Justin Gottuso, a student of Pentecostalism studies and a scholars of sorts, recently spent a large time researching Society for Pentecostalism Studies, came up with some lasting thoughts and questions about Pentecostalism and Charismatics in our Day.
Really thought provoking and key:
Next Generation Pentecostal’s and Charismatic’s
Now that Pentecostalism is in its second century, how will it be marked? What are the key things we need to remember, and what do we need to correct by the second centennial?
What we need to remember:
The importance of supernatural experiences being normal for the Christian
Emphasis on a living and dynamic spiritual life
The Spirit of unity and freedom in worship in the early years
The power of testimony and word of mouth to set people free and inspire faith
The empowerment of women and the poor to preach and teach
Missionary zeal and reckless faith to preach the Gospel anywhere
Being a hub of supernatural experience that renews other churches
The global awakening and the inter-continental relationships that were formed
Expressive worship that allows people to encounter God’s presence personally
Preaching repentance and emphasizing the need for Jesus above all things
What we need to move past:
Racial inequality that is perpetuated by doctrine and organizational structures
Sectarianism and tendency to divide over pride and ministry competition
Abuses of money, power and sexuality
Using gifts of the Spirit for personal glorification and profit
Emphasis on initial evidence of speaking in tongues as a sign of salvation and true Christianity
Being overwhelmingly Republican and uncritically aligning with the status quo
Spiritual pride and anti-denominationalism
Unswerving support for the State of Israel
Ways to move forward:
Re-telling the stories of the first generation of Pentecostalism to the next generation
A Spiritual renaissance of Pentecostal art and creativity
Communities of mission that contextualize Spirit-baptism and empowerment in their neighborhoods
Worldwide 24 hour prayer across Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and denominations for revival
Inter-Pentecostal community service and city-wide worship and prayer events
Internet evangelism and worldwide testimony sharing opportunities through social media and the web
Thoughts and Comments:
What is the shape Pentecostalism is taking today?
Looking back, what should Pentecostals and Charismatics hold onto and what should be forgotten?
What are current challenges to face Pentecostal churches, and what are new opportunities?
How can the fourth generation leave its mark on the global Pentecostal and Charismatic movements?