The moral formation, pastoral leadership and contemporary Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches in Soweto
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This study is a comprehensive investigation into moral formation of leaders among the Newer Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches (NPC). The NPCs are traditionally known to emphasise the importance of a transformed life (being ‘born again’) that results in moral integrity. However, contradiction arises when the leaders of Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches are associated with serious occurrences related to stories of immoral leadership. Lack of accountability, abuse of power and resources, followers being fed snakes, ordered to eat grass and consume petrol prompted the call for the regulation of religion and the investigation into religious abuse. The study employed the exploratory phenomenological approach which includes open-ended questionnaires. Informants were youth pastors/leaders of various NPC around Soweto in Gauteng Province. The study was drawn to issues around the “calling into ministry”, “Mentorship or assistance”, “Theological versus other studies”, and “involvement or lack of involvement in both the general and the Christian community”. The findings of the study suggest that there is no specific and purpose-driven way of grooming and developing leaders within most of the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Moral formation was not being intentionally pursued, and that has a direct impact on the gap between what the young ministers believe ought to be (belief) and what they are expected to be doing (action). Consequently, young ministers venture into the world of ministry raw, with no theological/ pastoral education and with no proper guidance.