The Church Army Church Growth Research* suggests there are 10 parameters for what a Fresh Expression of church is:

  1. It is a Christian intuitive that is new, rather than part of a modified existing group.
  2. It is focused on The Dones (those who have gave up on church and decided they are better off without it) and The Nones (those who are unaffiliated with any organized religion).
  3. The community must meet at least once a month to build community, and incorporate discipleship practices.
  4. It ideally should have a name that gives it a unique identity.
  5. There is an intention in developing its own rhythm of community, evangelism and worship.
  6. There must be an authorization, or partnership with an existing church.
  7. There should be a clear form of leadership structure.
  8. The majority of members should see it as their main expression of being church.
  9. There is an aspiration of the four creedal marks of church: ‘up/holy, in/out, out/apostolic, of/christian’.
  10. There is an intention to become ‘three-self’ (self-financing, self- governing and self-reproducing).

There are at least 20 different recognizable types of Fresh Expressions; though the fourteen most common types are:

  1. Messy Church: Café church: a safe gathering place for conversation & discussion, with emphasis on being community, not providing worship.
  2. Child-focused church: focused on the primary school age group, with content to engage both parents & children.
  3. Church plant: focuses on informal worship style & forming community (e.g. starting a church in new housing development area).
  4. Special interest group: a Christian worshipping community based around, & with a specific mission to, a specific sub-culture (e.g. the arts, goths, workplace, LGBT groups, addicts, people with learning difficulties).
  5. Café Church: a safe gathering place for conversation & discussion, with emphasis on being community, not providing worship.
  6. All age worship: takes a thematic approach, using different learning styles.
  7. Multiple Sunday congregation: part of an existing church, offering a different style of worship & music, with a distinctive sense of identity, membership & ownership.
  8. Community development plant: in communities with high proportions of non-churched. Discerns & discovers, with local people & leadership, suitable forms of worship & Christian social engagement.
  9. Network church: a group of people not defined by a geographic or parish area, who gather for a common purpose (e.g. outreach to a specific group), or because of a shared life (e.g. at work, school, stage of life).
  10. Alternative worship: uses a variety of media to explore Christian faith & discipleship.
  11. Church based on under 5’s: focused on the pre-school age group, but embraces parents, grandparents, care-givers; takes the spirituality of the child seriously.
  12. Youth church: churches that grow out of making connections with non-churched young people, focusing on cultural change & identity.
  13. Cluster based church: mid-sized communities, each with a specific mission focus, in complementary relationship, & sometimes worship, with a larger church.
  14. Older peoples church: includes pastoral contact, ongoing discipleship, & encouragement to older people to exercise ministries in their own right.

*”The Day of Small Things” – Church Army 

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