Theology was referred to the study of faith in God and the history of God’s journey with His people and their narratives about God and His journey with them. Theology was applied within the context of religious experience. Practical theology is the hermeneutics of God’s encounter with human beings and their world. It was often referred to as a theology of crisis and practical oriented science and the task of maintaining the connections between the varied stories of life
and grounding the stories of Christian Community
Practical theology could also be summarised as follows (1) as having its roots in the practice of
research methodology. Methodology had developed practical theology into various phases,
namely: (1) A personality –oriented moral model. (2) The official model, (3) the so-called
application model. (4) An empirical model; (5) A phenomenological model, and (6) a last
development called the ecclesiological model.
Epistemology, in this project, is referred to the branch of philosophy that studied issues, related
to knowledge. It is an empirical (deriving knowledge from experience alone) theory that enabled
the practical theology to be referred to as the empirical theology. In this case, it was a scientific
knowledge to address the question how do traumatised African clergies therapeutically deal with
traumatised African families while being affected, themselves?
The post-modern world was using the epistemology framework which was based on narrative
hermeneutical emancipatory relationships that was critical of power relationships of modern
books. The writer here had adopted narrative hermeneutical emancipatory relationshipsstructural
approach to use for both in obtaining information from the organisational structures of
the church and the dual church of democracy and theocracy for the emancipation of traumatised
African clergies therapeutically dealing with traumatised African families. .
The narrative hermeneutical emancipatory relationships discourses were used to solve the
problem of traumatised African clergies and traumatised African families through conference
approach. Practical theology also strived to understand this experience as a place where gospel of love towards others, were grounded and lived out. Grief was generally viewed as having
psychological and social repercussions (driven back) to the status of traumatised African
clergies. It was also a significant spiritual condition of sleeplessness, and anxiety, in that, it
impacted on relationships with God, self, and others.
Pastors, therefore, had a key role to play in the well being of people within the Christian iv
communities; including other pastors who suffered from different traumatic experiences. God
created them with spirit, soul and body to function, not in exclusion, but included them as one in
human body. It was in the light of this understanding that the body of a human being needed to
be balanced well with the three (spirit, soul and body), in order to function fruitfully within the
community of God.
The human being was not a fragmentation but a complete entity, needing healing for his or her
whole being: spiritually, socially, psychologically and in relationship with his or her
environment. The African clergies did stand in need of healing in order to redirect their lives;
following their traumatic experiences. They needed to be healed so that they could carry on with
their tasks as pastoral care giving.
In traditional African society, health was conceived as more than physical well-being. It was a
state that entailed mental, physical, spiritual social and environmental (cosmic) harmony. It was
associated with all that were positively valued in life. It was also a sign of a correct relationship
between people and their environment, with one another and with the supernatural world. Health
was understood both in a social and in a biological sense. When the physical was ill the body
was reluctant to help in social life and when the loved some was dead the social life was affected
in grief and the body became weak. Pastoral care had the potential to bring healing and hope;
through good shepherding.
Pastoral care and counselling was historically concerned with healing of the broken-hearted and
liberating the people of God in order for them to develop self-esteem. In most of the African
churches, the hierarchy of the church tended to treat problems of pastors as personal problems
and as having no bearing to the church as an institution at all. Personal problems of pastors were
hostility from Christians, lack of money and mismanagement of church funds; inferiority
complex; rejection by community, some pastors were favoured, and some were rejected because
of their background, misunderstood by church members. In many instances, pastors left their
church due to the lack of support and encouragement. At times, it was the church that disowned
them on the basis of churches discriminatory practices and personal challenges that distracted
such as planning other clergies outside the region from their pastoral duties.
Even though the church was not perceived as a building, but as people who worshipped God in
the church building, it was beyond that. It was the people, including its pastors that were
ministering to people of God in it that constituted a church. The perception was that the church v
had no problem to solve, had to be dismissed without any condition.
Many pastors experienced and suffered rejection from churches discriminatory practices. God’s
general call to all Christians was to serve: the truth that everybody served a master either the
devil or God ((Matt.6:24; John 8: 34-36; John 15:19; Romans 6:6-22; James 4:4; 1John 2:15-17;
4:4-6); there was no middle ground. We were either under the dominion of sin and the devil, or
we had been ransomed by Jesus Christ of Nazareth and we were then His servants (Galatians
1:10). Pastors before they were called to leadership of God, they were also among those
Christians who were called to serve either the devil or God.
A shepherd was referred to one employed in tending, feeding and guarding the people of God
who were metaphorically known as the flock of God that were under his care and service as an
overseer. Shepherding was applied to the pastor, in the fivefold ministry gifts of Jesus of
Nazareth, and as means of shepherding the flock of God in the Church. The traumatised African
pastors were included in this shepherding.
The remedy to the traumatised African clergies and traumatised African families was chosen to
be the dual church government of theocracy and democracy; as we intended to reach the eternity
of the true God, the creator of the Zoe and Bios Universe, the dual church government of
democracy and theocracy of God was regarded as the solution to the churches discriminatory
practices through the conference approach. Churches who tried to unite and fight against
apartheid’s discriminatory practices were: The Methodist Church of Southern Africa; the
Congregational Assembly; the Anglican Church of South Africa; Presbyterians of S A and the
Assemblies of God in South Africa. Churches adopted a neutral stance: Evangelical movements
were: three types of Evangelical churches, namely: (1) Fundamentals (2) Conservative
Evangelical (3) New Evangelicals. The Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) stood as an example of
the evangelical or Pentecostal Movement.
These churches used conference approach to destroy apartheid discriminatory practices of the
then Apartheid Government of South Africa. But the assumption was that the local churches
were affected by these discriminatory practices, hence after apartheid they adopted the same
discriminatory practices used against their traumatised local African clergies. As they were
affected they also needed individual counseling. Pastoral counselling should be always there to
address the needs and feelings of priests through seminars, workshops, and fellowship.
Members of the church –the elders should be involved in these workshops to present the feelings vi
of the congregation towards the priest’s conduct.
The Blacks saw apartheid discriminatory practices as “unchristian” apartheid. Therefore when
leaders of churches saw the apartheid discriminatory practices as unchristian, the dual church
government of democracy and theocracy of God had seen discriminatory practices as unchristian
and might be thrown out of the Church by conference approach of the BTGM:
The leadership of the Assemblies of God Back to God Movement was the BTGEXCO, BTGTT
and the Evangelistic arm the BTGTT, BTGCNC, each committee of the Church normally fell
under the supervision and guidance of these above named highest levels in the church hierarchy.
The following middle levels were RDCCs, RMFs, BTGCRC and the lower-levels were Elders
and deacons or Church Boards and Trans-local Ministries in the low-level in the hierarchy.
The leadership of the BTGTT was vision, empowering and releasing people (employing called
people: RMFs in middle level, Elders & Deacons and Trans-local Ministries in lower- level. The
BTGTT leadership was in leadership similar to Aaron and Levities, Jesus of Nazareth and the 12
Apostles and 70 disciples of Jesus of Nazareth: The BTGCNC in highest hierarchy and
BTGCRC in the middle level. The BTGEXCO was the highest level in the hierarchy of elected
committees, RDCCs middle-level and Local Church Boards and delegates in lower-level.
The hermeneutical emancipatory relationships which were very critical of power relationship
that had been used in conference approach to destroy churches discriminatory practices would no
longer be used in dealing with individual traumatised African clergies and traumatised African
families. Pastoral counselling would use a narrative approach to address the needs and feelings
of pastors through seminars, workshops and fellowships to agree that we still live in relationships
with the post-modern society well known only in engaging one another in solving problems of
the post-modern world.