Church leadership in Langa Churches equipping church members for the upliftment of the local community: a practical theological perspective
Zondi, Sipho Moses
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This research examines the effectiveness of the leadership of Langa Church in its equipping task of church members for the upliftment of the community. In the study the researcher seeks to address the following questions: (1) what is the current church praxis in Langa church community with regard to equipping as illustrated through a descriptive empirical investigation? (2) What does existing research say concerning the equipping of church communities? (3) What principles from Scripture can be applied to determine the effectiveness of Langa church’s equipping task? and (4) Which models will have to be taken into account regarding equipping to enhance effectiveness of Langa church’s equipping task? In accordance with Osmer’s (2008) the four tasks of practical theological interpretation which are descriptive-empirical, interpretive, normative, and pragmatic tasks have been employed. The findings of the descriptive-empirical task points to the failure by the leadership of Langa Church at its equipping task. There are numerous reasons given by all participants in the interviews for the failure. There were some equipping attempts done at various churches, but they could not be described as sufficient to uplift the local community. On the other hand, the interpretive task shows that a community upliftment requires holistic approach from the church and this requires the buy-in of all involved especially in decision making. The hermeneutic research was done from a historical grammatical perspective whereby the Bible is believed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit according to 2 Timothy 3:16, and, therefore, accepted as the authoritative Word of God (De Klerk & De Wet, 2013:300). Therefore, the normative guidelines to the equipping task by the leadership of Langa Church should also be based on the principles from Scripture. In the final pragmatic task the researcher proposed practical guidelines and the model which was derived through critical reflection of the research findings. The researcher believes that the study will contribute to the discourse of practical theology with regard to equipping of the church and community upliftment from the context of Langa area. Burns and Grove (2009:29) observe that “by understanding the meaning of a phenomenon in its context, it becomes easier to understand phenomena in other similar contexts”.
- Theology 
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