I know very little about the Charismatic church movement, even as some of it has shot off of the Methodist movement in the United States. I have not been comfortable with the terminology of the movement and, I must confess, much of this probably springs from my own theological understanding of the Holy Spirit. I claim this as my own issue, not an issue with Charismatics themselves.
For these reasons, I was drawn to an article titled, “10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the New Charismatics,” by Zach Hoag. I, frankly, wanted to learn something. And I did. But I also found a very good description of what it looks like to move from an institutional to a more missional worldview.
Older charismatics saw God’s favor and blessing in the big things — big worship services, big churches, big conferences, big spiritual manifestations, big leadership lifestyles. The result was a highly consumeristic brand of religion and, sometimes, a grotesque and oppressive “prosperity gospel.”
But New Charismatics love to see God powerfully at work in the small things. The ordinary things. The quiet manifestations of the Spirit, the routine traditional prayers and liturgies, the enjoyment of nature and recreation, the pleasure of relationships, the everyday opportunities to serve and love neighbors.
We envision a simple lifestyle as the ideal, and we see the Kingdom as a whole new economy that prizes equality. All that to say, it’s the little things — and all of it is spiritual.