The post conciliar contribution of pastoral training centres to evangelization in Zimbabwe.
This study in Contextual Missiology has been motivated by seeming inadequacies and hazy pictures of the training of lay people for evangelization in Zimbabwe. It therefore seeks to identify ways in which Pastoral Training Centres can train lay leaders to animate local communities, take up lay ministries satisfactorily and move the agenda of the local Church forward. Ways were sought through engaging in a critical hermeneutical method of understanding and interpreting praxis, so that the meeting of praxis with faith leads to new practice in an on-going hermeneutical spiral. The task involved is to listen to those who evangelise and those evangelised to get a deeper understanding of the mission of the Church. This is a method employed by S Bate and F. J. Verstraelen. The research findings were that Pastoral Training Centres were established and started training laypeople over thirty years ago and yet the training seems inadequate and unsatisfactory. People from an African background in Zimbabwe have been converted to Christianity over a century ago and yet they seem to adhere to their traditional religious rituals along side the Christian belief. The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe has accepted small Christian communities as the locus of evangelization and yet on the ground what are operational are prayer groups. Lay leaders have taken up and exercise lay ministries and yet some communities seem not satisfied with the quality of services rendered by some of them. There is collaboration in the parishes between parish priests and laypeople especially in the work done by parish councils and lay associations and yet there seems to be some reluctance in giving laypeople key-decision making posts in the Church. The findings revealed a gap between the lived experiences of people and the critical reflections on those experiences. Narrative Theology was adopted to try to bridge the gap. It was within Narrative Theology that a theological model of training laypeople was developed. It is a proposal to start all pastoral situations, which include, lay leader training courses, seminars, discussions, homilies, catechetical instructions and Bible sharing, from either events experienced, proverbs, sayings or stories.