Entrepreneurship : an imperative tool in the urban misionary work of Vaal Triangle churches
Maloma, Tsietsi John
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This mini-dissertation is an attempt to engage the urban churches in fighting the rising levels of poverty and unemployment, looking at a church as an alternative vehicle for job creation and missions within the context of transformation. In trying to assist urban churches in general, the study focuses on the missionary work of churches in the Vaal Triangle region, which are likely to be representative of other churches across the South African cities. The approach of this study is to establish a biblically sound concept of entrepreneurship and determine whether this concept (entrepreneurship) rather than welfare projects can assist the church in her mission to reach our modern cities' communities. The study does so by going deeper into examining literature on biblical, theological and socio-economic perspectives on entrepreneurship and missions. In order to deepen our understanding about the subject matter, the investigation touches on key relevant concepts that impact directly on it, namely; theological and ethical mandate for stewardship, some relevant biblical passages and cases, theological perspectives about cities, the position and contribution of few selected authors on poverty and the poor, the concept of unemployment, transformational development and entrepreneurship. This study is also aimed at creating awareness amongst the churches and church leaders about the growing levels of poverty and unemployment in the Vaal Triangle, so as to stimulate entrepreneurial and mission oriented interventions towards redress of the situation. This is achieved through a survey of existing research literature on the area, focusing on; economic development of the area, how the situation changed from a vibrant economy we had in the past, to the sorry state we now have, of growing poverty levels and unemployment in terms of gender, age, and locality within the municipality. An empirical study was done amongst the churches through structured interviews with church leaders of sampled churches and completion of survey questionnaire by members. 330 questionnaires were distributed and a good response of 194 (56%) was achieved. Churches believe that we have to engage the power of God and His word in addressing the challenges facing the region. Many churches in the Vaal Triangle are in favour of working with and including the community in development projects. The survey confirmed a general view that unemployment, poverty, HIV/Aids and crime, are the four greatest challenges facing the region. The majority of the poor in the church are also women and youth. A dominant majority of church members and leaders embraced the concept of entrepreneurship as a tool that can be used to tackle challenges in our community. The study concluded with recommendations on how churches can encourage entrepreneurship and some few projects that are labour intensive and easy to enter are mentioned.
- Theology