Christian dance has persisted throughout the history of the church, despite many official decrees against it. Christian churches that have incorporated dance and other stylized gestures in worship have benefited from a profound way of expressing their praise and enacting the gospel message. Dance as worship is one manifestation of the Spirit’s ongoing activity in the church.
A charismatic theology emphasizes a vital relationship with the Holy Spirit and the recovery of spiritual gifts, which are both experienced in worship.
Worship, for Pentecostal and charismatic Christians, is an expression of the experience and empowerment of the Holy Spirit—an event which for many brings the Scriptures to life and continuously incarnates Jesus Christ in his church. The release of a life of praise, of intercession, and of spiritual gifts for ministry takes place in the setting of the body of Christ at worship.
The charismatic movement of the twentieth century has made an impact on nearly every denomination and has given rise to a number of new churches and fellowships. This discussion traces these developments and emphasizes the influence of the charismatic movement in contemporary worship.
The New Testament spiritual gifts—especially prophecy, tongues, and interpretation, along with healing—continued to manifest themselves in the life of the church up to and beyond the fourth century. Evidence in the literature from this period indicates that these gifts were respected among the “established” church leadership, referred to by important theologians, and practiced especially throughout the “underground” church.
Unique to music in charismatic worship is what is known as “singing in the Spirit.” This form of music is characterized by a spontaneous response to the work of the Spirit in the worship service. It is based on a theology that emphasizes the dynamic and ongoing presence of the Spirit among believers.
Since its inception in 1923, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel has understood worship as being a lifestyle of Spirit-produced, Christlike character, attitudes, and adherence to the biblical commands and principles, bringing glory to God and the gospel to others.