Title page for ETD etd-11152012-145240

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Hingle, Trevor William
Email hingle@worldonline.co.za
URN etd-11152012-145240
Document Title The relationship between ministerial tenure and identity development in local churches, in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa – Northern Free State and Lesotho District
Degree MA(Theol)
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Nel Supervisor
  • systems thinking
  • identity
  • servant leadership
  • process of identity finding
  • leadership
  • congregational identity
  • building up the local church
  • change process
  • tenure
Date 2012-04-10
Availability unrestricted
“The relationship between ministerial tenure and Identity development in local churches, in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa – Northern Free State and Lesotho District.”

This thesis was born from my experience of two local churches I was serving simultaneously in Riebeeckstad and Odendaalsrus. After a year of being their minister I began to reflect on my experience in their midst especially because I had begun to recognize that they treated me, as their minister, very differently. Amongst other things I discovered that they had experienced vastly different clergy tenure over an extended period of time. The journey these reflections began, along with my passion for the local church, has led to this dissertation which investigates the relationship between clergy tenure and the development of Congregational identity in local churches.

Strong and healthy local churches have a clearly defined and understood congregational identity that overcomes uncertainty, builds unity, provides guidelines and direction, and increases member participation, excitement and energy. This sense of knowing “who we are” and “why we are” generates great momentum and focus in the local church which translates into participation with the Triune God in making the Kingdom of God a reality.

For this to happen, strong and capable leadership is required. But, more than that, building up a Local Church to participate in the work of God's Kingdom requires continuity in the leadership of the local church. Long-term clergy tenure over an extended period is a vital part of leading a local church into a fuller participation with the Triune God in making the Kingdom of God a reality.

Sadly, the importance of long-term clergy tenure is not always recognized and the result is that not only the local church suffers, but ultimately, the work of the Kingdom of God struggles. As we consider this absolutely vital aspect of Building up the Local Church I hope that local church leaders are encouraged to think long-term and strive for continuity in clergy and lay leadership.

It is my hope and prayer that greater numbers of my colleagues will recognize that their call to serve God and His Kingdom in pastoral leadership requires long-term tenure.

Soli Deo Gloria.

AFRIKAANS : “Die verhouding tussen die predikant se dienstermyn en die Identiteits ontwikkeling in plaaslike gemeentes in die Metodiste Kerk van Suidelike Afrika – Noordelike Vrystaat en Lesotho Distrik”.

Hierdie verhandeling is gebore uit my ervaring van twee plaaslike gemeentes waar ek gedien het ter seldetyd in Riebeeckstad en Odendaalsrus. Na 'n jaar van bediening het ek begin nadink oor my ervaring by hierdie gemeentes deurdat hulle my as predikant, 'anders' behandel het. Onder andere het ek uitgevind dat hulle uiteenlopende ervarings gehad het van die dienstermyne van hul predikante oor 'n lang tydperk. Tesame met my voorliefde vir die plaaslike gemeente, het hierdie reistog begin waardeur ek die verhouding tussen die dienstermyn van die predikant en die ontwikkeling van Gemeentelike Identiteit in plaaslike gemeentes ondersoek het.

Sterk en gesonde plaaslike gemeentes het 'n duidelik gedefineerde identiteit wat onder andere onsekerheid oorkom, eenheid bou, riglyne verskaf en rigting hou, ledetal verhoog; energie ontwikkel en entoesiasme bevorder. Hierdie kennis van “wie ons is” en “waarom ons bestaan” ontwikkel groot dryfkrag en fokus in the plaaslike gemeente wat vertolk word deur die meelewing saam met die Drie-Enige God in die werklikmaking van die Koninkryk van God. Sterk leierskap is nodig om hierdie ideaal 'n werklikheid te maak, maar selfs belangriker as dit, is die ononderbrokenheid van die dienstermyn van die leierskap van die plaaslike gemeente. 'n Verlengde dienstermyn is 'n kardinale aspek in die opbou van plaaslike gemeentes se volgehoue betrokkenheid om die Koninkryk van die Drie-Enige God 'n werklikheid te maak.

Ongelukkig word die voordele van verlengde dienstermyn van 'n predikant misken en die plaaslike gemeente ly verlies, buiten dat die Koninkryk van God ook verlies ly. Terwyl ons nou die voordele van verlengede dienstermyn van die predikant bedink, hoop ek dat plaaslike gemeente-leiers aangemoedig sal word om dit te oorweeg om aaneenlopende dienstermyn van predikante en ander lidmaat leierskap te implementeer. Dit is my gebed en hoop dat 'n groot meerderheid van my kollegas sal besef dat verlengde termyn dienslewering vir God en Sy Konikryk 'n noodsaaklikheid is.

Soli Deo Gloria

Copyright © 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Hingle, TW 2011, The relationship between ministerial tenure and identity development in local churches, in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa – Northern Free State and Lesotho District, MA(Theol) dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11152012-145240 / >


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