Monday, February 25, 2008

Workshop in churchgrowth and churchplanting: Orange Farms

The challenge of church growth has not always been central to the self-understanding of churches in the Reformed tradition. Add to this, the context of Orange Farm, a mega township on the Vaal and you might think that some-one is delusional. Not so with Dr Paul Ntshumaeylo, scribe of the Southern Transvaal Regional synod, but also church planter of note.

The conversation on churchgrowth, within missiology is a very controversial one. Many argue that this is a relic of the colonialist missions theology, most evident in the work of Donald McGavran and missiologists, primarily from the US. It however remains a question, how we are to pursue healthy congregations in a new missionary context, where new townships and residential areas render existing congregational boundaries irrelevant, if not redundant. It is in this context where these concepts becomes not only relevant, but also critical in being an authetically missional church.

Dr Paul speaks from experience as well as deeper theological reflection which culminated in the doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof Piet Meiring at the University of Pretoria. His growing congregation on the Vaal hence will host a workshop on Church growth and Churchplanting on the 8 March 2008. At this workshop another young scholar and holder of a Kampen scholarship from the Northern Theological Seminary, Rev Boitumelo Senokoane, from the Lakeside congregation, will also speak on this topic.
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