Original Research

Church, mission and reconstruction: Being a church with integrity in reconstruction discourse in post-colonial Zimbabwe

Canon B. Shambare, Selaelo T. Kgatla
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a4698 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.4698 | © 2018 Canon B. Shambare, Selaelo T. Kgatla | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 June 2017 | Published: 24 May 2018

About the author(s)

Canon B. Shambare, Department of Science, Religion and Missiology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Selaelo T. Kgatla, Department of Science, Religion and Missiology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The church in Africa, like its counterparts elsewhere in the world, is called to fulfil the mission of God as expressed in the call ‘Missio Dei’ and influentially remains with the integrity of the mission of Christ (Missio Christos), which is liberative and practical. For Christ was not only concerned with the spiritual needs of the people, but also with their material well-being. The following question therefore arises: how can the church in Africa, in general, and in Zimbabwe, in particular, actively do God’s mission and remain with integrity in the midst of the reality of suffering. Furthermore, how can the church for mission and reconstruction be understood in a post-colonial Zimbabwe given the contextual realities of political crises, corruption, poverty, moral decadence, defined or censored truth, leadership crises and no freedom of expression? This article argues that, although the church is faced with these arduous realities, it remains called by God to do God’s mission. While in post-colonial Zimbabwe the socio-political, socio-economic and socio-religious situation might seem hopeless, the church has remained vibrant and alive for reconstruction theology. The transformation of society is possible given the authority and mission mandate of the church. This article argues that the church is a key player in reconstruction theology and in the transformation of society. For transformation to be possible, the church should witness to the gospel of Christ without fear of being labelled, castrated and persecuted. The article asserts that the spirit of the Bible should be revived in a time of reconstruction in Zimbabwe. The assumption in this article is that Zimbabwe is ready for reconstruction discourse. For this to happen, the researchers argue that the church as a critical relevant player in reconstruction needs to ‘be church’ in its missional mandates. Integrity is essential if a church wants to be relevantly missional and reconstructive. Integrity means that the church has to embrace the risks and opportunities associated with mission.


Church; Christianity; Zimbabwe; Reconstruction; Integrity; Mission; Post-Colonial


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