This study looked at the journey towards becoming a missional church, using Beach Mission Presbyterian Church as a case study and explores the question of the missiological praxis of Beach Mission and UPCSA. Despite the fact that the church is not fundamentally the keeper of mission, it is however the sign, instrument, means of expression, and foretaste of God’s mission to the troubled, broken and traumatised world. I can affirm with equal validity that, mission belongs to God. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission – God’s mission.
The UPCSA must give careful attention to the processes by which it governs itself but the biblical and theological foundations will always be crucial than the specific structures implemented. These foundations will allow authentic relationships to develop simply because they assure people that they will be valued as those created in the image of God. Their wisdom and participation will be noticed and honoured. The church structures will give credence to God’s work of reconciliation. When church structures allow the biblical and theological foundations to order its life, the church will bring glory, praise and honour to God.
Gibbs (2005:20) asserts that, the church of the twenty-first century needs missional thinkers and apostolic leadership. By missional leadership I mean leaders who can read the Scriptures with fresh eyes, relating the story of redemption to the human condition in its present cultural context – contexts that are increasingly multicultural and influenced by global trends. This poses a challenge to UPCSA.
It was apparent that the Beach Mission Presbyterian Church approaches missional church conversation with a sense of hopefulness, and this was motivated by the strong belief that God is present and up to something wonderful.
The Beach Mission Presbyterian Church’s case in point is heartening other congregations who intend in embarking on a journey towards becoming a missional church. The focus has been about God and his mission. The Beach Mission Presbyterian Church ought to comprehend the indisputable fact that it is just an instrument for missio Dei or to put it simply it is nothing more than a delivery means for the gospel. Wright (2010:31) asserts that, but at the end of the day, mission is a matter of loyalty. The ambassador must have complete loyalty to the government he or she represents. A trusted messenger will faithfully deliver what his sender said, not his own opinions. The church is a rejected community sent out to the world with a product (Jesus), to bring about transformation to the world. In essence, one wonders if the church does comprehend the world in which it is sent out to? Does it comprehend God, who has sent it?
In the missional church, the theology is more than the self-serving what do you get mentality. Members comprehend that they are called to be the church rather than be served by it.
Dissertation (MA Theol)--University of Pretoria, 2013.