the Lord what are the words of knowledge that could have right now to speak to this person? And you really do what God has called you to do. So that’s how the worship and the evangelism, how they linked together and the prophetic,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:54):
The next city you’re hoping to go to is
Speaker 4 (26:57):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:59):
And then in the future, God’s given you some, some big ideas. What are some of the things that you think that God wants to do here in America?
Philip Renner (27:09):
Honestly, I’m kind of waiting on the Lord on the next big idea, but there are cities that God says, okay, it’s time to go here. Was a worship school that I want to want to do because we are to equip people. I want to equip people to do this. I mean, I’ve been thinking about what would it look like if I took 10 crazy, crazy worship leaders and, and took him to a bar and said, I want you to lead this worship song in that bar. And then you have a couple of evangelists there that are ready to pray for people, ask people, does anybody need a healing who is dealing with this in their life right now? And just have the presence of God just overpower somebody in that place. Which is something we kind of saw in Tulsa at the gay bar, which was really cool. But yeah. Tell me about that.
Philip Renner (28:07):
It was it was at Guthrie green, which is so, so conniving and evil, that a place where a place where the first church was established, a move of God was established. There’s no church there now, but now there’s a gay bar right across the street. So the enemy wants that place. He doesn’t want a church to be there. He doesn’t want the influence of God to be there. But the Lord just said, go into the gay bar and begin to preach. And I wish I could say that there were miracles and that people got saved, but sometimes it’s not about you know, people getting saved immediately. But I knew it was specifically about the guy who was greeting people because he was a Christian. I believe that he was a pastor’s son and he had been hurt by the church and what God wanted to do because he was being ripped up. He, he, he didn’t know what to think about everything that happened. He said, I got to kick you guys out of here because you can’t pray for people in a gay bar. What are you talking about? You can’t do this. And I said, we have not told one person that they are center. We have not told one person that they’re going to hell. We haven’t told anybody, anything like that. We are just pouring out the love of God, praying for people talking about their identity and their worth in Christ.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:31):
I think that’s the right approach. And in Romans it says that the goodness of God draws all men to repentance. And I think people need to see the goodness of God.
Philip Renner (29:40):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:41):
The guy’s standing on the street corner with the megaphone shouting. You’re all going to hell is rarely, really very effective.
Philip Renner (29:48):
Yes. you gotta be led by a holy spirit how to preach. And I think it’s a good question to ask people you know, if you were died day, where would you spend eternity? But God will teach you how to say that in a very respectful understanding way. But sometimes you’re not supposed to go there. Sometimes you’re supposed to say how has your mother, I think she’s dealing with cancer right now. And the person is blown away because how could you know that? How could you know that I’m dealing with the issue in my blood vessel right now? How could you know that? And God is God is moving and shifting things. And that’s where the work of the evangelist is so powerful because it’s because there’s signs and there’s wonders. And the Bible says that Peter, that he would walk through a place and even the shadow would heal people.
Philip Renner (30:52):
So that’s what I’m asking. I’m like, Lord, that’s what shifting the atmosphere is. What does that look like? What does it look like to be just so full of God that you walk into a place? And everyone knows in there that it’s not just you, that walked in the place, but God walked into that place with you. And it’s not in his spirit of being judgmental. You’re all going to hell. Maybe sometimes God will tell you to be very strong and speak strongly, but I don’t think it’s all the time. And it’s always going to be with a spirit of understanding with the spirit of love and no condemnation. And so you know, if you were to ask me about three years ago, we want to go to the bar to preach. I would say no. And I, and I think I would have had a very judgemental attitude towards it.
Philip Renner (31:54):
Like, I don’t want to, not necessarily, I don’t want to be with those centers, but oh man, I don’t want to be in that, that evil place. I don’t want that stuff to get on me, you know, but it’s the compassion of God. And I think that if you have a relationship with, with God and you know, we’re talking about Greek words, right? And one of my favorite words in Greek is the word Jesus had compassion on them and not to get crude. But the word compassion is a splash of [inaudible], which means movement of the bowels. And we all know what movement of the bowels is. It causes you to take action. If you need to go to the bathroom, there’s nothing that is going to stop you. You’re going to ignore everyone and you’re going to go to the bathroom. And so it’s,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (32:48):
It says Jesus was moved with compassion. It moved in the same way you would be moved urgently to go. Yes,
Philip Renner (32:56):
There was something literally on the inside of him that caused him to have pain. It’s like, I got to do, I got to do this. I got to pray for that sick person. I got to preach to this person. And, and that’s what compassion is. Compassion is not pity. Compassion is action. And it’s compassion on, on gay people. It’s compassion on the bars or whatever it be that tells you. And I see the light of God and I didn’t go in there by myself. I found three other guys. And I said, man, let’s do this thing because there’s always someone that is ready to do it with you. And it’s about compassion that causes you to do these things. And I just, I want to pray for people right now, father. I thank you for everyone watching right now, everyone listening right now.
Philip Renner (33:55):
And God I ask you that we would be moved with compassion, that we wouldn’t be able to just sit and watch someone homeless or someone who is sick and say, oh God, I wish you would do something. But God let us be the ones that are moved with compassion to go after the one to even leave the 99 to go after the one to not be just so focused on the next crusade that is going to have thousands of people, but God, to be moved with compassion, to go after the one in our every day life in the name of Jesus father,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (34:36):
Amen. We’ll fill up. I love your heart for evangelism. I love your heart for, for worship and leading people into a relationship with Jesus. If someone wants to know more about your ministry, what’s your website.
Philip Renner (34:50):
The website is Philip brenner.com and Facebook is Philip Brenner ministries. Instagram is at Phillip printer. Wonderful.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (34:59):
Well thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast.
Philip Renner (35:03):
I’m so honored. Thank you. Thank you, Daniel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (35:05):
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Evangelism Podcast Host (36:09):
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