The Africa Assemblies of God Alliance (AAGA) has set out to baptize 10 million believers within a ten year period, the denomination’s news agency reported this past week.
AG African leaders committed themselves to the “Decade of Pentecost” at an AAGA meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, earlier this month that occurs once every four years.
Spearheading initiatives for the Decade of Pentecost will be Acts in Africa, a ministry aimed at encouraging Pentecostal revival in the Assemblies of God in Africa.
During the Decade of Pentecost, which will begin in 2010 and continue through 2020, national Assemblies of God churches will mobilize for global missions with the vision of reaching “yet-to-be-reached” peoples in Africa and the world with the Gospel, according to AG News.
AAGA’s strategies for achieving its goal include an annual Pentecost Day when about 48,000 AG pastors will be challenged to preach on the “baptism in the Holy Spirit and the mission of God,” and pray with believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
There are about 16 million AG members meeting in more than 50,000 churches in 50 countries in sub-Sahara Africa and the Indian Ocean Basin, according to the denomination. In 1990, there were only 2.1 million constituents and 12,000 churches.
The Assemblies of God is the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination with somewhere between 57 to 60 million adherents.
Three decades ago, the combined total of Pentecostals and Charismatics was less than 5 percent, now they make up some 17 percent of Africa’s population, or about 147 million people, according to a 2006 Pew Forum study that highlighted the dramatic growth of the movement within half a century.
"Pentecostalism's dramatic expansion has left almost no part of sub-Saharan Africa unaffected," stated the Pew Forum. "If Pentecostal churches continue to grow in numbers and activism, the long-range political impact of Africa's vibrant Pentecostal community will become increasingly difficult to ignore.”
The Pew Forum report on Pentecostalism in Africa was one of three parts that also examined the movement’s growth in Asia and Latin America.