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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982


NIEMANDT, Cornelius J.P.. Together towards life and mission: A basis for good governance in church and society today. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.36, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2074-7705.

In this research, important policy decisions by the 2013 General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church on the missional nature of the church were investigated in dialogue with the new mission affirmation of the World Council of Churches Together towards life: Mission and evangelism in changing landscapes (2013). The research concluded that the new policy document of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC) shows convergence with TTL and that the DRC finds itself within the current ecumenical discourse on church and mission. The DRC does have a comprehensive missional ecclesiology, understanding the church as missional by its very nature. Church polity is informed by a missional understanding of being church. The DRC shows good governance in the sense that it has embarked on a process to revise the church order in the light of the policy decisions and in the sense of the foundation laid by revising a number of important articles of the church order. The research also found that a missional approach affirms life in its fullness and allows and participates in the flourishing of creation. The deduction was that good governance in society entails a society where justice is practised, sustainable lifestyles propagated and respect for the earth practised. The DRC, with its missional understanding of being church, can benefit in its discernment processes and prophetic witness by using an appropriate hermeneutical key in its participation in good governance - to discern where life in its fullness is affirmed. The research found that the DRC finds itself, together with a broader ecumenical community, on a journey towards life. It does have an appropriate basis for good governance in church and society. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The research calls for a change in the traditional discourse on the role of denominations and brings together insights from ecumenical studies and missional ecclesiology that might assist the reformulation of church polity.

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