by Lois Y. Barrett, Ho, Darrell L. Gruder,and Lois Y. Barrett
If you saw a missional church, what would it look like? What patterns of behavior and practice would you find there? Building on the ground laid by the book Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Treasure in Clay Jars centers on case studies of nine missional congregations from across North America that are diverse in their denominational affiliations, worship styles, political stances, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The book explores eight concrete "patterns" common to these churches. Although the patterns may be different in each setting, they can be recognized in any congregation seeking to participate in God's mission in the world. The team that authored this book believes that "missional" says something not so much about the activities of the church as its character: "The church does not exist for itself, but for participation in God's mission of reconciliation...mission is the character of the church in whatever context it exists." The congregations studied here are "clay jars," but each carries in its witness a remarkable treasure that points to God's power and purposes.