The objective of this case study is to explore the social functions performed by a Charismatic church in central Pretoria for its congregants and for its surrounding community. The growth of the Charismatic movement and the ‘wealth ministry’ in recent years and the subsequent notoriety of the ‘prosperity gospel,’ (especially popular within the Charismatic church movement) which encourages people to give tithes and offerings as a pre-requisite for material blessings are the fundamental motivators of the study. The study seeks to understand how the church, through its creed and sermons affects and shapes the social behaviour of its members, and its impact on socially relevant issues facing the surrounding community. The respondents are members of the church’s congregation of varying ages, nationalities and class. They were identified by making use of the snowball selection method. The key finding is that although the ‘wealth ministry’ and ‘prosperity gospel’ are generally associated with Charismatic churches, material gain is not the main emphasis of every Charismatic church’s ministry, and in fact, this Charismatic church offers its members and the community more non-material and intangible spiritual benefits.
Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2013.