The Charismatics derive their name from the Greek,
CHARISMATA, which refers to the gifts of the spirit. This term and movement
came into its own in the mid 1960's, as laymen and ministers in mainline
churches began experiencing the manifestation of spiritual gifts. For many
years the term Charismatic was used to merely identify a non-Pentecostal
Christian who had such experiences. Today there are persons who attend
mainline, non-Charismatic churches, yet who consider themselves
Charismatics. And there are also local congregations and denominations that
classify themselves as Charismatic.
In some ways a Charismatic church may be indistinguishable from a Pentecostal church in that they too embrace the belief in the modern day operation of spiritual gifts and a distinct Holy Spirit baptism which can enable persons to speak with other tongues. Their form of liturgy may vary, but with much emphasis upon a freedom of worship focused around praise. Generally a Charismatic church has a more independent, non denominational tone, sometimes with more emphasis on spiritual exploration, and less emphasis on established tradition.