Original Research - Special Collection: Africa Platform for NT Scholars

The challenges of full participation of laity in the mission of the church

Mary J. Obiorah
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 4 | a6000 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i4.6000 | © 2020 Mary J. Obiorah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 March 2020 | Published: 17 August 2020

About the author(s)

Mary J. Obiorah, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Nigeria

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The church shares in Christ’s mission of bringing all to the knowledge of God and to salvation. All its members are called to this intrinsic mission bequeathed to the entire church. The lay faithful form the greatest number of the members and their functions are important in this mission. However, they are beset by numerous setbacks that constitute untold challenges for the church. This article, written from a sub-Saharan African and Catholic background, examines the nature of this mission as a requisite prelude to discussion on various challenges experienced by the laity in participating fully in the mission. It also recommends ways of enhancing their contributions.

Contribution: The primary contribution of this article is its specific focus on the challenges the laity encounter in carrying out their mission in the world. It is a theological study based on scriptural foundations of the laity in the church. As members, laypersons share fully in the church’s received mission mandate.


Laity; Mission; Christians; Munera Christi; Challenges


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