Approximately, 16 years ago Pastor Barnett felt a call of God to “build up people and not a mega church.” In response to the call of God, he set his feet to the pavement. Now, sixteen years later, God has blessed Barnett’s church, Angelus Temple Four Square Church, with a monstrous facility and many outreach efforts to share the love of Christ to victims of urban evils– from prostitutes, to homelessness; from victims of the economic recession to Hollywood celebrities in search of filling the emptiness that money and fame can not fill (only Christ can!); from gang bangers to drug cartels; from young people to the elderly who are seeking to overcome addictions and pain. I have not seen ministry so massive and targeted on urban revitalization as Matthew Barnett’s unique Dream Center.
I believe that there is something pneumatological about social outreach. It is, therefore, fitting that Angelus Temple (a Four Square Church– Pentecostal) lead in this exemplary charge to address urban social ills.
I would like to challenge more Pentecostal, Neo-Pentecostal, Charismatic or Spirit-fill churches to move beyond their walls. Pneumatology and theology meet in the Speaking-in-tongues phenomenon. Speaking-in-tongues in church is one thing. But, Speaking and interpreting the languages of the broken, hurting and miserable people of the world is another. I am convinced that the same Holy Spirit that moves upon us to speak in and interpret tongues also challenges the churches; the Spirit charges the churches to lead the urban revitalization. I believe that the next move of God in revival; the next Great Awakening is not within the walls of privatized religion, but at the intersection of ministry and urban communities. Let the Great Awakening begin!