Pentecostal and "Pentecostal-like" churches are growing spectacularly in Africa. But discussing these churches without discussing their emphasis on success is like discussing computers without mentioning software.A true believer is successful; if not, something is very wrong. Consider the names of the churches: Victory Bible Church, Jesus Breakthrough Assembly, Triumphant Christian Centre.
Last November I traveled to a restful location outside of Kampala, Uganda, to spend three days with African Christian leaders who are trying to address the destructive conflicts in their countries. They represented a “United Nations” of Christian denominations and traditions—Baptist, Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and Mennonite.
Lutheran church membership soared in Africa and Asia between 2005 and 2006 but continued its steady decline in the West, according to the Lutheran World Federation, whose total constituency rose .71 percent to just under 66.7 million.
A three-day United Nations meeting on the global AIDS pandemic has ended with a declaration that some diplomats praised as a landmark but that AIDS activists—including at least one prominent religious figure—called a failure.
With the U.S. leaders of mainline Presbyterian and Lutheran denominations picked recently as presidents of their respective worldwide Protestant families of churches, the top three ecumenical officials in Geneva—all of them African clergy—will have unprecedented opportunities for communication between the most powerful nation and a continent boasting Christianity’s most dynamic growth.
Christians throughout history may be justly accused of many failures, but it appears neglecting evangelism is not one of them. Observers of Christian growth have been suggesting over the last few decades that the faith is experiencing a significant migratory moment, not unlike the first explosive venture outside the tribe of the Jews into the unfamiliar world of the gentiles.