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Integrity of Mission in the Light of the Gospel: Bearing Witness of the Spirit Among Africa's Gospel Bearers

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Abstract

The church in Africa like its counterparts elsewhere in the world is called to fulfil the mission of Christ which is basically two fold; to liberate humankind on the social-political and economic plane and to lead them to salvation on the eschatological plane. This is self-evident for Christ was not only concerned with the spiritual needs of the people, but material as well. The question therefore arises how does the church in Africa bear witness to the spirit of God and conduct her mission with integrity in its contextual realities of HIV/AIDS, refugee crises, poverty, corruption and abuse of human rights? This paper argues that though the church faces this onerous task it is vibrant, alive and dynamic but for her to be relevant and effective she must develop more imaginative ways of doing mission, being church and theological formation. She needs to be a reconciler, mediating peace and healing due to the deep hurts and painful experiences the continent has encountered over the years. This calls for an ecumenical mission and vision that entails partnering in suffering by accompanying those in pain. She needs to disciple the members through surrendering herself to Christ to be purified, sanctified and renewed. She needs to provide courageous, empowered and effective leadership with moral integrity. She also needs to embody the spirit of unity and reconciliation in a pluralistic context and extend the biblical shalom of peace, justice to the marginalized poor, women displaced people, children, disabled and victims of all forms of violence. Mission with integrity also calls for listening to the other, dialogue and speaking out against all impediments to the gospel.

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