The Future of the Evangelical Church
My doctorate was concentrated on the history of church renewal movements.
Today what is happening in the church has some parallels to the 2nd Great Awakening and the Pentecostal/Charismatic renewal, both rooted in the lower/middle class, and the formal and more distinguished leaders and churches were repulsed by them. To common and messy for them. Not high church enough.
But the primary hope I have for the church today is the move of the Holy Spirit among lower/middle class Christians. You can call it a “Christian populism.” A deep heart faith in Christ, open to Spiritual gifts and power, and social/political engagement in our world.
The awakening is in motion, but many established Christian leader’s are concerned that they don’t have enough control over the “common” people. They are more sophisticated and civilized.
The future of the renewal in the American church will be among the lower to middle class as I described above. And the Christian leaders who deny this or aren’t able to identify with the working class will not participate in it.