HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies (Jul 2016)

Hou Christus die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika in stand?

  • André Ungerer

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 72, no. 3
pp. e1 – e11


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Does Christ sustain the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa? The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) that is situated in South-Africa is currently experiencing a serious decline in numbers. The question arises whether Christ will sustain the NRCA in the words of the Afrikaans Hymn 477 in the ‘Liedboek van die Kerk’ (Hymnbook of the Church): ‘Christ will maintain his church …’ Is it a matter of faith, or even more – a matter of obedience? The membership of the NRCA mainly consists of white Afrikaans-speaking people. Apart from the situation in the NRCA there is also a serious decline in the number of white people in South Africa. It raises the question about the sustainability of the NRCA if it continues to maintain a membership of predominately white Afrikaans-speaking people. The NRCA is very much institutionalised with a history that lacks missional intention and involvement in the community. This study investigates the possibility for a more applicable missional curriculum in the training of theology students to counter the lack of missional involvement. It also investigates new ways to reach the unchurched society with a missional approach. The Fresh Expression Movement that originated in the UK provides a new paradigm for the NRCA that will hopefully lead to a new way of thinking and doing. Will Christ sustain the NRCA? The answer lies in the willingness of the NRCA to show a missional heart for all the people of Africa, especially those in Southern Africa. Keywords: Missional; missional curriculum; missional ecclesiology; institutionalism; toxic organization; spiritual; church planting; fringes; Fresh Expressions