Title page for ETD etd-06062008-122744

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Cooke, Frank Terence
Email terencecooke@telkom.co.za
URN etd-06062008-122744
Document Title Die gebruik van die pastor pastorum in die pastorale versorging van die predikante van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (Afrikaans)
Degree DD (Practical Theology)
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Nel Supervisor
  • Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk
  • pastors
  • ministers
  • pastoral care
  • holistic approach
  • ministers
  • Church of Christ
  • Dutch Reformed Church (DRC)
  • pastorum
Date 2008-04-18
Availability unrestricted
This study was undertaken around the following problem statement:

As a result of erratic pastoral care for the ministers' corps of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) by the denomination, ministers are often left to their own resources (to fend for themselves?) and consequently experience solitude. Because of developments in society and the church, they exist and function more and more on the periphery of the lives of people and of society. With some ministers, this results in an alienation from their calling and uncertainty about how this calling should be realised in specific circumstances and contexts.

From this, the following research hypothesis was formulated:

When the DRC appoints pastors pastorum as an essential component of a comprehensive and holistic approach to the pastoral care of the minister, ministers will fulfil their calling with renewed self-confidence, improved competence and greater authority.

This study was approached from the methodological question: Who does what, regarding who, how, where, when, why?

The DRC functions according to the presbyterial synodal system of church government. Each pastor and congregation is, although selfreliant, also part of the DRC and the Church of Christ in general. The presbyterial synodal church government system is not the only way in which the church can be managed and is also not infallible. The weaknesses in the system have a negative effect especially on pastors who have attained an exceptionally important position in the system. The system of corporate episcopes is inadequate in current circumstances.Concerning episcope.

The service of episcope is scripturally defined, but the nature thereof depends on place, time and circumstances. In churches with an episcopal character, the episcope are the function of the bishop and possess an individual character.

A general consensus exists that these episcope can be executed in a synodal-collegial manner, OR in an episcopal-personal manner. It is not necessary to apply the service in the figure of the bishop exclusively. It is essential to supplement the system of corporative episcope in the DRC with a system of personal episcope. The function of episcope must be applied to all levels of church life.

Concerning the pastor.

The term pastor is preferred to that of minister or preacher. No definition is given for a pastor, but the profile of the pastor is described in terms of the triangle: person, office and profession. The calling of the pastor is considered to be fundamental to this triangle.

The pastoral care of pastors comprises the totality of activities provided by the entire church in order to, by means of a personal episcope (thus officially), communicate the gospel to the pastor in all facets of his humanity and, by utilizing all possible aids, to enable the pastor to fulfill his calling with renewed self-confidence (security of identity), authority (security of office) and competence (security of profession).

On the strength of this description, the following resposibility is assigned to each church assembly in the process of pastoral care of pastors: The synod functions on the level of profession and office with favourable results on the personal level of the pastor. The circuit functions on the level of mutual care among pastors. The church council and congregation function on the level of the general priesthood of believers.

The pastor pastorum

The ministry of the pastor pastorum should be founded upon the metaphor of the shepherd. To be able to use this nowadays, the metaphor should be deconstructed first in order to look past the various romantic portrayals thereof. Then it has to be reconstructed in order to be applicable to current circumstances. The position and profile of the pastor pastorum is pointed out. Special attention is paid to the pastor pastorum as shepherd and as person who should be able to think systemically.

Empirical research

The empirical investigation attempts to connect the who and the what to the where and the when.

  1. The empirical investigation confirms the supposition that a need exists for pastoral care among pastors.
  2. The pastor prefers to be pastorally cared for by the church.
  3. For the pastor, the receiver of the pastoral care, it is not really important which church assembly the care emanates (comes?) from. Care from a major assembly which is removed further than the regional synod from the pastor, would, however, not be effective.
  4. It seems that lack of a vision on the whole is a serious problem, especially in churches from the reformed tradition.
  5. Solutions concerning pastoral care of pastors should be directed towards the person of the pastor as well as towards the structure in which the pastor works.

The church can and must learn from other church traditions.

University of Pretoria 2007

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  00front.pdf 258.37 Kb 00:01:11 00:00:36 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:01
  01chapter1.pdf 267.73 Kb 00:01:14 00:00:38 00:00:33 00:00:16 00:00:01
  02chapter2.pdf 668.31 Kb 00:03:05 00:01:35 00:01:23 00:00:41 00:00:03
  03chapter3.pdf 347.76 Kb 00:01:36 00:00:49 00:00:43 00:00:21 00:00:01
  04chapter4.pdf 768.43 Kb 00:03:33 00:01:49 00:01:36 00:00:48 00:00:04
  05chapters5-6.pdf 459.00 Kb 00:02:07 00:01:05 00:00:57 00:00:28 00:00:02
  06chapter7.pdf 209.71 Kb 00:00:58 00:00:29 00:00:26 00:00:13 00:00:01
  07back.pdf 376.96 Kb 00:01:44 00:00:53 00:00:47 00:00:23 00:00:02

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