Towards an appropriate model of the local church in the Vaal Triangle
Mohapi, Mosielle Peter
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This study seeks to discover more specifically how the Bible, rather than traditions, comfortable habits, or past practices, should guide us in achieving qualitative and quantitative church-growth in the Vaal Triangle, and in doing so to investigate different models, with the view of suggesting one typical to the conditions in the area. The literature review revealed that the local churches as they exist today are in disrepute. Together with other societal institutions, they are suspect, distrusted and no longer accepted at face value. Moreover, different societies or associations of Christians are found claiming to themselves and denying to others, the character and privilege of a Christian church; and opinions widely differing from each other are held as to the meaning of the word Church. In our time the word church has assumed various contemporary uses: the place of worship, a particular denomination, an area or nation, the universal body of believers, a local group of believers. Recourse to Scriptures must be sought for ecclesiastical formulations. The contextual study has revealed that the Vaal Triangle is characterised by differences in ethnic origin, language, and religion. Another feature about the Vaal Triangle is that some families are religiously bi-cultural i.e., members of the same family unit belong to different religious persuasions. In other instances the members of the same family unit belong to different denominations. This difference in church affiliation is as a result of various (and often confusing) church practices in the area. Moreover, there are a number of groups in existence in the Vaal Triangle called 'the Church' but certainly are not what the Lord said he would build, nor do they measure up to what the New Testament means when it speaks of the Church. This study endeavours to think afresh biblically and theologically, about the nature, structure and dynamics of the Local Church in the Vaal Triangle. The model proposed in this study namely, the Pastoral Family Model (PFM) seeks to integrate the whole life and witness of the Local Church in a balanced and co-ordinated way. This model uses all members of the household of God who can contribute to the growth of the Local Church by penetrating the community in other ways.
- Theology