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An Ecclesiological Reading of a Strategic Plan: The Addis Ababa Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Strategic Plan 2011-2015
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Church and Mission studies, Ecclesiology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

An ecclesiological Reading of a strategic plan:

The Addis Ababa Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Strategic Plan 2011-2015

Torbjörn Toll

 

UPPSALA UNIVERSITY

Theology Department

Ecclesiology E-level                                                                                                                                                            Research Seminar 28 January 2014

Supervisors: Dr Jonas Ideström and Dr Sven-Erik Brodd                           In 1-1062, 16.15 PM

 

ABSTRACT

 

The purpose of the thesis is to clarify the ecclesiological significance of a strategic plan with a secondary purpose to open up for ecclesiological studies on the churches in Ethiopia. The main research task is to describe and analyse the operative ecclesiology of the Addis Ababa Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Strategic Plan 2011-2015. One of the main assumptions is that a strategic plan provides a description of what the congregation is all about. The theoretical framework and with its understanding of operative ecclesiology, praxis, organisations and strategic planning is providing the general approach of the thesis. The primary source document – the strategic plan of Addis Abeba Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus is the object of a text analysis using an analytical model.

The application of the analytical model showed that the best way of making sense of the strategic plan is to read it both in the light of management theories and in the light of theology. When strategic planning is applied to church, the management pattern is changed by the reality of the church which creates new possibilities of interpretation. When management theories and praxis is applied to church it changes church patterns and creates a new ecclesiology, a new local expression of church. When the congregation chooses to describe itself through a strategic plan – that strategic plan is an operative ecclesiology.

In this local strategic plan there are many descriptions of what church is all about such as: witness, preaching the gospel, worship, learning and teaching, work and service, congregation, door opener, prime mover, and mother. The local congregation in its engagement of strategic planning acted as an interpretative community in relation to the management praxis of strategic plan. There are reasons for the church to take a critical stance in relation to many management ideas. That possibility of a critical voice is not seen in the strategic plan. Even though the theological theme of stewardship is not very strong in the plan, the practise of good planning and resource management can be seen as a sign of good stewardship. The strong Christological emphasis has led to an overall eschatological theme which in itself relativizes the absolute nature of the ‘business rationality’ that guides strategic planning. An ecclesiological reading of a strategic plan has thus uncovered and analysed a multi-faceted view of a local church community in Addis Ababa with an overarching Christological and eschatological emphasis.

 

Keywords: operative ecclesiology, praxis, organisation, church, Ethiopia, Mekane Yesus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Evangelical, management, strategic planning, congregations, organisation theory, mother, Lutheran, administration, interpretative community.

 

Rev. Torbjörn Toll, Jan 2014, Uppsala University, Department of Theology

E-mail: torbjorn.toll@churchofsweden.org

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
ecclesiology, theology, operative ecclesiology, strategic plan, mother, praxis, organisation, church, Ethiopia, Mekane Yesus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Evangelical, management, strategic planning, congregations, organisation theory, mother, Lutheran, administration, interpretative community
Keyword [sv]
ecklesiologi, kyrkovetenskap, teologi, operativ ecklesiologi, strategisk plan, moder, praktik, organisation, kyrka, församling, Etiopien, Mekane Yesus, Mekane Yesuskyrkan, Addis Abeba, evangelisk, Luther, luthersk, management, strategisk planering, församling, organisationsteori, administration, tolkningsgemenskap
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-217186DiVA: diva2:692420
Subject / course
Ecclesiology
Educational program
Master Programme in Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-02-02 Created: 2014-01-31 Last updated: 2014-02-02Bibliographically approved

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