The Phenomenal Growth of Pentecostalism in the Contemporary Nigerian Society: A Challenge to Mainline Churches

Benjamin C.D. Diara, Nkechinyere G. Onah


The bid to survive the landslide progress being made by the Pentecostal churches at the expense of the membership of the mainline churches in Nigeria has left most mainline churches with seemingly no alternative but to imitate those factors that enhance the phenomenal growth of the Pentecostal churches. At the end of the day, it is termed influence of Pentecostalism on mainline churches. On the other hand, a few members of the mainline churches have a critical attitude to the influence of Pentecostalism in mainline churches and hence rather tend to condemn everything Pentecostal. To the present researchers, the solution to the problem does not reside in either condemning Pentecostalism in to to or in imitating Pentecostal tendencies blindly, but in discovering through a comparative study what those things are that give the Pentecostal churches an edge over the mainline churches in matters of church growth, and in endeavouring to supply those missing essentials in their own folds. This study therefore is aimed at discovering such missing essentials of church life in the mainline churches through an analytical study of the factors that enhance the growth of Pentecostal churches. The methodology adopted in the study is both historical and sociological. While some of the Pentecostal factors may be apparently negative and unbiblical the mainline churches should appreciate the positive ones and make use of them for their own revival hence the church is a theatre of the Holy Spirit. Thus, charismatic activities are not the exclusive reserve of particular ecclesiastical movements.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n6p395

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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