Why Pentecostal Churches Boom
Why Pentecostal Churches Boom – Igwenazor Chinaemerem
Hardly is there any street in the major cities in Nigeria that does not have a place of Christian worship. There are many of them with plural doctrines and belief system. As the days go by, some do pack up while new ones springs up. These churches expand at the blink of an eye. Although the foremost churches, for example Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Methodist still abound and maintain their fort, many observers has consistently asked this question – why do Pentecostal churches boom?
# Increasing national population and migration
The Nigerian population has been moving northwards consistently in the past four decades. As these numbers are increasing, the urban migration ensued in what could be termed an alarming rate. While the villages are dry, the human population concentration in the cities keeps growing. In the cities people do adopt mixed membership to places of worship. They may be Roman Catholic faithfuls in their villages but turn to Pentecostals in the city. Even some who are present in church A on Sunday are quests at church B on Wednesday.
# Music factor
Music and worship goes hand in glove. In many Pentecostal churches, they are deft with their music. Their brand of music is in sync with Hip-hop style, a pure deviation from the traditional hymns and canticles sang in Orthodox churches like The Anglicans. As these churches introduce almost an Orchestra like band, they do allocate more time during services for praise and worship. These, many regular visitors and members opines that its always a time of refreshment for the soul and offers them a rare opportunity to celebrate joyfully in the presence of Almighty God.
# Prophecy & Breaking Of Ancestral Curses
In Africa, religion made it easy for people to accept that they are under the curses and bondage of the evils of their forefathers. The Pentecostal churches has more programs where cases like these are tackled spiritually. Those with the gift of prophesy among the pastors and seers officiate majorly during such sessions. With the torrent of testimonies and good tiding coming from those who have participated in such sessions, many others throng to such venues.
# Career Building Preaching’s and Programs
Many of the Pastors who started some of the Pentecostal churches are trained professionals in their diverse careers. Many rose to top positions via calculated and orchestrated individual acts. These acts discovered along the career are organized and taught their members free of charge. These teachings include Job hunting, business development skills, self-development, goal and vision setting, counseling, family and financial planning, medical and legal consultations et al. with these free offer and lots of spiritual teachings, the Pentecostals are destination points of the new generation who are eager to cause a change and carve out a better future for themselves.
# Constant Visitation & Help
Among the Christian faith situated in the cities, the Pentecostals are consistent with visiting their members and offering a helping hand quite often when compared with the older churches. Most of the new generation churches bank on outreaches and soul winning campaign to enlarge their membership base. They are tailored to follow up and help these new converts till they are committed members of the church. These helps them to amass large followership and outright membership within a few years of existence. One thing is peculiar among the Pentecostals, every human out there is a target to get their teachings to. Quite often, they pick up people who are at the lowest ebb of their life and transform them to knowledgeable and committed Christians – prostitutes, junkies, armed robbers, street urchins et al. Nigerian mega Pastor, Pastor Paul Adefarasin is a typical example.
# Freedom Of Worship
Among the Pentecostals, dress codes are not enforced. Wearing of trousers, shorts and attending church services without scarves, cap or hat by the female is allowed. For the men, any kind of hair style or even wearing sleeveless tops are allowed. With the free dress codes, the Pentecostals opens their arms to anyone who wishes to come to church – thus no excuse for being left out. Many people who will end up coming to church in apparels tagged worldly are not barred from the church. This has brought many who have drifted far and away from God to retrace their steps back once more.
# Online Presence
The major Pentecostal churches in Nigeria has strong presence on various social media arms. This makes it easy for people to get full gist from their church members and extending to the public in general. They have series of videos and audio on Youtube that people can refer to spontaneously once the need arises. They also have live podcast of programs making it accessible to followers and members who may not be disposed to be present during church programs. If you observe the population of these Pentecostals churches, they are mostly youths and the working class. These age bracket are always surfing the internet thus the Pentecostals brought brought their offers directly into their palms. Via the internet, it is easier to get messages across to your target audience and more instead of the traditional media – Radio, Television and Newspapers.
# Non Conformity To Religious Traditions
The Orthodox church is known to observe lots of traditions that are under serious attack and questioning by the todays enlightened minds. For example, procession, recession, the minister wearing a special custom, worshipping only inside a church, spending long number of years in pastorial schools etc. today, different Pentecostal groups have challenged these age old traditions and produced results – these results are positive and enjoyed by many today. Church meetings are freely held at hotel lounge, schools, street sides, peoples living rooms even on the internet with strong manifestations of the spirit of God. Many flock to these Pentecostals owing to the fact that these men and women who questioned age long traditions did so and are successful.
However, it could be recalled that Pentecostalism was behind the spread of the gospel after the death of Jesus Christ. It become pronounced once again when the Holy Bible was successfully translated into English – many read on their own and understood its letter thus questioned irregularities packaged and delivered by the Roman Catholic church. Few decades ago the event of Azusa re-ignited the same passion and all has not been at ease since then.