Comprehensive personal witness: a model to enlarge missional involvement of the local church

Frans Hancke, Pieter Verster


In the The Split-Level Fellowship, Wesley Baker analysed the role of individual members in the Church. He gave a name to a tragic phenomenon with which Church leaders are familiar. Although true of society in general it is especially true of the church. Baker called the difference between the committed few and the uninvolved many, Factor Beta. This reality triggers the question: Why are the majority of Christians in the world not missionally involved through personal witness and which factors consequently influence personal witness and missional involvement? This article explains how the range of personal witness and missional involvement found in local churches are rooted in certain fundamental factors and conditions which are mutually influencing each other and ultimately contribute towards forming a certain paradigm. This paradigm acts as the basis from which certain behavioural patterns (witness) will manifest. The factors influencing witness are either described as accelerators or decelerators and their relativity and mutual relationships are considered. Factors acting as decelerators can severely hamper or even annul witness, while accelerators on the other hand, can have an immensely positive effect to enlarge the transformational influence of witness. In conclusion a transformational model is developed through which paradigms can be influenced and eventually changed. This model fulfils a diagnostic and remedial function and will support local churches to enlarge the individual and corporate missional involvement of believers.

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