A Great Century Of Pentecostal Charismatic Renewal And Missions

A  Great Century  Of Pentecostal Charismatic Renewal And Missions

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A “Great

Century”

81

of Pentecostal/Charismatic Renewal and Missions

Edward Keith Pousson

Pentecostals and Charismatics missionary-minded segment

of dynamics

Charismatic

to

produce

a worldwide

The

following

make

up

what is

probably

the most

world

Christianity today.

What are the

of this

century-long

movement of both Pentecostal and

Renewal that have

converged

missionary

thrust? And on what

grounds

can we

speak

of the twentieth century

as a

“great century”

of Pentecostal/Charismatic missions?

two

questions

launch and

guide

our discussion.

will also be addressed: What kind of

missionary

has

emerged

from the Charismatic Renewal in

particular?

has Pentecostal missions

impacted

Charismatic

missions,

and what lessons can Charismatic missions learn from Pentecostal missions? What is the

emerging

Charismatic contribution to mission

theology?

between renewal and missions is the theme that unites

These

related

questions movement How

The

relationship this entire article.

An End-Time

Movement

in the nineteenth and twentieth

centuries. Missions

Scott Latourette

Christian missions.

worldwide

religion.

century

as a

comparably “great renewal and missions? What common to

Renewal and

Missionary

This section

explores

the

relationship

between renewal and missions against

the

backdrop

of

developments

Professor

Stephen

Neill and Yale Historian Kenneth

called the nineteenth

century

the “Great

Century”

of

It was that

century

that made

Christianity

a

On what

grounds may

we

speak

of the twentieth

century”

are some of the

dynamics

of renewal

both of these centuries that have birthed massive missionary

movements around the world?

Renewal Results in Mission

First,

and of

primary significance movements

every

Christian Orthodox, renewed

of Pentecostal/Charismatic

for this

article, spiritual

renewal

to

global missionary

in both of these

periods gave

birth

expansion. By

the end of the

eighteenth century,

for

example, virtually

denomination

throughout

the Western

world, including

Catholic and Protestant

churches,

had been

recently

in one

way

or another. Renewal movements in Protestantism included Pietism, Puritanism,

Moravianism,

England

and the related

Wesleyan revival,

and the Great

Awakenings the American Colonies.

Though unevenly

distributed and

timed,

it was this church-wide

awakening

that

provided

the

spiritual impetus

for that

the

Evangelical

Revival in

in

1

82

which is now called the “Great I

Century”

of Christian

missions,

Similarly,

renewal

pervasive

missionary expansion

and

global country

where

rapid

church Pentecostal/Charismatic

decadal

growth

rates.2 In

1992, Wagner penned

this

hypothesis: non-militaristic,

beginning

1792 and

ending

1914.’

in the twentieth

century,

impacted virtually every

renewal has likewise

brought

church

growth.

Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian denomination. This

about

unprecedented

In

nearly every multiplication

is

occurring, are

leading

the

way

in terms of

C. Peter

movement has over the

past

congregations

church

growth professor

“In all of human

history

not another

non-political voluntary

human movement has

grown

as dramatically

as the Pentecostal/charismatic

25

years.”3

Without

question,

as Wagner suggests, Pentecostalism in all its forms is the fastest

growing segment

of

Christianity

in the twentieth century.

It

grew

from 16 million worldwide adherents in 1945 to 4.3

billion in 1993.4

Renewal

about dramatic

changes

of

that both

periods

of renewal Protestant

institutions, new

missionary

structures. Protestant

the nineteenth

century minds of Neill and Latourette

Changes

Christian Institutions

A second

comparison

from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is

brought

in

including

and

especially

a vast

proliferation

The birth and

multiplication

of these

missionary

societies is

perhaps

the

leading

factor that makes

the Great

Century

of Christian missions in the

Once freed from church and state

launched more than

21,000

control,

these

voluntary

societies focused

exclusively

on missions and

Protestant missionaries

by

1910.6 Thanks to

Harper

History of

‘ See Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity, Vol. 2 (New York, NY: .

& Row Publishers, Inc., 1953), 1013-1035; Gary B. McGee, This Shall Be Preached. A

Gospel to 1959

History and Theology of Assemblies of God Foreign Missions

(Springfield,

MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986), 24; Stephen Neill, A

Christian Missions (Second edition revised by Owen Chadwick; London and New York: Penguin Books, 1986), 204, 213-215, 240-245, 286-287, 332-334. 2 C. Peter “Church

Growth,”

in Pentecostal and Charismatic

Wagner, Dictionary of

Movements, eds.

Stanley

M.

Burgess and Gary B. McGee (Grand

MI: Zondervan

Publishing House, 1988),

185-188.

[Hereafter

cited as

Rapids,

A1issions, 214; Sydney (New

6 McGee, missionary

DPCM.] I

‘ C. Peter Wagner, Warfare Prayer (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1992), 48. 4 ‘David J. Hesselgrave, Today’s Choices for Tomorrow’s Mission

(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), 119; David B. Barrett, “Annual Statistical Table on Global Mission: 1993,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 17 (January 1993):

22-23.

‘Latourette, A History of Christianity, 1013-1033ff.; Neill, A History of Christian

E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People

Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972), 422-423.

This Gospel Shall Be Preached, I, 21.

Examples

of early Protestant

societies include William Carey’s Baptist Missionary Society (1792), the London Missionary Society (1795), and the American Board of Commissioners for

Missions (incorporated 1812).

Foreign

2

during

Through

the twentieth movement has likewise

given sending agencies, including

83

living

in

Asia,

the Pentecostal/Charismatic

and the world’s

largest

with some

25,000

of recent

their

efforts,

the

percentage

of the world’s Protestants

Africa and Latin America increased from one

percent

to ten

percent

the nineteenth

century.’ 7

century,

birth to hundreds of new

missionary

the Assemblies of God

Foreign

Missions Division with more than

1,500 missionaries,

Christian

mission,

Youth With a Mission

(YWAM),

missionaries

reaching

out to

nearly every country

of the world.’ But the

the movement is not its number of

missionaries,

on the mission field.

Eighty percent

to

Christianity

have been the result of

according

Today

at least 66% of the world’s Pentecostals/Charismatics

Latin

America,

and

Oceania, including

88% of Assemblies

church members and 75% of Church of God

(Cleveland, TN) believers,

two of the

largest

Pentecostal denominations worldwide.’°

crowning

success of

but its

growth

conversions from

paganism Pentecostal/Charismatic

efforts,

Asia, Africa, of God

Patterns

of Piety

fueled the nineteenth produced striking changes piety.

Moravian

pietism

to several researchers.’

live in

movement,

for

instance, of Protestant

Renewal

Changes

A third common feature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is that both

periods

of renewal unleashed new forms of

spirituality

that aided fresh

missionary expansion.

The various renewal movements that

century missionary

in the forms and

expressions

centered on Christ and him crucified. Wesleyanism

called for

personal conversion,

The Great

Awakenings

in the Colonies/States stressed

the

unchurched,

preaching.

“evangelical” preaching

for the need for individual “decisions”

holy living,

and zeal in

resulting

responsibility

for

witness, in the “new

birth,”

and a

prayer

for enabled the Protestant

strong

desire for individual and

corporate prayer, including

concerts of

world missions. These new

expressions

of

spirituality

faith to

adapt

itself and reach out to the ends of

History 8 Gary

for

(Grand Rapids,

‘Paul E. Pierson,

“Why

Did the 1800s Explode with

Missions?,”

Christian

11/4 (1992): 20.

B. McGee, “Overseas Missions (North American),” DPCM, 614-624; David B. Barrett, “Global Statistics,” DPCM, 814-815, 830; Choices

Tomorrow’s Mission, 120, 255n; Edward K.

Hesselgrave, Today’s

Pousson, Spreading

the Flame

MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 88-89; John A. Siewert and John A. Kenyon, eds., Mission Handbook 1993-95 (15th Edition; Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1993), 243, 248, 255-256.

9 Vinson Synan, “Global Consultation on

AD 2000 3

Evangelization: AD 2000 the Target,”

Together (Spring 1989): 7; Larry Pate, From Every People (Monrovia, CA: MARC,

1989), 129; C. Peter Wagner, Spiritual

Power and Church Growth (Altamonte Springs, FL: Strang Communications 1986), 12; C. Peter

How to Have a

Healing Ministry

Without Company, Making Your Church Sick (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1988), 68-89.

‘°L. Grant McClung, “The Pentecostal ‘Trunk’ must Learn from its ‘Branches’,”

Missions Quarterly 29 (January 1993): 35.

Wagner,

Evangelical

3

84

our

changing movements.”

world

through many

new and

unprecedented

renewal

has

produced

new

and material.

Comparing

needs-spiritual, Pentecostal

Comparatively,

Pentecostal/Charismatic

and varied

expressions

of

worship

and

spirituality

which have reached to the ends of the earth. One

major

factor behind the

astonishing success of the movement is its

appeal

to a broader

range

of human

physical

to

ministry

with the Interdenominational Foreign

Missions Association

(IFMA), missionary theologian

Arthur F. Glasser of Fuller

Theological Seminary’s

School of World Mission

emotional, approaches

writes,

challenge

evangelicals…

… Pentecostals were willing to tackle the “dark side of the soul” and

the

growing phenomenon

of

occultism,

Satan

worship

and demon

possession.

Whereas IFMA

people

and other non-charismatic

had found it relatively easy to

the occasional

expose the extravagance of

charlatan, they

were silenced in the

presence

of the Pentecostal’s serious confrontation of the hard realities of the spirit world. Here was a spirituality which could not be ignored. 12

Charismatic

spiritual guidance, together ministry, dynamic praying movement

world.

such as

exorcisms,

worship,

healings

and spontaneous

secularizing

“power-encounters,”

with

expressive

and a

lively

oral tradition make this

especially appealing

to

many peoples

of the non-Western

Through

these and other viable

spiritual dynamics, PentecostaUCharismatic missions has curtailed trends of earlier missions that offered

people

“soul-salvation” but left

miracles,

healings

to the

early

church.’3 Pentecostal/Charismatic missionaries offer

healing,

not to “disembodied

exorcism and

physical

souls,”

but to whole

persons. Renewal

expansion

global

of

Changes Leadership

Patterns

A fourth renewal

dynamism giving

rise to

unprecedented

in nineteenth

century

was the creation of new

patterns

of leadership, including

the service of

women,

increased

participation lay people

and of less

formally

trained

clergy,

and the

unprecedented mobilization of

180,000

student volunteers for missions.14

Similarly, Pentecostals/Charismatics have advanced in missions

through hands-on,

leadership training models,

and the

sending

of many women

evangelists

and missionaries. ‘

decentralized training,

semiformal Bible institute

11 Latourette, A History ojChristianity, 959-960, 1019-1029, 1043-1047; Neill, A History of Christian A1issions, 202-204, 214,

275.

12 Arthur F. Glasser and Donald A. McGavran,

Contemporary Theologies of Mission (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1983), 119-120.

“See Paul G. Hiebert, “The Flaw of the Excluded

Middle,” Missiology:

An International Review 10

A

(January 1982): 35ff.

14 Latourette, History ojChristianity, 960, 1020, 1027; McGee, This Gospel Shall Be Preached, I, 24; Neill, A History of Christian Missions, 217-218.

“L. Grant

McClung, ed., Azusa Street and Beyond:

Pentecostal ivissions and

4

example,

undesirable, proven growth

provided

people respond.

They

“experience”

85

modified Calvinism

by making

Strong

reliance on the

laity

and

multiple

routes to ordination have

accelerated

leadership emergence

in areas of

rapid

church

growth.

For

most Assemblies of God

pastors

around the world are

without so much as a Bible school education. `6

Higher

education is not

but

imposing

educational

requirements

for ordination is a

restriction in some cases. And the lack of educational

requirements

for ordination has not

stopped

the Assemblies of God

from

becoming

the

largest

Pentecostal denomination.

Renewal Alters

Theological

Traditions

Consider one final

comparison

between these two

“great

centuries”

of renewal and missions. In both

cases,

renewed

theological

reflection

motivations for a new thrust in world

evangelization.

Of

great

significance

for the nineteenth

century

missions movement was this one

fact: renewal

reshaped

traditional Calvinism with

respect

to election

and

predestination.

The Puritan

fathers,

for

example,

believed that all

would hear the

gospel

and that some from

every

nation would

launched missions to the Indians in all Thirteen

Colonies. The Great

Awakening

in the Colonies broached Arminian-ish

ideas, establishing

the need for an individual “decision” and a personal

of salvation for the elect. And Jonathan

Edwards,

a

leading theologian

of the

Awakening,

for the sinner’s

response

in accepting God’s

forgiveness.”

in England, the

Evangelical Awakening

with its stress

breaking up

hyper-Calvinism.

Even

among

the Particular

Baptists,

William

Carey’s

there was a “slow

awakening,”

Stutd1fse, Carey,

and others

planted

seeds of a mission

theology

into

In these and

many

other

ways,

revival .

of traditional

theology, providing

fundamental

convictions and motivations for the nineteenth

century

missions

more room

Simultaneously on

evangelism

was also

denomination,

the

English religious

scene.” altered the

landscape

movement.

Topeka, America.

the fallow

ground

of

as Andrew

Fuller,

John

in Pentecostalism. The revival in

of Pentecostalism in North

reflection

to Los

Angeles,

We observe the same

pattern

Kansas marks the

beginning

This revival was

triggered by

fresh

theological

concerning sanctification,

the

baptism

in the

Holy Spirit and speaking

in tongues.

From

Topeka

the revival

spread

to

Houston, Texas,

and then

where the Azusa Street Revival broke out and

76-77;

Rapids,

Church Growth in the Twentieth Century (South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge,

1986),

McGee, This Gospel Shall Be Preached, I, 91-93.

16 J. Herbert Kane, The Christian World Mission:

Today and Tomorrow (Grand

MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 105.

“These and many other theological developments linked to the Great

and

Awakenings

providing missionary motivations are

discussed in

Latourette, A History of

958-961, 1019, 1043-45.

‘eTim Dowley, ed., A Lion Handbook: The History of Christianity (Oxford: Lion

406-409.

Christianity,

Publishing, 1990),

5

86

innovations in

early

motivations and

convictions

movements. Consider

One,

Pentecostals Spirit

Testament

experience.

impacted

various

parts

of the world.

Theological

and mature Pentecostalism have

provided powerful

that could not

help

but

produce explosive missionary

the

following

three

theological

innovations.

claimed that the

personalized power

of the

Holy

is

readily

available now to

every

believer

just

as it was in New

Pentecostals

discovered that

they

can receive

the sacraments

and

experience

the

Spirit,

not

through

the mediation of

and the

clergy (as

in Catholicism), and not

only through

the

ministry

of the Word

(as

in mainstream

Protestantism),

but

through

direct and personal

access to the Father and to

Jesus,

the

Baptizer

in the

Holy

Spirit.19

Two,

Pentecostals

emphasized

Pentecost

expect

the

supernatural

ministering

that the

purpose

of this

personal

for missions. This claim

of the biblical

experience

of the

Holy Spirit

is

empowerment

is a

rediscovery by experience

of the true

purpose

(Acts 1:8). Being “baptized”

in the

Spirit,

Pentecostals

manifestations or charismata of the

Spirit

to be there for them in evangelistic and

missionary

outreach.

Three,

Pentecostals see themselves as

living

in the last

days

and

in the same salvation

history

context as that of the New Testament.2°

They have, therefore,

recovered the New Testament

hope of the soon return of Jesus. This view of things has

generated powerful

motivation which is characterized

by expectancy, urgency,

how renewal

alters

missionary

and

intensity.

These three innovations theological

traditions movements.

Theological

serve to illustrate

in such a

way

as to stimulate fresh

missionary

reflection

concerning

the mission of the church has

played

a vital role across the last two

great

centuries of

renewal and missions.

century”

above

parallels

between these

of a

professional

of the School of World Mission Pasadena,

California. 21

Although my analysis may

lack the nuances

historian,

I believe that the twentieth

century

can be called the

“great

of Pentecostal/Charismatic renewal and missions in that it bears

comparison

to the

nineteenth-century missionary

movement. The

two

periods

of renewal and

expansion are not

only striking

but also instructive.

They

illustrate the

following key missionary principles taught by

missions historian Paul E. Pierson

at Fuller

Theological Seminary

in

First,

renewal and missions are interlinked.

Missionary expansion

is both the natural and the

supernatural

result of the

outpouring

of the Spirit

of God

upon

the church

(Acts 1:8). Any

renewal that is

truly

Missions “Dowley,

ed., A

Lion Handbook,

646; Paul

A. Pomerville, The Third Force in

(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1985), 65.

2°Pomerville, 21

The Third Force in Missions, 57-58.

While Pierson is to be credited for these principles, I do not claim his authority for the ways in which I have adapted and applied them in this article.

6

87

eschatological

will

eventually

turn its focus outward and cross social and cultural barriers to reach the

lost,

as the biblical Pentecost did.

Second,

renewal

changes

the

way

we do church and

missions, creating

new structures and

patterns

for both.

Specifically,

missions is most effective when local churches and extra-local mission structures cooperate together

in a

semi-autonomous, mutually interdependent fashion,

as seen in both the nineteenth and twentieth

century missionary movements mentioned

above,

as well as

throughout

church and missions

history.

Third,

renewal creates new and viable forms of

spirituality

that

spur fresh

missionary

outreach and

appeal

more

effectively

to the unchurched

peoples

of the

day. Fourth,

renewal creates new

patterns

of leadership

that unleash fresh

missionary

outreach. And

fifth,

renewal alters older

theological

traditions and ushers in new

theological insights that

provide

fresh motivation for

evangelistic

and

missionary

outreach.

Observing

Pentecostal/Charismatic renewal and missions in a general way,

we have thus far identified

key dynamics

or characteristics of renewal that lead almost

inevitably

to a missions thrust. This

analysis provides

the

foundation, perspectives

and

presuppositions

for all that follows. From here

on, however,

the

emphasis

falls more

specifically

on Charismatic missions of the latter half of this

century.

The Charismatic Renewal:

Creating

New

Patterns for

Church and Missions

That the Pentecostal revival has

produced

a

major missionary movement is a well documented fact.

By

1990 there were

320,000 classical Pentecostal churches around the world with a total membership

of over 45 million. 22 But what kind of

missionary movement has the Charismatic Renewal

produced?

How are the dynamics

and

principles

observed above also

working

in the Charismatic Renewal? .

The

Emergence

of a “Charismatic” Ecclesia

Renewal,

we have

observed, changes

the

way

we do church. The healing

revival of the 1950s formed the

bridge

between the Pentecostal Movement and the Charismatic Renewal. William

Branham,

Oral Roberts,

T. L.

Osborn,

Jack

Coe,

A. A.

Allen,

R. W. Schambach and hundreds of other

healing

revival leaders

caught

the attention of the masses in mainline churches who had more or less

ignored

classical Pentecostalism. This was the real

beginning

of the Charismatic Renewal. Dennis Bennett’s

public

announcement in 1960 of his “nine o’clock in the

morning” experience

was

merely

the

cutting

of the ribbon.

After the media

publicized

Bennett’s

announcement, many

others in mainline churches admitted their own Charismatic

experiences. Many z2 Barrett, “Global Statistics,” DPCM, 812-815.

7

88

Charismatic leaders were able to

stay

in their traditional churches and cultivate renewal. But hundreds of others were forced out. New wine skins were needed for the new wine. As a

result,

tens of thousands of independent

Charismatic churches were

eventually

formed across the United States and around the world.

For the sake of

definition, “independent

Charismatic” denotes churches or ministries that have embraced the Charismatic Renewal

and,

because of their Charismatic

experiences

and

innovations,

are not institutionally

linked to classical Pentecostalism or

any

denomination. Although

these churches

only began

to form in the

early 1970s, they represent

14% of all Charismatics and now make

up

the fastest

growing segment

of

Christianity

in the United States as well as in

many

Third World countries.23 There are between

60,000

and

100,000 independent Charismatic

congregations

in the USA alone. Consistent with observations made in the

beginning

of this

article, independent Charismatic churches are bom out of renewal and have certain characteristics which

promote

effective

missionary

outreach. What are these characteristics?

First, despite

the

apparent

“babel” of

diversity,

there is an

underlying spiritual unity among

these churches.

Nowadays

old rifts are

being forgotten

and Charismatic churches and ministers are

coming together in

“networks”-loose, overlapping

ministerial associations without the legal

or bureaucratic encumbrances. Well known

examples

include Charismatic Bible Ministries

(1,500 ministers),

Christ for the Nations (600 churches),

Rhema Ministerial Association

(500 churches)

and the large,

umbrella

type

Network of Christian

Ministries,

which

brings together

leaders of other networks.

Second, independent

Charismatic

churches,

like new wine

skins, help preserve

the witness and the

heritage

of the Charismatic Renewal. The practical

value of this is best seen in

light

of the fact that most mainline Charismatics become

“postcharismatics”

after two or three

years

of involvement in the renewal. 24

Third, independent

Charismatic churches have unleashed their

laity. They

have

recruited, apprenticed,

and released into

ministry

and missions thousands of

people

with little or no formal

theological training.

Not that

professional training

is of no value. But Christian history

teaches us that God often calls and uses

people

on the

periphery of our

religious

institutions. “Can

.

anything good

come out of Nazareth?”

“Peter D. Hocken, “Charismatic

Movement,” DPCM, 144; Wagner, “Church Growth,” DPCM, 181-182; Paul G. Chappell, “Healing Movements,” DPCIU 374; Stephen Strang,

“Nondenominational Pentecostal and Charismatic

Churches,” DPCM, 640; Barrett, “Global Statistics,” DPCM, 811-813.

“For definition and statistics on

“postcharismatics”

in mainline

churches,

see Wagner,

“Church Growth,” DPCM,

183; Barrett, “Global Statistics,” DPCM, 811-813, 826.

8

Fourth,

Charismatic The

by

leaders, Jesus, people

Renewal, powerful

strongest

and most consistent

For

an

exception

the movement’s

missions.

Many

movement.

89

and missionaries are

“practical”

or mission fields.

But some of these

love the Lord

Missions

thrust of the Charismatic Charismatic churches and

a

major missionary

pastors

theologians.

frame of reference for their

theology

is provided, not

the

seminary,

but

by

the context of their

ministry

and

by

the

hurts, needs and

questions

of their

congregations

The lack of theological foundations is sometimes

problematic.

who are often the

subject

of a media-inquisition,

love their

congregations

and have led hundreds and thousands of

into a

liberating experience

of the

kingdom

of God. These and other

spiritual

and institutional

dynamics

make the Charismatic

and in

particular,

the

independent

Charismatic

church,

a

force for world

evangelism.

The “Slow”

Emergence

of Charismatic

If renewal and missions are

linked,

then what kind of

missionary movement has come out of the Charismatic

Renewal,

and what kinds of structures and

strategies

are

being

used to muster missions

activity? While denominational Charismatic missionaries have

excelled,

the

missionary

Renewal has come from the

independent

ministries.’ To this

exciting story

we now turn.

a while, it looked as

though

the Charismatic Renewal would be

to the rule that revival results in mission. Some still question missionary

track record. Three

things

need to be noted.

First,

not all Charismatic churches are

equally

interested in

are still “bless-me”

communities,

not

yet realizing missions as the reason for revival.

Second,

the Protestant Reformation was

nearly

two centuries old before it

produced

And

third,

most of what is now

being

done

by Charismatics in missions remains undocumented. But there are indicators of a ground swell of effective

missionary activity among

Charismatics.

the

beginnings

of a distinctively Charismatic

missionary

thrust have been

relatively

slow for the

following

reasons.26

within the churches.

rightly spent

much time and

energy bringing

their own churches and denominations.

Structure limitations. Thousands of

independent

have no connections with

organized

missions agencies. Many

have

espoused

the ideal of

being

a

“sending

church” apart

from the

expertise

and assistance of

agencies

that

specialize

in

if

any,

have

really

succeeded over the

long

haul. Related to this

problem

is the

spirit

of independence that obstructs

practical,

functional

unity

and

cooperation

however,

Renewal

ministry Charismatic leaders renewal to bear

upon

churches

training

and

sending

missionaries.

efforts.

Admittedly,

Many

of the

early

Charismatic

sending

Few,

in missions

2S

26 Hocken, “Charismatic Movement,” DPCM, 157. Pousson, Spreading the Flame, 79-82.

9

90

Strategy

limitations. The

emphasis

on the

Holy Spirit

and

subjective guidance

sometimes

preempts practical goal-setting

and informed strategy planning.

Once a Charismatic minister “felt led” to

evangelize

a certain Caribbean island. He

resigned

from his

pastorate,

raised funds and went to the

island, finding nothing

but coconut trees. No

people.

Limited

theology

of mission. Charismatic anti-intellectualism coupled

with the idea of

learning by

“revelation”

apart

from

theological discipline

has taken a toll. Too

many

churches are built around faith for prosperity, healing

and

spiritual gifts,

often to the exclusion of the biblical basis of missions and the New Testament revelation of the

Holy Spirit

as

empowerment

for

worldwide,

cross-cultural witness to the Risen Lord.

Limited missions

exposure. Many independent

Charismatics have little awareness of recent

global

mission trends even in their own movement. What is an unreached

people group?

What is the 10/40 Window? What is the AD 2000 &

Beyond

movement? What is a career missionary,

and how does a

person

become one? Sad to

say, surveys have shown that vast numbers of Charismatics all across the United States are

simply unacquainted

with these and other mission

dynamics. Related to this lack of exposure is the lack of real

missionary

vision and leadership.

These and other bottlenecks account for what some would consider a sluggish

start for Charismatic missions. But that is not the whole picture.

There are

signs

that

Charismatics, particularly

the independents,

are

seizing

a

global

missions vision and

making

a global contribution.

Charismatics,

for

example,

outnumbered Pentecostals in the number of worldwide annual converts in

1988, according

to David Banrett.2′ From the

very beginning

of the Charismatic movement there were notable

missionary pioneers.

And

through

the decades of movement we have seen the

emergence

of Charismatic

sending churches, sending agencies,

and a

premier

association of Charismatic mission

agencies

and churches called the Association of International Missions Services

(AIMS).

Charismatic

Missionary

Pioneers

Oral

Roberts,

T. L.

Osborn,

Gordon

Lindsay,

Kenneth

Hagin, Sr., and Lester Sumrall are

among

the few leaders from the Post-World War II

healing

revival

(1947-1958)

who also became

significant

leaders in the

subsequent

Charismatic Renewal.

They

have blazed a trail for Charismatic missions. Oral Roberts founded the

university

named after him which trains Charismatics from all over the world. From 1976 to 1990,

Oral Roberts

University

sent several thousand students into more than 30 countries on “Summer Missions”

assignments.

T. L. Osborn has

played

a

leading

role in Charismatic renewal and missions.

By

the

early

1970s he had

already evangelized

in over 50 27Barrett,. “Global Statistics,” DPCM, 811.

10

91

countries where his

ministry

was

producing

more than 400 self-supporting

churches

annually. 21 In 1970 Gordon Lindsay

founded Christ for the Nations Institute

(CFNI)

which continues to train and send out Charismatic missionaries to

many parts

of the world. Kenneth Hagin,

Sr. and Lester Sumrall have also founded and led

major Charismatic ministries which have launched missionaries and missions efforts in every continent.

Pentecostal/Charismatic

pioneer

Daniel Ost founded Charismatic Ministerial Institute

(CMI)

in El

Carmen,

Mexico in 1955. Since

then, CMI has trained and launched more than

1,000

ministers

throughout Mexico and in ten other

countries, including

India and France. CMI graduates

have founded 120 churches called “Centers of

Faith, Hope and Love” which are

transforming major

cities across Mexico. The school is now

challenging

its students to

go

as missionaries to the “10/40

Window,”

the least

evangelized region

of the

world, stretching from West Africa to East

Asia,

10 degrees and 40

degrees

north of the equator.

Mexico is no

longer just

a mission

field,

but also a missionary force.29

Charismatic

Sending

Churches

Bethany

World

Prayer

Center in

Baker,

Louisiana is an

independent Charismatic church of four to five thousand members. A million dollars annually

from their

budget supports

various

projects

and over 100 missionaries in 25 countries. One-third of these missionaries were recruited and sent out from

Bethany

World

Prayer

Center. The

pastor, Larry Stockstill,

a graduate of Oral Roberts

University,

has

adopted

a strategy

which combines crusade

evangelism

with church

planting techniques.

With this

strategy,

several

large

and

growing

churches have recently

been

planted

in Russia,

Nicaragua, Uganda

and India. In

1991, for

example,

a

Bethany

team held an

evangelistic

church

planting crusade in Moscow. The result was

5,000

decisions for Christ and 1,000

new believers in attendance at the first service of the Moscow Christian Center.

.

Another Charismatic church with a serious

missionary

vision is John Osteen’s Lakewood Church in

Houston,

Texas. Since its

founding

in 1961,

Lakewood Church has launched effective missions outreaches to more than a hundred countries.3° Tulsa Christian

Fellowship,

the oldest independent

Charismatic church in

Tulsa,

Oklahoma numbers about 500 and

gives $150,000

a year to missions.

They

have sent out at least

28 David Edwin Harrell, Jr., All Things Are Possible: The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America

(Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1975), 171.

z9 Lee Anderson and Christina

Tumey,

“Mexican Churches

Charisma &

Growing

Christian

Rapidly,”

Life 19 (October 1993): 68-73.

” Stephen Strang, “Osteen,

John

Pentecostal Explosion (Altamonte Springs, FL: Creation House,

Hillery,” DPCM, 656;

Vinson

Synan,

The Twentieth-Century

1987), 25-29.

11

92

40 of their own

people

as missionaries involved in just about

everything from Bible translation to

pioneer evangelism among

unreached

people groups.

Still another

example,

the

8,000-member Victory

Christian Center,

also in

Tulsa, supports

125 missionaries to 20 different countries.

A closer look at a few successful

sending churches, including

some of those mentioned

above,

has revealed certain

keys

to their success.

1) They

have a

consistently

missions-minded

pastor

and a missions director or a missions committee to steer the church’s

missionary involvement.

2) They

commit a substantially large

percentage, typically from 20% to

30%,

of their annual

budget

to missions.

3) They strongly emphasize

the role of the local church in missions,

providing

consistent missions

exposure through literature, preaching

and mission conventions.

4) They provide

their

missionary

candidates with both informal

apprentice training

as well as structured Bible school

training. 5) They

have loose but functional ties with mission

organizations

that provide

various

types

of

training, helps

and services to their missionaries. For

example, they may

send a

missionary through

Youth With a Mission or

Wycliffe

Bible Translators. Some churches relate to Charismatic service

agencies

that handle the missionaries’ financial matters and newsletters.

6) Sending

churches

usually

have

relationships with senior missionaries and/or

indigenous

Christian leaders in or near to the countries where their missionaries serve. These leaders in the host countries serve as mentors and field

directors, especially

for new missionaries.

7)

Successful

sending

churches

provide pastoral

care for their missionaries

away

from home. This

caring support

involves correspondence, phone calls,

cassette

recordings

of the

pastor’s sermons, and,

if necessary, a

personal

visit from the missions director. These seven factors make

up

a

fairly simple

and

reproducible methodology, regardless

of the size of the church.

The Charismatic

sending

church model has much to offer. It

bring their members back to the New Testament conviction that Charismatic experiences

are

given

to the church for the

purpose

of mission. It emphasizes

the

centrality

of the local church in missions. It

produces missionaries that have the local church at heart and believe in church planting.

And it helps ease church-missions tensions that exist in

many Christian traditions.

Despite

a highly vocalized ideal of “sending direct” without the aid of so-called

“para-church” organizations,

I have found that the

really successful

sending

churches

usually rely

on extra-local entities for

help in

training, mobilizing, serving

and

supervising

their missionaries. When, however,

the church tries to act like a self-contained mission agency,

certain weaknesses

crop up.

Missionaries often become like lone

rangers

on the frontier without

proper supervision

or accountability.

To the other

extreme,

some

sending

churches

only get

12

93

involved with

persons

and

projects

that

they

can somehow control from the home front.

Furthermore, many

churches that

try

to be the mission agency

act more like travel

agencies.

Short term mission

trips

to

places where churches

already

exist becomes a substitute for real

pioneer missions work. Other weaknesses include the

sending

of

inadequately trained

missionaries, haphazard

field

selection,

and

duplication

or lack of cooperation between missionaries in the same location.

The

greatest problem

with churches that

try

to become the mission agency

is the

historically repeating pattern whereby

the

apostolic function becomes absorbed

by churchly

concerns. A sudden or

gradual shift in missions

philosophy

or

priorities

on the

part

of the

sending church can leave missionaries in the lurch. In

1990,

for

example,

a large Charismatic

sending

church

changed

its focus from

foreign

missions to home missions and

expeditiously

withdrew financial

support

from 35 overseas missionaries.

Many

of these had to come home because all their

eggs

were in one basket.

Charismatic

Sending Agencies

Consistent with the

pattern

of the Great

(nineteenth) Century, whereby awakening

resulted in the

proliferation

of new mission agencies,

the Charismatic Renewal has also

produced

a multitude of new mission structures.

Many

of the Charismatic networks described earlier in this article have formed creative

missionary sending

and service

agencies

which contribute in various

ways

to the

recruiting, training,

and

mobilizing

of cross-cultural missionaries. Other Charismatic mission structures have

emerged independently

of networks. In the late

1980s,

one hundred new

agencies

surfaced in the Western

world,

and over three hundred in the Third World.3′ At least ten of the

agencies

listed as “Charismatic” in the 1993-95 edition of the Mission Handbook are

independent

Charismatic and

represent

a total of 646 USA

personnel

overseas.32

There are

many

other

agencies

of various

types

which

represent thousands of Charismatic missionaries. Listed in the Mission Handbook as

transdenominational,

Youth With A Mission has thousands of missionaries who come from

independent

Charismatic churches. Not listed in the

Handbook,

the Oklahoma-based “Teen Mania” has sent hundreds of

high

school students on summer missions outreaches since 1987. In the summer of

1993,

for

example,

Teen Mania took

1,750 teens to 14 countries,

including Mongolia, Egypt

and Albania.33 A Charismatic Missions Association

In

1985,

Charismatic leader Howard Foltz saw that the

groundswell Charismatic

missionary activity

would warrant some kind of 31

32 Barrett, “Global Statistics,” DPCM

830.

Siewert and Kenyon, Mission Handbook, 248, 255-256.

“1. Lee

Grady, “Radically Saved,”

Charisma & Christian

Life

19 (September 1993): 38-40.

13

94

overarching fellowship

or association. So he founded and now leads the Association of International Missions Services

(AIMS),

a consortium of some 150 Charismatic

sending churches, sending agencies

and training

institutions. Based in

Virginia Beach, Virginia,

AIMS is devoted to

catalyzing

the resources of the Charismatic Renewal for world

evangelization.

It

provides

a framework for

unity, cooperation and the

sharing

of information between its member

organizations.

These kinds of

developments suggest

that the Charismatic Renewal is producing

a

major missionary thrust,

and that the

independent Charismatic church is the heartbeat of this thrust. With this in view, we now take

up questions

raised in the introduction about the

relationship between Pentecostal missions and Charismatic missions.

The Charismatic Contribution in Relation to Pentecostal Missions

Several observers of Pentecostalism

agree

that the various Pentecostal and Charismatic

expressions

in the twentieth

century

all stem from one

eschatological

renewal movement. The

spiritual foundations and

impulses

for Charismatic missions are traced to the same

Holy Spirit

revival that

began

at the start of this

century.

For all their

innovations,

Charismatic missions stand in

strong continuity

with the Pentecostal movement in certain

important respects.

How Pentecostal Missions

Impacts

Charismatic Missions

First,

most of the

early pioneers

in Charismatic

missions, including those mentioned

above,

either had Pentecostal roots or were influenced by

Pentecostalism. Gordon

Lindsay,

for

example,

in the late 1960s transformed his revivalistic “Voice of

Healing” organization

into a Charismatic

missionary society

devoted to world

evangelization. By 1973, Lindsay’s ministry,

Christ for the

Nations,

had

helped

finance 3,000

church

buildings

in 83 nations and had distributed 15 million books in 46

languages. 31

Second,

Charismatics have also followed

many

of the

strategies

of Pentecostal missions. For

example,

the

supernatural calling

and recruitment of

missionaries, apprenticeship training

of

missionaries,

the use of women in

missions,

the

dependence

on the

Spirit’s

intervention in

evangelism,

the use of

evangelistic

crusades to

plant

churches and the

application

of

indigenous

church

principles

are common

strategies in both Pentecostal and Charismatic missions.

And

third,

Pentecostalism’s

theological

motivation for mission has significantly impacted

the Charismatic movement. The Pentecostal emphasis

on the

Holy Spirit

as

empowerment

for mission is basic to Charismatic missions. Charismatics have inherited from Pentecostals a

“Gary

B. McGee, “Association of International Mission Services,” DPCM,

30; Pousson, Spreading the Flame, 25-26, 52, 70, 88, 127-128.

35Harrell,A// Things

Are Possible, 166-168.

14

95

strong

commitment to the literal and

plain meanings

of

Scripture,

a Christ-centered

approach

to

worship, preaching,

and

ministry,

a sense of

urgency

for mission as

people living

in the last

days

and a sense of divine

destiny.36 Although

“Charismatic

theology”

is still in its formative

stages, many

Charismatic leaders

intuitively

know that their Charismatic

experiences

should lead to

evangelism

and missions.

Emerging

Charismatic Contributions to

Theology

of Mission

The Charismatic movement is consistent with historic

Evangelical theology

with

respect

to the

Trinity,

the

Incarnation,

Christ’s atonement, resurrection, regeneration by

the

Spirit

and other basic doctrines.”

Also,

as noted

above,

Charismatics are

basically

in the same theological

orbit as Pentecostals. The Charismatic

movement, however, is

yet

to

develop

an

adequate theology

of mission as such. A solid theology

of mission

would,

in

fact,

be an effective antidote to

many

of the abuses in Charismatic circles.

Nevertheless,

there are several tenets of Charismatic

“theology-on-the-way”

that can or do contribute positively

to mission and mission

theology.

Faith

teachings. Despite

its

many abuses,

the so-called “faith movement” honors God and serves mission inasmuch as it cultivates in people

a

deeply personal, corporate

and biblical trust in the Person and power

of Jesus Christ. Charismatic faith

teaching

stresses

physical healing,

material

well-being, positive thinking

and

confession,

divine guidance

and the believer’s

authority

and

victory

over

Satan, principalities

and

powers.

Criticisms and reactions

against

these teachings

abound. Some criticisms are valid. But the

spiritual dynamics related to the faith

teachings positively

account for much of the success in Charismatic

evangelism

and missions

today. Rightly

focused faith is central and essential to all successful missions. Howard Foltz of AIMS writes,

Faith

teaching

has elevated the

expectations of many believers today to for God and

“attempt great things expect great things

from God.” When

dynamic

rhema faith is released in reaching the nations, and not on selfish

or material wants, great things can happen. Numerous missionaries from

the faith movement have gone to the mission field and believed God for far

more than the “average” missionary. 38

Kingdom

now. There is another stream of Charismatic

thought known as

“Kingdom

Now.”

Leading

centers of this

emphasis

include Earl Paulk’s

10,000-member Chapel

Hill Harvester Church in Atlanta, Georgia,

and

Tommy

Reid’s Full

Gospel

Tabernacle of Orchard

Park, New York.

These,

and others in the

“kingdom

now”

circle,

model and

36 McClung, Azusa Street and Beyond, 48-52.

“J. I. Packer, “Piety on Fire,” Christianity Today, 12 May 1989, 20.

38Howard Foltz,

“Moving

Toward a Charismatic Theology of Missions,”

paper presented

at the 17th Annual

Meeting

of the

Society for Pentecostal Studies (Virginia Beach,

VA: November 12-14, 1987), 76-77.

15

96

visible

expression

of God’s

concern on

change

social conscience

Covenant

theology.

into secular

society

for the sake of

The church is to be a

of

urge

active Christian

penetration

social service and structural transformation.

dominion in the world.

Kingdom

now theology represents

at least a small

step

towards a

theology

of social

the

part

of Charismatics. Since internal and external cultural

is

part

of the biblical

missionary mandate,

the

emergence

of a

in Charismatic circles is praiseworthy.

This

wing

of the Charismatic movement emerged

from the controversial

discipleship-shepherding teachings the 1970s. Some of these

principles

continue to find

expression

in many Charismatic churches

today,

such as the

Fellowship

of Covenant Churches and Ministers founded

by

Charles

Simpson

and based in Mobile,

Alabama. Covenant

teachings emphasize

self

denial,

obedience to the commands of Jesus and the need for

growth

to

maturity

in the

between believers and between

spiritual

and mentorees.

Notwithstanding

abuses in

discipleship circles, their basic

principles

are at the heart of the Great Commission and can contribute

positively

to a theology of mission.

context of

strong relationships mentors

Restorationism. Restorationist Charismatic

Carolina based National emphasize

the

recovery

paradigms,

teachings

are

emphasized

in several

and the

Montreat,

North

groupings, including

a nation-wide network of churches known as the

People

of

Destiny International,

Leadership

Conference. Their

teachings

of the nine

spiritual gifts

of 1 Corinthians

12, and the “five-fold

ministry” of Ephesians 4:11, especially

the

apostolic and

prophetic

dimensions of church

authority.

Driven

by

these

the

People

of

Destiny

movement has

developed

a creative model of

ministry

based on Paul’s

apostolic

team in the book of Acts. The movement is led

by

a mobile team of four to six

“apostolic”

team”

provides

direction for church

planting, church

nurturing

and

leadership training,

but the

relationship

between

churches is

spiritual,

leaders. This

“apostolic

the team and the

non-bureaucratic.39 This

approach

Paul’s

missionary

band. This

semi-autonomous and and its

theological

convictions

display principles

and

dynamics

consistent with those of the

apostle

“restoration” of

apostolic

teams is a positive

contribution to world

evangelism

movements.

One of the most

significant

Prayer theological

and

power developments

in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement

1986):

Quoted

Prince,” People of Destiny Lfagazine

39Hocken, “Charismatic Movement,” DPCM, 141f; Larry Tomczak, “The World Mission of Every

Christian,” People of Destiny Magazine

4

(September/October

15; Larry Tomczak, “Relationship

With the

Sending Church,”

in The Church Planters Handbook, ed. Jim

Durkin,

et. ai.

(South

Lake

Tahoe,

CA: Christian Equippers International,

1988), 105.

40 in 1986 Charismatic leader Derek Prince said, “I’ve also begun to see that in a certain sense the major outreach arm of the Church should be apostolic teams.”

from Larry Tomczak, ed., “Unfinished Business, An Interview with Derek

4 (September/October 1986): 23.

16

97

comes under the rubric of “signs and wonders” and

“spiritual

warfare.” The

present proliferation

of

power

literature

by

Pentecostals/ Charismatics and

“third-wavers,”

such as Peter

Wagner

and Charles Kraft,.

is

making

an immense contribution toward our

understanding

of how

effectively

to resist and neutralize demonic

powers

that hinder evangelism

and missions. Without these and other

spiritual dynamics, missiological techniques

and

methodologies

are like state-of-the-art computer

hardware without the software to run it. The current

global prayer

and

power

movement which is sweeping into all six continents is introducing

new

spiritual dynamics

for

evangelism

and missions with documented results in terms of countable

disciples

of the

kingdom.

Much of the above

may

indeed

represent

formative Charismatic contributions to mission

theology

and the science of

missiology.

Most of the hermeneutical

problems

in Charismatic

teachings

could be ironed out

by

the

integration

of a solid

evangelical theology

of the

kingdom with an

understanding

of the mission of God.

However, theological formulation

always lags

behind revival and

missionary

movements. We must remain

patient

but

hopeful.

I

agree

with missions

professor,

L. Grant

McClung’s

statement

that,

.

In this “Decade of Definition” there will be a rapid growth in the science of

pentecostal/charismatic

studies and

enough missiological

literature to

support

what I feel is the emergence of a definitive pentecostal/charismatic

missiology.”

Consistent with

precedent patterns

of renewal and

missions,

fresh theological

reflection has created fresh

missionary

motivation

among Charismatic believers.

What Charismatic Missions Can Learn from Pentecostals

If Charismatic

churches, especially

those of the

independent movement,

are to maximize their

potential

for world

evangelism,

there are several areas where Charismatics need to catch

up

with their Pentecostal friends.

First,

Charismatics need to tackle the

disciplines

of theology

and

missiology.

Charismatics must learn from Pentecostals to overcome their own anti-intellectualism and

engage

in

high-level theological

reflection as Pentecostals are now

doing.

J. Rodman Williams of

Regent University

in

Virginia

has made forward strides with Renewal

Theology,

a three-volume work which takes a fresh look at

theology

from a Charismatic

perspective.

But much remains to be done, especially

in the area of mission

theology. Many

Charismatics are yet

to learn and embrace what classical Pentecostalism

really

stands for-that,

as a

part

of salvation

history,

renewal is

essentially missionary

in nature and cannot be

complete

without

expansion

to the unchurched and the unreached.

41 L. Grant McClung, ” Mission in the 1990s,” International Bulletin

Research 14

ofMissionary

(October 1990): 153.

17

98

Second,

Charismatics must overcome their own aversion to organization.

It was not until the forebearers of the Pentecostal movement struck the

right

balance between

Spirit-led spontaneity

and strategic organization

that their movement became an effective worldwide

missionary

force. The Assemblies of God

denomination,

for example,

was formed in 1914 as an

agency

for world

evangelization. This

organizational

move

helped provide sorely

needed

cooperation among pastors

and

churches,

and

helped

achieve a more effective missionary

outreach. Before that

time,

Pentecostal missions was notorious for a number of fiascoes due to the lack of

organization. Charismatics have

needlessly repeated virtually every early

Pentecostal fiasco:

duplication, competition, inadequate training

and financial backing

for

missionaries,

lack of structure and the omission of long-term strategy planning. Many

are

yet

to learn the lesson from Pentecostalism that a certain amount of

organization

is

necessary

if Charismatics are to fulfill their own

missionary calling.”

Third,

Charismatics need to

create, recognize,

and unchain more mission structures.

Espousing

ideals of a

“sending church,”

some Charismatics all around the world are

trying

to turn local churches into missionary sending agencies.

A related

problem

is the

practice

of subjecting

mission

agencies

to the control of

sending

churches. These practices

are

contrary

to the New Testament

pattern

and deaf to the voice and verdict of missions

history,

which teaches us that the authority

for mission is not tied to

any

ecclesiastical institution. The authority-

for mission stems

directly

from the word of the

Spirit

and from a revelation of Christ in the

calling

of the

missionary.

Paul’s apostolic

team was not in

any way

under the direction of the Antioch church. Both church and mission team were under the

headship

of Christ and the

spontaneous leading

of the

Spirit

of God. Where this pattern

has been recovered

through history,

missions has

prospered. But where the local church has tried to control

missions,

it has generally

stifled rather than stimulated effective cross-cultural evangelism.

Research has confirmed this outcome

among

Charismatics as well. For Charismatics to unleash a more effective

missionary force, they

will need to

multiply

and release more mission structures and provide

more and more

missionary

candidates with a

clearly

defined career

path

to missions.

Conclusion: “Nine O’Clock in the

Evening”

The

century-old

Pentecostal

movement,

and the

one-half-century-old Charismatic

movement,

and the

younger expression

known as the “third wave” all

represent twentieth-century expressions

of the eschatological outpouring

of the

Holy Spirit

which

began

in the first

42 Howard Foltz, “Bottlenecks

Hindering

Mission

Mobilization,”

Ministries 4 (Summer 1986): 42; Pomerville, The Third Force in Missions, 57.

18

engage

99

century

A.D. The essential

purpose

of this and all other renewals is to

the church in God’s

redemptive

mission to the nations. What will it take to make the twentieth

century

the

greatest century

of all in

even if this achievement

takes

factors,

the

history

Christian

missions, Pentecostals,

twenty-first century?

theological breakthroughs, needed?

Charismatics and other Christians a few decades into the

What new institutional

and what new

spiritual dynamics

institutionalization.

happens,

God

always sparks

what new

are

that

First,

with

respect

to the above

suggestions

about

organization,

both Pentecostals and Charismatics must avoid the

trap

of over

Renewal creates new

patterns

and structures for ministry

and missions. But

eventually,

these become

organizations quench

the

Spirit.

As movements become mature

institutions, they

tend to “domesticate” the

Spirit

and the

kingdom

of God. When this

a renewal somewhere on the

periphery

of the ecclesiastical structures of the

day. Then,

old wine skins often burst rather than stretch to accommodate the new

things

God is

doing.

The

and Charismatics is this: how can

they

the

necessary

and church

spontaneous

institutions are

increasingly

ineffective for cross-cultural

Third World models and

strategies

are

multiplying

question

for Pentecostals continue to

provide

evangelism,

missions

spiritual dynamics?

informal

becoming increasingly

effective. 43

overlooked.

are

Calvinistic

thinking

think

Charismatics reflection

structures and

strategies

for

growth

without

quenching Traditional

centralized,

hierarchical

missions,

while

and

if

they

to critical

Second,

the

necessity

of

ongoing theological

reflection must not be

We have noted that new

missionary

movements have often been fueled

by

fresh

theological thinking.

What

theological

alterations

now needed in Pentecostal/Charismatic communities in order for there to be a fresh outburst of

missionary

zeal and action? Extreme

was a

theological

barrier in the

days

of William Carey.

Pentecostals and Charismatics are

kidding

themselves

there are no

theological

barriers

today.

What are these barriers? How can

they

be identified and

challenged?

Are Pentecostals and

willing

to

subject

their favorite

theologies

and

scrutiny

in order to

identify

their own blind

spots

that hinder world missions?

And

third,

what kinds of new

spiritual dynamics

are needed to launch new and

greater missionary

movements from Pentecostal/Charismatic communities?

Reporting

on the 45th General Council of the Assemblies

in

Minneapolis

in

August 1993,

Peter Johnson asked the question,

“Can the world’s

largest

Pentecostal

the revival fires of Azusa Street and

go

on to

greater spiritual heights?

of God held

denomination

reignite

Handbook “Bryant

L.

Myers,

“The

Changing Shape

of World

Mission,”

in A4ission

1993-95,

eds. John A. Siewert and John A.

Kenyon (15th Edition; Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1993), 35.

19

100

Or will it

degenerate

into a bureaucratic dinosaur nourished

chiefly by programs, building projects,

and committees?”44

Johnson’s

question represents

the kinds of

questions being

asked

by many

Pentecostals and Charismatic leaders

today.

But

my response is, do Pentecostals and Charismatics

really

want to

relight

Azusa Street? Some Pentecostal and Charismatics are

looking

back to what God has done in the

past

with a kind of

“do-it-again-God” nostalgia.

But God never

quite

does it

again;

his work is often

new, surprising,

incredible. But a recurring problem with

every generation

that

experiences

renewal is the

tendency

to

cling

to and

perpetuate

the forms and

expressions

of their

particular

brand of

spirituality.

When God

begins doing

new things, they

look back to the old

ways.

My point

is this: God is

already lighting

new fires of renewal and missionary

zeal around the world.

Many

Pentecostals and Charismatics are in the center of

it,

but some either do not see it or

they

are

standing aloof and

looking

askance. I am

referring

to the

many

multifaceted movements, especially

in the Third

World,

that are now

converging under the banner of the AD 2000 &

Beyond

movement. In all six continents there are the

stirrings

of an

unprecedented transdenominational

prayer

and

power

movement which has its focus on the unfinished task of world

evangelization. Through

this

global prayer movement,

new

spiritual dynamics

are

being

introduced for the “pulling

down of

strongholds”

that hinder

evangelism

and missions. Prayer concerts, prayer walks,

marches for

Jesus, spiritual mapping, repentance

and reconciliation between

pastors

and leaders from different denominations and ethnic

groups,

and a renewed

compassion for the

lost, especially

the

peoples

of the 10/40 window are some of the new

patterns

of

spirituality

that God is

using

to turn resistant populations

into

people

who are

receptive

to the

gospel.”

One of the greatest challenges

for the heirs of Pentecostalism will be to

recognize the new

ways

in which the

kingdom

of God is now

advancing

and to remain on the crest of that wave until his

glorious

return. The

way home is through harvest.

“Peter K. Johnson, “AG Leaders Call for New Pentecost,” Charisma & Christian Life

19 (October 1993): 84.

resources for the United Prayer Network of the AD 2000 Movement include: John Dawson, Taking Our Cities for God (Lake

the the

Mary, FL: Creation House, 1989); Cindy Jacobs, Possessing

Gates

of Enemy (Grand Rapids,

MI: Chosen Books, 1991); C. Peter Wagner, ed., Engaging

the Enemy (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1991); C. Peter Wagner, Warfare Prayer (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1992); C. Peter

Wagner, ed., Breaking Strongholds

in Your City (Ventura, CA:

C. Peter Wagner, Churches that Pray

Regal Books, 1993); (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993); George Otis, Jr., The Last of the Giants (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 1991).

Information is available from: Mobilization of United

Prayer

Resource Network,

215 N. Marengo Ave., Suite 151, Pasadena, CA 91109.

20

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