This study investigates Congregational Development, understanding of God and Liturgy. The aim of the study is to provide guidelines from the perspective of the development of congregations according to which members can be trained to better understand the various metaphors of God, in order for them to apply it liturgically in the missional development of the congregation in a changing world.
The methodology of practical theology is found in the concepts understanding, explaining and changing. This study focuses on all three concepts, as embodied in hermeneutic understanding, the empirical reality and a new theory of practice that leads to change.
The hermeneutic understanding focused firstly on the development of congregations as an ecclesiological starting point in the identity and calling of the Church. Secondly, the different metaphors of God in the missional development of the congregation were investigated. In the metaphorical understanding of God, the spotlight fell on the changing world in which members of the congregation are expected to liturgically live out their understanding of God.
The aim of the empirical measurement, which was a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, is to test the hermeneutic understanding and to explain to which degree it is manifested in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa ("Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika").
The concept of change focused on the provision of a new theory of practice that can serve as a guide to members of congregations to live out their roles in the missional development of the congregation in a changing word.