Fresh Expressions (a movement I’ve followed for a while now) has a working list of definitions as they find ways to partner with multiple denominational structures in an ecumenical way.
Fresh Expressions of church are missional, contextual, formational and ecclesial.
–Missional impulse requires engagement with people who are far from God and who are not involved in any church. Martyn Atkins has noted that God has revealed himself to be missionary in his nature. The people of God are the product of God’s mission and participants in it.
–Contextual ministry requires an intentional focus on ‘what is’ in a particular place or among a particular population.
–Formation means discipleship. In the context of fresh expressions of church, discipleship often happens non-formally as participants in the various contexts of ministry are invited to imitate the kind of life exemplified by Jesus’s self-giving love.
–Ecclesial means that the aim of each new venture is that it becomes church for the population that it serves and that this new form of church has the ability one day to become self-governing, self-financing and self-reproducing.
I found this list helpful as I ponder how I work with others in my own setting.