Laity empowerment with regard to the missional task of the CCAP in Malawi

Msangaambe, Chatha (2011-03)

Thesis (DTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation presents the empowerment of the laity in the church as a strategic key activity to bring transformation within the Malawian Church and its context. It is an attempt to answer the question: How can the laity of the CCAP Nkhoma Synod be empowered to become missional agents of transformation? The researcher contends that, if the clerical leadership can engage faithfully in the task of equipping all members for service in the Church and community, a phenomenal improvement in the quality of life in Malawi can take place. The first chapter serves as an introduction to the whole work. It describes the problem in three related questions, all of which demand a practical theo-logical response to the described scenario. Along with other introductory essentials, this chapter establishes the epistemological framework for doing theology in congregations as overarching for the study. It basically defines theology in a practical way. Chapter 2 describes the physical features of Malawi, as well as a historical background of the Church in Malawi. While it presents a general historical background, it pays special attention to the contributions of the laity in the development of the Malawian Church. The role of the laity in Church development and growth throughout the Church's history is quite remark-able, must be appreciated, and actually deserves a special study. Chapter 3 deals with the analysis of the context in which the Malawian Church exists and ministers. It exposes the suffering caused by poverty and HIV/AIDS, that people in the Church and society experience. The situation, as described, provides the motivation and driving force for this study. The identity analysis of the Nkhoma Synod dominates Chapter 4, which discusses the influence of identity on the way the Church equips its members. The picture that it portrays proves that identity should be used to promote empowerment of the laity. Chapter 5 discusses the Church's missional nature and explains the Church's position in the society, as well as its biblical mandate to serve. This discussion is taken further in Chapter 6, which deals with the specific role of the Church in sustainable development. The Church, with its missional nature, is viewed as a capable catalyst and participant in community development. Chapter 7 develops a detailed explanation of the laity‟s empowerment as a key activity of the Church in its practice of theology. This empowerment is approached from different perspectives and also receives an African view. This chapter prepares the research with the basic theory used in the case study that Chapter 8 presents. The final chapter summarizes the whole discussion as a way of commenting on the findings that climax in the case study. This study asserts that, if the clerical leadership in the Malawian Church in the Nkhoma Synod can empower the laity and utilize their spiritual gifts, then the missional identity of the Church can come to the fore.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die tesis handel oor die bemagtiging van lidmate as ʼn strategiese sleutel tot transformasie binne die Malawiese Kerk en sy konteks. Dit is ʼn poging om die vraag te beantwoord: Hoe kan die lidmate van die CCAP Nkhoma Sinode bemagtig word om missionêre agente van transformasie te wees? Die navorser beweer dat, indien die leierskap getrou die taak kan uitvoer om alle lidmate toe te rus vir diens in die Kerk en die gemeenskap, ʼn merkwaardige verbetering in die lewenskwaliteit in Malawi kan plaasvind. Die eerste hoofstuk dien as ʼn inleiding tot die hele werk. Dit beskryf die pro-bleem in drie verwante vrae wat al drie ʼn praktiese teologiese reaksie tot die scenario wat beskryf is, bied. Tesame met ander inleidende noodsaaklik-hede, verduidelik hierdie hoofstuk die praxis metodologie van praktiese teologie. Hoofstuk 2 beskryf Malawi en vertel die geskiedenis van die kerk. Terwyl dit ʼn algemene historiese agtergrond bied, skenk dit spesiale aandag aan die bydraes van lidmate in die ontwikkeling van die Malawiese Kerk. Lidmate se rol in die Kerk se ontwikkeling en groei is werklik merkwaardig, moet waardeer word, en verdien eintlik ʼn spesiale studie. Hoofstuk 3 handel oor die analise van die konteks waarin die Malawiese Kerk bestaan en dien. Dit toon die lyding, veroorsaak deur armoede en MIV/VIGS, wat mense in die Kerk en samelewing verduur. Die situasie is die motivering en dryfveer vir hierdie studie. Die identiteitsanalise van die Nkhoma Sinode is die inhoud van Hoofstuk 4. Die stelling wat dit maak, is dat identiteit gebruik moet word om die bemagtiging van lidmate te bevorder. Hoofstuk 5 bespreek die kerk se missionêre wese en verduidelik die kerk se posisie in die samelewing asook sy Bybelse mandaat om te dien. vi Hierdie bespreking word verder gevoer in Hoofstuk 6 wat handel oor die rol van die Kerk om volhoubare ontwikkeling te verseker. Die Kerk, met sy missionêre wese, word gesien as ʼn belangrike rolspeler in gemeenskapsontwikkeling. Hoofstuk 7 verduidelik hoe lidmate bemagtig word om die missio Dei te volvoer. In teologiese teorie en die bedieningpspraktyk behoort dit tot die wese van kerkwees. Bemagtiging kan vanaf verskillende perspektiewe benader word, maar ʼn kontekstuee, eie, Afrika benadering, word voorgestaan. Dié hoofstuk is voorbereidend tot die beskrywing van die proses wat die navorser gevolg het om die teorie in die CCAP gemeente Nkhoma toe te pas en te evalueer: Hoofstuk 8. Die slothoofstuk som die hele bespreking op as ʼn manier om kommentaar te lewer op die bevindinge wat hul klimaks in die gevallestudie bereik. Hierdie studie bewys dat waar kerklike leierskap lidmate bemagtig en hul gawes benut, die missionêre identiteit van die Kerk daadwerklik sigbaar word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6750
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