This article traces the historical impact of the church in transforming, developing and changing
society. It looks at how the church in selected periods in history, mainly in the reformation era,
worked towards the transformation of society and communities. Extracting from these the
author attempts to show how this can be applied to the church in the South African context.
Further, the author explores the changing dynamics and characteristics of being church today
and establishes that it is not so much about what the church believes, but in what it does that
matters most in this day and age. The author, with the latter thought in mind, expresses that
community transformation has to be an integral part of the ministry of the church today.
This research is part of the
project, ‘African Christianity
and Development’, directed
by Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay,
Department of Church
History and Church Polity,
Faculty of Theology,
University of Pretoria,