Browsing by Author "Weber, Shantelle"
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- ItemDecolonising youth ministry models? : challenges and opportunities in Africa(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Weber, ShantelleAnyone involved in youth ministry will be able to testify to the fact that no perfect youthministry model exists. Youth ministry models employed should consider the vision, missionand needs of the contexts in which they are to be used. Although not new, the term ‘decolonise’has become a prominent part of African discourses after the 2015 and 2016 student protests atvarious university campuses in South Africa. A strong call to decolonise theology and how wedo church has been included in these calls. Students have argued against a theology andecclesiology that is exclusively based on European and other international foundations. Mychallenge with all these discussions has been discerning the difference between decolonisationand contextualisation within theology. I have often wondered whether those calling for adecolonised theology are actually referring to problems connected to a theology that is notcorrectly contextualised. When I ask whether youth ministry models in Africa should bedecolonised, I do so in the awareness that these models have brought with them both challengesand opportunities for ministry on this continent. Youth ministry models employed in Africaneed to stem from the contextual situations and readings of the biblical text in which they findthemselves. This article is aimed at exploring the work of Scripture Union as a mission-basedyouth ministry model in Africa in view of the present call to decolonise theology.
- ItemDoing theology with children in a South African context : children as collaborators in intergenerational ministry(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Weber, Shantelle; De Beer, StephanThe vision of Child Theology Africa is to advance a child-friendly continent by doing theology with, for, about and through African children. In this article we would like to explore the voice, role and position of the child in church and society, as important and integral to authentic intergenerational church praxis. This is based on the presuppositions that children should be regarded as collaborators in doing theology; children should be engaged not merely as objects but as subjects of research and knowledge generation; children articulate their own experiences with God; and the biblical imperatives to listen carefully to and engage with children.
- ItemFaith formation of young people in a evangelical context : an empirical and theoretical investigation(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch Univesity, 2014-12) Weber, Shantelle; Thesnaar, C. H.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study focussed on the faith formation of youth between the ages of fourteen and seventeen years old. An empirical and theoretical investigation into the ecclesial, familial and societal influences on the faith formation of this age group within the Evangelical Bible Church of Southern Africa (EBCOSA) was conducted. The theoretical framework of practical theological interpretation aligned with four specific research tasks guided the researcher in stipulating the purpose of the research study under five core objectives. Empirical research was conducted by using interviews and focus groups as its core methodology. A contextual analysis of the EBCOSA positioned this denomination within a post-apartheid South African context. This analysis discusses the foundation and history of the EBCOSA as an evangelical denomination within the context of Christianity in South Africa during the periods of colonization, apartheid and post-apartheid. A brief reflection on the state of youth in South Africa provides an understanding of youth ministry within this denomination. The influence that The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) has had on the EBCOSA’s denominational structure, governance and theological framework is discussed with the intention of understanding how its youth ministry has developed over time and through different societal contexts into its present state. It is argued that this denomination has not taken the faith formation of its youth seriously. This is evidenced by the way in which youth ministry, along with its structures and leadership, has been neglected through lack of youth ministry foci in TEAM’s ministerial succession plan for this denomination. A theoretical investigation into the faith formation of youth between the ages of fourteen and seventeen years old serves as the nucleus of this research study. Key terms such as discipleship, spiritual growth and maturity and faith formation are explored. An understanding of faith as a process toward spiritual growth was selected as term most relevant to the EBCOSA context. The research findings of this study reveal that the youth of EBCOSA were self-motivated and involved within the life of the church in the past. Leadership positions were considered something prized and worth attaining. The present youth are less interested in church life and its leadership positions. The reality is that the EBCOSA’s problems have merged amidst a materialistic and compromising older generation. The church may be involved in the faith formation of its youth on an individual and local basis but this is not true on a corporate and national level. The participants of this study understand faith formation as the on-going and consistent process evidenced through a Christ-like lifestyle. This study confirmed the value that music, Scripture memorization, visitation and interaction around Scripture have on the faith formation of youth. Having relational support from peers, pastors, youth leaders and family; having an attitude that is open to the reality of trials; understanding the difference between owning their faith and adherence to church practice was revealed as contributing factors to youth faith formation. Peer pressure linked to low self-image and an inability to confide in parents; feeling rejected by the church and God and the reality that even Christian parents can hinder their faith by not being consistent in the way they live at home and at church were revealed as hindrance factors to youth faith formation. Christians who pretend had a louder voice than a non-Christian family. A practical theology on youth faith formation from an evangelical South African perspective in which a public practical theology addressing the daily concerns and issues of youth and missional approach to youth is proposed.
- ItemSexual violence against children and youth : exploring the role of congregations in addressing the protection of young girls on the Cape Flats(AOSIS Publishing, 2018) Weber, Shantelle; Bowers-Du Toit, NadineThe Children’s Institute, a research arm of the University of Cape Town, reports that 18.5 million children live in South Africa. The institute’s vision is for ‘A society in which children are valued, nurtured and protected; their rights are realised; and where they are able to participate, develop and reach their full potential’. A quick scan of South African newspaper headlines, however, reflects numerous accounts of the abduction, rape and murder of young girls on the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa, during 2016–2017. This seems to confirm the statistic that one in three children is a victim of sexual violence and physical abuse before the age of 18. Sadly, many of these instances are alleged to have been linked to a family member or close family friend. Some have even been linked to Christian church contexts. This article explores this unacceptable rise in violence against these young girls and from this vantage point continues to more specifically reflect on the role congregations can play in such instances. The article argues that such abuse takes place within an ecosystem of violence and then considers how the trauma of such an experience has affected the faith formation of these young girls. The article, furthermore, highlights the recent publication entitled ‘Children, Church and the Law’, which calls for the establishment of church policy on the protection of children in our local congregations and communities as one preventative and educative tool in addressing this issue.
- ItemA (South) African voice on youth ministry research : powerful or powerless?(AOSIS Publishing, 2015) Weber, ShantelleResearch on youth ministry in Africa and specifically South Africa traces its origin to much research conducted in America and Europe. Many African scholars also draw on research and practices within these international spheres. Empirical research on youth ministry in Africa is however of great importance. For this purpose, comparative analysis research provides a research methodology in the social sciences that aims to make comparisons across different countries or cultures. A major problem in comparative research is that the data sets in different countries may not use the same categories, or define categories differently. This article makes use of a faith formation case study conducted in South Africa to highlight the value of this methodology when reflecting on international research from an African perspective. The main argument of this article is that international research on youth ministry is valuable in an African context but this research needs to be culturally contextualised through using comparative analysis as a research tool. This will reflect that there are many similarities between international youth ministry and the African context but there are also many cross-cultural disparities. After comparison, differences that are unique to the African context are noted. The article focuses on South Africa as a reflection of youth ministry within the broader African context.