The research wants to contribute to the development of a missional ecclesiology for the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in South Africa. This was done by answering the following two questions: what does the current context of the DRC look like, and is the missional ecclesiology of the church sufficient to guide the church in being a sign, instrument and foretaste of the Kingdom? The research was framed by an analysis of philosophical influences on the development of the DRC, as well as the changes in context since the Reformation. A theological framework was developed that describe the contours of a missional ecclesiology. The framework was formed by analysing the broad ecumenical missional literature; the historical and missiological development of the DRC’s theology; and the fresh expressions movement. This framework was used in evaluating the decisions of the General Synod of the DRC on missional ecclesiology from 1990 until 2013. The research was hermeneutical, correlational, critical and theological, using a literature study as well as a qualitative deductive analysis.
This research contributes to the field of missional ecclesiology by: adding a fifth wave of missionary revival to Saayman’s four waves model; developing a theological framework for a missional ecclesiology; evaluating the fresh expressions movement from a Reformed perspective; evaluating the decisions of the General Synod of the DRC on missional ecclesiology; and lastly, suggesting some contours of a missional ecclesiology for the DRC. Although the research is focused on a missional ecclesiology for the DRC, the results may have broader implications for other denominations as well.