The practice of ministry is an intricate issue which involves the combination of individual efforts
from diverse backgrounds. This diversity has been a breeding ground for conflict between the
clergy and all the stakeholders involved in parish administration. This article attempted to
highlight some of these conflicts, using the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon as a case study.
The approach employed is an African hermeneutic reading of Luke 9:18–22 in which the
clergy’s leadership has been likened to that of Jesus. The presence of many distracting agents
did not perturb Jesus’ ministry instead, he remained focused. Conclusively, it is observed that
the clergy often face conflict within the ministry because they ignore the fact that (1) they are
expected to know their mission better than anyone else; (2) the diverse backgrounds of their
followers are potential causes of conflict; and (3) there are several distracting agents within the
ministry. In short, Jesus’ model of conflict management is recommended to the clergy for an
effective pastoral ministry.
This article is an abstract from
Rev. Dr Mbengu D. Nyiawung’s
PhD thesis ‘Who is the Christ?
Leadership and conflict in Luke
9:18–22: A social scientific
and narratological analysis
from an African perspective’,
submitted and defended
in 2010 in the Department
of New Testament Studies,
Faculty of Theology, University
of Pretoria, with Prof. Dr
Ernest van Eck as supervisor.
Some parts of the article have
also been published in the
Journal of the Presbyterian
Theological Seminary Kumba,
Voices from Kumba, as ‘An
African hermeneutic reading
of Luke 9:18–22 in relation
to conflict and leadership’,
2010, Volume, 3, 69−85.