Q&A: The Growth of Pentecostalism

Q&A: The Growth of Pentecostalism


Presiding Bishop of Christ Is the Answer Ministries (CITAM)

Q: The Pentecostal Church has been growing at much quicker rates than other denominations in parts of Africa.21 Why do you think that is?

The preaching and demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit is at the center of the growth of Pentecostalism. These demonstrations of the power of God through tangible miracles and healings serve to show that God is real.

Q: What is it about the community, teaching or worship expression that you think connects with young adults? 02

The dynamism of the preaching and teaching of the gospel, as opposed to rote liturgy (which unfortunately has become the norm in mainline denominations) has been especially attractive to young people. Millennials tend to identify with the informality of the services, devoid of strict liturgy and set vestments. Most services incorporate up to 30 minutes of dynamic worship with contemporary music. This is followed by or supplemented with other forms, such as drama, spoken word, dance and choreography. A relevant Bible teaching or preaching follows, crowned with a time for ministry to the people, such as an altar call for salvation, prayers for the sick or prayers for those with needs.

Q: We see a general openness toward spiritual forces and faith among 18–35-year-olds. Does this surprise you? 03

Many people, whether Christian or not, are becoming more aware of spiritual powers and forces. When the Church does not address these fears, concerns or needs, people tend to turn to witchcraft, the occult and other forms of spiritism.

Q: More than 60 percent of young adults in Kenya attend church weekly, and three-quarters believe the Christian Church is good for people and important to society. Why do you think young adults in Kenya are so drawn to the Church? 04

We could be reaping from the East Africa Revival of the 1960s and 70s when there was a major move of the Holy Spirit. This resulted in many people turning to the Pentecostal movement, especially in schools and colleges. The children of these converts are young adults today. In all probability, they are walking in the faith of their parents, but also finding God for themselves. The flexibility of the Pentecostal charismatic churches has also given them room for self-expression of their faith in a contemporary manner.

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