Original Research - Special Collection: Change agency in a 21st-century South Africa

‘Flowing’ under the radar in a multifaceted liquid reality: The ekerk narrative

Stephan Joubert
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a4966 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.4966 | © 2018 Stephan Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 March 2018 | Published: 24 July 2018

About the author(s)

Stephan Joubert, Contemporary Ecclesiology, University of the Free State, South Africa


We live in a liquid new world driven by incessant change. Our reality is constantly shaped by new forms of non-linear individualism, which is expressed in countless factions, networks, tribes and alliances. Social systems do not maintain their shape for very long, because they decompose and melt faster than the time it takes to cast them, according to the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. Religious institutions that do not come to terms with these rapid rates of change soon find themselves trapped in a so-called parallel universe, with hardly any influence on society. In order to embrace our fluid new reality with its numerous open systems and ever-increasing levels of complexity, ekerk understands herself as a movement of Jesus followers whose tribal identity is shaped around his teachings on the Kingdom of God, and which is reflected in the values of relationality and generosity. We have ‘tribal habitats’ in various digital and physical spaces. Under the radar of institutionalised church and academia, but also as their ally in a somewhat subversive manner, ekerk facilitates the spreading of the good news of Jesus in decentralised but very real ways. ekerkalso runs a large generosity ministry, as well as various seminars, meetings and growth programmes such as DieGang/TheGang to invest in young Christian leaders.


Liquid modernity; Solid Church; Tribe; Digital; Identity; Technology; Online; Theology


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