Original Research - Special Collection: UP Faculty of Theology Centenary Volume One

Rediscovering joy in costly and radical discipleship in mission

C.J.P. (Nelus) Niemandt
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3831 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3831 | © 2016 C.J.P. (Nelus) Niemandt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 August 2016 | Published: 18 November 2016

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C.J.P. (Nelus) Niemandt, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The research attended to the call by the World Council of Churches in the mission affirmation Together towards life to renew methods of evangelism and to communicate the good news with persuasion, inspiration and conviction, by providing a theological framework for reflection on joy and flourishing life, and its place in mission studies.

The link between mission, evangelism and discipleship was developed as a basis to expand the understanding of evangelism as an invitation to personal conversion and discipleship. Discipleship was defined as participating in the Triune God’s life-giving mission and as being on a journey towards flourishing life.

It showed that the gospel message of joy, good news and life in fullness serves as a counterculture against the prevailing rhetoric of religious and secular prosperity gospels, consumerism and individualism. It also warned that discipleship in mission is costly and radical. Discipleship is a life of generosity and service, where the true disciple delights in justice, gives generously and cares for the weak.

The research concluded with a discussion of practical holistic practices of embodied discipleship – practices that will form habits where disciples will live a flourishing life.


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