1 Background and investigation Using the Problem statement as a basis, namely the Need for and/or lack of holistic projects for the evangelisation of the poor in congregations, it was decided to investigate the matter, utilising both literature studies and an empirical study, and to suggest regulatory steps in accordance with the conclusions arrived at. Bosch (1979:227) summarises the essence of the findings of the literature study by stating that verbal witnessing (verbal attestation) and witnessing by actions (active attestation) should not be set opposite one another, because the Word of God is a deed full of sound, and God’s action is a visible and concrete word. One of the most informative findings of the empirical study is that very few members of the congregation are actively involved in evangelisation and acts of compassion (holistic evangelisation). Although congregations train their members in evangelisation and in aspects of compassion, most of them do not remain involved for longer than one year. 2 Regulatory Steps It was decided to follow the suggestions for the regulatory (strategic) phase using the principles of the congregation-building process, and a systemic approach was followed. This means that the ministering of evangelisation is considered a sub-system of all other ministries of the church, and that most of the principles of congregation-building that apply to the macro level of the congregation, will also apply to the holistic evangelisation sub system. Before one can start with the physical motivation, defrosting, and mission formulation (Phase 1), however, it is essential that something first be said about the church, poor people, and poverty. Each congregation should decide for itself, according to circumstances, how the specific theme should be elucidated, and who should be the target group(s). During the Analysis of the Congregation (Phase 2), it will be essential that questions be asked in order to obtain information on the profile of the congregation regarding holistic evangelisation. This should cover aspects such as whether members of the congregation have been trained in these aspects, and what their specific gifts / fields of interest, etc., are. According to Nel (1994:164, 165), it furthermore is also important that specific factors be covered, for example sociological, demographical, and economical factors which may exert an influence on the specific congregation. The information gathered during the drawing-up of a profile of the congregation (particulars of internal factors) and during the diagnosis of the situation and environment (particulars of external factors) now need to be related to one another, and a dialogue should be started between the two sets of factors. Regarding Strategy Planning and Implementation (Phases 3 and 4), aspects such as the congregation’s weak and strong points, definition of identified needs and problems, specification of the mission, formulation of aims, actions taken to reach aims, and strategic programmes with time schedules, methods, sources, and persons responsible, need to be addressed. It is important that aims be planned and carried out by motivated members of the congregation in an organised way. Lastly, it is important that, in Phase 5 (Evaluation, stabilisation, and repetition of the process), the congregation in its congregation-building process, constantly evaluate whether it is still on track with regards to holistic evangelisation. This evaluation should take place at regular intervals, but should occur formally at least once per year.
Dissertation (MA (Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.