Original Research

Engaging emerging adults: A missional model of ministry for house churches in South Africa

Johannes J. Knoetze, Ronele Prince
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a2903 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.2903 | © 2024 Johannes J. Knoetze, Ronele Prince | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 May 2023 | Published: 29 February 2024

About the author(s)

Johannes J. Knoetze, Department of Practical Theology and Mission studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Ronele Prince, Department of Practical Theology and Mission studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

This article examines the role of house churches in South Africa in the ministry of emerging adulthood. Emerging adulthood is a turbulent life stage that is characterised by change and exploration. Additionally, it involves increasing responsibility and autonomy as young people assume more adult roles. This article suggests that emerging adulthood is a critical life stage for several reasons. Given the contextual realities of South Africa (high unemployment, high levels of crime, poverty), as well as the associated negative behaviour and the increasing religious disaffiliation among emerging adults, it is essential to provide nurturing support to this group in particular. To this end, this article presents a missional model for house churches as an alternative method of ministry for reaching and retaining this population group. The characteristics of house churches and emerging adults are explored and serve as the backdrop for this missional model.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article makes intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions by engaging the theological disciplines of missiology and practical theology as well as psychology and sociology.


Keywords

missional; house church; emerging adulthood; South Africa; critical age; small faith communities

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

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