The history of Christianity is significantly permeated with the awareness of the need for continual renewal and cleansing of the Church community. A concrete expression of the need for renewal can be found in contemporary ecclesiastic trends and Church movements particularly amongst the laity. The author first outlines the bloom of these communities and their diversity and then goes on to interpret the meaning of the notion of a movement and shows the theological origins and current place of spiritual communities within the Church. In continuation, the author considers how movements developed in the post Council era, presenting criteria of their ecclesiality and describing attempts by Roman popes to include them as a charismatic dimension to renewal and the entire mission of the Church (Evangelisation, parish community renewal, social engagement). Church movements are not free of weaknesses and unilateralism which then give rise to numerous hardships to include them in local Church structures. In the end the author points out the importance of groups of the faithful in the life of the Church in a modern, pluralistic society and gives a critical judgement about the acceptance of new Church movements in Croatia.