Nurturing a missional spirituality

any lessons to learn from the ministry of Andrew Murray Jr (1828-1917)?


  • Willie van der Merwe Huguenot College



The Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa [DRC] is currently in a season of reorientation, or perhaps one can say, rediscovering its mission. The aim of this article is twofold: firstly, to reflect on the journey of the DRC over the past two decades to discern its role and function in a “new” South Africa as well as the challenges deriving from this journey. Secondly, this article wants to contribute to the commemoration of the arrival of Andrew Murray Sr (1794–1866) in South Africa in 1822. The influence of this family on the life and spirituality of the DRC and its mission over the past two centuries is extensive and probably beyond description. When this article therefore dares to explore possible links between the current missional movement in the DRC and the spirituality of Andrew Murray Jr (1828–1917), it is done humbly and hesitantly. The article will be presented in four sections. The first section briefly describes the discernment process followed by the DRC since 1998. In the second section the major transformational challenges awaiting the DRC in the next decades will be highlighted, and the third section briefly explores what the transformation may entail. Then the article goes back to the time when Andrew Murray Jr ministered in the DRC Wellington (1871–1906). It is well known that under Murray’s leadership the Wellington congregation and community played a leading role in the awakening of missionary work by the DRC as well as social development, and the fourth section alludes briefly to some characteristics of Murray’s spirituality. The article concludes with a suggestion that the evangelical piety (De Gruchy, 2009:221) of Andrew Murray Jr may be regarded as an early form of missional spirituality.






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