Leierskap in makrogemeentes : perspektiewe op kontemporêre ontwikkelings

Van Deventer, Gerhardus Johannes (2005-12)

Thesis (DTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


This statement is not only the theoretical outcome of this study, but also the experience of the practical ministry of the researcher. Since the first senior pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church was appointed five years ago (in 2000), many other macro congregations followed suit. However, there was no frame of reference, theological foundation or church tradition which could provide guidelines for these newly appointed leaders. That coincided – initiated by the new political dispensation since 1994 – with huge transformation on the political, economic, social and religious scene in South Africa. That gave input to the research problem that traditional forms of leadership was insufficient in the contemporary situation of macro congregations in South Africa, and to the researcher’s hypothesis that transformation needs current and contemporary developments in leadership. In the hermeneutical process the researcher first of all listened to congregational practice and context via semi-structured interviews with five senior pastors of Dutch Reformed Churches. The outcome was that a vast amount of information regarding transformation in the communities, ministry models, leadership requirements and forms of leadership were accumulated. Although there were obvious differences, there was also a correspondence about transformation in the context, ministry- and leadership-models. The appointment of senior pastors was part of a total transformation process. This lead to an investigation of transformation in the macro context. A massive wave (tsunami) of transformation of timeframes, thinking systems, paradigms and shifts from christendom to post-christendom, modernism to post-modernism, towards globalization and information technology, and major shifts in the South African and the Dutch Reformed Church contexts (through the lenses of census 2001 and Kerkspieël 2004), were detected. The hermeneutical circle took the research to the investigation of transformation in Scriptural contexts. Many examples of transformation in the context, ministry models and leadership models were found. From Scripture it would appear that God led believing communities to react in every contemporary situation with new ministry models through the charismata, ministries and leadership functions for that situation. The study of 1 Timothy not only showed transformation in the context of the community and congregation, but especially how a new symbolic world was created through the use of the metaphor of the “household of God” so that the ministry model and leadership model were reinterpreted to suit their current situation. The researcher came to the conclusion that the appointment of senior pastors or congregational leaders in the Dutch Reformed Church was a current and contemporary answer to the demands of a time of transformation. Ultimately leadership is a contextual hermeneutical function.

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