Discerning the essence and mission of the church in the midst of COVID-19


  • Smith Francis Korbla Tettey University of Pretoria
  • Malan Nel University of Pretoria




This article reflects on how the COVID-19 pandemic gives the church an opportunity to reconsider what the centre of God’s mission is for the congregation. It will engage on the implications of its reflections for public practical theology and congregational development. Spurred by an electronic opinion poll carried out by the author on six focus groups on WhatsApp platforms, averaging 200 participants each, during the lockdown days in Ghana, the question was put, “What one thing do you miss about church during the lock down period?” Majority of respondents mentioned communal fellowship (Konoinia) as the most missed aspect of congregational life. This article reflects on suggestions engendered by this observation and how it helps congregations to discern what makes them relevant to their members. Thus, helping congregations to envision the future, invoke dreams of a new creation where a return to normality will birth a world in which the church would take a new shape, presenting a fresh sense of missional community able to bring God to the people of our day.






Practical Theology (articles associated with the SPTSA)