The Presbytery of Zimbabwe is faced with a very serious challenge of Tribalism/Racism and this is affecting the general membership. This research seeks to call for a paradigm shift in interpreting the gospel by a way of embracing everyone as equal partners. The dividing walls in terms of tribe/race have been in existence for too long and they must be pulled down. The church must be on the fore front in carrying the beacon of hope and to minister effectively to all those who believe. The research exposes the traumatic experiences that are caused by tribalism/racism in the church and how the affected respond as they seek to worship God in a challenging environment. Some of the affected stop coming to church and move their membership to other denominations that are accommodative. Those that remain in the church find it extremely difficult to be actively involved in the life and work of the church. This therefore affects their growth spiritually and worshiping God ends up being meaningless. The thesis explored the Shepherding model by Charles V. Gerkin to be used as a means of offering Pastoral care to the traumatized. In essence the traumatized need healing more than anything so as to restore their ‘dignity’ and ‘worthiness’ in the eyes of both God and the community of believers. The model includes counseling as one seeks to journey closely with the affected as well as the perpetrators. The Bible has been used as the basic book for this discussion as the author sought to show how the church ought to be in terms of existence within the community. The church has to stand up to her true calling of preaching the gospel of reconciliation. The image of the church has been discussed extensively as a way of bringing understanding to what the church represents. If the evil practice of tribalism/racism is to be allowed to continue in the church, ultimately the existence and relevance of the gospel will be questioned.
Dissertation (MA(Theol))--University of Pretoria, 2011.