Original Research

Enhancing youth involvement in community development: A pragmatic strategy for local churche

Mawethu Msebi, Jacques W. Beukes
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a2956 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.2956 | © 2024 Mawethu Msebi, Jacques W. Beukes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2023 | Published: 09 May 2024

About the author(s)

Mawethu Msebi, Department of Practical Theology and Mission Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Jacques W. Beukes, Department of Practical Theology and Mission Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


This article reports on the findings of the Christian youth ministry involvement in community development in the Mayibuye community of Tembisa, in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The article employed Richard Osmer’s model of the four tasks of practical theological interpretation. These tasks have been used to understand better what is happening in youth ministry and community development contexts in the Mayibuye community by utilising documentary analysis and in-depth semi-structured interviews. The findings divulged that the Mayibuye community faces several socio-economic challenges. Most importantly, young people are the most affected. Furthermore, the findings exposed that youth involvement is limited in community development processes within local communities. As a result, the article proposes implementing a pragmatic strategy to enhance the youth ministry’s involvement in community development. Various principles of the youth ministry have been presented in the study as the essential principles that need youth leaders’ attention for functional youth ministry, and to achieve developmental outcomes. The study also recommended further empirical studies on youth culture, the importance of young people’s inclusion in leadership roles and the use of young people as catalysts for community transformation.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The anticipated outcomes of this research endeavour are poised to make a valuable contribution to the current corpus of knowledge in various academic domains, including Practical Theology, Youth Ministry, Theology and Development, Community Development, Congregational Studies, Missiology, Anthropology, and Sociology. This contribution suggests that adopting a pragmatic strategy is likely to yield positive outcomes for local churches, youth ministry, and community development as a whole.


youth ministry; community development; strategy; teamwork; erratic youth culture; talent enhancement; servant leadership; parent involvement; youth theology

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities


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