Die Taakspan Gemeentebegeleiding is ‘n taakspan van Communitas wat gemeentes begelei om deel te word van die Drie-enige God se sending om die wêreld heel te maak. Ons glo dat gemeentes God se geskenk is aan dié wêreld. Ons begelei gemeentes daarom om geloofsonderskeidend deel te neem aan die inbraak van die Koninkryk van God in hulle gemeenskap.
Appreciative Inquiry prosesse word toenemend in gemeentes gebruik. Hier is ‘n PowerPoint opsomming deur Chris van Wyk, van hoe só ‘n proses verloop, onder andere gebaseer op die boek van Diana Whitney & Amanda Trosten-Bloom: The Power ofAppreciative Inquiry – a Practical guide to Positive Change. Appreciative Inquiry (PowerPoint)
Hierdie is ‘n analise wat met die Storielyn
word en is ‘n verwerking van die sommige gedagtes uit die narratiewe teorie.
Elke verhaal het ‘n probleem storie wat
gewoonlik oorbekend is aan die gemeente. Dit is belangrik dat hierdie storie ge-eksternaliseer word, of benoem
word.Deur middel van die“naming”van ‘n storielyn word die implisiete
eksplesiet gemaak en kan
dit hanteer word.
Metode: werk deur die storielyn en vra die groep om dit wat verkeerd geloop het
te identifiseer.Ek sal gewoonlik dit
wat hullenoem op die toepaslike plek in
die storielyn met ‘n rooi kode aandui. So werk ons deur die storielyn en ontdek langsamerhand dat daar ‘n
verband tussen hierdie probleem insidente is. Soms is daar ‘n patroon of siklusse wat herhaal. Ek sal dan met ‘n rooi
lyn die probleem gebeure aan mekaar verbind en aan die einde aan die storie ‘n
Die alternatiewe storie word ontdek wanneer
ons die “unieke uitkomste” ontdek.Hulle
dikwels nie so sigbaar nie, maar hulle is daar. Dit is die verassings in die storie, die dinge wat eintlik nie inpas
nie.‘n Gebedsgroep wat aanhou bid het
in ‘n konflik, of ‘n uitreik na swart mense in die middel van harde apartheid
ens.Soos met die probleemstorie word
die alternatiewe storie gekonstrueer deur die alternatiewe gebeure aan mekaar
te verbind.Ook hier word ‘n patroon
sigbaar hoe langer daar hieroor gedink word. Ek dui hierdie gebeure gewoonlik met ‘n groen merker en groen lyne
tussen die merkers aan. Gewoonlik is dit
‘n wonderlike ontdekking vir die groep.
Die alternatiewe storie vertel vir ons die
verhaal van hoe God teenwoordig was/is in die geskiedenis van die groep.Die visie behoort gebou te word op die
alternaitewe verhaal en nie op die probleem verhaal ine.
Originally Prieska and his friends stayed in a bush near the church.They slept there and then spent the greater part of their days gambling.No one worked.They collected bottles, begged everywhere, and gambled with whatever money they could get.This usually carried on until one won enough to buy a bottle of ‘Vaaljapie’ or something similar.
During that time they slept under the carport behind the church whenever it rained.But during the next summer the bush was cut in order to make provision for a new shopping centre.Then the group moved to the church and settled underneath and on top of the carport near the kitchen.The carport was also their wardrobe, where they kept their clothes and blankets.
As these yard-sneakers became settled, they came back earlier in the evenings.During that time a woman named Polly, with a two-month old baby, moved in with them.In the biting Gauteng cold and frost Prieska and his friends needed more and more alcohol and also used Polly to warm their bodies.This led to a terrible noise, shouting and bickering.Neighbours didn’t have any rest, and the community’s unhappiness soon became known.At one stage Polly moved back to the Karoo, but not for long.She came again.
As could be expected, ripples of unhappiness about the situation started in the congregation.The outreach group started a special relationship with these yard-sneakers.During the winter some members of the group provided bread and soup once a week.And the sincerity with which this group proclaimed the gospel and tried to convince the others to find jobs and change their lives went much deeper than duty alone.On one occasion I also took them some bread, but they were not too impressed.They looked at it and then Prieska, the leader, said in a dissatisfied voice:‘But this is only bread!’
Other reactions in the congregation were not so mild.First the church staff started moaning.They were tired of cleaning up the mess every now and again.Solly, the caretaker, and Anne, supervisor of the gardens, soon voiced their dissatisfaction.‘It is a disgrace that the church allows this!’ they said.‘We cannot let them live in the garden.If only they wanted to be helped, we could have done something.Perhaps built some toilets for them …But no, they don’t want any help!’
Amanda, of the Women’s Group, was concerned about the hygiene in the kitchen, as well as the safety of ladies who had to do duty in the kitchen in the late afternoon or evenings – especially over weekends.John, of the Properties Committee, supported Amanda and Anne.He pointed out the impossibility of amenities.‘It will only bring more such people, and create an even bigger mess.’
Mary in the church office was worried about the safety of the ladies in the office, especially in the light of the growing number of beggars who came to the church for help.The ladies wanted to do something to change the situation, but no one could say what the solution was.‘We cannot leave them like this.Its just not right!’
Other viewpoints among church members were abundant.One elder’s wife, who stayed next to the church, had the following comment: ‘They are bad from the inside, and I have no time for bad people.They only drink and beg all day and we must get rid of them immediately.
As the situation became known among more members of the congregation, many discussions popped up.Some Bible study groups often discussed the situation during their meetings.Here and there it cropped up at committee meetings.Even the ministers often discussed this during their weekly get-togethers.Harry pointed out that many congregations hand out soup, and at the same time try to evangelize such people, but there was nobody who could provide a home, work and medical care.
Peter agreed, but at the same time warned them about the reaction of the congregation and the community if they wanted to let them stay on the church premises or even in the church hall.‘Not everyone feels like we do,’ he said.‘This is a sensitive matter and we must also consider municipal regulations.Don’t forget Romans 13, which is very clear about this.’
Andy thought of everything.‘Brethren, we must be practical.Alexandra’s Governing Board has already tried dealing with the problem.Finally they had to rent offices in Sandton while the offices in Alexandra were used as accommodation for these people.There is only one way to go:Contact the municipality’s safety division and let them remove these people.’
‘Within two days they’ll be back,’ was Vivian’s objection.‘And think about the newspapers,’ he added dramatically, ‘Dutch Reformed Church removes squatters.We certainly don’t need that!’
And then Urs Anderson arrived to hold a series of pentecostal meetings at the church.First of all he reminded us that God was merciful.But then he added that this grace was not cheap.It would cost us something.And the worst is that he needed one whole evening to convince me that we refuse to give God that something.We were all living well and had enough of everything.He said we must lay down our lives and take up the cross.Until this day I wear a cross around my neck as a symbol of the gospel.
The next evening Urs reminded us of the Carnegie Report.There is more bread in our land as is necessary to feed everyone.But there are not enough hands to give it out!The bread is not used where it is necessary, therefore it must be thrown away.And then – and I will never ever forget this – he took his open Bible and put a whole bread inside.Like that, Bible-and-bread in his hand, he invited the congregation to come forward, fetch a piece of bread and give it to someone else.I gave it to a friend.Some of the members went to look for the yard-sneakers.It felt as if those pentecostal meetings brought everything to a head.One group of ladies undertook to take sandwiches for the yard-sneakers daily, and someone else donated blankets.
About that time the community around the church started complaining more and more.During winter the yard-sneakers increased.Some people even maintained that the 10 became 40.More and more accusations about theft were made.Incidents of bothering buyers at shops in the area, even cursing and yelling at them, increased.Eventually I didn’t want to go shopping in that area any more.Some of the neighbours started using violence – and threats of more violence were made.Prieska and his friends were accused of everything that went wrong.
One resident near the church, Russel Austin, telephoned and he was extremely cross.‘If one of them puts a foot in my yard, I’ll shoot them all,’ he yelled.There was also a ‘friendly ultimatum’: the congregation had to choose – either they must remove the yard-sneakers and take steps to avoid the recurrence of similar incidents, or the congregation had to provide proper amenities, which would be acceptable to the community.‘Remember,’ he added, ‘you know about them, and you give them food and blankets …’
Shortly afterwards dissatisfied church members, under leadership of an area leader, wrote a letter to the church council with the request to have yard-sneakers removed.A sub-committee was appointed to find a solution to this delicate problem.
As convener of the conflict resolution group for Tabernacle Ministries you receive this report from Pastor Green, a retired pastor who was called in by members of the Redwood Tabernacle Church to help with problems in thechurch. Pastor Green has no formal training in Conflict Resolution and so he feels out of his depth. He is a good listener however and drafted this report based on his conversations with the concerned group and with the leadership.
THE VIEW OF THE CONCERNED GROUP
The concerned group is a group of members of Redwood Tabernacle Church who have organized themselves into a pressure group in order to express their opposition to the proposed move by the leadership to change the morning worship service from 10h30 to 09h00. They object to the way in which the decision has been made without consultation. They are all people who are dependant on public transport to get to church and the 09h00 start will mean that they will have to catch the 07h00 bus to church as buses run once every 2 hours and the next one is at 09h00 (this would mean that they would be a half an hour late for church. The cost of a taxi on a Sunday would be double the bus fare and they cannot afford this. 80% of the concerned group are members of the gospel choir and together they make up more than half of the gospel choir. They believe that the leadership have exceeded their authority as the congregation’s constitution states that any decision to change the times of services requires a simple majority vote (50%+1) of all members of the congregation. Members of the concerned group want to be part of the congregation but they feel that the leadership are pushing them out. They related how that last Sunday, Mary Albertyn, the leader of the concerned group, had explained to John Abrahams, the convener of the leadership team, that if the time of service was changed, they would no longer have enough money to give to the church and they may not even be able to attend church. It was a fairly heated exchange and voices were raised. Mary Albertyn reported that John Abrahams had walked off mumbling to himself that the concerned group would be sorry if they tried to blackmail the leaders and that they would be under God’s judgment.
The concerned group feel that their pleas to the leaders have fallen on deaf ears and that the pastor, James White, seems unwilling to take a firm stand one way or the other (although the group confided that they believe that he was the key mover for the change of time). The group has affirmed their commitment to take action and bring an end to what they regard as the insensitive and high-handed behaviour of the leaders. THE VIEW OF THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
The leadership team of Redwood Tabernacle is concerned about the decline in church membership and attendance. This had led to a decline in income for the church and it was becoming increasingly difficult to balance the budget. They did not want to cause alarm in the church and so they had embarked on a plan to cut down on costs and look for additional income so that they could make it through the slump. They are confident that if the church can survive this short term financial crisis, then more energy can be devoted to rebuilding the congregation.
The leadership under the chairmanship of John Abrahams believes that recent developments appear to be confirming that God is opening a way for more finances to be released. Eastridge Tabernacle congregation, their sister church located 20 kms from them, can no longer afford a fulltime pastor. They have asked the Redwood Tabernacle leaders if Pastor White can lead their worship services which start at 11h00 each Sunday. Eastridge Tabernacle has also been approached by the True Evangelical Church next door (which is experiencing rapid growth) if they can use their buildings for Sunday school classes between 09h00 and 10h30 each Sunday. The True Evangelical Church is willing to pay R5000 per month for the use of the building. Eastridge Tabernacle is willing to pay this R5000 per month over to Redwood Tabernacle if they can have the services of Pastor White on a Sunday morning for their 11h00 worship service. R5000 is the exact amount of the monthly shortfall in Redwood Tabernacle’s income. All that the Redwood leaders believe they have to do is to shift the times of their services and their short term financial worries will be resolved.
The leaders feel deeply hurt by the attitude and behaviour of the concerned group. They have acted in contravention of the church’s constitution that expressly prohibits the formation of groups in the church without the approval of the church leadership. They see the concerned group as a group of reactionary people who want to hold onto the past no matter what. They have explained to the congregation that the decision to change the time of the worship service has been made prayerfully and in the best interests of the church. The leaders have chosen not to give details because they don’t want to feed into the spirit of despondency which is already in the church and want instead to move forward in the power of the Lord. The leaders feel that despite their reassurances the concerned group appear to have continued to undermine their leadership and question their integrity. They related a recent encounter in which John Abrahams had been confronted by Mary Albertyn the leader of the concerned group. According to John Abrahams she had behaved aggressively and had threatened to withdraw all members of the concerned group from the choir and to withdraw all their financial support from the church. The leadership regard this as the last straw and are now determined to take action against the concerned group.
Analyse the conflict
Develop a conflict map
Read (interpret) the map
Identify the way in which the parties could move towards a power based or rights based approach and how best you could ensure that they move in a needs based direction