The aim of this thesis is to bring to light the actual situation as it relates to the doing of Christian education in the churches of the Baptist Convention of South Africa; to evaluate such with a view to prescribing remedial measures where they would be warranted; depending on the fmdings of the investigation. The exercise was prompted by among others, the condition of the teaching ministry of the Baptist Convention churches as I have come to know it over the years. The method used in this investigative and evaluative exercise was that of personal interviews with church leaders, Christian education committee members, and congregants, and the reading of Christian education literature. A special questionnaire was designed for this purpose. What came out of this investigation was that indeed, the Baptist Convention is involved in Christian education, but that such involvement is of such a nature that it should be improved at all costs. By implication, the findings are that the standard of Christian education in the Convention churches is below what can be called, a Biblically and conventionally accepted level of doing Christian education. By way of unpacking the findings, it should be said that on individual church level, the teaching ministry leaves much to be desired, for reasons spelt out in the thesis. The only components that seem to be doing anything at all are the Sunday school) and the youth ministries on a local church level, and the regional and national structures of the Baptist Convention, though not as up to standard as one would expect of an authentic Christian education. Over the years, missionaries who were in charge of Convention churches were very helpful in ensuring that Christian education was took place. They were involved in Sunday school, membership classes, and the training of Christian workers. Of course the quality of their teaching and training was questionable to some extent, arguing from the performance of Christian workers they trained. With the fading of missionaries from the scene, the standard of Christian education declined largely because of the poor theological training of pastors, the misconception about the role of Sunday school in the church as intended for children only, and the high regard given to preaching by pastors - at the expense of teaching - as the focal point of their call to ministry. A consoling feature is that Christian literature used so far, confirms the existence of a problem in Christian education in general, so that the Convention is not alone in its need for a solution. With the implementation of strategies laid down in the eighth chapter of this dissertation, the situation in the Baptist Convention of South Africa and the Church of Jesus Christ the world over, can be remedied, and effective Christian education embraced.
Thesis (PhD (Practical Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.