On my recent visit to Mozambique and South Africa, I was reminded again about the importance of the mission legacy from the West. Churches have been planted and grown. In some cases large denominations have been formed. Some things should have been done differently. The ecclesiastical models, the doctrinal imposition and the Western culture as normative for the new believers have caused significant delays in the contextualisation of the Christian faith in many places. The search for cultural roots and relevant expressions for the faith in local contexts creates unnecessary tensions between leaders and generations. The supposed superiority of written books over oral transmission causes a deficient understanding of academia and the overestimation of formal studies in detriment of practical experience and popular wisdom. Leadership development and discipleship are in shortage. Could this be the result of foreign models that are not suitable to African realities?
It is extremely important that mission efforts today seriously consider the local culture and its history and allow local Christians to form their contextualised structures for the church and find their appropriate expressions for the faith. Outsiders can and should collaborate with the dynamic and spontaneous churches in Africa, but the dancing rhythm and the singing tune have to come from the African leaders.