Evangelism and Mission – Christianity in the United States

Evangelism and Mission

Beliefs and Practices of Pentecostalism

Pentecostal worship is distinctive and characterized by its lively and emotive style. While there can be considerable variation among different churches and denominations, here are some typical features of Pentecostal worship:

  1. Praise and Worship Music: Pentecostal services typically include a significant time of singing. This often includes contemporary Christian music, hymns, and spiritual songs. The music is usually upbeat and emotive, aimed at fostering a sense of personal connection with God.
  2. Expressive Worship: Pentecostal worship is often physically expressive. This can include clapping, raising hands, dancing, and other physical expressions of praise. This reflects the belief in a personal and experiential relationship with God.
  3. Prayer: Prayer plays a central role in Pentecostal worship. This can include both structured prayers and spontaneous prayers. Often, members of the congregation are invited to pray aloud simultaneously, creating a symphony of prayer that reflects the direct and personal relationship each believer has with God.
  4. Spiritual Gifts: The operation of the spiritual gifts is a key part of many Pentecostal worship services. This can include prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and words of knowledge or wisdom.
  5. Emphasis on the Holy Spirit: Pentecostal worship places a strong emphasis on the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. The aim of worship is often to create a space where the Holy Spirit can move and work among the congregation.
  6. Preaching: Preaching the word of God is an essential part of Pentecostal worship. Pentecostal preaching is often passionate and emotive, seeking to stir the hearts of the listeners and bring them into a closer relationship with God.
  7. Altar Call: Many Pentecostal services conclude with an altar call, where attendees are invited to come forward for prayer. This could be for various reasons – to commit or recommit their lives to Christ, to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit, to request prayer for healing, or to seek spiritual guidance.
  8. Testimonies: Some Pentecostal services include a time for personal testimonies, where members of the congregation can share their personal experiences of God’s work in their lives.

Overall, Pentecostal worship is characterized by its dynamism, spontaneity, and emphasis on personal experience. It reflects the belief that God is present and active in the worship service, ready to encounter each believer in a personal and transformative way.