Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Missionalia]]> vol. 51 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Changing Africa - Reflections on family involvement in African Christian marriage</b>]]> The paper describes the lived experiences of present-day African Christian couples in urban South Africa with the aim of understanding the effect family involvement has on their marriages. This article contributes to understanding the marital experiences of contemporary African Christians to understand their views on the involvement of the extended family, which is part of African culture. Understanding these viewpoints sheds light on cultural dynamics, especially how African culture is valued in a changing society which adds value to understanding the modern African. To nurture meaningful ministry engagement for the African context, research and awareness of African cultural nuances are invaluable. The understanding from this article can contribute to the contextualisation of pastoral care and counselling in Africa. This understanding may also contribute to reframing the colonial discourse through which mission work in Africa has long operated. <![CDATA[<b>Repositioning Theological Institutions for Urban Ministry - A Case for the Kampala Evangelical School of Theology</b>]]> The unprecedented urbanisation trends in Africa have not been matched with the corresponding theological formation and praxis that is consciously oriented towards the urban in terms of curriculum, pedagogy and spirituality. Nevertheless, theological institutions can be active stakeholders in their cities to the extent that they envision those cities theologically. The author used the Kampala Evangelical School of Theology (KEST) as a case study to explore how a theological repositioning that facilitates transformative urban ministry can happen. KEST could reposition itself, appreciating its central urban location and becoming deliberate about embracing an urban ethos, outlook and praxis. A description of a city like Kampala is a starting point and a foil for ministry insertion and theological reflection that informs praxis. The theological portrait of a flourishing city provides biblical/theological motifs that could be helpful in reimagining African cities beyond the existing fractures. A contextualised urban theology must necessarily grapple with the grim realities of many African cities while reflecting on a balanced theological vision for flourishing African cities characterised by shalom, hope, community, and an effective urban ecology. Lastly, the article proposes practical steps that theological institutions such as KEST could take in order to reposition for transformative urban ministry. They include repositioning the urban identity by deliberately making the city the centre of theological reflection and engagement, epistemological and pedagogical repositioning, which involves retrieving knowledge and experience of various stakeholders to inform and guide theological reflection and becoming hubs for urban ministry praxis, which could be a potential egalitarian space where it is safe for those on the margins to engage on equal terms with those in power. <![CDATA[<b>Diaconate as Model of Ministry for Urban Locations</b>]]> Urbanisation takes on different forms, including industry expansion, technological innovation, modern architecture, new business forms, and new infrastructure. However, in many city centres, such development is accompanied by uprooting people, splitting families, identity loss, and increased poverty and health and mental complications. It is within this juxtaposition that the church is called to exercise effective ministry and mission. The dialogical retrieval of the ministry of the deacon or diaconal ministry is both liturgical and social. The tension between the two-pronged ministry of liturgy and social responsibility makes the deacon an interlocutor for effective urban ministry. The research investigates how the church, as an interlocutor between urbanisation and local communities, creates a safe space for meaning-making. <![CDATA[<b>Theological Education for "Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World"</b>]]> The ecumenical document Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World begins with the statement, "Mission belongs to the very being of the church. Proclaiming the word of God and witnessing to the world is essential for every Christian." This study explores the question of how this affirmation, which represents an ecumenical consensus, can be realised. The study starts from the conviction that theological education plays a central role in this realisation process. Using the pedagogical concepts and tools used in education today-fitness for purpose, competence orientation and learning objectives-a qualification framework is developed to offer the possibility of integrating the objectives of the above-mentioned document into theological education. <![CDATA[<b>Disciple-Making Movement as an Effective Operational Model - for Christian Missions amid Insecurity</b>]]> While the global community was coming out of the havoc wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians suddenly woke up to an upsurge in kidnappings, ritual killings, banditry, terrorism, rape, and other forms of criminality. As a result, the practice and proclamation of the Christian faith became difficult. This paper presented the disciple-making movement (DMM) as an effective operational model for Christian missions amid insecurity. The writer posited that, given the increasing rate of insecurity and resultant challenges to conventional religious practices in Nigeria, effective Christian missions would require a paradigm shift from the traditional approach to a creative and flexible but biblical model such as the DMM that takes the church to the people where insecurity has restricted or relocated them. Such a model would help the church remain faithful to its nature and mission despite the challenging context. Though Christians are expected to face suffering, persecution, and martyrdom they encounter as they carry out the mission of the church; insecurity is not limited to persecutions of the Christian faith. Dwelling heavily on literature in the light of participant observations and reports of happenings in Nigeria, the writer identified four challenges: the reduction of the missionary workforce, hindrances to missionary activities, inadequate funding, and communication distortion. He used the elements and principles of DMM to establish that it is a missiological model that focuses on the rapid multiplication of disciples, churches and leaders through the Discovery Bible Study (DBS) or training the trainer (T4T) for obedience and self-replication. He also identified five dynamics for its operation in a situation of insecurity. These are strategic missions, integral missions, grassroots multiplication, comprehensive mission mechanism, and spiritual warfare. <![CDATA[<b>Constructing an Urban Theology of Liberation in South Africa Today - A Transdisciplinary Praxis-Approach in the Interface between (Urban) Faith, Politics and Planning</b>]]> Urban theologising in South Africa has to solidify its intentionality, commitment, rigour, and outcomes if it is to contribute in liberating, constructive and transformative ways to the shape and content of current and future South African cities. This particular contribution articulates the importance of constructing urban theologies of liberation, reiterating the ongoing importance of liberationist praxis in considering South African cities, as millions of urban dwellers still experience profound "un-freedom." Starting off by charting urban theologies as they evolved over the past 50 years globally, it insists that more needs to be done in the Global South, generally, and in South Africa, to expound our own urban theologies. It then provides the contours of an urban theology of liberation with reference to key elements. It indicates the validity of this approach in the intersections between faith, politics and planning. It suggests that collaborative and synergetic solidarities between different modes of doing urban theology of liberation might hold great promise for breaking cycles of urban misery and exclusion. <![CDATA[<b>Reimagining How Urban Theology can be used as a Theological Tool that Links Faith and Justice in South Africa</b>]]> The commercialisation of religion and abuse of people's belief systems, addressed by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), prompted the author to write this article. The author explored how the South African church and government can work together in safeguarding the abuse of people's belief systems. A common theological guideline regulating all churches in South Africa regarding their basic training that qualifies them as church leaders to practice was suggested. Urban theology was reimagined as a theological tool that could link all the churches collaboratively to safeguard the abuse of people's belief systems. This article sturdily proposed that the South African government and church need to form a significant collaboration in uprooting abuse of the congregants in their church fellowship. <![CDATA[<b>Missionary ventures of Ghanaian Pentecostals in Europe - An exploration of "Reverse Mission" within the Church of Pentecost in Belgium</b>]]> In missiology, scholars have often used conceptual models to represent specific trends emerging from Christian missions. However, these models occasionally run the risk of oversimplification. "Reverse mission" is one such model. It concerns a supposition that Southern Christians have come to Europe to "re-Christianise" those who have fallen from the faith they initially brought to them. Through a rigorous qualitative methodology, this article investigates the reverse mission model within the Ghanaian-led Church of Pentecost (CoP) in Belgium, a product of previous European mission work in Ghana. The paper argues that while scholars sometimes easily describe the foreign mission praxis of Southern churches in the North as "reverse mission," upon closer examination, the intention of "reverse mission" seems absent from the missionary activities of some of these churches. The CoP in Belgium gives credence to this argument as empirical data from congregants indicate that the church is deeply involved in "internal mission" and only marginally active in "reverse mission." <![CDATA[<b>Shall the sun ever rise on South Africa's new dawn? - A missiology of hope redefined</b>]]> In his book, Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred, Gevisser laments the demise of the African Renaissance dream, which many had envisaged during the presidency of former-President Thabo Mbeki. In light hereof, this article demonstrates that it is in the habit of leaders to launch their political dispensations with catchphrases that intend to inspire change, hope and prosperity. This is the basis of this phenomeno-logical study, which focuses on five critically important concepts, namely, renaissance, new dawn, rebirth, reincarnation and resurrection, which have deep affinity in meaning and use. These concepts are defined, missiological scrutinised and hypothetically applied to the dwindling hope of South Africa's socio-political future. The article attempts to answer a persistent question of whether there is any hope under the current President Cyril Ramaphosa's "new dawn". Concluding this conceptual inquiry is a set of probing questions and proposals that suggest pathways out of this quagmire. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of immigration on the concept of African marriage - A pastoral theological study</b>]]> One of the issues characterising South Africa after the apartheid regime is the rural-urban migration. Apart from this becoming a fast-growing practice, it also poses a serious challenge to the service delivery of urban municipalities because of the extended need for human settlements. It is evidenced that young people, educated and uneducated, are leaving their rural homes into metropolitan towns and cities in search of employment and education opportunities. The biggest movement is towards towns and cities; Gauteng Province is the most likely destination because it is regarded as the economic hub of the country. Statistics indicate that this is a growing trend which, despite challenging metropolitan municipalities, also poses serious challenges towards African marriages as most unemployed females are left behind in rural homes or join their husbands in the city, where their lives slowly drift away from the typical African marriage that is expected by the elderly in the ancestral homes. This article provides pastoral guidelines towards the relevant problems. <![CDATA[<b>Mission as "crossing frontiers"? - A New Mission Theological Reflection on the Mission Concept of David Bosch</b>]]> Despite numerous appreciations, David Bosch's multidimensional and comprehensive concept of mission is still confronted with the persistent core criticism that it is too comprehensive and does not contain a criterion by which the concept of mission can be narrowed down. As a counter-thesis, K. J. Livingston argues that the aspect of "crossing frontiers" constitutes such a criterion for Bosch's concept of mission. This paper takes up this discussion and elaborates on the significance of "crossing frontiers" in Bosch's main work, Transforming Mission, and the overall framework of his mission concept. This paper concludes that while the motif of "crossing frontiers" is a not insignificant building block in Bosch's concept of mission, it is never used in a bold, contextless, and isolated way, but is accompanied by other aspects such as love and service giving. In a systematic final reflection, Bosch's mission-theological concept is appreciated in view of its uniqueness and originality.