Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Practical theology: Can it really help the local congregation?

A. Roger Tucker
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 2 | a884 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i2.884 | © 2011 A. Roger Tucker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 June 2010 | Published: 29 August 2011

About the author(s)

A. Roger Tucker, St John’s Presbyterian Church, Bloemfontein, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State,, South Africa


This article sought to demonstrate that a synthesis of various church growth methods used within the framework of Heitink’s (1999:124ff.) three theory of action perspectives, namely the ‘hermeneutical’, ‘empirical’ and ‘strategic’, has successfully enabled the building up of one congregation both structurally and spiritually. The ‘building up’ concept was drawn from the practical theological subdiscipline of ‘building up the local church’. This subdiscipline judges the success of God’s work in a local congregation by how effective it is in mobilising its members, facilitating growth towards holistic maturity, making disciples and serving others in mission. Since 2006, St John’s has moved towards this goal by mobilising its members into four new ministry teams (with 13 subsidiary teams), which appear to have achieved growth in these areas.


structure; planning; building; synthesis; theory of action perspectives


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