Structure and commonality
While there is no co-ordinated organization behind the Emerging Church and no guarantee that the Emerging Church will mature into a coherent movement at all, the term is becoming increasingly common among leaders of Emerging Church groups and Emerging Church thinkers. Many of these leaders and thinkers have written books, articles and/or blogs on the subject using a shared terminology.
Emerging Church groups are typically observed to emphasize the following elements:
(1) Highly creative approaches to worship and spiritual reflection. This can involve everything from the use of contemporary music and films to liturgy, as well as more ancient customs, with a goal of making the church more appealing to the unchurched, and those within the church.
(2) A minimalist and decentralized organizational structure.
(3) A flexible approach to theology wherein individual differences in belief and morality are accepted within reason.
(4) A holistic view of the role of the church in society. This can mean anything from greater emphasis on fellowship in the structure of the group to a higher degree of emphasis on social action, community building or Christian outreach.
(5) A desire to reanalyze the Bible within varying contexts with the goal of revealing a multiplicity of valid perspectives rather than a single valid interpretation.
(6) A continual re-examination of theology.
(7) A high value placed on creating communities built out of the creativity of those who are a part of each local body.
(8) A belief in the journey of faith, both as individual and community. The Emerging Church Movement (ECM) shares with the house church movement the willingness to challenge the structure and organization that have become traditional for the Church over many centuries. Many emerging churches are in fact also house churches.