From discussions with the teenagers of Waverley Congregation, and their poor attendance of the worship service and catechesis, it became obvious that these members’ requirements are not be addressed. In the investigations into this problem, the world of the teenager was first of all addressed. In order to be able to bring the joyous message of the Gospel to them, one first needs to understand the world of the teenager. Otherwise preaching can quite easily be made off as irrelevant, and the unlocking of the message of the sermon into the language and situation of the teenagers cannot be achieved. This entails the first chapter. In the second chapter the focus is mainly on the worship service itself. Additional to this, attention was given to what the reformed identity of the Dutch Reformed Church entails.Attention was also given to renewal and other influences on the worship service. Renewal is not discarding or change, but should rather be thought of in terms of enrichment. Old truths and habits must be seen, used and interpreted anew in the ways of being a church, in such a way as to address the teenagers in their milieu. The third chapter contains the empirical research that was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with some teenagers from the congregation. According to this 91.67% of the teenagers normally attend church with their parents or family. This supports what has surfaced in the literature study, namely the very important influence that parents have on the spiritual forming of children. The other, very interesting, result from the empirical research was the fact that 50% of the teenagers said that they went to church to listen to the Word of God. The other 50% expressed a clear need that the sermons be simpler and more on their level. These results support the literature study, namely that a person wants to meet with God, and specifically via the sermon. One of the big needs expressed by the teenagers is to praise the Lord via contemporary music. Approximately 75% of the respondents were of the opinion that the music has to change if the worship service is to address the teenager. The question is, however, whether the music is really the mayor need, and whether it is not maybe the requirement to hear the Word of God in the language of the teenager. After all, the sermon is the heart of the Gospel, and people go to church to hear the voice of God. Finally the fourth chapter addresses a number of possibilities in order to better address the teenagers. As an experiment the evening worship service and catechesis have been combined at Cunningham Avenue. Over the last three months this has been a fruitful arrangement. The youth council and the “coffee bar parents” increases the involvement of the congregation in the Youth and Family Ministry. This follows the worship vision of the Waverley Dutch Reformed Church congregation, namely that of healthy relationships and the fact that the congregation must be a congregation for the family.
Dissertation (MA(Teologie))--University of Pretoria, 2007.