n HTS : Theological Studies - Congregational analysis revisited : empirical approaches : original research
|Article Title||Congregational analysis revisited : empirical approaches : original research|
|Journal||HTS : Theological Studies|
|Publication Date||Jan 2009|
|Pages||1 - 13|
|Keyword(s)||Congregational analysis, Empirical research, Faith communities, Reformation and Worship|
The research problem of concern here is : What criteria should be used when congregations are analysed? Congregations as faith communities are defined variously. Discerning the local congregation as a defined and as an empirical subject plays a major role in answering the research question. The theological points of departure are that any measure of a local congregation has to deal with issues like faithfulness to the gospel and the missional identity and integrity of the congregation as a contextual faith community. The hypothesis is that, when theologically informed and motivated, congregations can and should be analysed in the process of continuing reformation. This article describes a number of approaches to and outcomes of empirical research related to congregational analysis. Follow-up research to be submitted for publication will deal with the missional identity, the ministerial role-fulfilment of the congregation, and a proposal to analyse these in a way that is theologically faithful and contextually relevant.
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