In Donald E. Lewis’ and Richard Pierard’s work, Global Evangelicalism: Theology, History, and Culture in Regional Perspective, the authors attempt to define the vast ocean that is evangelicalism. While many may hear the term evangelical and immediately conjure up an American voting arm, Lewis and Pierard discuss how evangelicalism is growing movement around the world. While ninety percent of all evangelicals came from Europe and North America as early as the 1900s, this tribe of Christianity is swelling world-wide. Mark Noll, a contributor to the book, states:
At the start of the Twenty-First century, evangelical Christianity constituted the second largest worldwide grouping of Christian believers. Only the Roman Catholic Church enjoys more adherents in today’s world Christianity than evangelical churches. By comparison with other world religions, evangelical Christians – taken only by themselves rather than as part of the world’s two billion Christians – are more numerous than all Muslims and Hindus…today, the total number of evangelicals in each of Africa, Latin America, and Asia exceeds the total in Europe and North America combined (Lewis and Pierard, p. 17: Mark Noll contributor). ”
Our contributors to this work will go on to explain regional aspects of evangelicalism to offer a more defined perspective.
While reading this book, it drives me back to last semester and reading Miller’s and Yamamouri’s work, Global Pentecostalism. If what Pierard and Lewis point out about evangelicalism being concentrated on North America and Europe in the early 1900s is true, then what was the catalyst to this worldwide growth? This is where Miller and Yamamouri come into the picture. The beginning of the Pentecostal movement and the spread of evangelicalism go hand in hand.
While the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement as well as the Assemblies of God is often associated with ecstatic and emotional experiences, tongue talking, healing revivals and expressive prayer and worship, it was fundamentally birthed as a missionary movement. William J. Seymour was the Pastor of the Azusa Street Mission on 312 Azusa Street during the outbreak of the revival in which the Pentecostal movement was birthed. Despite humble beginnings in this rundown dilapidated church, the fire of God fell that would eventually lead to the formation of the Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ and a host of other Pentecostal organizations. In summing up this powerful revival that shook the foundation of Christianity, Seymour stated:
“We believe that God’s design in raising up the Apostolic Faith Church in America was to evangelize over these lands. As proof hereof we have seen since 1906 that time of an extraordinary work of God extending throughout the United States and Territories, and throughout the whole world. ”
Seymour did not overstate his case. Almost immediately workers carried their experience with them and used this new power to proclaim the Gospel. Azusa Street Mission soon began to send missionaries around the world. Miller records that India, Sweden, Palestine, Angola, Liberia, China, and Japan all had Pentecostal missionaries by 1908. He goes on to state:
“By 1916, only ten years after the beginning of the Los Angeles Azusa Street revival, western Pentecostal missionaries were found in at least forty-two nations outside North America and Europe. This was indeed a remarkable achievement, especially in view of the lack of central organization and coordination, the naiveté of most of these missionaries, and the physical difficulties and opposition they encountered. ”
Deeply moved by the Spirit and an eschatological worldview that was undergirded by their Biblical interpretation provided the framework for these missional approaches. Early Pentecostals did not see the spread of the Great Commission as an option. Rather, the fire of God that burned within these pioneer’s hearts gave them the confidence that they could change the World with the Gospel through the power of the Spirit. This is one of the single greatest factors of the spread of evangelicalism.
Both works, Global Evangelicalism and Global Pentecostalism, should be read as a grouping. Both truly define the spread of Christianity. While evangelical’s growth is certainly amazing, the term has fallen on hard times in America. Often associated with a political movement, evangelicalism is not taken seriously as a movement of Christians any longer but is simply seen as a lobbying group for conservative politicians. Christians in the States will have to work hard to re-frame what evangelicalism and we will probably have to separate from the highly charged politics of some wings of evangelicalism if we hope to see growth of the movement in our societies. That being said, evangelicalism is one of the greatest religious movements in human history. History shows that if focused in the right direction, then it can bring about transformation.
 Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., “Launching a Global Movement: The Role in Azusa Street in Pentecostalism’s Growth and Expansion,” in Spirit and Power: The Growth and Global Impact of Global Pentecostalism, eds. Donald E. Miller, Kimon H. Sargeant, and Richard Flory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 44.
 Robeck, Jr., “Launching a Global Movement: The Role in Azusa Street in Pentecostalism’s Growth and Expansion,”54.
 Allan H. Anderson, “The Emergence of Multidimensional Global Missionary Movement: Trends, Patterns and Expressions,” in Spirit and Power: The Growth and Global Impact of Global Pentecostalism, eds. Donald E. Miller, Kimon H. Sargeant, and Richard Flory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 25.