Time and Tide

This blog is a charismatic space. It was established to explore and promote the links between sacrament and the charismatic, ritual and  the ecstatic. Charismatic movements are often seen as waves. The first wave being pentecostalism. The second wave being charismatic renewal in wider denominations, the third wave being the growth of non-denominational churches.

I was going to call this blog 'Time for a Fourth Wave', but then I realised that a Wave was not enough. What is needed is the tide to come in. The Charismatic movement needs to grow up. The tipping point towards this is not so much the allegations surrounding Soul Survivor but the delayed and awkward response from wider charismatic movements and leaders.

So what might this look like? It needs to be a wider conversation with others in the movement of a range of traditions. But here are three ideas.

Safeguarding First

Safeguarding trumps everything we do, including our inherited traditions around prayer ministry. It means we must acknowledge historic mistakes and consequences must be faced. It is not good enough to say 'everyone was doing deliverance ministry on teenagers back then' and sweep it under the carpet.

Mission First

It may sound strange to say this, as many large charismatic churches are obsessed with church growth. But church growth is not mission, and in many cases stands in opposition to mission. Mission belongs to God (the Missio Dei) and we are called to participate in it.

Service First

Jesus is the Good Shepherd and Rabboni, the model Pastor Teacher. He called his followers friends, had close relationships with men and women, and knew his followers names. He washed their feet. Ministry is service, and yet in many charismatic circles it has been replaced by leadership as the primary focus.

The Tide Is Coming In

Many of these ideas are not new - they have been raised in the past. But perhaps now is the time for the charismatic movement to behave in a way that is appropriate to our claims of mainstream status.