The Bible, faith formation and a virus – Exploring the influence of a pandemic on faith formation content and practices for children and teenagers

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has posed different kinds of challenges to society and churches over the past months. With various 'normal ministry practices' not permitted under lockdown regulations, as well as people starting to fear the effect of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a sense of cri...

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Published in: Hervormde teologiese studies Vol. 77; no. 4; pp. e1 - e6
Main Author: Hoffman, Lyzette
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd t/a AOSIS 05-26-2021
AOSIS
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Summary: The SARS-CoV-2 virus has posed different kinds of challenges to society and churches over the past months. With various 'normal ministry practices' not permitted under lockdown regulations, as well as people starting to fear the effect of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a sense of crisis can easily prevail. However, a small congregation in Bloemfontein, South Africa, responded by engaging their children and teenagers through reflection, content and outreach. Various methods, including virtual and face to face, were utilised to minister to and with children and teenagers. This response can now be analysed to find answers to the following questions: How did the pandemic influence specific methods chosen for faith formation? What made it different from 'ministry as usual'? What role did the Bible play in the methods and content used? Within the framework of the qualitative research, reflective practice from a hermeneutic perspective was utilised as theoretical approach to analyse the response of the pastors and Sunday school teachers. Reflection occurs on three levels, namely, technical (efficiency and effectiveness), practical (goals and consequences) and critical (analysis of one's practice within wider contexts). A literature study was also conducted on the influence of a pandemic on faith formation. Recommendations were made regarding different ways to engage with children and teenagers and involving them in ministry. This research contributes to knowledge as to how and why pastors/congregations react the way they do in a pandemic.
ISSN: 0259-9422
2072-8050
DOI: 10.4102/hts.v77i4.6512