Mel’s book The Azusa Street Mission and Revival: The Birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement (2006) is on my rotation at the moment.  A few things strike me about the book.

  • It is incredibly well researched and well written.  Each chapter is well thought out and the content is often surprising.
  • Mel writes from a sympathetic but reasoned view.  He is obviously frustrated by areas where we’d all love more information but he has not been able to find it. I guess if he has not been able to find it we probably never will.
  • Mel writes informed by theology, history and Biblical study.

Some of the insights that I have not noticed before concerning how Azusa Street ran include:

  • The style of leadership, very understated.
  • Ministry was egalitarian, many different people prayed and prophesied.
  • The worship was innovative yet kept within what was considered biblical norms.  While I know the line here is hard to draw what Mel points out is how the Mission interpreted Scripture is how it applied it in areas of error.  Whether you agree or disagree with its interpretation is another issue.
  • Seymour’s personal life of prayer before the revival I find phenomenal

This makes me think what lessons can we learn today?  I’ll leave those for when I have finished the book.