Original Research

A congregational view on church and community development in South Africa: An empirical study

Patrick Nanthambwe
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 47, No 1 | a191 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v47i1.191 | © 2023 Patrick Nanthambwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 February 2023 | Published: 19 July 2023

About the author(s)

Patrick Nanthambwe, Unit for Reformed Theology and Development in South Africa, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Community development is defined differently depending on the perspective of those defining it. There is a chasm between how academics define community development and how the general public views it. This results in some confusion, particularly regarding the role of churches in addressing community challenges. Fundamentally, community development is a human endeavor. Therefore, churches must have a clear understanding of community development in order for their participation in community transformation to be effective. This requires a comprehension of what community development is at the grassroots level. This article sheds light on the comprehension of community development at the grassroots level.

This article will provide answers to two fundamental concerns. What is grassroots community development in the first place? Second, why is church participation in community development necessary?

Two methods will be used to respond to the queries provided. This article utilises empirical data collected from Weltevreden Chapel Family Bible Church in Weltevreden Park and Christ Revival Centre Church in Lenasia, Johannesburg.

The article compares the literature’s comprehension of community development to the grassroots perspective.

Contribution: This article examines the literature and empirical data collected from two congregations in Johannesburg to better comprehend grassroots community development. The article will emphasise the significance of grasping what community development is so that churches can engage in the transformation of communities strategically.


church; church and community; development; community development; grassroot perspective; church-driven development; community transformation.


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Crossref Citations

1. Embodied grace: The implications of the incarnation to public practical theology in Sub-Saharan Africa
Patrick Nanthambwe
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 80  issue: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v80i1.9684