Urban poverty as a challenge for ministry within the Malawian context

Joda-Mbewe, Osborne Lukiel ; Hendriks, H. J. (2002-12)

Thesis (DTh)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation develops a theory for doing Malawian urban ministry called "Holistic hermeneutical practical theology." The effects of urbanization: secularization, disorientation, poverty and pollution in Malawi's urban centers make it difficult for the CCAP to implement successful ministry that deals with the shantytowns' circumstances. Chapter one: The first chapter describes the Malawian urban context. It defines the five components of the researcher's topic of study: "Urban poverty as a challenge for ministry within the Malawian (African) context" and the three components of the methodology: "Holistic hermeneutical practical theology." Four relational hypotheses are formulated to guide the study. Different research methods applied to gathering information for chapters of this dissertation are documented at the end of this chapter. Chapter two: The second chapter examines the CCAP's existing ministry practice and addresses the first hypothesis: "Its rural background and theory of ministry prevent the CCAP from developing an effective urban ministry that adequately addresses the problems of the poor." The missionaries introduced a comprehensive ministry approach to the early leaders of the CCAP Nkhoma Synod. In the process of blending the missionary approach to ministry in the local Chewa context, a philosophy of ministry that emphasizes spiritual salvation (neglecting the physical needs) was developed in the CCAP Nkhoma Synod. This approach poses a problem for the Church to adequately address the physical needs and realities of Malawians in the cities. Chapter three: The third chapter discusses the poverty situations of Malawian and South African shantytowns and slums and is the result of research conducted in order to examine the validity of the four hypotheses. The responses of the groups interviewed were helpful for an understanding of the current congregational challenges and ministry opportunities in urban areas. This chapter addresses issues of this thesis positively: research objectives, the population growth data of urban inter-censal, a brief historical description of Malawian cities, the government efforts to address urban challenges and problems, the CCAP ministry approach to urban ministry, and a brief description of two South African poverty scenarios. The research reveals that the church and the government work independently of each other. In this way the validity of the third hypothesis: "A holistic approach to urban ministry with joint forums for development is needed to address urban poverty problems," is confirmed. Chapter four: This chapter describes the extent of poverty in Malawi, which is most disturbing. The recent studies on Malawian poverty indicate that the poverty scenario is a pervasive problem affecting approximately 60% of the population; urban poverty, in particular, is 65%. Furthermore, chapter four discusses a number of issues, some of which are: a description and Christian views of the poor, an overview definition of urban poverty, the causes of poverty and the vocation of the urban church. The cities' informal economies can make a huge difference in the lives of the poor. All of the four hypotheses form the background to this chapter. Chapter five: Chapter five examines four different approaches of the urban ministry in poverty areas. The purpose of this chapter is to understand the approaches of current work in poverty areas. Various approaches are discussed: community organization, effective congregationally based advocacy ministries, a liberation model, and a church in solidarity with the poor and oppressed. This chapter repeatedly confirms the first and the fourth hypotheses. Chapter six: In this chapter the theory of a holistic, hermeneutical practical theology is applied to a number of activities called pillars, juxtapositioning it with the four hypotheses. This is presented as a model for doing urban ministry in Malawian (African) cities. In the process of describing or developing the model, the four hypotheses - that have already been thoroughly proved and discussed - now serve as orientation markers pointing the CCAP towards its future role in urban ministry. The model emphasizes a hermeneutic-communicative praxis, which makes it constantly concerned with understanding the Christian meaning produced in the past, and relating it to interaction with the present-day faith community. Thus, the church in urban Malawi will address the challenges presented by the effects of urbanization and industrialization. The model's ten pillars are discussed: i) ministry in a new era and context, ii) urban ministry among the poor requires community participation, iii) proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed, iv) Christian faith development, v) urban evangelism, vi) effective pastoral care, vii) the need to build faith communities, viii) the need to equip the urban mission, ix) moving towards ecumenical alliances in African cities, and x) the importance of congregational studies. Chapter seven is a summary and conclusion of the dissertation. It discusses issues of this thesis positively: orientation of the study hypotheses, congregational study methods used in each chapter, the study's path and results, the contribution the study has made to the existing knowledge, and the conclusion of the whole dissertation. Urbanization is Africa's new missionary challenge for this century. The Christian task in Africa is the mission of the continent, which is in the process of rapid urbanization. If the church delays its adaptation to the urban context (the theories of which are changing constantly) it will forsake her strategic mission of being a foreign body in the world, where the old and new overlap in her, rendering her too early for heaven and too late for the earth.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif ontwikkel 'n teorie vir die Malawiese stadsbediening wat beskryf word as 'n "Holistiese hermeneutiese praktiese teologie." Die invloed van verstedeliking, sekularisasie, disorientasie, armoede en besoedeling in Malawi se stedelike sentra maak dit moeilik vir die CCAP om suksesvolle bediening, onder plakkersdorp-omstandighede, te implementeer. Hoofstuk een: Die eerste hoofstuk beskryf die Malawiese stedelike konteks. Dit omskryf die vyf komponente van die navorser se studie-onderwerp, "Stedelike armoede as 'n uitdaging vir die bediening binne die Malawiese (Afrika) konteks" en die drie komponente van die metodologie, "Holistiese hermeneutiese praktiese teologie." Vier verwante hipoteses is geformuleer om as riglyn vir die studie te dien. Verskillende navorsingsmetodes, toegepas vir die inwin van inligting vir hierdie tesis se hoofstukke, word aan die einde van hierdie hoofstuk beskryf. Hoofstuk twee: Die tweede hoofstuk ondersoek die CCAP se huidige bedieningspraktyk en is gerig tot die eerste hipotese: "Die CCAP se landelike agtergrond en teorie van bediening verhinder die kerk om 'n doeltreffende stedelike bediening te ontwikkel wat die armes se probleme toereikend kan aanspreek." Die sendelinge het 'n omvattende bedieningsbenadering vir die vroee leiers van die CCAP Nkhoma Sinode ingestel. In die proses om die sendingbenadering tot die bediening in die plaaslike Chewa konteks in te voer, is 'n filosofie van bediening wat die geestelike verlossing beklemtoon (terwyl fisieke behoeftes verwaarloos word) in die CCAP Nkhoma Sinode ontwikkel. Hierdie benadering veroorsaak 'n probleem vir die Kerk om die fisieke behoeftes en realiteite van stedelike Malawiers toereikend aan te spreek. Hoofstuk drie: Die derde hoofstuk bespreek die Malawiese en Suid-Afrikaanse plakkersdorpe en agterbuurtes se toestande van armoede. Die hoofstuk is die produk van navorsing wat die geldigheid van die vier hipoteses ondersoek het. Die reaksies van die groepe met wie onderhoude gevoer is, het bygedra tot 'n begrip van die huidige gemeentelike uitdagings en bedieningsgeleenthede in stedelike gebiede. Die proefskrif spreek die volgende kwessies in hierdie hoofstuk aan: navorsingsdoelstellings, die tussentydse data van die bevolkingsgroei van stedelike gebiede, 'n kort historiese beskrywing van Malawiese stede, die regering se pogings om stedelike uitdagings en probleme aan te spreek, die benadering van die CCAP tot stedelike bediening en 'n kort beskrywing van twee Suid-Afrikaanse armoede-tonele. Die navorsing toon dat die kerk en die regering onafhanklik van mekaar werk. Dus, die geldigheid van die derde hipotesis: "'n Holistiese benadering tot die stedelike bediening met gemeenskaplike forums vir ontwikkeling is nodig om stedelike armoedeprobleme aan te spreek" is hiermee bevestig. Hoofstuk vier: Hierdie hoofstuk beskryf die ontstellende impak van armoede in Malawi. Die onlangse studies, met betrekking tot Malawiese armoede, toon dat die armoede-toneel 'n deurdringende probleem is wat ongeveer 60% van die bevolking raak; stedelike armoede, in die besonder, is 65%. Hoofstuk vier bespreek 'n aantal kwessies, sommige hiervan is: 'n beskrywing en Christelike perspektief op armoede, 'n oorsigtelike definisie van stedelike armoede, die oorsake van armoede en die roeping van die stedelike kerk. Die stede se informele ekonomiee kan 'n baie groot verskil in die lewens van die armes maak. Al vier hipoteses vorm die agtergrond van hierdie hoofstuk. Hoofstuk vyf: Hierdie hoofstuk ondersoek vier verskillende benaderinge tot stedelike bediening in areas van armoede. Die doel van hierdie hoofstuk is om die benaderinge in arm dele te verstaan. Verskeie benaderinge word bespreek: gemeenskapsorganisasie, doeltreffende gemeentelik-gebaseerde voorspraakbedienings, 'n bevrydingsmodel en 'n kerk in solidariteit met die armes en verdruktes. Hierdie hoofstuk bevestig herhaaldelik die eerste en die vierde hipoteses. Hoofstuk ses: In hierdie hoofstuk word die teorie van 'n holisties-hermeneutiese praktiese teologie toegepas op 'n aantal aktiwiteite, wat pillare genoem word, en stel dit naas die vier hipoteses. Dit word voorgestel as 'n model vir stedelike bediening in Malawiese (Afrika) stede. In die proses om die model te beskryf of ontwikkel, dien die vier hipoteses (wat reeds deeglik bewys en bespreek is) nou as orientasie merkers wat die pad vir die CCAP vir sy toekomstige rol in die stedelike bediening aanwys. Die model beklemtoon 'n hermeneuties-kommunikatiewe praktyk, wat gedurig in verband gebring word met die verstaan van die Christelike betekenis wat in die verlede teweeggebring is en wat dit, deur interaksie met die huidige geloofsgemeenskap, in verband bring. Dus, die kerk in stedelike Malawi sal die uitdagings wat deur die uitwerking van verstedeliking en industrialisasie gebied word, aanspreek. Die model se tien pilare word bespreek: i) bediening in 'n nuwe era en konteks, ii) stedelike bediening onder die armes benodig gemeenskapsdeelname, iii) die verkondiging van die Evangelie in woord en daad, iv) Christelike geloofsontwikkeling, v) stedelike evangelisasie, vi) doeltreffende pastorale sorg, vii) die behoefte vir die opbou van geloofsgemeenskappe, viii) die behoefte om die stedelike sending toe te rus, ix) die vorm van ekurneniese alliansies in die stede van Afrika, en x) die belangrikheid van gemeentelike studies. Hoofstuk sewe is 'n opsomming en afsluiting van die proefskrif. Dit bespreek hierdie proefskrif se hoofpunte: die orientasie en die hipoteses van die studie, die navorsingsmetodes geimplementeer in elke hoofstuk, die studie se ontwikkeling en resultate, die bydrae van die studie tot die bestaande kennis, en die afsluiting van die werk. Afrika se stede is die nuwe sendinguitdaging. Die Christelike taak in Afrika is die evangelisasie van die vasteland wat tans in die proses van snelle verstedeliking is. Indien die kerk in gebreke bly om in die stedelike konteks aan te pas, sal die kerk sy strategiese missie versaak om lig in die wereld te wees.

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