Original Research

Development and the role of the church: Exploring public pastoral care positioning within congregational ministry

Vhumani Magezi, Patrick Nanthambwe
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2414 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2414 | © 2022 Vhumani Magezi, Patrick Nanthambwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 November 2021 | Published: 05 May 2022

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Unit for Reformed Theology and Development in South Africa, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Patrick Nanthambwe, Unit for Reformed Theology and Development in South Africa, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Discussions on development have been ongoing for many decades. Within these discussions, approaches such as human and community-focused development have gained prominence in recent years. Churches are acknowledged as critical actors and vehicles that foster human development. However, locating development within church discussions raises the question of theological and praxeological relevance. This challenges theology and the church to both develop theological and ecclesiological justification. Within that justification is embedded the challenge of discerning and developing church ministry frameworks that interfaces with people in communities to ensure authentic human and community-focused development approaches. To that end, church public pastoral care is suggested, and its positioning needs to be clearly established, while emerging issues requiring research unveiled for investigation. This article describes the developments on the subject of development and the church, as well as position church public pastoral care as an approach that drives church development while highlighting questions for research on the subject.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This study employs an interdisciplinary approach whereby international development discussion and public role of churches within congregations are integrated to propose the role of church pastoral care as a ministry nexus. It contributes to public pastoral care and congregational ministry designs that respond to poverty and community-social challenges. It employs a critical literature analysis to make recommendations.


Keywords

development; church and development; church and community; role of the church; pastoral care; public pastoral care

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