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Evangelism and Growth of the Assemblies of God Churches in Tamilnadu, India
From 1989 - 2003
A Doctoral Dissertation
L. Jayabalan, Ph.D.
This dissertation records the growth of the Assemblies of God Churches in Tamilnadu, India
from 1989 - 2003. It also describes the methods of evangelism adopted by the Assemblies of God Churches in Tamilnadu, India during that period.
The Assemblies of God Churches in India constitute the fastest growing Church in India. The Lord has blessed the Assemblies with anointed servants.
This doctoral dissertation is divided into 8 chapters followed by a concluding chapter.
Chapter I - History of the Assemblies of God Churches: It originated in the United States of America in 1914. The name Assemblies of God came into existence in 1914 in Hot Springs USA. The A.G ministry started in 1918 in North India; 1927 in Kerala and 1948 in Tamilnadu. The A.G of Tamilnadu follows the Indian Constitution, and Cultural practices.
Chapter II - Biblical and Theological basis for Evangelism: It is based on the great commission of Jesus Christ which speaks of God's love to the people in the world. Psychology and Sociology deal with mind and human behaviour. Evangelism deals with the mind and attitude, and the total person (Body, Soul and Spirit).
Chapter III - Methods of Evangelism: Jesus Christ followed seven methods, and the 1st Century church followed various methods, and the three methods followed by A.G churches, such as House churches, Cell groups and OIKOS evangelism.
Chapter IV - Statistical analysis: (1989 - 2003) The target group of 250 (35%) churches has been chosen in stratified random sampling from the 710 A.G churches in Tamilnadu. 370 samples were collected from 129 A.G churches from 25 districts of Tamilnadu. Processing was done in the scientific way.
Chapter V - Sociological and Psychological analysis: People have joined the churches, since casteism, social oppression and inequally affected them. Coming to the church has helped them in education, economic, and social acceptance.
Chapter VI - Theological analysis: The A.G churches believe in exclusivism. The content of sermons are such as salvation, sanctification, second coming and Soulwinning. In the AG churches believers are called 'Brothers and sisters'. The A.G churches don't believe in prosperity doctrine and positive confession.
Chapter VII - Communication analysis: The A.G churches follow preaching, teaching, witnessing, singing, television, radio, love feast and counselling, are used for effective communication.
Chapter VIII - A critical analysis: The misunderstanding and constraints in evangelism. It is regarding the concepts of Christians, non Christians and fanatics. The qualitative concepts are, change of attitude, love toward God and neighbour. The analysis of high levels of evangelism is, self realization and self surrender.
The data has been collected through primary and secondary sources.
(Primary data: Diary, Questionnaire, Interview, Observation and experience. Secondary data: Books, Magazines and Reports).
People have joined the A.G churches as a result of evangelism. It has changed the lives of people.
Theological reasons: In search of reality (23.18%), peace (30.38%) and hope (23.54%) in search of quest about life, after death, fear of death and judgment (22.90%).
Sociological reasons: Healing from sickness (19.54%), deliverance from witch crafts, freedom from caste (14.50%), equality in the church (17.77%), economic boost in the family (18.91%) and education given to family members (13.01%).
Psychological reasons: Freedom from inferiority complex (19.19%), guilt (19.31%), change in inner look (21.33%), outer look (18.94%) and a sense of happiness (21.04%).
The A.G churches have grown as a result of Bible centered evangelism, theological training, laity involvement, house churches, cell groups and OIKOS evangelism.
Bible centered evangelism: Evangelism has been done on the basis of the Bible. The content of the evangelistic message is: God loves each one more than any one else (25.31%). People are unable to experience, God's love since sin separates them from God's love (24.30%). Jesus Christ came to this world, suffered, crucified, died and rose again (24.95%). The Holy Spirit convicts and leads people to God (24.45%).
Theological training: The majority of the pastors had their training in the A.G Tamilnadu Bible College, Madurai (53.65%), Extension schools conducted by AGTBC in Tamilnadu (14.89%), SABC - Bangalore (8.15%), and MABC - Chennai (2.53%).
Laity involvement: The members of the laity are used in evangelism and church growth: Personal evangelism (19.92%), song leading (15.64%), visitation (18.97%), care cells (17.72%), house churches (17.95%), involvement in T.V ministry (9.81%), house and hospital visitation (13.85%) and distribution of tracts (10.04%).
House churches: House churches are based on New Testament pattern (21.29%). It is less expensive (20.63%), easy to maintain (20.76%), and Government permission is not needed (19.25%). It is a proven method for church establishment and growth (18.06%).
Cell groups: The cell groups or care cells are conducted in the houses (22.19%). Six months leadership training is given to leaders (16.59%). The relatives and neighbours are invited for cell group meetings (20.92%). The main items in the cell meetings are songs, testimonies, message and counseling (19.32%). Finally prayers are offered for the needy people, for their spiritual, social and psychological needs (20.99%).
O'ikos evangelism: OIKOS evangelism is centered on household gathering (14.20%). Believers who are burdened (14.68%), pray for relatives, friends and others (14.73%). They write their names on a paper (13.31%), pray for them for 21 or 30 or 40 days in fasting and prayer (14.52%). Later they are invited (14.68%) and prayers are offered (13.89%). As a result, people have yielded their lives to Jesus Christ and attend the A.G churches.
This is only the beginning part of the Dissertation. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE DISSERTATION IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.
L. Jayapalan M.A. B.D., Ph.D.
A.G. Tamilnadu Bible College
Evangelism and Growth of the Assemblies of God Churches in Tamilnadu, India - From 1989 - 2003 | Africans into World Missions? | Am I the Keeper of My Sister? | Manhattan Declaration - A Call of Christian Conscience | Lloyd C. Douglas' Ministry through His Novels | Light | An Evaluation of the Growth and Expansion of the Protestant Missionary Movement in the United States | The Way Forward in Missions -- New Wine in New Wineskins | Celebration of Love in the Book of Ruth | You Are Valued! | The Light of Christmas | Jesus Christ | Freedom in Jesus Christ - Our Lord's Ministry | HOME PAGE of December 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR
Vol. 5 : 9
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Dr. Tan Kok Beng
Olive Rajesh, Ph.D.
Sudhir Isaiah, Ph.D.
Sundar Singh, Ph.D.
Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.
Vasanthi Isaiah, M.A., B.Ed.
M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D., Managing Editor