It is generally understood and well documented that the center of Christianity has shifted from the centers of Western Christianly to the South and the East. Philip Jenkins notes, “We are currently living through one of the transforming moments in the history of religion worldwide.”In Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement, Donald Miller and Tetsundo Yamamori propose the significance of social ministries in this global shift. The authors present a well-researched, compelling presentation of Pentecostalism in the context of embracing “a holistic understanding of the Christian faith.” It is the Progressive Pentecostal Church, “inspired by the Holy Spirit and the life of Jesus and who seek to holistically address the spiritual, physical, and social needs of people in their communities” that has fostered the rise of world Christianity
As a part of the reading, I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the interviews on the DVD. The interview of Takunboh Adeyemo with the Association of Evangelicals in May, 2002 demonstrated much of what is said through the book. He was asked to expresses the phenomenon of new church plants and growth in the Pentecostal movement in Kenya and throughout Africa. He stated that “in a nutshell, there are four points:”
Number one, the Pentecostal charismatic churches are scratching the people where they are itching … They’re contemporary, they’re contextual – they’re right there where the people are; it is like what I said, “How do you define a shepherd? He must smell like a sheep.” The Pentecostals, the pastors are like the people there [in the community]. They just identify with them.
Number two, they take the Book, the Bible at face value. They believe it. They believe it is the Word of God; they believe that the power, the miracles, signs, the wonders that you read about in the Bible are operating and they are applicable today. There might have a little bit of heresy but it is not like the heresy that you find in the west where the deity of Christ is denied, where maybe a part of the scripture is questioned. For these guys it is maybe the opposite,
Number three, they believe in prayer. They believe that prayer can do whatever God can do. And since there is nothing impossible with God, they actually believe that with prayer you can do everything. Moving mountains, even sicknesses, raising the dead. They go to prayer meetings expecting things to happen. There is a very common practice … all night of prayer. They go to their churches – the hundreds and thousands nearly every Friday and they pray from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Praying! Praying! Praying! If you were to ask them, “What are you praying for? All night!” It might be their families, finances, marriages, their walk; it is anything and everything. They believe in prayer and this is major.
The fourth thing, the Pentecostal charismatic movement is giving the people a new ID, a new identity. It is like the people were nobody before. When they become born again, spirit filled, tongues speaking, they begin to carry themselves. You see them with their shoulder up! They begin to take a scripture like 2 Corinthians chapter nine; “they who were poor have become rich.” There is that sense of somebody-ness; that we are somebody! As an African, how timely that is. People have been oppressed for a long time; people who have been suppressed; people who have been trodden upon; people who have been marginalized. People have been more or less asking the question, “Who are we, by the way?” And here comes the gospel and tells them, “You are somebody. You are kings and prince, and princesses… of the King.”
These four factors summarize what I see as factors [in Pentecostal growth], two of them are theological and two of them are social.
The summation of the interview with Adeyemo could be stated in four words: incarnate, scripture, prayer and identity. How significantly can we learn from this! It validates what I see as a basic application for Miller and Yamamori, “Pentecostalism is not a set of beliefs, it is an experience.” In other words, it is a holistic message and ministry that is applicable to the individual and the masses. Note his implication of belief (theological) and application (social). These as essential factors that do apply to local ministry in the western church as congregations minister in their neighborhood.
In an interview with Chris Komagum from Kampala, Uganda, these factors seem as essentials in creating vision for “holistic” ministry. To achieve a holistic ministry Komagum refers to the government of “twelve” or the Jesus structure. He characterizes a personal ministry that disciples individuals in a local cell ministry but expands to include the masses. As such, it ministers first to the individual. This structure established in the ministry at the Kampala Pentecostal church in Uganda is based on demographic and geographic factors. The significance is not the governance of the church, as important as this might be, as a large body of believers in a large area, arranged as districts, regions, zones, sections, and cells that provides structure to govern the church. Rather, it is that each cell ministers to the few, that is, one on two relationships where each cell is limited to ten members. As stated by Komagum this “is to provide interaction, for many interactions and to build many relationships.” The model is to allow the local cell to grow and divide when a cell reaches ten. This allows the larger district to grow massively (at the time of the interview each district goal was 25,000 people) while allowing, as Komagum notes, “love and care and understanding and everybody knows who is my neighbor.”
I feel the most instructive and, perhaps adaptive, learning opportunity for the western church is the model of empowering and giving the ministry to the people. This is accomplished through the formation of cell ministry in the progressive Pentecostal church. There is considerable variation in how cell groups are designed to function, but as Miller and Yamamori note, “…the cell group model puts the ministry in the hands of the people … churches that are halfhearted in their implementation of cell groups usually fail.”
Certainly a major highlight is the many stories throughout Global Pentecostalism that demonstrate the unselfish work of men and women of faith as they undertook the humanitarian challenges of the poor and oppressed. It lends credence to the thesis that the spread and growth of Christianity through the global South, the East and Africa is “that Pentecostals are increasingly engaged in community-based social ministries.”
 Philip Jenkins, (2011-08-11). The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity 3ed (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011), 1. Also: Elijah J.F. Kim The Rise of the Global South: The Decline of Western Christendom and the Rise of Majority World Christianity. (Eugene, OH: Wipf and Stock, 2012),1.
 Donald Miller and Tersunao Yamamori Global Pentecostalism: The New Face pf Christian Social Engagement (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007).
 Ibid., 212.
 Global Pentecostalism, 185, Pastors “are products of the social context in which the church is located.”
 Tokunboh Adeyemo, May, 2002, Interview Church Planting and Growth, Nairobi, Kenya, DVD.
 Global Pentecostalism, 14.
 Chris Komagum, February, 1999, Interview Church Planting and Growth, Kampala, Uganda, DVD.
 Ibid., emphases mine.
 Ibid., 191.
 Ibid., 6, 211.