Toolkit

The Toolkit for Kingdom City/Town Collaboration in a South African context was developed by the South African Christian Directory Team with the aim to provide a set of concepts, processes, principles, best practices, guidelines, and ideas, enabling effective collaboration in an urban context e. g. what will it take towards spiritual, human, social, economic, and environmental flourishing?

The Toolkit is based on a combination of experiences in South African cities and towns which were captured and integrated into the Toolkit, as well as international stories of city movements such as Movement Day and the Lausanne City Collaboration for Kingdom Transformation.

It should be noted that:

  • there is a need for such a Toolkit in a South African context, as a similar framework is not available
  • there is great appreciation for the participants from several cities and towns in South Africa for their valuable sharing, reflections, contributions, critique, and friendship
  • the Toolkit might have an academic inclination
  • the Toolkit is not aimed at focussing on the community, neighbourhood, suburb, township, or ward level, but focuses on the city/town level
  • the Toolkit is not African City focused, as cities elsewhere in Africa have different spatial lay-outs, levels of inequality, different forms of governance and economic drivers, huge urbanisation processes resulting in urban sprawl, a lower level of civil society engagement, environmental considerations, and differences in understanding and application of public theology, etc.
  • however, building bricks of the Toolkit might be applicable at community level, in African Cities, and even regarding other ministries like Marketplace ministries, but need to adjust to the context for a particular situation.
  • there might be a need to train people to enable them to work with the content of the Toolkit
  • a word of caution should be added : City/Town Collaboration is not a quick fix, but requires a shared vision, a solid prayer foundation, research, leadership teams, strong relationships, hard work, endurance, clear outcomes and celebrating small victories.

DEFINING OF CONCEPTS

City/Town

The term ‘City/Town’ refers to all urban areas in South Africa which consist of metropolitan cities, secondary cities, large towns, and small towns. Local government consists of metropolitan municipalities, district municipalities and local municipalities. Most local municipalities fall within a district municipality. The responsibilities of each level of municipality are described in the constitution. Currently there are 278 municipalities in South Africa, comprising eight metropolitan, 44 district and 226 local municipalities. In 2019 South Africa had an urban population of 66%, which will rise to 71% by 2030 and by 2050, 8 in 10 people will be living in urban areas.

Collaboration

Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something. Key concepts are cooperation, coaction, working jointly together with another and others, joint action, synergy, teamwork, partnership, networking, association, alliance forming, and concerted effort. Collaboration is the key to reducing duplication of our efforts, breaking out of our own “silos”, crossing the divides, maximising impact, and strengthening the credibility of our witness in Christ. It is the opposite of being independent, doing your own thing, making your own effort, division, lack of unity, operating in “silos”, etc. It should be noted that the concepts of transformation, movement or city gospel movement is not used.

Kingdom

Kingdom refers to the Kingdom of God, which is the central focus of the teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ. It will necessarily include the expansion and strengthening of the Christian Church as well as impacting society with Kingdom or Biblical values.

TOOLKIT

For the purposes of this report the term ‘Toolkit’ refers to a set of building blocks designed to be used together or for a particular purpose. A Toolkit is different than a road map or milestones as there is not a correct sequence of activities and there is an interrelationship between the different components of any urban area and such an urban area can be seen as an ecosystem.

Movement Day has identified four building blocks for successful City Gospel Movements namely Prayer, Research, Leadership and Outcomes: https://www.movementday.com/building-blocks/. We have compiled the following seven building blocks, as indicated in the Diagram, not necessarily in any preferred sequence. Click on the building blocks in the diagram below, which will take you to the context of each of the building blocks as well as to Case Studies and References. 

 

BACKGROUND TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN URBAN CONTEXT

The following should be taken note of:

  • there are a variety of global movements, networks, and initiatives focusing on City Collaboration, City Transformation, Movement Day, City Movements, Gospel Movements, Urban Missions, Leadership Foundation, Gather Network, Cinnamon Network etc.
  • there is a growing number of motivated Christian leaders passionate to impact their cities globally
  • most efforts globally are led by motivated individuals or by small organisations
  • there is an increasing awareness to have a more orchestrated effort by leaders and organisations to tackle the massive challenges of the 21st century cities
  • the church, theological, racial, class, spatial and NGO divides in our cities/towns, emphasising the complexities of our cities and towns
  • the impact of past spatial policies resulted in divided and segregated cities/towns with huge inequalities between rich and poor. Social injustices should thus be a high priority on any city/town agenda
  • that South Africa is becoming more urbanised
  • the population in urban areas is becoming younger and most likely less Christian
  • an increasing number of foreigners are migrating to South African cities/towns
  • there are different dynamics in Metros, Cities, Towns, and Communities/Neighbourhoods/Wards
  • the uniqueness of every city/town
  • any city/town can be understood as a human ecosystem, with all the interrelationships of a natural ecosystem
  • that there are various stages of Kingdom momentum in the various cities/towns
  • a major need would be to establish a form of measuring change or impact in a particular city/town
  • there is no perfect solution to the challenges in our cities/towns
  • a responsibility to African Cities and Towns