A church historical enquiry regarding growth of membership in the church of Central Africa, Presbyterian - Harare Synod (1912 – 2012)

Gunde, Samuel (2013-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis has its title: ‘A Church Historical Enquiry Regarding Growth of Membership in the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian-Harare Synod (1912-2012). As the denomination celebrated hundred years of existence in Zimbabwe in June 2012, this thesis focuses on the aspect of the growth of membership in the church in question. In order to study this growth of membership in the named denomination, one should take note of the fact that the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian-Harare Synod is in many ways the resultant of migrant labour in Malawi, Mozambique and North- Eastern Zambia to the mining industries and farms in Zimbabwe. One should also put into consideration the fact that the C.C.A.P in Malawi originated from the Free Church of Scotland as well as the Established Church of Scotland through Dr David Livingstone in 1875. In order to understand this growth of membership, the thesis also attends to the leadership of the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian-Harare Synod. This leadership includes the pioneer missionaries, ministers and evangelists. Also linked to the growth of membership in the C.C.A.P-Harare Synod is the development of congregations. This study therefore, explores on the establishment of congregations in chronological order. In this thesis the term “membership” is used mostly in its more official sense. It involves the full communicant members as clearly stipulated on Article 6 of the Constitution of C.C.A.P-Harare Synod as well as those receiving instructions in the catechumen class (the confirmed members).The Women’s Fellowship and the Men’s Fellowship as well as the Youth Groups are also involved in this membership. The research reveals various factors affecting the growth of membership in this denomination. The Synod identified the following as possible factors: -Retrenchments, -Deaths, -Unreliable Statistics, -Lack of Revival Meetings and -Lack of Vision by the Synod. In addition to these, the researcher included the Synod’s confinement to towns, mines and farms; the language barrier and inter-racial marriages and the socio-economic hardships as contributing factors affecting the growth of membership. In conclusion, the research reveals that the membership is neither growing drastically nor dwindling but is more or less stable, leading to the questions regarding the lack thereof. As a result, the following suggestions are put forward to help improve the growth of membership in --the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian-Harare Synod: -The use of Shona and Ndebele alongside Chewa in the Church, -The Resumption of the much needed Evangelists Training Programmes, -Proper Statistics by Congregations and -Intensification of Evangelism Programmes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis se titel is ’n kerkhistoriese ondersoek aangaande die groei in lidmaatskap in die Kerk van Sentraal-Afrika, Presbiteriaans - Harare sinode (1912-2012). Aangesien dié denominasie hule 100ste bestaansjaar in Junie 2012 gevier het, sal hierdie tesis fokus op die aspek van groei ten opsigte van lidmaatskap in die kerk Om die groei in lidmaatskap te ondersoek, moet `n mens kennis neem dat die Kerk van Sentraal-Afrika, Presbiteriaans - Harare sinode as gevolg van die instroom van buitelandse arbeid vanaf Malawi, Mosambiek en Noord-oos Zambië na die myne en plase in Zimbabwe ontstaan het. `n Mens moet ook in die feit in ag neem dat Kerk van Sentraal-Afrika, Presbiteriaans - Harare sinode sy oorsprong aan die gevolg van die werk van Dr David Livingstone te danke het. Om die groei in lidmaatskap te verstaan, fokus hierdie navorsing ook op die kwessie van leierskap in die Kerk van Sentraal-Afrika, Presbiteriaans - Harare sinode. Die leierskapsprofiel sluit die aanvanklike sendingwerkers, predikers en evangeliste in. Die ontwikkeling van gemeentes sal ook ondersoek word. Die vesting van gemeentes word op ‘n kronologiese wyse aan die orde gestel. Die navorsing onderstreep dat verskeie faktore ‘n beduidende rol speel in die groei van lidmaatskap (of die gebrek daaraan) in die bogenoemde kerk gespeel het. Die faktore sluit in: -Persone wat hulle werk verloor het -Sterftes -Onbetroubare statistieke -Tekort aan `n evangelisiewerk -‘n tekort van visie binne die sinode. Bykomend word aangetoon hoe taalverskille, gemengede huwelike en sosio-ekonomiese uitdagings ook bydraende faktore is wat die groei in lidmaatskap affekteer. Ten slotte, wys die navorser vanuit `n ondersoek na die kerkrekords dat die lidmaatskap egter nie drasties afgeneem of gegroei het nie. Dit lei na die volgende aanbevelings/voorstelle vir die Kerk van Sentraal-Afrika, Presbiteriaans - Harare sinode: -Die gebruik van Shona en Ndebele saam met Chewa in die Kerk, -Die bevordering van die nodige Evangelisasie opleidingsprogramme, -Die noodsaaklikheid van betroubare statistieke deur gemeentes en -Die intensifisering van evangelisasie programme.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80002
This item appears in the following collections: