Indaba and Scripture
This is an extract from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s talk at a USPG conference in 2010. The Full text can be found here.
Indaba is not about trying to make everyone into Amazulu, nor about transplanting elements from one culture into a completely foreign and inappropriate context. I also know that Indaba is far from perfect – it is not always conducted inclusively, and it can be abused by leaders intent on getting their own way. But at its best, there is a great deal that is readily susceptible to the sort of ‘baptism’ of which I spoke earlier. Let me explain:
- Scripture speaks of us living as the Body of Christ, as one, but with many different members (1 Cor 12:12).
- Indaba calls community members together to share news of developments or discuss concerns that affect the life of the community or individuals within it.
- Scripture says that God has so arranged the body that the members may have ‘the same care for one another’ (1 Cor 12:25).
- Indaba is predicated upon a strong sense of shared well-being, experienced on a reciprocal and mutually supportive basis.
- Scripture says that when one part of the body suffers, ‘all suffer with it’ (1 Cor 12:26).
- Indaba necessarily entails a degree of acknowledged interdependence, even vulnerability, towards one another.
- Scripture says that the members of the body that are ‘weaker are indispensable’ (1 Cor 12:22).
- Indaba says leaders must work for the well-being of the entire community, especially those in greatest need, and the ‘haves’ must provide for the ‘have nots’.
- Scripture says that the less respectable should be treated with greater respect (1 Cor 12:23).
- Indaba promotes an egalitarian ethos, in which everyone should be encouraged to grow into a productive and contributing member of the community.
- Scripture says that to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor 12:7).
- Indaba says debate is conducted through everyone being allowed to have their say, contributing their own perspective, so that the fullest picture can be drawn, and from it an outcome that is as consensual, and as ‘win-win’ as possible, can emerge.
- Scripture says that, notwithstanding all this diversity, when living as God intends, there need not, there should not, be dissension (1 Cor 12:25).