Music ministry in the missional worship service of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa
Campbell, Colin Archibald, 1970-
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This thesis investigated the approach to, and the conducting of worship services in ten missional faith communities of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa during the period 2004 – 2009. It investigated the shift in theological paradigm (towards mission) taking place in the Dutch Reformed Church from 2002 onwards, and the effects thereof on liturgy and music in the worship domain. In order to contextualise the liturgical developments emanating from the case studies, the history and liturgy of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa were traced back to the early Dutch pastors arriving with the first settlers at the Cape Colony in 1652. The historical events leading to the Dutch Reformed Church being labelled as the state church and its sanctioning of the apartheid ideology were placed in perspective as a result of the successes of missionary work in South Africa. The missional paradigm was unpacked according to the missio Dei. God is the primal agent in mission and calls His church into mission, and sending the church to restore society. Created in the imago Dei, human beings have a responsibility towards contextual society in everyday life. Missional worship therefore becomes a paradigmatic way of life. God is the focal point in worship and liturgy: it is all about God. The core of the research revolves around the ten missional faith communities, eight of which were part of the initial Southern African Partnership for Missional Churches project. Unstructured interviews were conducted with pastors, musicians and persons involved in the focussed missional activities within these congregations. Having an insider's perspective on the project, the researcher included his own narrative in order to further underline the changes taking place in the worship domain. Liturgy in the faith communities under investigation was found to be shifting towards ecumenical models: the gathering, the service of the Word, the service of the Table, and the sending. A trend to celebrate the Eucharist/Holy Communion more frequently than the tradition dictated was also noted in the communities. In general, a more creative approach towards the planning and execution of liturgy has been observed – this freedom allowing for the Holy Spirit to move the faith community during worship, and was vastly different to the cognitive historical liturgy. The music ministry has developed into a new paradigm from the historical role of the organist. Music was found to become a focal point, manifesting as liturgical art, pointing towards God and enabling the faith community to meet God in worship. This led to the change in the role of the church musician in terms of scope and spiritual/religious value. The shift towards leading the liturgy and shaping the faith community through music has been noted – thus establishing a music ministry. The Eucharist/Holy Communion is presented as a metaphor, the underlying basis for a model in music ministry. Music ministry is now defined under the theological lens as being sacramental in nature. In closing, recommendations are made to address the re-education of church musicians and theologians to deal with the theological changes taking place in worship.
- Humanities