The congregation and church council must be brave enough to make important decisions. As seen in the discussion above, currently, the initiative comes more from individual members than from the congregation and its formal structures and strategic processes.
Culture Each congregation has a unique culture and identity that embodies its understanding of living the Gospel in a certain context Hendriks — These congregations motivate their members to be upstanding and co-operative citizens of the community, helping out where they can. They will not significantly challenge the status quo. Members also want to be upstanding citizens, but they see the goal as requiring advocacy and change. They are more involved and want change in the community. They try to be isolated from the community and its problems. Evangelistic orientations are not guarantees of success.
They think of evangelism primarily in terms of recruiting people like themselves. Looking at the DRC, some of the congregations have a civic orientation, but most congregations fall within the evangelistic orientation. Attendees and leaders talk about their faith and invite others to attend a worship service in their congregation.
This approach is acceptable within the evangelistic orientation.
- The Damp House: A Guide to the Causes and Treatment of Dampness.
- Verbum et Ecclesia.
- History - Message TrustMessage Trust;
- Parallaxium 2;
Will congregations choose to change in order to adapt to other orientations? More than half of the congregations in the DRC are busy with maintenance and are trying to uphold their current position Table They choose not to adapt to a new and changing situation. They choose not to fight nor to change. What will the outcome be?
Building partnerships between a congregation and its community. Swart Is there another way to enhance the relationship between congregation and community? There is, therefore, interdependence between a congregation and its community. We live within networks of mutual trust partnerships or social capital. From the perspective of faith and trust, this may help to understand the interaction between a congregation and its community.
A community provides the resources from which people can seek out social support for their basic needs in order to create meaning in and enjoy life Hendriks — Social capital is the essential stuff of our lives, the network of skill and trust that makes possible civic live. Social capital is the raw material out of which new organisational species can be created, the residue left when old organisations die Ammerman Social capital can be viewed as the social resources that people need for their individual livelihoods.
In the absence of other assets, poor people rely for their survival on their relationships, associations and networks. The value of congregations as a provider of social capital cannot be underestimated.
Congregations are amongst the most effective generators of social capital, in other words, those connections of communication and trust that make possible the organisation of a complex society Ammerman Trust is an important component in the foundation and building processes of congregations.
Botes and Abrahams make the important point that faith-based organisations, churches and congregations have a comparative advantage over other institutions in that they have considerable levels of trust invested in them and in the manner in which they inspire activities of voluntary outreach.
Churches and congregations could play an important role in partnership-building in communities. In South Africa, the legacy of apartheid eroded the levels of trust between groups and institutions, thereby eroding social capital. This is a challenge, especially in the case of the DRC, given its history and position within the South African society. There is a need to turn this around.
- The Gospel of Community Transformation.
- A Vibrant Family of Faith?
- Parasites (Vitalis Book 3);
- The Riot Party.
Networks and partnerships are agreements made for the mutual benefit of congregations and their community. Building partnerships, therefore, need not be a foreign concept and process for congregations. The aim of partnerships is the creation of mutually beneficial relationships and building networks of trust for a joint cause and also for each other.
Partnerships will help congregations to move away from first and second-generation strategies of development towards third and fourth-generation strategies. Congregations provide identification with a community and a sense of belonging to a society. Partnerships can be utilised to unlock the social capital within congregations so that they become involved in communities see Ammerman ; Swart Trust, social capital and partnership building may help congregations in another and new way to be involved in the community.
The Christian church is the most representative institution or non-governmental organisation NGO in civil society in South Africa Krige In the South African context, churches and especially congregations can make an enormous contribution towards the community and its well-being. Congregations represent the moral order of the community and the best human values Ammerman The community needs congregations for moral and spiritual capital.
In working together or challenging one another, church and State require a rigorous process of analysis so that the reasons for co-operation or resistance can be clearly seen. The need is for the church to reposition itself in a new context. Ammerman says: Congregations are both sacred places, making claims for the power of a transcendent Other in the midst of this world, and civic places, mobilising all sorts of resources for the sake of the community.
The South African context, as has been pointed out, poses a new challenge to the church and congregations. What can we conclude with regard to the DRC and its relationship with the community? Within the congregations and amongst the leadership of the DRC, there is a movement towards less involvement in society. The involvement of DRC congregations is mostly on the level of welfare projects first and second generation and within an evangelist approach.
The challenge for congregations in South Africa and, in the context of this article, for the DRC is a movement towards building partnerships of trust within the community for the purpose of sustainable people development. August and Wyngaard state: The local church today is unique in its fight against poverty alleviation in that it engages in holistic human development that includes the spiritual formation of people through the preaching of the Good News and the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit.
August, K. Bosch, D. Botes, L. De Gruchy, N.
What Do You Think?
Strijbos eds. De Gruchy, S. Dinokeng scenarios: 3 futures for South Africa, n. With the creation of the documentary Undivided www. He brought the topic up in my interview with him and I excerpted the video clip for your interest. Gather is the name of a church unity movement in the UK led by my friend, Roger Sutton. Roger was sent out by the Evangelical Alliance to look and see what God was doing in cities throughout Great Britain. So far, in every city he has explored, he has found a church unity movement praying for and serving the people of their city.
The people of God in unity serving the people of each town or city comes as the sun sets on much of the secular welfare system in the UK. Due to the financial crisis of the last 5 years, the British government has instituted austerity measures which drastically cut back government services. However, central to the mission of the church throughout history is compassion for the poor. In many cities, the church is coming to the aid of those in need.
Yet, it is very good news that the churches in towns and cities are coming together and that their sense of mission is being rekindled as a result. I caught 3 minutes of his talk on my iPhone video. Day, I spent the morning reading and reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement; considering what has been accomplished and what remains unfinished.
In terms of education, the league notes that the high school completion gap has closed by 57 points, the number of African Americas in college has tripled, and there are now five college graduates for every one in It is always a joy for me to recommend this ministry of evangelism, Christian leadership training and the many other facets of their organisation.
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Stratified evangelism AE aims for a city-wide impact, taking the Good News to people wherever they are; from hospitals, schools and homes, to prisons, street corners, nightclubs, and stadiums. We also have long-term projects including supporting early childhood development and vulnerable women. Leadership development We actively engage with leaders at every level of society. From local chiefs to pastors and presidents, communities and nations have been impacted by our work! Youth empowerment AE invests significantly in young people across South Africa, through our popular Foxfire Youth gap-year programme, leadership training courses, and discipleship.
New team, new leader Last year, Theuns Pauw joined African Enterprise as the new Team Leader, and he has been on an adventure ever since, both of personal discovery in terms of growing his leadership and ministry skills, as well as exploring the rich history of AE in Africa. Theuns has touched almost every province in South Africa with AE, including a mission to Makhanda formerly Grahamstown , and Stellenbosch.