The Spirit and the Secular

The Spirit and the Secular

A Study on the Holy Spirit and Church Planting

Phil William Zarns


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How does one make disciples and plant the church in a secular environment? Does it take technical production? Is a great venue or "mother" church necessary? Does it take a well-networked team? Tangible factors such as these are easily remedied by consulting seasoned, church planting experts. Yet, what if some obstacles to plant the church aren't tangible at all? The Spirit and the Secular examines the ways that Spirit-led Christians trust the Holy Spirit while church planting amidst a secular cultural backdrop. A review of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles traces a Spirit-led Christ and Spirit-led church as they make disciples. To better discern the challenge of what it means to be a contemporary church planter in Sweden, a historical review of Swedish culture reveals the rise of secularism alongside of the flourish of the Pentecostal church of the 1900s. What follows is a groundbreaking fieldwork study using a current, investigative interview method, Q-Methodology, measuring the perceptions of thirty church planters in Sweden who reveal their collective ideal and differing practices. The study wraps with a comprehensive analysis grounding the research in a theory of Spirit-led church planting.


Phil William Zarns:
Phil Zarns is Assistant Professor of Global and Theological Studies at North Central University in Minneapolis. He has worked with Assemblies of God World Mission and Pingst for over fifteen years, focusing on university work, encouraging new faith communities in all global contexts, and developing academic endeavors. He is married to Katja, his side-by-side partner in marriage, life, ministry of twenty-plus years. Together, they enjoy strong cups of coffee with good conversation. Phil consistently fails to win while playing UNO with his family.