Die NG gemeente Kathu se reaksie op die uitdaging van 'n omgewing

De Villers, Andre C. (2015-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The congregation of Kathu is the largest Dutch Reformed Church congregation in the Northern Cape. It is a congregation with a huge potential to show signs of the kingdom of God, especially in the countryside. The congregation has the ability to be a leader to effect meaningful change in society. Many people living in the countryside are losing hope because of economic regression. It is their experience that politicians do not keep their promises, with the result that everyone experiences declining living standards. The potential of the congregation has to do with the following: (1) there is a lot of economic development and progress in the area, (2) there is a lot of energy in the congregation because of the large number of young people as well as the many ambitious people working on the mines. The opportunities for the congregation to make a difference go hand in hand with the development of a whole new town. The population of Kathu has already doubled in size since 2001 and it is expected to grow even further. There are many opportunities for the congregation to get involved with community projects in a fast changing environment. The needs and the opportunities are endless. The congregation has credibility in our local society and there are good relationships and cooperation between the congregation and other role players. Despite these opportunities the congregation is reluctant to get involved. In the beginning the hypothesis was that it is due to a skewed view of what the church is. Because the congregation is in the countryside it was thought that the members might have a politically conservative opinion about the church getting involved in community matters. This study has proved that it is not the case. It is much more likely that the problem lies with the leadership or even with the systems and structures that are (not) in place. If the leadership would be more willing to take risks, they might find that they have many members waiting to follow them. Or if the systems were in place, it would be much easier for the members to know where and how to get involved.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die gemeente Kathu is die grootste plattelandse gemeente van die NG Kerk in die Noordkaap. Dit is ʼn gemeente met baie potensiaal om te groei en om tekens van die koninkryk te wys spesifiek in die platteland. Dit is ʼn gemeente wat leiding kan neem en ʼn verskil kan maak. Baie plattelanders is besig om vanweë ekonomiese agteruitgang hoop te verloor. Hulle ervaring is dat politici nie hul beloftes nakom nie en dat hulle algaande besig is om net meer te veragter. Die potensiaal van die gemeente hang saam met die volgende: (1) daar is tans baie ontwikkeling en ekonomiese vooruitgang in die omgewing, (2) daar is baie energie in die gemeente aangesien daar baie jongmense is en ook baie ambisieuse mense op die myne. Die geleenthede vir die gemeente om ʼn verskil te maak hang veral saam met die nuwe dorpsontwikkeling. Daar is enorme ruimte vir die kerk om betrokke te raak by gemeenskapsprojekte in die snel veranderende omgewing. Die behoeftes is groot en die geleentheid is groot. Die NG gemeente Kathu het ook geloofwaardigheid in die omgewing en daar is goeie verhoudings en samewerking tussen die gemeente en ander rolspelers in Kathu. Tog is dit asof die gemeente stadig is om betrokke te raak. Die aanvanklike hipotese was dat dit te make het met die kerkbegrip van die lidmate. Aangesien die gemeente in die platteland geleë is, is gemeen dat die gemiddelde lidmaat polities konserwatief van opinie is en daarom nie saamstem dat die kerk in die samelewing betrokke moet wees nie (die kerk moet nie “politiek” bedryf nie). Die studie het dit egter verkeerd bewys. Die waarskynlikheid is groter dat dit te make het met die leierskap wat nie genoeg risiko’s waag in die verband nie, asook ’n gebrek aan goeie sisteme en strukture wat dit vir lidmate moontlik maak om in die gemeenskap in te skakel.

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