David Bebbington in his work, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, while covering a historical board period, provides rich insights into the rise and spread of this movement throughout Britain. In order to track the movement Bebbington’s central thesis is that Evangelicalism can be identified on the basis of four core characteristics: conversionism, activism, biblicism, and crucicentrism. Szabados points out that this work shines the light on the adaptability of the Evangelical movement but also warns that Bebbington’s definition of the movement seems to lack a fifth characteristic of assurance that Bebbington emphasizes as a key role in the birth of the of Evangelicalism in Britain. Szabados contends that clarity is needed on this topic from Bebbington in order to justify Evangelicalism of the 18th century as a new phenomenon rather than a different type of Evangelicalism.
As mentioned above, Bebbington shows throughout the work how Evangelicalism rose and spread throughout Britain. One of the most interesting things was the connection between this movement and the Charismatic renewal and culture. Bebbington writes, “the traditional, the institutional, the bureaucratic were rejected for the sake of individual self-expression and idealized community”. He continues and says, “the official report on The Charismatic Movement in the Church of England (1981) pointed out that the rise of the counter-culture and the charismatic movement were simultaneous. It diagnosed the movement as ‘a form of Christianized existentialism’”. In Chasing The Dragon, Pullinger wrote of her Charismatic experience, and it was not one based on a sophisticated system in which to follow in order to see desired outcomes. Her Spirit-led walk, which included speaking in tongues and all the gifts was all the complexity she needed. In her cultural context, the expression of the charismata led to people coming to know Jesus. One way to look at the relationship between culture and church is to do as some did which is to dismiss these experiences as not of God. On the contrary, as leaders, we could embrace the new experiences as from God and live in the mystery while maintaining biblical rootedness.
As I continued to research relational-based Spirit-led leadership that engages the current and future culture, it will be essential to continue to embrace the charismata but also the critical component of Evangelicalism Bebbington notes as activism. We must ask the question how in this current culture can we communicate the gospel to those we need to hear it. A key component in our modern times is social/digital media. Recent research shows that embracing the digital arena can have an impact on one’s faith. While I do not advocate replacing face to face interaction as leaders, we must be willing to take advantage of the cultural context in which we are trying to spread the good news. The millennial and z generations are seemingly born “online” which itself is a counter-culture arena, and therefore the church should seek to not only have a presence there but an effective counter-culture there as well.
– ————– ————- –
 David W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, (London: Routledge, 2005), 19.
 SZABADOS, ÁDÁM. “DAVID BEBBINGTON EVANGELICALISM IN MODERN BRITAIN: A HISTORY FROM THE 1730s TO THE 1980s BOOK REVIEW BY ÁDÁM SZABADOS ,” n.d. Accessed on January 17, 2019. http://szabadosadam.hu/divinity/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/BEBBINGTON.pdf. 1
 Ibid., 3.
 Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, 422.
 Pullinger, Chasing the Dragon: One Woman’s Struggle Against the Darkness of Hong Kong’s Drug Dens, 226.
 Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, 418.
 See graph 1. https://www.barna.com/research/evangelism-in-a-digital-age-an-infographic/