Treasure in Clay Jars: Patterns in Mission Faithfulness (Barrett 2004)

There is a growing literature on the need for local congregations to become more mission-minded, yet churches lack the know-how for turning conviction into practice. What would a missional church actually look like? How would it live its life? This volume answers such questions by highlighting eight tangible characteristics currently being modeled by nine congregations from across North America.Produced by a team of authors, "Treasure in Clay Jars" is built around case studies of missional churches that are diverse in their denominational affiliations, worship styles, political stances, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The book explores eight concrete patterns common to the success of these churches that can be fruitfully adopted by any congregation seeking to embody God's mission in the world. An important emphasis of the book is that mission is not simply the work of women and men bringing the gospel to faraway places. Rather, it is the character of the church in whatever context it exists. The authors therefore call for a renewed focus on engaging an American culture that is today dominantly secular in orientation.