Original Research

Where is the church on Monday? Awakening the church to the theology and practice of ministry and mission in the marketplace

Dion A. Forster, Johann W. Oosterbrink
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 49, No 3 | a1944 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i3.1944 | © 2015 Dion A. Forster, Johann W. Oosterbrink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2015 | Published: 21 August 2015

About the author(s)

Dion A. Forster, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and Beyers Naudé Center for Public Theology, Unit for Innovation and Transformation of Church and Society, South Africa
Johann W. Oosterbrink, Camino Consultancy, Organisational Development Specialists, South Africa


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Abstract

Recent research by the Call42 group has shown that South African Christians experience that they are not adequately prepared or equipped for Christian living and discipleship in the world of work – here called the marketplace. This article has argued for the importance of a rediscovery of a theology of work that can empower and equip the church and individual Christians for ministry in the marketplace. The article traces why such a theological deficiency exists in the South African church by considering areas such as an inadequate theology of work and mission, a dualism between faith and work, and an unbalanced emphasis on the role of clergy and a lesser focus on the role of the laity in themissio Dei. Having considered these challenges to the mission and theological identity of the church, the article discusses the three general theological views of the church in South Africa as presented by Smit and adapted by Forster. It considers how the church could become an agent of mission and transformation in the marketplace in each of these three forms. The article comes to the conclusion that the church will need to revisit its missional theology, refocuses its efforts on broader society, and empowers and equips its members for ministry in the marketplace in order to be faithful in partnering with God in the missio Dei.

Waar is die kerk op Maandag? Ontwaking van die kerk tot die teologie en praktyk vanbediening en sending in die markplein. Onlangse navorsing deur die Call42 groep het bevind dat Suid-Afrikaanse Christene ervaar dat hulle nie voldoende voorbereid en toegerus is vir die Christelike lewe en dissipelskap in die arbeidsmark - hier genoem die markplein – nie. Hierdie artikel poog om aan te toon dat ’n herontdekking van ’n teologie van werk belangrik is ten einde die kerk in die algemeen asook individuele Christene te bemagtig en toe te rus vir die bediening in die markplein. Hierdie artikel poog dus om die kwessie van die sodanige teologiese leemte in die Suid-Afrikaanse kerk na te vors. Terreine soos onvoldoende teologie van werk en sending word ondersoek, ’n dualisme tussen geloof en werk word uitgewys, en daar word aangetoon dat ’n oorspeling van die predikant se rol en ’n onderspeling van gewone kerklidmate se rol die kerk se betrokkenheid by die missio Dei benadeel. Met inagneming van hierdie uitdagings aan sending en die kerk se teologiese identiteit, bespreek die artikel drie algemene teologiese standpunte van die kerk in Suid Afrika, soos deur Smit aangebied en deur Forster aangepas. Die artikel besin hoe die kerk in elk van hierdie drie bestaansvorme ’n agent van sending en transformasie in die markplein kan wees. Die gevolgtrekking word gemaak dat die kerk die missionale of sendingteologie moet heroorweeg, opnuut moet fokus op die uitreik na die breër gemeenskap en lidmate vir bediening in die markplein moet bemagtig en toerus. Sodoende sal die kerk getrou wees aan die medewerking met God in die missio Dei.


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