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Publication Date

Fall 8-2018


The goal of this ministry-focused paper is to outline a leadership development process through which Assemblies of God pastors in New Zealand might engage in critical reflection regarding the nature of Pentecostalism. With Pentecostalism increasingly understood as a contemporary methodology of church, this project seeks to instead define Pentecostalism via six markers consistent within the Pentecostal movement over the last one hundred years – theological simplicity, pragmatic methodologies, missional energy, pneumatic expectation, ontological enchantment and relational tribalism. Each marker is deemed to be adjustable, and this project encourages a reimagining of Pentecostalism with adjustments made to Pentecostalism’s normative settings. It is hoped that this will preserve the strengths, while mitigating the weaknesses, inherent in Pentecostal ministry.

The paper begins with an historical overview of Pentecostalism, exploring the evolution of the movement. A brief history of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand is provided, as well as a series of contextual considerations. A theological reflection is then offered in relation to the six defining markers of Pentecostalism, with suggestions made regarding the adjusting of each.

The final section of this paper explores a leadership development project in which a group of pastors formed a learning cohort designed to explore Pentecostalism and ways in which it might be re-imagined. This cohort engaged in a process of reflection via an online forum, theorization in a seminar setting, ministry experimentation in their own local church contexts, and then further reflection to assess the impact of the experimentation phase of the learning process.

The desired outcome of this initiative was that pastors would be provided with critical tools while being encouraged and equipped in their ministry roles, with a reimagining of Pentecostalism opening the door to effective modes of ministry beyond that of a contemporary methodology of church.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

First Advisor

Reverend Dr. Graham Buxton

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Pentecostalism, Postmodernism, The contemporary, Mega-church, New Zealand, Assemblies of God, Re-imagining, Church, Australia


Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology


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