Criteria for a Fresh Expression

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Criteria for a fresh expression of church


It serves those outside the reach of existing church, primarily engaging people who have no church background and those who do, but do not currently attend church.

The majority of those involved would not previously have described themselves as regular churchgoers.


It listens to people and enters their culture, intentionally fitting the context.

The leaders or core team have appropriately engaged with the context at each stage of the fresh expressions journey, including methods of sharing faith, worship styles, etc.


It makes discipleship a priority.

In an early-stage fresh expression, making disciples will be a priority. In a later-stage fresh expression, the leaders or core team can plausibly describe how disciples are being made.


It intentionally forms church and be church for those who lead it and who come to faith through it.

It will need to have recognisable leadership, a distinct identity and meet at least monthly. There will be an intention that the fresh expression of church will grow and mature in its:

  • relationships up - to God the Trinity;
  • relationships out - of missional service to the world;
  • relationships of - to the wider church;
  • relationships in - between members of the community.


This commentary is to be understood generously. For example, 'intending to become church' does not require public use of the word 'church' where that would be unhelpful in the context, but does need an understanding that this is what is forming.