Original Research

The pastoral role in moral regeneration – A South African perspective

Magezi E. Baloyi
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a2993 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.2993 | © 2024 Magezi E. Baloyi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 June 2023 | Published: 15 January 2024

About the author(s)

Magezi E. Baloyi, Research Institute of Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


In the past, the role of the pastor was not only recognised by the church in which he served, but also by the entire community. Government, institutions, and society at large to an extent relied on pastors to help build up communities. For this reason, politicians and the media sought pastoral opinions in times of strife, boycotts, and other upheavals. Public offences such as rape, murder, robbery, violence and other crimes have always been described as the deeds of evil people whose lives are far removed from the Christian and other religions. What makes corruption and crime worse in our country, is the perception of moral degeneration, among other reasons. It is a concern of this researcher that, instead of pastoral leadership preaching peace and addressing issues related to moral regeneration, they are becoming part of the problem rather than the solution. This article intends to show, by way of research, that, for pastors and ministers to participate in corrupt and immoral deeds, is problematic not only for the churches they serve, but also the communities in which they live. This article offers pastoral guidelines on the church’s responsibility in combatting pastors’ immoral actions.

Contribution: Church pastors, as community leaders, have some responsibility for eliminating and reducing rather than dismissing or contributing to the moral degeneration engulfing South Africa. It is the conviction of this author that, if pastors practise what they preach, half of the fight against moral degeneration would be won through their exemplary lives. The pastoral position has a moral impact and an influence in local communities.


African community; custodians; immoral behaviour; leadership; marriage breakers; misconduct; pastoral caregivers; rape; South Africa; violence

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


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