Facilitating the development of the learning organisation to enable vision implementation in the Methodist Church.
Mthembu, Simphiwe Siyabonga.
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The Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) is recognised as one of the biggest churches in South Africa. It operates in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa. The current Secretary of Conference of the Methodist Church has commented that the Church has three times branches as compared to PEP stores around the Connexion. This testifies that the Methodist Church is a very large organisation which has influence and touches lives of many people. In 1999 the Methodist Church adopted a vision which is ‘A Christ healed Africa for the healing of the Nations” and a mission statement of ‘God calls the Methodist people to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ for Healing and Transformation”. In 2005 there was a special Mission Congress to evaluate and identify obstacles that were hindering the implementation of the vision. Since 2012 there was still not clear indication of how the church is implementing its vision. The conference raised questions whether the vision is still relevant and if it is achievable, if the ministers understand it and if there is something the church needs to do differently. These questions were the motivation of this study. The study employed the Learning Organisation disciplines as they are presented by Peter Senge to assist the MCSA to respond to these questions and to implement the vision and mission statement. The qualitative research method was used for the purpose of this study. The study focused on the ministers who are custodians of strategy implementation in local churches. In-depth interviews were held with ten ministers. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The research discovered that there is a lack of strategic leadership, ministers are not taking ownership and there is a lack of knowledge sharing. Another critical finding was the lack of passion for continuous training and learning beyond ordination of ministers. The research also discovered that there was a lack of systems of monitoring and evaluation. This was critical because other ministers felt that they were working towards the vision but there are no systems for monitoring and evaluating their work. The study concluded with recommendations that are in consideration of the findings and are inspired by learning organisation disciplines.