Original Research - Special Collection: Diakonia

Die verhouding tussen gemeentelike en institusionele diakonaat – ’n Geïntegreerde model

Rudolph B. van Aarde
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2817 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2817 | © 2023 Rudolph B. van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 February 2023 | Published: 30 June 2023

About the author(s)

Rudolph B. van Aarde, Council for Church Social Services, Pretoria, South Africa


The relationship between congregational and institutional diaconate – an integrated model. In this study the relationship between the congregational diaconate or ministry of compassion and the professional institutionalised social services of church-based welfare organisations is researched. Although the study focusses on the developments within the Dutch Reformed Church, the distance or separation between these services seems to be a general tendency also in other church denominations in the South African and global context. After the promulgation of the Act on Non-Profit Organisations (Act 71 of 1997), the ministry of compassion in congregations and the professional social services of the church’s welfare organisations drifted apart to such an extent that the two ministries developed each in its own silo. This silo-development resulted in separate languages for service delivery with a great deal of terminology confusion. – an integrated model

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: After the introduction and remarks about the calling of the Church, it is attempted to clarify terminology in order to develop a common language. Currently this is a great need in the diaconal theology and ministry within the Afrikaans churches. In the last section a (new) integrated ministerial model is proposed to bridge the separation between the congregational and institutional diaconate. This integrated service model may serve as a guideline for the diaconate in congregations, as well as the broader church structures of presbyteries and synods. It is attempted in this study to bridge the gap between practical theology and social sciences.


congregational; diaconate; integrated; model, South African context.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 1: No poverty


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