Pentecostal Mission and Ministry – “Depending on God’s Empowering Presence”

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Church & Ministry, Mission Studies & Intercultural Theology | 0 comments

Prelude to this Series:

Five Integrated Approaches Transforming World Christianity and Our Mission, Theology, and Ministry –

Polycentric, Integral, Pentecostal, Polyvocal, and Intercultural (P.I.P.P.I.)

Welcome to exploring Christian mission and ministry, invigorated by the powerful fusion of Polycentric, Integral, Pentecostal, Polyvocal, and Intercultural (P.I.P.P.I.) approaches. This series underscores the capacity of these approaches to transform Christian mission, theology, and ministry.

The church’s future is Polycentric, Integral, Pentecostal, Polyvocal, and Intercultural (P.I.P.P.I.). As a shorthand, I call this holisticostal. Holisticostal missions and movements are reshaping the church and the world.

Why “Holisticostal”?

Holisticostal mission is a term I’ve coined combining elements of integral (holistic) approaches, intercultural perspectives, polycentric and polyvocal themes, and the rich diversity catalyzed in Pentecost. Let’s break down the components:

Integral (Holistic) Mission: The term “holistic” refers to a comprehensive approach that considers the whole person, addressing physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being. An integral, holistic approach to mission and ministry involves caring for people’s physical needs, fostering community development, providing emotional support, and nurturing spiritual growth.

Intercultural Mission: “Intercultural” signifies engaging with diverse cultures and promoting understanding and cooperation across different cultural contexts. An intercultural approach to mission is about bridging cultural gaps, promoting inclusivity, and learning from one another in mission and ministry endeavors.

Polycentric Mission and Polyvocal Mission: “Polycentric” and “polyvocal” refer to recognizing and including multiple centers of authority and voices within a given context. In the context of mission and ministry, this means valuing diverse perspectives, empowering local leadership, and promoting collaborative decision-making processes.

Pentecostal Mission: The Pentecost event flung the doors wide open for a diverse church in every sense of the word – cultures, abilities, genders, languages, gifts, and more. “Pentecostal” mission isn’t about Pentecostalism; it’s about missional pneumatology and pneumatological mission. The Spirit creates a diverse, global, inclusive church and empowers it to join with God in God’s mission.

How did I arrive at “holisticostal mission” when combining Polycentric, Integral, Pentecostal, Polyvocal, and Intercultural (P.I.P.P.I.)?

Holisticostal is a neologism born from the fusion of “holistic” and “pentecostal,” representing a transformative approach to mission and ministry.

The “holistic” aspect emphasizes the integral mission, recognizing the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being and transformation. It acknowledges that mission extends beyond solely proclaiming the gospel, encompassing acts of compassion, community development, and addressing systemic injustices.

On the other hand, the “pentecostal” component captures the focus on polycentric, polyvocal, and intercultural missions, mirroring the diversity and unity witnessed during the Pentecost event. It acknowledges that effective mission requires a multitude of voices, centers of authority, and cultural perspectives working together. Furthermore, the “pentecostal” dimension reminds us that all integral, intercultural, polyvocal, and polycentric mission is only possible through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit empowers and equips disciples and shapes them in the image of Christ, guiding their mission to align with the gospel while reflecting the fruit of the Spirit.

Holisticostal mission thus emerges as a concept that embraces complexity and dynamism, weaving together diverse elements to illuminate a mission that is true to the gospel and relevant to the ever-changing world.

By combining these elements, holisticostal mission and ministry is an approach that integrates the empowering and diversifying work of the Holy Spirit, holistic transformation, intercultural engagement, and the inclusion of diverse voices and centers of authority.

This series considers each of these five integrated approaches to mission, theology, and ministry:

Part A: Polycentric Mission and Ministry – “From Everyone to Everywhere” (click HERE).

Part B: Integral Mission and Ministry – “Whole Gospel, Whole Church, Whole World, Whole Life” (click HERE)

Part C: Pentecostal Mission and Ministry – “Depending on God’s Empowering Presence” (click HERE)

Part D: Polyvocal Mission and Ministry – “Many Voices, Valued Perspectives” (click HERE).

Part E: Intercultural Mission and Ministry – “Unity in Diversity, Embracing All Cultures” (click HERE).

So let’s delve into pentecostal mission and ministry.

Spirit-empowered Mission and Ministry

The Holy Spirit played a crucial role in every aspect of the kingdom mission of Jesus. At Pentecost the Spirit came on the early church in power so Jesus’ mission could be advanced and completed. There is thus an indissoluble relationship between Pentecost and the missionary witness of the church. The witness of the church began at Pentecost, and in the power of the Pentecostal Spirit this witness continues to be carried forward… The Holy Spirit’s role is thus indispensable to the church’s missionary enterprise. – Ivan Satyavrata

Spirit baptism has been a defining experience in my discipleship to Jesus Christ. I remember the night well. I was sixteen, angry, wounded, and insecure. I had just attended a Pentecostal worship service. And I had responded to the pastor’s invitation to receive Spirit baptism. Nothing happened to me when the pastor prayed.

That night, alone in my room, I cried out to God for his presence. Around midnight I experienced the Spirit’s power and presence in an intense and overwhelming way. It wasn’t “speaking in tongues” that impressed me. I felt overwhelmed by the direct experience of God’s love. I felt his grace, forgiveness, healing, assurance, hope, joy, and empowering presence. Since that time, pneumatology has interested me. Pneumatology is the study of the person and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.

The empowerment of the Church for a polycentric, polyvocal, intercultural, and integral mission is fundamentally rooted in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, as evidenced in the narrative of the Pentecost event, facilitates a diverse, decentralized, and intercultural Church. This is not merely a manifestation of plurality for its own sake but an active response to the Spirit’s prompting that enhances the holistic scope and efficacy of the Church’s mission.

In the polycentric aspect of the Church’s mission, the Spirit enables a shift from a central or ‘headquarters’ driven model to a network of mission centers, each engaging with their local contexts. The Spirit empowers and equips indigenous leaders and communities to assume ownership of the mission and effectively contextualize it. This eradicates the “us-them” dichotomy prevalent in monocentric mission models, replacing it with a genuine partnership model that acknowledges the unique gifts and perspectives of all.

The polyvocal nature of the Church is an outcome of the Spirit’s action, too. The Holy Spirit endows each individual and community with the capability to contribute their unique voice and insights to the Church’s collective witness. This is not a cacophony but a harmonious chorus of diverse voices resonating with the Spirit’s unifying song.

The Spirit also fosters an intercultural Church. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit descended, and the disciples spoke in multiple tongues. This was not simply about language but an affirmation of cultural diversity. The Spirit empowers the Church to transcend cultural boundaries, fostering understanding, respect, and mutual enrichment among diverse cultural groups.

An integral or holistic mission encapsulates the comprehensive nature of the Church’s calling. The Spirit empowers the proclamation of the gospel and inspires action toward justice, reconciliation, and the restoration of creation. The Spirit infuses the Church with a passion for wholeness, urging it to address all aspects of human and cosmic reality in its mission.

The Church’s polycentric, polyvocal, intercultural, and integral nature can only be realized through the Spirit’s power, presence, provision, and instigation of cultural and linguistic diversification. As evidenced in the Pentecost event, the Spirit transformed a small, homogeneous group into a global, diverse Church. The Spirit disrupts our comfort zones, pushes us to venture into unknown territories, challenges our presumptions, and empowers us to participate in God’s mission with courage, humility, and love. Only through openness to the Spirit’s dynamic, transformative power can we become a Church that truly mirrors the divine vision for human community: diverse, inclusive, just, and whole.

Contents of this Online Article on Intercultural Mission and Ministry

1. The Spirit Poured Out On All Flesh

2. Spirit-empowered Mission

3. The Spirit and Liberation

4. Spirit-graced Ecumenical and Interreligious Conversations

5. The Spirit and Practical Empowerment for Mission and Ministry

6. The Spirit Empowers the Church for Polycentric, Polyvocal, Intercultural, Integral, Pentecostal Mission and Ministry

7. Further Reading

1. The Spirit Poured Out On All Flesh

Renewalist churches refer to Pentecostal, charismatic, neo-charismatic, and “third-wave” churches. These churches are broader than classical Pentecostalism but incorporate it. They are diverse. They often take on characteristics of their host culture.

These renewalist churches have grown and multiplied in the Majority World. This is especially the case in the Global South.[i] These churches emphasize baptism with the Holy Spirit. They also focus on divine healing, spiritual gifts, and Spirit-empowered witness. They “agree on the presence and demonstration of the charismata [spiritual gifts] in the modern church, but beyond this common agreement, there is much diversity as in all the other branches of Christianity.”[ii]

Since these renewalist churches are so diverse, measuring their growth is difficult. In 1970, there were around 15 million Pentecostals and 60 million other renewalists worldwide. Now researchers estimate that there are around 600 million people in renewalist churches worldwide.[iii] Pew Research claims Pentecostal and charismatic Christians comprise about 27% of all Christians. They make up more than 8% of the world’s total population. Pew puts Pentecostal Christians at 279 million and charismatic Christians at 305 million.[iv]

Gordon-Conwell’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) recently released an important report. They called it Christianity in its Global Context, 1970–2020. Their findings relating to renewalist churches are striking. “Renewalists numbered 62.7 million in 1970. They’re expected to grow to 709.8 million by 2020. In 1970, Renewalists were 5.1% of all Christians. But by 2010, they had grown to 25.8% (averaging 4.1% growth per year between 1970 and 2010). Looking forward to 2020, Renewalist movements will grow almost twice as fast as global Christianity as a whole. They’ll represent 27.8% of all Christians. Renewalists grew the fastest in Asia and Latin America over the 40-year period. They’ll grow rapidly in Asia and Africa over the next 10-year years. In 1970, the three largest Renewalist populations were in the United States, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2020, the countries with the most Renewalists will likely be Brazil, the United States, China, and Nigeria. The growth of Renewalist Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has been astounding. They’ve grown from 18.8 million in 1970 to 226.2 million by 2020 in Africa, from 12.8 million to 203.1 million in Latin America, and from 9.3 million to 165.6 million in Asia.”[v]

Patrick Johnstone says that at current rates of growth, renewalists will number 1 billion by 2050. That will be “one-third of all Christians and one-tenth of the world’s population.”[vi]

Amos Yong is a Malaysian-born, Asian-American scholar. He writes that there are 400-plus million renewalists in the Majority World. This number will likely grow to around 710 million by 2020 and 1 billion by 2050. 76% of all renewalists are in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. “Clearly, the most vibrant pentecostal communities are now in the Southern and Eastern Hemispheres, although traffic from South to North, from East to West, and vice versa is now busier than ever before, especially given the telecommunications revolution… [Philip Jenkins] suggests that the coming Christendom will be radically pluralistic, centered not in Rome or Canterbury but variously in Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, Bombay, Lagos, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City.”[vii]

The Spirit is being “poured out on all people.”[viii]

These statistics show that Majority World Christians have much to teach the West. We can learn from them about ministry and mission in the power of the Spirit. Statistics measuring the growth of renewalist churches provoke us. They make us consider the influence of this mode of the church. These statistics challenge the assumption that the Western church is thriving.

This focus on the Spirit and his role in mission isn’t prominent in Western missional conversations. This must change. Charismatic and Pentecostal churches have much to teach missional movements and vice versa.

The growth of Pentecostal Christianity in the Majority World has given these churches a global voice. But some issues have emerged. Some Western churches ignore God’s empowering presence. But many Majority World renewalist churches overestimate the missional value of charismatic expressions. These churches are often missional yet may uncritically embrace elements of their host cultures. Similarly, the challenge for Western churches is their adoption of rational and secular assumptions.

The churches of the West, indigenous cultures, and the Majority World can learn much from each other. This includes learning from each other about what it means for the Spirit to empower the mission of the church.

To date, the Western missional conversation hasn’t prioritized pneumatology. It hasn’t paid enough attention to the role of the Spirit’s empowering presence and gifts in mission. This is strange since the Spirit empowers the church for mission and witness. Western missional conversations haven’t focused enough on the role of the Spirit. They haven’t prioritized the Spirit’s role in the church’s mission, discipleship, and community.[ix]

Missional theology needs to reclaim the role of the Spirit. Jesus Christ sends his church into the world for the glory of the Father. The Spirit empowers the church for a faithful witness to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables the church to witness to the kingdom of God, inaugurated by Jesus in the incarnation and at Pentecost.

The church needs a rigorous discussion about its role in Jesus’s healing and reconciling mission. This demands greater attention to a theology of the Spirit.

2. Spirit-empowered Mission

What is the shape of a Spirit-empowered mission in Western contexts? How do we contextualize Western theologies of the Spirit for our own cultures? How do we contextualize these theologies for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ?

These are not easy questions. But the answers are important for Spirit-empowered missions in Western settings. Why is a Spirit-empowered mission important in the West? Today, many Westerners find spirituality and the spiritual world fascinating.

The religion and society think-tank Theos recently released some important research. It indicated how interested the British were in the spiritual world. Spirit-empowered mission has never been more important. Here are some key findings from Theos’ research. “For all that formalized religious belief and institutionalized religious belonging has declined over recent decades, the British have not become a nation of atheists or materialists. On the contrary, a spiritual current runs as, if not more, powerfully through the nation than it once did. Over three-quarters of all adults (77%) and three-fifths (61%) of non-religious people believe that ‘there are things in life that we simply cannot explain through science or any other means.’ Most people (59%) believe in the existence of some kind of spiritual being. 30% believe in God ‘as a universal life force.’ 30% believe in spirits. 25% believe in angels. And 12% believe in ‘a higher spiritual being that can’t be called God.’ More than half of people—52%—think spiritual forces have some influence either on earth, in influencing people’s thoughts, events in the human world, or events in the natural world.”[x]

This research goes on to say, “Two in five people (38%) think prayer could heal people. Compare this with 50% who think it cannot. Remarkably, a sixth, or 16%, of people say that they or someone they knew had ‘experienced what [they] would call a miracle.’ Younger respondents are consistently more likely to say this than older ones. Overall, spiritual beliefs are not the preserve of the elderly, who might be more inclined towards them on account of having grown up in a more religious culture. Such beliefs are to be found across the age ranges. Moreover, spiritual beliefs are clearly not the preserve of the ‘religious.’ Such beliefs are to be found across religious and non-religious groups. But those who consider themselves to belong to a religious group are more likely to hold such beliefs and practices.”

Majority World, indigenous, and Western cultures are spiritual contexts. Doing mission in them requires the power of the Spirit.

The Spirit propels the church into mission. He empowers it for the mission of God. The church is dependent on the Spirit’s presence in its mission.

The Spirit precedes the church’s mission. He is active and present in the cultures and peoples of the world. He is preparing the soil for the church’s missional efforts and gospel proclamation.

The Spirit is present in the mission of the church. He enables the church to take part in the missio Dei.

The Spirit prevails even where the church can no longer be present. He prevails even when the church has had to withdraw from a culture or people or when the church is not present anymore. The Spirit continues God’s sovereign purposes in the world.

The Spirit persists in convicting hearts, transforming lives, and confronting principalities and powers. He leads toward repentance and discipleship to Jesus Christ. The Spirit does this before the church arrives, while the church is on mission, and even after the church has withdrawn.

A missional theology of the Spirit does not minimize the importance of the church in mission. But, it does frame this mission with attention to the sovereign and powerful work of the Spirit.

The Spirit is the fulfillment of God’s promise. The Spirit is his life-giving breath, power-in-weakness, and personal presence. The Spirit is his assurance of what is to come. God empowers the church’s proclamation and action through the Spirit. The Spirit guides the church into the kind of witness that is only possible through holiness, unity, catholicity, and apostolicity. The Spirit distributes his supernatural gifts for the edification of the church. The Spirit gives these gifts for the glorification of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit pours out these gifts to enable bold and passionate and effective witness.

The church and its mission are dependent on the Spirit, who creates, fills, and empowers it.[xi]

What do we learn from Majority World churches about Spirit-empowered mission? What are the missional characteristics of these Majority World renewalist churches?

Julie C. Ma and Wonsuk Ma provide the most thorough treatment of these questions. Stephen Bevans calls their book Mission in the Spirit a summa missiologiae pentecostalis.[xii] These Korean scholars assert that empowerment, creation, eschatology, and practices characterize Majority World Spirit-empowered mission.

1. Empowerment: “For Pentecostal theology, the most influential theological ground [for Christian mission] is its theology of empowerment, often anchored on the unique experience called baptism in the Holy Spirit.”[xiii] Renewalist mission emphasizes supernatural empowerment. It seeks Spirit-emboldened witness. Renewalist mission focuses on divine gifts of healing. It longs for the Spirit to provide supernatural power and deliverance and restoration.

2. Creation: A Spirit-empowered mission includes a theology of creation. This is because mission is the “restoration of God’s creation.” The Spirit of creation calls the church to a Spirit-empowered restoration of the whole creation.[xiv] A theology of creation places mission at “the center of God’s activity in human history.” Creation theology shapes the church’s mission. This mission must seek to restore all creation. Creation theology leads to a mission that addresses anti-creation in human cultures. Anti-creation includes injustice, poverty, oppression, exploitation, and so forth. Creation theology sees mission as the restoration of human and divine/human community.

3. Eschatology: Eschatology is the study of the “last or end times” when Jesus Christ returns and restores and reigns. All Spirit-empowered mission “is an attempt to bring a ‘foretaste’ of kingdom life through proclamation, serving, and miracles… Pentecostals have an understanding that the advent of the Spirit in modern times is the sign of the beginning of the end of time, vis-à-vis the first outpouring of the Spirit being the beginning of the end. Consequently, their mission engagement should be the expression of their eschatological conviction.”[xv]

4. Practices: Julie C. Ma and Wonsuk Ma say that Majority World Christians express Spirit-empowered mission through a wide range of practices. What are some of those practices? Here’s a snapshot. They democratize ministry—the whole community participates in mission and ministry. Their missional zeal and commitment is palpable—passion for mission is a primary characteristic of many of these churches. They are willing to suffer considerable personal loss for the sake of mission. They link mission with healing and miracles and the supernatural. Renewalist churches grow through missional planting and innovation. Gospel proclamation, power evangelism, indigenous leadership, prayer, and continual reproduction characterize this church planting and missional innovation. Such reproduction happens through the multiplication of disciples and churches.

Other practices are evident in Spirit-empowered mission in the Majority World. Pastors expect Holy Spirit manifestations to go with their preaching. (This includes divine healing, speaking in tongues, miracles and wonders, prophecy, and other manifestations). Missionaries expect to have power encounters with angels and demons. Spirit-empowered mission has a particular focus on spiritual warfare and deliverance from evil. This mission prioritizes both inner change and societal transformation. It emphasizes both evangelism and social concern. Spirit-empowered mission in the Majority World adapts its expressions and mission to indigenous contexts. It often pursues ecumenical, interracial cooperation and leadership. It’s characterized by local, regional, and global networking in mission. It integrates Spirit-empowered mission into ministry training and theological curriculum. This integration is central to theological and ministry education in Majority World renewalist churches. And such Spirit-empowered mission engages with other religious, spiritual, and secular worldviews. (In Asia, this is especially Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and secular perspectives). It has also become more common for such mission to address the plight of women and girls in the Majority World. These face degeneration, violence, rape culture, and poor educational opportunities.

So much can be said about the practices of Spirit-empowered mission in the Majority World. It’s mission that’s characterized by enthusiastic, spontaneous, participatory, experiential, and community-centered worship, prayer, and spirituality. Yes, that’s a mouthful. But this defining feature of renewalist churches is key to their missional vitality.[xvi]

Allan Anderson examines Pentecostal-charismatic churches and missions in the Majority World. He lists the missional practices of Spirit-empowered churches. Anderson says that they practice Spirit-centered mission. They embrace dynamic and contextual missional forms. They focus on evangelism and church planting. And they shape contextualized missional leadership. They throw enormous energy into mobilization in (and for) mission. And, often, premillennial and dispensational eschatology goes with such mission. (That is, a belief in the imminent return of Christ that inspires a passionate mission). Mission among Majority World renewalist churches is often pragmatic and contextual. It addresses issues like “sickness, poverty, unemployment, loneliness, evil spirits, and sorcery.”[xvii]

What does all this mean for the global church?

Amos Yong writes that the global church must develop a Spirit-centered theology and practice of mission. This missional theology and practice must (1) deal with its “social and political locations.” This includes its relationship to Christendom, Colonialism, and Pentecostalism. (2) It must depend “on the church being a body of Spirit-empowered people who embody and invite an alternative way of being in the world.” This is crucial—especially if this Spirit-centered theology and practice is to be post-Christendom, postcolonial, and Spirit-focused. (3) And it must develop attention to the many cultural, ethnic, and other voices and “practices of the Spirit-filled people of God.” That way it remains dialogical, dispersed, multicultural, and multi-voiced.[xviii]

Ghanaian pastor Opoku Onyinah writes about the extraordinary growth of renewalist churches in Africa. He describes Spirit-centered and Spirit-empowered foundations for mission. Onyinah says that the Holy Spirit “is a missionary Spirit. He is the motivating force behind every activity that the believer undertakes. The climax of his work in the believer is baptism in the Holy Spirit, whose main purpose is to witness for Christ.”[xix]

We can learn from what these Majority World writers have to say about Spirit-empowered mission. This is a dynamic picture of mission. It’s clearly Spirit-empowered. It’s unmistakable that God is moving through this. And the Western church needs to listen and learn.

The role of the church is to join with the Spirit of Christ in his mission. This participation includes liberating individuals, people groups, societies, and creation. We join with the Spirit in restoration and healing and salvation.

3. The Spirit and Liberation

Renewalist churches in the Majority World are not always interested in socio-political matters. Many focus on proclamation evangelism and personal salvation. But there is a growing global trend for renewalist Christians to focus on both evangelism and social action. These renewalists ask an important question. “What might it mean to address issues of justice, liberation, poverty, and social action in the power of the Spirit?”[xx]

Chilean theologian Juan Sepulveda serves as an example. He compares indigenous Latin American Pentecostal communities and liberation theology. He especially focuses on Base Ecclesial Communities (BECs). Sepulveda describes how each may learn from the other. They both engage in Spirit-empowered service with and among the poor. Latin American Pentecostalism and BECs are both at home among the poor and marginalized. They both encourage a direct encounter with the Spirit. And they both make the Christian Scriptures accessible to ordinary readers.

Both types of communities see the church as a healing presence in the world. They believe the Spirit empowers the church for mission, justice, restoration, and healing. So, while Pentecostalism tends to focus on the Spirit, and BECs on liberation, there are many points of connection. The cross-pollination between the two results in richer forms of mission and church and social action.[xxi]

Jose Comblin describes the relationship between the Holy Spirit and liberation. Comblin was known throughout Latin America for his sharp theological mind and his service among the poor. He opposed military dictatorships in the region. Military dictatorships expelled him from Brazil and Chile for his views. He died in 2011. He was buried in a small town in the impoverished Brazilian state of Paraíba, which is also in the state of Bahía where he lived. Comblin was a passionate defender of human rights. He proclaimed Jesus’s option for the poor. He complemented his defense of liberation theology with his vigorous opposition to military dictatorships. Comblin served tirelessly among poor peasant communities in North-eastern Brazil.

Jose Comblin’s best-known book is The Holy Spirit and Liberation. Comblin argues that renewal in the Spirit leads to service among the poor and marginalized and oppressed. The outpouring of the Spirit can have many manifestations. This includes the renewal of worship, the charismatic gifts, and the gospel proclamation. But compassion, justice, and mercy also flow from any true renewal in the Spirit.

The Spirit leads us into service among and with the poor, wounded, broken, forgotten, and oppressed. In the words of Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[xxii]

Jose Comblin says the Spirit liberates all creation—not just the church or individuals. The church’s mission is to cooperate with the Spirit in his work of new creation. The Spirit invites us to join him in making new creations of all things. This includes persons, churches, cultures, creation, and history. The church does this best when it is self-giving and dispersed and serving.

Jose Comblin comes to the following conclusions about the Holy Spirit, justice, and liberation:

The Spirit in focus: Western churches have given too little attention to the Spirit. “There was one Easter; there are millions of Pentecosts.”[xxiii]

The Spirit in the church: The global Pentecostal phenomenon is God’s renewal of the church. It calls the church away from a materialistic, “rationalized, intellectualized, and institutionalized” existence. It calls the church to a living and transforming experience and community.[xxiv]

The Spirit in the world: The Spirit is at work in the world. He calls the church to join with him. The Spirit is ushering in resurrection life, the kingdom of God, the new creation, and “the birth of a new humanity.” And we get to take part in this mission![xxv]

The Spirit and the poor: The Spirit is among the poor and their struggle and liberation. As the church recognizes and celebrates this it experiences a just and Christ-like spirituality.

The Holy Spirit lies at the root of the cry of the poor. The Spirit is the strength of those who have no strength. It leads the struggle for the emancipation and fulfillment of the people of the oppressed…

The signs of the action of the Spirit in the world are clear: the Spirit is present wherever the poor are awakened to action, to freedom, to speaking out, to community, to life…

A new spirituality is being born under the impulse of the Spirit, among elites placing themselves at the service of the poor, and among the poor themselves who are irrupting on to the stage of history.[xxvi]

Many Majority World theologians challenge us to see the connection between our theologies of liberation, justice, and Spirit. These include Juan Sepulveda, Jose Comblin, Marthinus L. Daneel, Katy Attanasi, and M.M. Thomas. They do not minimize Spirit-filled worship and spirituality. After all, these are hallmarks of Pentecostal-charismatic faith. But they do assert that a true experience of the Spirit leads to Spirit-empowered social action and concern.

4. Spirit-graced Ecumenical and Interreligious Conversations

Renewalist churches do not always value conversation with other groups. Suspicion of other groups was a defining feature of the Pentecostalism I experienced in my twenties.

But renewalist churches have a long history of positive ecumenical and interreligious engagement. Walter Hollenweger outlines “four phases of ecumenical development” in Pentecostalism. Through these phases, Pentecostal churches return to their original ecumenical roots.[xxvii]

Timothy Tennent describes how Latin American Pentecostals have rediscovered the value of ecumenical cooperation. He notes their positive contribution to ecumenical spirituality and mission. “The term [ecumenical] has come full circle to refer to the emergence of global Christianity of which we (despite our various denominations) are all participants.”[xxviii]

This emerging unity is not based on an identical theology. Unity emerges through a shared passion for Jesus Christ and his Body, mission, kingdom, and Spirit.

Pentecostal-charismatic theologians and pastors are influencing the global ecumenical movement. The World Council of Churches (WCC) 2005 Athens conference is an example. The conference ran with the theme, “Come, Holy Spirit, Heal and Reconcile.” This gathering considered global and ecumenical mission from a Spirit-centered perspective. “We call on God the Spirit to heal, reconcile and empower us so that, as individuals and communities, we may become and share signs of peace, forgiveness, justice and unity, and renounce hatred, violence, injustice and divisions.”[xxix]

There is a growing ecumenical drive among Majority World renewalists. This involves conversations with other Christian groups and religious faiths and worldviews.[xxx]

Koo Dong Yun and Grace Si-Jun Kim are examples of this inter-religious and ecumenical conversation. Yun constructs an elaborate ecumenical theology of Spirit baptism. He develops his theology of Spirit baptism in conversation with nine theologians, including Karl Barth. Yun believes that a deep understanding and experience of Spirit baptism requires conversation. It requires dialogue with different cultures, spiritual experiences, and theological traditions.[xxxi] Grace Si-Jun Kim believes that we need a “global understanding of the Spirit.” This results from authentic conversation. Kim believes that we need to listen to others as we develop a theology of the Spirit.[xxxii]

Amos Yong is prolific on this topic. No one else makes such a contribution to “a Pentecostal-charismatic Christian theology of religions.” Yong believes that the church, empowered by the Spirit, must engage other religions.

Here’s seven of Amos Yong’s key assertions:

1. A Pneumatological Theology of Religions: We need a “robust pneumatological theology of religions.” How is a theology of religions robust and Spirit-graced? It is robust because of its systematic engagement with trinitarian theology and other worldviews. It is Spirit-graced through its attention to the Spirit in Christian faith and experience. It is robust through “the emergence of a new set of categories that may chart the way forward.” It is Spirit-graced through its attention to the Spirit’s voice in other faiths.

Amos Yong writes, “In brief, a pneumatological theology of religions begins with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as the universal presence and activity of God, and attempts to understand the world of the religions within that universal framework.”[xxxiii]

2. Discernment: We must root our engagement with other religions in trinitarian thought. “The Pentecostal narrative of Acts 2” grounds our discernment. It considers all the ways the triune God reveals himself—manifesting his power, presence, and voice. God pours his Spirit out “on all flesh” (including the world of religions). “Hence, the pentecostal narrative can be understood to redeem human languages, cultures, and religiosity. However, just as this does not mean that all human words and all aspects of human culture are holy without qualification, it also does not mean that all human religiousness is sanctified.”[xxxiv]

We must learn to discern the voice of the Spirit in those religious traditions. This happens through developing sound trinitarian and biblical theology. This Christian theology serves as our foundation. And our discernment increases through prayerful attention to the Spirit in all cultures. We also need thoughtful guidelines and categories.

3. Guidelines and Categories: We need guidelines for discerning the voice of the Spirit in other religions and cultures and theological traditions. This voice may challenge our understanding of what the Spirit is doing in the world. Amos Yong offers guidelines and categories. I won’t list them here, but I encourage you to read his book. Yong says we need “dynamic categories for comprehending the phenomena of religion and religiosity.” We then see “the openness and unfinished character of religious traditions and human religiousness.”[xxxv]

4. Moving Beyond Exclusivism or Inclusivism: We must move beyond exclusivism (we have the truth, and no other religion does). And we need to reject inclusivism/pluralism (everyone has the truth). Instead, we need a pneumatological theology of religions. This is a discerning engagement with other religions. The Spirit enables this engagement. And we must shape it around clear guidelines and categories.

5. Attention to the Other: It is important that we hear other religious faiths on their own terms. We should listen to them as they “define themselves in their own voices.”[xxxvi]

6. The Middle Way: We need to “find a middle way between the Scylla of subordinating the Spirit to the Word (the perennial failure of the classic theological tradition) and the Charybdis of disengaging the Spirit from the Word altogether (the perennial temptation of the tradition of enthusiasm).”[xxxvii]

7. Interreligious Dialogue: “Christian mission should include both authentic dialogue and sincere proclamation as two sides of the one coin. Dialogue and proclamation together constitute authentic interreligious engagement (i.e. authentic engagement between individuals from different religious traditions).”[xxxviii] This dialogue, if it is authentic, will lead to “conversion to the other.” This does not mean abandoning Christ or his gospel. But it does mean that all dialogue partners open themselves up to the transforming, converting work of the Spirit.

As we discern the Spirit in this interreligious dialogue, he transforms us. He renews us spiritually, theologically, relationally, and morally. Our Christian faith experiences the benefit of the cross-fertilization of religions.

The Spirit guides us into constructive conversations between various religious faiths. The Spirit leads toward constructive, healthy cooperation between Christian traditions.

People like Samuel Solivan are working to construct a Pentecostal approach to inter-religious dialogue.[xxxix] We may not embrace all the perspectives of people like Grace Si-Jun Kim, Samuel Solivan, Amos Yong, or Koo Dong Yun. But they do give us a window into a burgeoning conversation in the Majority World and beyond. They show us the characteristics and concerns of this conversation.

Clark Pinnock writes, “One might expect the Pentecostals to develop a Spirit-oriented theology of mission and world religions, because of their openness to religious experience, their sensitivity to the oppressed of the Third World where they have experienced much of their growth, and their awareness of the ways of the Spirit as well as dogma.”[xl]

5. The Spirit and Practical Empowerment for Mission and Ministry

The Spirit of Christ is sovereign over the global church’s past, present, and future.

God has tied the future of the global church to the worldwide emergence of renewalist movements.[xli] The West can learn much from the growth of the Pentecostal and renewalist churches in the Majority World. The West can learn from renewalist emphases, worship, spirituality, contextualization, mission, and challenges.

Here are ten things we learn from how Majority World Christians embrace the Spirit:

1. Spirit-empowered Christians depend on the Spirit’s power, presence, and provision.

We tend to rely too heavily on our resources and finances in the West. We trust our programs, academic training, conferences, and personalities. As I travel through Majority World and First Nation cultures, I notice a striking thing repeatedly. They often have few resources and little money. But they depend on the Spirit for provision, empowerment, and mission. Their dependency is evident in their corporate prayer and expectant worship. It shows in their confrontation of the “principalities and powers of this world.” It’s revealed in their courageous witness. And the fruit is abundant—fruit that will last.

2. Spirit-empowered Christians develop their mission and attention to the Spirit simultaneously.[xlii]

For too long, a focus on how the Spirit forms the church and empowers it for mission has been (mostly) absent from Western missional conversations. And, for too long renewalist churches have overestimated the missional value of charismatic expressions. They haven’t been attentive to the insights of missiology.

It’s time for this to change. We need a theology of the Spirit focused on God’s mission. And we need a theology of mission that’s shaped through attention to God’s empowering presence.

In the Majority World, Spirit-empowerment and mission are inextricable. Let’s make this so in the West too. It’s imperative that we live as Spirit-empowered missionary communities. We do this by examining our theology and practices of empowerment, Spirit, mission, creation care, the end times, justice, peacemaking, and so forth. As Amos Yong says, Spirit-centered mission is conversational, dispersed, multicultural, and multi-voiced.[xliii]

Michael Frost challenges us to see the place of the Spirit in mission. It’s time we rediscovered the Spirit in dialogue, (2) the Spirit beyond the church, (3) the Spirit within the local congregation, (4) the Spirit and justice, (5) the Spirit and creation, and (6) the Spirit and the world. Elsewhere I’ve written that the missional church recovers: (1) its Spirit-constituted being, (2) its Spirit-filled structures, (3) its Spirit-formed communities, (4) its Spirit-shaped theology, (5) its presence within a Spirit-infused world, and (6) its Spirit-empowered mission.[xliv]

3. Spirit-empowered Christians invite the Spirit to empower them for ministry, mission, and life.

The Spirit of Jesus moves us to foster spiritual expectation. He empowers us for ministry and mission and life. We must be open to “the invasion of the Spirit” and to encounter with him. Do we desire Jesus to reveal himself through the ordinary moments of life, and through the miraculous, surprising, and unexpected? Do we long for the Spirit of Christ to fill us with power for faith and mission? Do we expect Jesus to reveal his holiness, power, love, and truth in every aspect of our lives, mission, and gathered worship? Are we content with a powerless Christianity? Or, are we actively seeking God’s empowering presence?

4. Spirit-empowered Christians believe the Spirit fills their entire life together and on mission. And they recover the supernatural power of the Spirit.

We should invite the Spirit’s presence in our sacraments, ministries, missions, and structures. More than that. We must see how the Spirit forms, animates, and sanctifies these things, for the glory of God the Father. Jesus promised to fill us with the Holy Spirit and power. And we should expect that in every dimension of our service, worship, mission, and life together. (At the same time, we recognize our frailties and faults).

We must commit to the recovery of the supernatural in our worship and mission and prayer. This means inviting the “signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit” into our theological frameworks and ministry training. And inviting this power into our gathered worship and organizational structures and mission in the world. We need to recover the supernatural power of the Spirit in our churches, worship, and mission (with contextual and cultural sensitivity).

5. Spirit-empowered Christians bring liberation, healing, justice, mercy, and hope in the power of the Spirit.

Jesus leads us to seek Spirit-enabled reconciliation and healing in the world. When God pours out his Spirit he renews worship and empowers mission. And he releases the charismatic gifts and emboldens gospel proclamation.

But he doesn’t stop there. Compassion, justice, liberation, and mercy also proceed from all true movements of the Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus Christ—the companion of sinners and outcasts—leads us into service with the poor, wounded, forgotten, and oppressed. We look for signs of hope, where the Spirit is already at work in our neighborhoods, families, and cities. And we join with him in processes of healing and hope and reconciliation and justice and liberation and renewal.

6. Spirit-empowered Christians are attentive to the voice and presence of Jesus Christ in other Christian traditions and in the world.

God is present in every expression of his church. This demands qualification. On the one hand, there is a sense in which God is present everywhere, outside as well as within the church. We need to look for signs of hope in cities and neighborhoods and churches. This way, we discern where God is already at work and join with him. But, as my colleague David Starling points out, there is the terrible possibility that some forms of the church and its mission can become apostate structures.

David Starling says it well. “They are edifices in which the form of godliness is present but the power has departed. These are places where the Spirit of Christ is no more present than he is at a football game or the shopping mall. For all the discontinuities and differences within the history of the last 2000 years of Christianity, the New Testament nevertheless reminds us that our identity as our union creates the church with Christ, a union that we possess in common with believers of all times and places.”[xlv]

Being attentive to the Spirit in other Christian traditions and in the world requires courage, humility, wisdom, and discernment. I have offered Amos Yong’s seven guidelines in this chapter. They’re helpful. It takes courage to listen to others. It takes wisdom and discernment to know what to offer and receive.

7. Spirit-empowered Christians embrace particular mission, worship, and spiritual formation practices.

We need to release the practices of Spirit-empowered gatherings and mission. (See the practices in the section Spirit-empowered mission). And it’s vital that we cultivate Spirit-filled approaches to worship and spirituality. (See the descriptions in Tables 6.1 and 6.2, which describe Spirit-filled worship and spirituality in the Majority World).

Not everyone attends a renewalist church. But I encourage you to look through the practices of Spirit-empowered mission offered by Julie C. Ma and Wonsuk Ma. I invite you to consider the two tables outlining the features of renewalist worship and spirituality. They have the power to transform congregations and their mission. What’s missing from your setting? What can you contextualize to your church and its worship and mission?

8. Spirit-empowered Christians integrate Spirit-empowered mission into ministry training and theological education.

It’s common for theological colleges to speak of equipping heads (theology), hands (competency), and hearts (spirituality). College often do well in the first and second areas, and struggle to do the third. But, repeatedly hear graduates lament that colleges don’t prepare them to serve in the power of the Spirit. They do into mission and ministry and quickly discover that they’re at war with principalities and powers. They need to rely on God’s empowering presence in mission and service. Theological colleges and churches must return this theme to the heart of ministry training.

9. Spirit-empowered Christians join with the Spirit wherever he is at work in the world.

This involves preparing and ushering in resurrection life, the kingdom of God, the new creation, and the birth of a new humanity. Stop behaving as though the Spirit was absent before we arrived. Start discerning his presence in the world. Start joining with him in bringing resurrection life, the new birth, the new creation, and the kingdom of God. And courageously proclaim and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

10. Spirit-empowered Christians must think critically and biblically about their theology of healing and the atonement.

The church must develop a broader understanding of healing and its relationship to the atonement.

Craig Keener writes, “Matthew informs his audience that healing was part of Jesus’ mission, which God provided at great cost to Jesus (8:17).” we need to consider the various dimensions of healing associated with the atonement. Healing is also linked with Christ’s empathy with our human condition. Jesus exemplifies this empathy and identification in his incarnation. But we must also recognize that ultimate healing is in the age to come.

What does it mean for human to experience full healing? How is healing physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual? How do the atoning life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ heal us?

We need to be careful here. Very careful. Atonement is primarily about cancellation of guilt. It is about God’s work in liberating individuals, the church, and the created order from guilt and sin. But our theology of the atonement can expand our understanding of the nature and scope of healing. We can see the connections between the atonement, the incarnation, and the resurrection.

We have seen that physical healing is available to all through the atonement. But, thanks to the already but not yet nature of the kingdom, it is not available to all in this present life. It is only guaranteed in the age to come. Ultimate bodily healing is in our bodies’ resurrection, but God can heal bodily if he chooses to do so. So, we shouldn’t neglect to pray for those who are sick.

We also need to explore the nature of healing associated with the atonement in its broadest sense. How is healing liberation from sin? How is it restoration of relationships? How is it freedom from addictions and slavery? And how is it rejection of idolatries? How is healing, peace, freedom, and joy in the emotional, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of our lives?

The church joins in this healing ministry—as a sign, foretaste, herald, and witness to the now but not yet kingdom. It participates in human healing for the sake of Jesus Christ and his mission in the world. God calls his church to express this healing it its corporate life and ethics, and in its public witness and service. To be a healing presence in the world, the church must pursue the healing mission of God. The church does this best with a mature and biblical view of the kingdom of God. Its grasp of the kingdom—and the kingdom’s present and future aspects—enables healing ministries. The Spirit gives us a foretaste of Christ’s reign and the church’s future.

My proposal is that Western churches can learn much from renewalist churches in the Majority World. We cannot ignore the enormous growth of these churches in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. They are having a global and local influence.

These churches are missional and empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to adapt these Spirit-centered commitments to our own setting. Adopting the lessons outlined above prioritizes the Spirit in our way of doing church. I don’t want churches to conform to this image of church. Rather, I want the renewalist movement to challenge us to do church differently. We do this by adapting aspects of renewalist churches to our setting.

Thankfully, we are not alone in this task. And we can rest in the presence of the Spirit of truth.

Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him; he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you…

These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”[xlvi]

6. The Spirit Empowers the Church for Polycentric, Polyvocal, Intercultural, Integral, Pentecostal Mission and Ministry

The Holy Spirit fundamentally empowers the Church for a polycentric, polyvocal, intercultural, and integral mission, as seen in the Pentecost event. It fosters a shift from a single mission center to diverse local contexts, empowering indigenous leaders to take ownership of the mission. The Spirit endows each individual with a unique voice contributing to the Church’s collective witness. It affirms cultural diversity, fostering understanding and mutual enrichment across cultural boundaries. Furthermore, the Spirit catalyzes holistic action, inspiring the Church towards justice, reconciliation, and restoration. Only through the Spirit’s power and its instigation of cultural and linguistic diversification can we realize a truly inclusive and diverse Church. The Spirit disrupts comfort zones, invites exploration, and empowers us to participate in the divine mission with courage, humility, and love. Thus, we can only fully embody a polycentric, polyvocal, intercultural, and integral Church through the transformative power of the Spirit.

7. Further Reading

Anderson, Allan H. An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Chan, Simon. Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1998.

Fee, Gordon. God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul. Baker Academic, 2012.

Macchia, Frank. Tongues of Fire: Theological Reflections on Pentecost (Word and Spirit: Pentecostal Investigations in Theology and History Book 1). Cascade, 2019.

Macchia, Frank. Tongues of Fire: A Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Word and Spirit: Pentecostal Investigations in Theology and History Book 2). Cascade, 2023.

Samuel, Vinay. “Pentecostalism as a Global Culture.” In The Globalization of Pentecostalism, edited by Murray W. Dempster, Byron D. Klaus and Douglas Petersen, 253–58. Oxford: Regnum, 1999.

Yong, Amos. The Spirit Poured out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

Also, See These Posts

Part A: Polycentric Mission and Ministry – “From Everyone to Everywhere” (click HERE).

Part B: Integral Mission and Ministry – “Whole Gospel, Whole Church, Whole World, Whole Life” (click HERE)

Part C: Pentecostal Mission and Ministry – “Depending on God’s Empowering Presence” (click HERE)

Part D: Polyvocal Mission and Ministry – “Many Voices, Valued Perspectives” (click HERE).

Part E: Intercultural Mission and Ministry – “Unity in Diversity, Embracing All Cultures” (click HERE).



[i] Walter J. Hollenweger provides a comprehensive overview of Pentecostalism’s origins and developments worldwide. He includes in-depth treatments of its African-American, South African, Mexican, Korean, and Chilean manifestations. See: Walter J. Hollenweger, Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1997). Other useful treatments of Pentecostal and renewalist developments worldwide, include: Allan H. Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). Publisher description

Table of contents

Contributor biographical information; William K. Kay, Pentecostalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish, Religion and Modernity, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002); Amos Yong, The Spirit Poured out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005).

[ii] Hollenweger, Pentecostalism. 327.

[iii] James D.G. Dunn, The Christ and the Spirit: V.2: Pneumatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998). 86.

[iv] Pew research uses data supplied by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

[v] Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Christianity in Its Global Context, 1970–2020: Society, Religion, and Mission, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA, 2013), 7, 8, and 19.

[vi] Patrick J. Johnstone, The Future of the Global Church: History, Trends and Possibilities (Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica, 2011). 125.

[vii] Yong, The Spirit Poured out on All Flesh. 19–20.

[viii] Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17.

[ix] Two exceptions are worth noting. The first is my chapter “The Spirit-Empowered Church: Responding to the Spirit’s Power and Presence” in Graham Hill, Salt, Light, and a City: Introducing Missional Ecclesiology (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012). 205­–29. The second is Michael Frost’s chapter in Ashley Barker, ed., Following Fire: How the Spirit Leads Us to Fight Injustice (Springvale: UNOH, 2008). 33–41.

[x] Theos, “The Spirit of Things Unseen: Belief in Post-Religious Britain,” (2013). 7–9.

[xi] Hill, Salt, Light, and a City. 226–27.

[xii] Julie C. Ma and Wonsuk Ma, Mission in the Spirit: Towards a Pentecostal/Charismatic Missiology (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010).

[xiii] Ma and Ma, Mission in the Spirit. 27.

[xiv] Ma and Ma, Mission in the Spirit. 18–27.

[xv] Ma and Ma, Mission in the Spirit. 27.

[xvi] Ma and Ma, Mission in the Spirit. 8–9, 49–58, and 65–272; Julie C. Ma, “Pentecostalism and Asian Mission,” Missiology 35, no. 1 (2007), 32–34.

[xvii] Allan Anderson, “Towards a Pentecostal Missiology for the Majority World,” Article, Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 8, no. 1 (2005),; Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. Chapter 11.

[xviii] Amos Yong, “Many Tongues, Many Practices,” in Mission after Christendom: Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission, ed. Ogbu Kalu, Peter Vethanayagamony, and Edmund Chia (Louisville, KY: Westminster, 2010). 43–58.

[xix] Opoku Onyinah, “Pneumatological Foundations for Mission: From a Pentecostal Perspective,” Article, International Review of Mission 101, no. 2 (2012),, 334.

[xx] See, for instance: Hollenweger, Pentecostalism. 208; Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. Chapter 14; Douglas Petersen, Not by Might, nor by Power: A Pentecostal Theology of Social Concern in Latin America (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012); M. M. Thomas, “The Holy Spirit and the Spirituality for Political Struggles,” Article, Ecumenical Review 42, no. 3/4 (1990),; Katy Attanasi, “Getting in Step with the Spirit: Applying Pentecostal Commitments to Hiv/Aids in South Africa,” Political Theology 9, no. 2 (2008),; Marthinus L. Daneel, “African Independent Church Pneumatology and the Salvation of All Creation,” International Review of Mission 82, no. 326 (1993), 153–58.

[xxi] Juan Sepulveda, “Pentecostalism and Liberation Theology: Two Manifestations of the Work of the Spirit for the Renewal of the Church,” in All Together in One Place: Theological Papers from the Brighton Conference on World Evangelization, ed. Harold D. Hunter and Peter D. Hocken (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic). 53–62. See the following on the similarities and differences and cross-fertilization between Latin American Pentecostalism and Ecclesial Base Communities: Charles E. Self, “Conscientization, Conversion, and Convergence: Reflections on Base Communities and Emerging Pentecostalism in Latin America,” Pneuma 14, no. 1 (1992),; Michael Bergunder, Ralph Woodhall, and Allan H. Anderson, “The Pentecostal Movement and Basic Ecclesial Communities in Latin America: Sociological Theories and Theological Debates,” International Review of Mission 91, no. 361 (2002),; Adoniram Gaxiola, “Poverty as a Meeting and Parting Place: Similarities and Contrasts in the Experiences of Latin American Pentecostalisms and Ecclesial Base Communities,” Pneuma 13, no. 2 (1991),

[xxii] Luke 4:18–19.

[xxiii] José Comblin, The Holy Spirit and Liberation, Theology and Liberation Series, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989). 184. This shouldn’t take away from the uniqueness of the first Pentecost. Reading Acts shows that Pentecost was itself a major unique point in salvation history and part of a “parcel” of unique events (Cross-Resurrection-Ascension-Pouring Out) that pivot salvation history out into the Gentiles: with Pentecost unfolding in its threefold stages of Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, and all the earth (Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10).

[xxiv] Comblin, The Holy Spirit and Liberation.

[xxv] Comblin, The Holy Spirit and Liberation. 185.

[xxvi] Comblin, The Holy Spirit and Liberation. 184–86.

[xxvii] Hollenweger, Pentecostalism. 334–87; Allan H. Anderson and Walter J. Hollenweger, eds., Pentecostals after a Century: Global Perspectives on a Movement in Transition (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999). 186­–88.

[xxviii] Timothy C. Tennent, Theology in the Context of World Christianity: How the Global Church Is Influencing the Way We Think About and Discuss Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007). Table of contents only

Publisher description

Contributor biographical information 184–89.


[xxx] This is illustrated in the writings of Grace Si-Jun Kim (Korean), Wonsuk Ma and Julie C. Ma (Korean), Amos Yong (Malaysian born Asian-American), Koo Dong Yun (Korean), Hwa Yung (Malaysian), and others.

[xxxi] Koo Dong Yun, Baptism in the Holy Spirit: An Ecumenical Theology of Spirit Baptism (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2003).

[xxxii] Grace Ji-Sun Kim, “A Global Understanding of the Spirit,” Dialogue & Alliance 21, no. 2 (2007), 20–21.

[xxxiii] Amos Yong, “A P(New)Matological Paradigm for Christian Mission in a Religiously Plural World,” Missiology 33, no. 2 (2005), 175.

[xxxiv] Yong, “A P(New)Matological Paradigm for Christian Mission in a Religiously Plural World.” 177.

[xxxv] Yong, “A P(New)Matological Paradigm for Christian Mission in a Religiously Plural World.” 179; Amos Yong, Beyond the Impasse: Toward a Pneumatological Theology of Religions (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003). 21. Yong defines those categories carefully in this book.

[xxxvi] Amos Yong, “Beyond Beyond the Impasse? Responding to Dale Irvin,” Article, Journal of Pentecostal Theology 12, no. 2 (2004), 281.

[xxxvii] Yong, “Beyond Beyond the Impasse? Responding to Dale Irvin.”

[xxxviii] Yong, “A P(New)Matological Paradigm for Christian Mission in a Religiously Plural World.” 182. This article is Yong’s most concise summary of his thought.

[xxxix] Samuel Solivan, “Interreligious Dialogue: An Hispanic American Pentecostal Perspective,” in Grounds for Understanding: Ecumencial Responses to Religious Pluralism, ed. S. Mark Heim (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998).

[xl] C.H. Pinnock, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1996). 274.

[xli] These renewalist churches face many challenges. Vinay Samuel writes of their need to deal with questions of Christian unity, socio-political injustice, Christian ethics, religious plurality, and faith in the public square. Other writes speak of the need for renewalist churches to address the issues associated with “health and wealth” doctrines (the “prosperity gospel”). Vinay Samuel, “Pentecostalism as a Global Culture,” in The Globalization of Pentecostalism, ed. Murray W. Dempster, Byron D. Klaus, and Douglas Petersen (Oxford: Regnum, 1999); Joe Maxwell and Isaac Phiri, “Gospel Riches: Africa’s Rapid Embrace of Prosperity Pentecostalism Provokes Concern — and Hope,” Christianity Today 51, no. 7 (2007),; Ma Wonsuk, “David Yonggi Cho’s Theology of Blessing: Basis, Legitimacy, and Limitations,” Article, Evangelical Review of Theology 35, no. 2 (2011),; Milton Acosta, “Power Pentecostalisms: The ‘Non-Catholic’ Latin American Church Is Going Full Steam Ahead–but Are We on the Right Track?,” Christianity Today 53, no. 8 (2009),; Allan H. Anderson, “The Newer Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches: The Shape of Future Christianity in Africa?,” Pneuma 24, no. 2 (2002),; J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, “Did Jesus Wear Designer Robes? The Gospel Preached in Africa’s New Pentecostal Churches Ends up Leaving the Poor More Impoverished Than Ever,” Christianity Today 53, no. 11 (2009),

[xlii] We need a missional pneumatology and a pneumatological mission.

[xliii] Yong, “Many Tongues, Many Practices.” 43–58.

[xliv] Hill, Salt, Light, and a City. 205­–29; Frost in Barker, Following Fire. 33–41.

[xlv] David Starling, “Theology and the Future of the Church.” Available for order online: <>

[xlvi] John 14:16–27.

Graham Joseph Hill

Rev. Dr. Graham Joseph Hill serves as Mission Catalyst for New and Renewing Communities with the Uniting Church in Australia. Previously, he was the Principal of Stirling Theological College (Melbourne), the Vice-Principal of Morling Theological College (Sydney), and an Associate Professor at the University of Divinity, Australia. Graham is an ordained and accredited minister with the Baptist Churches of Australia. He has planted and pastored churches and been in ministry since 1988. Graham is the author or editor of 13 books. He also directs The Global Church ProjectGraham writes at

Graham's qualifications include: Honours Diploma of Ministry (SCD), Bachelor of Theology (SCD), Master of Theology (Notre Dame), and Doctor of Philosophy (Flinders).

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