A therapeutic community as a relevant and efficient ecclesial model in African Christianity
AbstractThis article sets forth the argument that Christian ministry in Africa must become socially and culturally informed and constructed or else it will not touch the African soul and thus remain superficial. Black African people aspire above everything else to experience fullness of life and wellbeing here and now, as demonstrated by their greetings that are actually an enquiry into each other's health and an expression of the wish for the other's good health and wellbeing. The mainline churches that operate in Africa should embrace the scripturally sound Christian healing ministry in obedience to Christ's commission to preach the gospel and heal the sick, if they are to prosper. Hence, this article discusses the following eight points, namely, (1) good health and healing as Africans' important aspiration, (2) healing as the work of God and thus of the church, (3) the imperative of serious consideration of and respect for the African worldview, (4) membership decline and mainline churches' loss of influence, (5) rethinking church in African Christianity, (6) the need for the black African church to adopt a therapeutic or healing community ecclesial model in order to position itself strategically to cater for the holistic needs of African (South African) church members and surrounding communities, (7) the rationale of the healing ministry in today's Reformed Church in Africa and (8) the recommended healing ministry. The article closes with a few concluding statements and advice.