Testing Bethlehem’s Charismatic Quotient

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Sunday February 26, we took a survey in the evening service at Bethlehem to see what our present convictions are about the spiritual gifts of tongues, healing and prophecy. One hundred and fifty-five members and 119 non-members eighteen years and older filled out the survey. Sixty percent of the members were 18-30 years old. Fourteen percent were 30-40. Twenty-one percent were 40-65. Five percent were over 65. In what follows I am only citing the members’ responses even though the “non-members” include many “regular attenders” who are part of our church family.

Question 1: “Do you believe the Bible teaches that the gift of tongues was to end at the close of the New Testament times?”

Yes – 7%
No – 73%
Unsure – 20%

Note: Of the 11 people who said “yes,” four were 18-30, 1 was 30-40, 3 were 40-65 and 3 were 65+. This is not a matter of age but theology.

Question 2: “Have you ever spoken in tongues?”

Yes – 16%
No – 84%

    “Have you ever prayed for the gift of tongues?”

Yes – 37%
No – 63%

Note: Of the 58 people who have prayed for the gift of tongues, 25 claim to have received it (43%).

Question 3: “Do you believe that the Bible teaches that the gift of prophecy was to end at the close of New Testament times?”

Yes – 9%
No – 74%
Unsure – 17%

Question 4: “Do you think you have the gift of prophecy?”

Yes – 3 people
No – 77%
Maybe – 21% (32 people)

Question 5: “Do you believe the Bible teaches that the gift of miraculous healing by God was to end at the close of the New Testament times?”

Yes – 4% (7 people)
No – 91%
Unsure – 5% (8 people)

Question 6: “Do you think you have a gift for healing?”

Yes – 2 people
No – 74%
Maybe – 25% (38 people)

Question 7: “Do you think people who lift their hands in worship should be discouraged from doing this?”

Yes – 5 people
No – 152 people

Question 8: “Do you sometimes feel like lifting your hands in worship (morning or evening)?”

Yes – 69% (108 people)
No – 31% (48 people)

Note: Who answered yes? 85% of the 18-30 group. 48% of the 30-40 group. 42% of the 40-65 group. 50% of the 65+ group.


  • Truth is not determined by counting noses. This survey shows where we are, not where we should be. Let’s study the word together and see if our “Charismatic Quotient” is too high or too low.
  • What if just half of the 38 people who think they may have a gift for healing really do? What a ministry they could have among the sick of our people! Should we have a “healing squadron” on alert?
  • Almost 7 out of 10 of you sometimes desire to lift your hands in worship. Do it! Only 5 people out of 157 want to discourage this. It is biblical. It is joyful. Do it. But let us not judge each other on this. Romans 14 is a great guide here.
  • Keep praying for the outpouring of the Spirit upon us. Whatever else we may not need, we do need hope (Romans 15:13) and joy and love (Galatians 5:22). We need power to give unashamed witness to Christ (Acts 1:8). Lord, pour it out on us!


Pastor John