Introduction to the Missional Church Patterns

A missional church listens to God’s specific call.  It experiences and participates in God’s sending it and the Holy Spirit’s empowering it to participate in God’s mission in the world. It does this in such a way that both its outreach and its life together as a church are a witness to Jesus Christ.

There is no easy formula: do these three things and you will be a missional church.  There is no handy checklist of activities you can perform in order to be successful.  Instead, researchers have identified eight somewhat overlapping “Patterns” that they have found in missional congregations.  These are explained in more detail in the book Treasure in Clay Jars, where you will also find congregational stories illustrating these Patterns.

You can recognize patterns, even if they are not identical.  For example, a plaid pattern on fabric may look different from one piece of fabric to another.  Plaids may have different colors, even different numbers of colors.  They may be symmetrical or not.  The repeat may be small or large. The fabric may be broadcloth or corduroy, cotton or wool.  But you can still identify the pattern as a plaid. That’s the way it is with these “Patterns in Missional Faithfulness.”  They may take different form in small congregations versus large congregations, in different cultural settings, in different denominational traditions, but you can still identify the pattern.