Original Research

Welcoming Africa's children: The nature and implications of being a missional church

Johannes J. Knoetze
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1600 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1600 | © 2016 Johannes J. Knoetze | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2016 | Published: 31 August 2016

About the author(s)

Johannes J. Knoetze, Department of Theology, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa



This article presents a brief overview of the historical development of the missional church from the understanding of the missio Dei. From this perspective, it attends to the African context. With regard to African children, the African independent churches are looked at from a missional church perspective. The nature of the missional church is described as being a Biblical, Trinitarian, discerning, evangelistic, hermeneutic and agogic community. The implication of being missional in accordance with the mentioned characteristics is then linked to the five solas of the Reformed tradition. It is concluded that the African independent churches and the mainline missionary churches need each other in order to be truly missional in Africa and to reach the children of Africa.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Children and Youth Ministry is challenged by the context of Africa, when some relevant characteristics of the African independent or initiated churches (AICs) are described and related to the Reformed tradition. The (missional) ecclesiology of the AICs and the Reformed tradition is challenged by children’s ministry


Missio Dei; Missional church; Africa; children


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