(If you haven’t met Eric yet, he and I have known each other for about 9 years. Recently, he resigned from his job as a vocational pastor because of some convictions based on his study of Scripture.)
Eric begins where my previous post stopped: the purpose of the church gathering is mutual edification. If, then, we are to gather to edify one another, is there an upper limit on the number that can gather together? That’s the question that Eric asks.
What about the upper end? In our country right now the answer tends to be “bigger is better.” Another common way of thinking is that size doesn’t matter at all. I disagree with both these conclusions…
What about 30? I believe this is roughly the upper end. I freely admit that this conclusion is based partly on my own experience. I’ve read others who come to both higher and lower conclusions than 30. However, in my experience 30 is roughly the upper end that can fully participate in a gathering to bring about edification.
Like I told Eric in the comments, I’m not smart enough or brave enough to suggest a number. But I agree that mutual edification should be the principle that drives our gathering. If there are too many people gathered together to work together to help one another grow in spiritual maturity, then there’s a problem.
After I left my comment on Eric’s post, I began to wonder something… Is one of the causes (of desiring larger and larger church sizes) the fact that we are more interested in gathering together than we are in going out?