Lay leadership development in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe

Rutoro, Rangarirai (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2007-12)

Thesis (DTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The dissertation explores lay leadership developments in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe by investigating the leadership history of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) from 1891 when it was founded in Zimbabwe, to the present. Chapter 1 introduces the problem statement, i.e. the exclusion of laity and women in the broader church structures, dominated by male clergy. It currently blocks transformation. The hypothesis of this study is that lay leadership is not sufficiently represented in the leadership structures of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. Reasons for this can be that the influence of the clerical paradigm model of leadership, or the hierarchical Shona culture structures, adopted by the missionaries of the RCZ are still haunting the leadership of the church. The methodological framework for the study is practical theology, used by Hendriks (2004). Some important working concepts are explained and a short historical background of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe is laid out. In Chapter 2 different views on church offices are discussed. Methodologically, the Word of God provides the normative basis from which the problem statement is addressed. In Chapter 3 some aspects of the historical background of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe are described. The Shona cultural background and its hierarchical structures are discussed in order to determine how the Shona culture influenced the leadership structures of the church to exclude laity and women. In Chapter 4 the history of leadership in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe is explored and the position of the lay people from 1891 to the present is discussed. This is done to determine whether there have been developments in the area of laity inclusion in the broader leadership structures of the church and to prove or disapprove the statement that the broader leadership structures of the church were dominated by male clergy. Chapter 5 presents the empirical part of the study. Attitudes towards women in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe are analyzed through qualitative research methods. The data was gathered through interviews that assessed the relation between laity and clergy and men and women in the church. Negative and positive attitudes have been noted from the different groups that were interviewed. Chapter 6 describes the Zimbabwean situation which influences the church leadership due to the pressure of the political, economic, education and health situation in the country. The influence of modernism and postmodern megatrends towards church leadership styles are discussed. These trends seek participation of every individual member for transformation to take place. In Chapter 7 the focus is on five strategies to empower lay leadership to participate in all the broader structures of the RCZ. It also focuses on the applicability of lay leadership development in the RCZ. Finally, the overall summary, conclusion and recommendations are given in Chapter 8. The recommendations need to be considered by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe in order to strengthen the inclusion of laity and women in the broader structures of the church. The research proved that lay leadership development is gradually taking place in the RCZ, but empowerment of laity and women is still needed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif is 'n verkennende studie oor ongeskoolde leierskapontwikkelings in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe. Leierskap geskiedenis van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe word ondersoek vanaf 1891 toe dit tot stand gekom het in Zimbabwe tot huidiglik. Hoofstuk 1 omskryf die probleemstelling, naamlik die uitsluiting van ongeskooldes en vroue in breë kerk strukture wat gedomineer word deur manlike klerke. Huidiglik stuit dit transformasie. Die hipotesis van die studie is dat ongeskoolde leierskap nie voldoende verteenwoordig word in die leierskapstrukture van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe nie. Redes hiervoor kan wees dat die invloed van die klerklike paradigma model van leierskap of die hierargiese Shona kultuur, wat deur die sendelinge van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe aangeneem is, steeds die leierskap van die kerk oorheers. Die metodologiese raamwerk van die studie is praktiese teologie, soos gebruik deur Hendriks (2004). Van die belangrike konsepte word verduidelik en 'n kort historiese oorsig van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe word uiteengesit. In Hoofstuk 2 word verskillende standpunte van kerkkantore bespreek. Metodologies verskaf die Woord van God die normatiewe basis vanwaar die probleemstelling aangespreek word. In Hoofstuk 3 word sekere aspekte van die historiese agtergrond van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe beskryf. Die Shona kulturele agtergrond en sy hierargiese strukture word bespreek sodat daar bepaal kan word hoe die Shona kultuur die leierskapstrukture van die kerk beinvloed het om ongeskooldes en vroue uit te sluit. In Hoofstuk 4 word die geskiedenis van leierskap in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe verken en die posisie van ongeskoolde mense, vanaf 1891 tot huidiglik, word bespreek. Dit word gedoen om te bepaal of daar enige ontwikkelings in die area van die insluiting van ongeskooldes in die breë leierskapstrukture van die kerk was en om te bepaal of die stelling dat die breë leierskapstrukture van die kerk gedomineer is deur manlike klerke waar of onwaar is. Hoofstuk 5 behels die empiriese deel van die studie. Houdings teenoor vroue in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe word geanaliseer deur middel van kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodes. Die data is versamel deur middel van onderhoude wat die verhouding tussen ongeskooldes en klerklikes en mans en vroue in die kerk assesseer. Negatiewe en positiewe houdings is genotuleer komende vanaf die verskillende groepe wat deelgeneem het aan die onderhoude. Hoofstuk 6 beskryf die Zimbabwiese situasie wat die kerkleierskap beïnvloed deur middel van die druk wat die politieke, ekonomiese, onderwys en gesondheidsituasie in die land daarop plaas. Die invloed van modernisme en postmodernistiese mega-neigings teenoor kerkleierskap style word bespreek. Hierdie neigings streef na die deelname van elke individuele lid sodat transformasie kan plaasvind. Hoofstuk 7 fokus op vyf strategieë om ongeskoolde leierskap te bemagtig om deel te neem aan die breë strukture van die RCZ. Dit fokus ook op die toepaslikheid van ongeskoolde leierskapontwikkeling in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe. Die algehele opsomming, slot en aanbevelings word in Hoofstuk 8 bespreek. Die aanbevelings moet deur die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe oorweeg word sodat die insluiting van ongeskooldes en vroue in die breë strukture van die kerk versterk kan word. Hierdie navorsing bewys dat ongeskoolde leierskap ontwikkeling geleidelik besig is om plaas te vind in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe, maar dat bemagtiging van ongeskooldes en vroue steeds nodig is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5490
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