An investigation into the level of mission awareness and activity of the Durban Indian Pentecostals.
James, Genevieve Lerina.
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A systematic study was carried out in order to reveal the subject group's awareness and activity levels in mission and thus provide a portion of "non-white" mission information. This dissertation seeks to provide this information using social research methods such as interviews and questionnaires. This information can be found in Chapter 1. Since the central focus is on Mission awareness and activity, it was necessary to devote an entire chapter to this aspect. Thus, Chapter Two is an attempt to capture the essence of Mission. It was also essential to introduce Mission as a Science, since studies in mission employ scientific methods. Chapter Three covers the history of the Indian people in South Africa. The reason for this inclusion was so that the subject group could be understood in their own historical context. Mention is also made of Early Mission work among the Indian Immigrants, for the purpose of discovering the great impact Mission had on the immigrants and their children. Chapter Four deals with Pentecostalism and Mission. It has long been considered that there are strong bonds between Pentecostalism and Mission. The roll of the Holy Spirit cannot be excluded in the study of Pentecostal Mission, so this issue will be part of this chapter. Chapter Five is the crux of the research, where field work and research methods come together. The research instrument, which is a questionnaire, will be discussed, scored, and the relevant statistics provided. In Chapter Six a case study will reveal how mission interest led to mission awareness and subsequent activity. Members of the subject group are the key players in this case study, which demonstrates that the subject group is capable of a highly specialized mission endeavour , which has international recognition. This study will reveal that the Indian Pentecostal Church in Durban is only in the early phases of Mission activity. On a positive note, the subject group has displayed the desire to be aware of and involved in mission. Many ministers have requested more information and proper training in Mission. Missionaries are being sent out from within their midst to all parts of the globe. Revivals are taking place with "new souls" added to the church. On the negative side, mission involvement is ambiguous and elusive. Some speak of great outreaches and evangelistic programmes, but show no fruit. Communities such as Phoenix and Chatsworth, where there are churches on literally every second road, are proof that the church is making a small impact on the community. Yes, there are sensational testimonies and success stories, but the communities seldom benefit from the presence of a church in their own area. The church has regressed to club status and most of the congregation, to club members i.e. when the church only caters for its specific members who come every Sunday, this church can be likened to a club which is exclusively for its members benefit. Due to the sustained misinterpretation of the concept of mission and a strange phenomenon of "knowing but not doing" this work will need to iron out these and other obstacles that stand in the way of a full scale mission involvement.