Treasures in Clay Jars

New Ways to Understand Your Church

By George B. Thompson, Jr.

Foreword by James W. Fowler

Treasures in Clay Jars

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781620320570
  • Pages: 220
  • Publication Date: 2/21/2012
  • Retail Price: $27.00
Web Price: $21.60
Web Price: $21.60

Treasures in Clay Jars

New Ways to Understand Your Church

By George B. Thompson, Jr.

Foreword by James W. Fowler

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781620320570
  • Pages: 220
  • Publication Date: 2/21/2012
  • Retail Price: $27.00
Web Price: $21.60

About-

Thompson, a prolific author of church leadership resources, believes the continuing decline in membership of mainline denominations and the increasing number of multicultural and multiracial churches call for a new way of thinking: ministers must begin to see their ministry differently in order to do their ministry differently.

Treasures in Clay Jars is designed to provide persons in training for ministry with a paradigm-shifting framework to interpret and work effectively with the complex dynamics of local faith communities. Thompson takes an innovative approach by utilizing explicit and relevant conceptual and theoretical tools from the social sciences--sociology, economics, and cultural anthropology--to engage future pastors to minister effectively to twenty-first-century congregations.

The book discusses congregations in five different ways: as social group, as bearer of meaning, as locus of exchange, as collective capacity, and as complex organization. A study guide is included for church leaders who would like to engage their congregations in this new paradigm of ministry.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"I commend his book to any reader who wants to develop an in-depth understanding of congregations as organizations and as systems. Thompson's stories, examples, and teaching provide a clear set of lenses for taking a fresh look at churches and their challenges. We who live and lead, and who are committed to nurturing and strengthening the churches we know, can benefit richly from the teaching and examples offered in this book. For vestries, church councils, and the other governing or leading bodies of congregations, this book makes a good source for deepening joint understandings of their churches and of the ways they can be helped to flourish."
--James W. Fowler, from the Foreword

"But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies."
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NSRV)

Contributors-

George B. Thompson, Jr.
James W. Fowler

Bio(s)-

George B. Thompson Jr. is Professor of Leadership and Ministry Practice at The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, George. Thompson is the editor and co-author of Alligators in the Swamp: Power, Ministry, and Leadership (2005, The Pilgrim Press) and author of Church on the Edge of Somewhere: Ministry, Marginality, and the Future (The Alban Institute, 2007).

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