Christologie, dissipelskap en jeugbediening: ŉ prakties-teologiese ondersoek
Van Deventer, Hendrik P.
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Jesus Christ’s final command to His disciples was to go and make disciples across language and national boundaries. Today, the same command is still valid for the church. This study will research guidelines on how to fulfill Jesus’ command in youth ministry. Youth ministry in congregations and faith communities faces huge challenges regarding relevance, and some researchers are of the opinion that youth ministry is in crisis, due to falling numbers amongst others. The researcher is of the conviction that a theological understanding of the word “disciple” and the essence of discipleship as it unfolds in the New Testament will produce young people within a youth ministry and mentors who will understand their role and function in the forming of faith among the youth and in co-forming youth in their faith walk. This study essentially shows how, by focusing on Jesus Christ and Him the crucified, a curriculum for the making of disciples within youth ministry can be developed. In essence, this research has a Christological focus as it wants to show how a curriculum for the making of disciples within youth ministry can be derived from the focus on Jesus Christ. A practical theological study will be done on the role of Christology, the Great Focus, the Great Commandment and the Great Commission in the making of disciples in youth ministry. A thorough study is done of the Great Commission and certain models for and approaches to disciple making in youth ministry. This study researches the Great Commission and the understanding of discipleship, followed by an analysis of models and approaches that can contribute themes to the process of disciple making. The study is a continuation of the research by Van Deventer (2010) and Nel (1998), as well as that by Pretorius (2003), which establishes the Great Focus, Jesus Christ, as well as the Great Commandment for more love towards one another and the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations as important keys in youth ministry. Nel’s research, which follows an inclusive approach towards youth ministry in a congregation, is confirmed in the current study. The study researches how the Great Commission can be accomplished in a practical theological way in youth ministry. The entire study focuses on youth ministry within a congregation based on a practical theological paradigm. The relevant theoretical research is followed by empirical, qualitative research by means of depth interviews with ministers, pastors and professors within missional and youth ministries to gain insight into current patterns of disciple making in youth ministries in South Africa. The results of the interviews are analysed and contribute to developing a praxis model/curriculum for the making of disciples within youth ministry. The researcher aims to deduce principles for the making of disciples and to present a curriculum and curricular themes for the making of disciples that can be implemented in churches and faith communities that want to follow a discipleship model in their youth ministry. The study also strives to lay down principles for ministers and mentors in youth ministry to further discipleship by focusing on Jesus Christ, and to make disciples of young people within a congregation, as well as reach out to the nonchurched. Based on the theoretical and empirical research, a curriculum for disciple making in youth ministry is presented in the final chapter of the study.