Church Leadership Context

302 words | 2 page(s)

What are the most important factors leaders must consider when contextualizing discipleship at a local church? Why are these factors significant in guiding the discipleship process?

The term contextualization , which originates from the Latin word “contextus”, refers to “weaving together”. The latter is about making methods and concepts appropriate to the current historical situation (Waldrep, 2007). The factors to be considered when contextualizing discipleship are differences in cultural background of people, types of the society, and globalization of the world. To support this statement with an example, people from an African society will perceive and interpret the Biblical truth through the lens of their culture whereas people from a Western society will perceive and interpret the Biblical truth from the perspective of a different cultural background.

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Another example is working with the congregation in modern American society, which is permeated with the mood of postmodernity. In this context, a church leader is supposed to address the spiritual and moral needs of the “postmodern” people and fill his discipleship with methods and content relevant to the mindset of the postmodern man (for example, encouragement of diversity, fostering dialogue, etc) (Fillebrown, 2007).

Globalization, as Friedman has shown in his book “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century”, requires people to change and adapt to the technological progress and the world getting a smaller place. This refers to discipleship as well: ministers should fit in the overall playing field of the flattened world by addressing the emerging problems and providing responses to the controversial issues (Friedman, 2007).

  • Friedman, T. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the 21st century. New York, NY:
  • Fillebrown, W. P. (2007). The Church meets the postmodern era a problem or an opportunity?
    International Congregational Journal, 6 (2), 81-88.
  • Waldrep, R. (2007). Contextualization and church planting. The Southern Baptist Theological

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