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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: June 2014

Chapter 10 - Mission and evangelism

Summary

The missionary spirit

One of the reasons for the rapid growth of Pentecostalism is because it has always had a strong emphasis on mission and evangelism. From the beginning, Pentecostals and Charismatics have been involved in these activities, coming from a strong Christocentric message and pneumatological focus. Indeed, the first Pentecostals believed that the Spirit had been poured out on them in order to engage in the end-time harvest of souls that would accompany the preaching of the ‘full gospel’ throughout the world. Their efforts were grounded in the conviction that the Holy Spirit was the motivating power behind all such activity, and their Spirit baptism had given them different languages of the world, as the first issue of the Azusa Street newspaper declared:

A minister says that God showed him twenty years ago that the divine plan for missionaries was that they might receive the gift of tongues either before going to the foreign field or on the way. It should be a sign to the heathen that the message is of God. The gift of languages can only be viewed as the Spirit gives utterance. It cannot be learned like the native tongues, but the Lord takes control of the organs of speech at will. It is emphatically, God’s message.