Original Research

Changing family patterns from rural to urban and living in the in-between: A public practical theological responsive ministerial approach in Africa

Vhumani Magezi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a5036 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.5036 | © 2018 Vhumani Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 April 2018 | Published: 09 August 2018

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, School of Christian Ministry and Leadership and Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, North-West University, South Africa


African people and their families find themselves in a situation of tension because of their transition from rural to urban life. This tension has created a third family type, namely emerging families. The emerging families are characterised by a sense of life being under a constant strain to meet individual needs and at the same time the expected needs of the extended family. In such a situation, an individual gets sandwiched in a space of confusion, trapped in an in-between space where one is unsure whether to stick to traditional rural values and norms amidst the challenges of the reality of inadequate financial resources to support extended family members. Thus, one’s life space in Africa should be considered as being in a state of shifting fluidity. The outcome is an emerging and negotiated family where new arrangements are developing. In response, pastoral care should take a public dimension. Pastoral care should develop an analytic framework as well as a public practical theological ministerial approach that responds to these changing family patterns. It is proposed that a responsive public pastoral care approach could perform three tasks: preventive, mitigatory and maintenance pastoral care.


Africa changing family patterns; life in-between in Africa; Africa rural and urban change; public practical theology; public pastoral care; Africa pastoral care; pastoral care in Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. From Zerfass to Osmer and the Missing Black African Voice in Search of a Relevant Practical Theology Approach in Contemporary Decolonisation Conversations in South Africa: An Emic Reflection from North-West University (NWU)
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