The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) had a strong missionary DNA since the planting of the
church. This missionary focus and fervour, however, ebbed and flowed during the history of
the church. Saayman described that the mission upsurges in the DRC in four waves or
‘periods of extraordinary mission endeavour’. The current research aimed to develop this
theory through a literature study on the sociopolitical context and the developments in
the ecclesiology and missiology of the DRC since the planting of the church up to 2013.
The research found strong evidence to define a fifth wave. The fifth wave was influenced by
contextual changes (e.g. a secularising, a more integrated multicultural society and the
realisation of the needs of the poor) and loss of influence and money by the DRC. Furthermore,
the growth in the church’s missional identity can be seen in the following aspects: the influence
of theologians like Lesslie Newbigin and David Bosch; a belief that mission is not something
the church does but something the church is; a shift from a Christocentric theology to a
Trinitarian theology; a holistic view of salvation; a commitment to the local context of the
congregation and a focus on bringing healing to their local communities; and lastly, the success
of the Gestuurde Gemeentes network and, more recently, the Mission Shaped Ministry training.
This research is part of the
research project, ‘Ecodomy’,
directed by Prof. Dr Nelus
of Science of Religion
and Missiology, Faculty
of Theology and Religion,
University of Pretoria.
This article focuses on three matters pertaining to the conversation of missional churches.
Firstly, it looks at the impact of missional awareness in South Africa and Africa. Here the article
explores what is meant by ...
Niemandt, Cornelius Johannes Petrus (Nelus)(Unisa Press, 2010-11)
This article explores insights into the emerging missional ecclesiology of twelve congregations collaborating in the South African Partnership for Missional Churches (SAPMC). A brief description of the vision, the understanding ...
Jordaan, Gabriel Jacobus(Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, 2013-09)
In this article the story of the pioneer missionary in Sekhukhuneland, Rev Abraham
Rousseau is told. He was a missionary of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sekhukhuneland
from 1926 to 1940. This story deals with the preparation ...