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The size of the church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    Do you believe that the biblical standard for the size of the church is based on the size of the Kingdom of God? In other words should the size of a church be large because the Kingdom of God is so vast?
     
  2. mont974x4

    mont974x4 New Member

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    The size of the Church will be relatively small. I am thinking of verses that tell us things like "narrow is the way and few will find it" and "many are called but few are chosen". The vast majority of mankind will be in Hell.


    Now, thinking of a church? I find no biblical support for a local church being any specific size. I have a personal preference for ones smaller than say, 300 people. And that is large, IMO, and great care must be taken by the elders shepherding a group that size. You get much bigger than that and I see no reason to send people and resources to plant another church.

    I just want to see God's people saved and discipled. I don't care if they get that from, Mark, or any other pastor. My job is to be faithful and care for the people God entrusts to me...not build a mini-kingdom for myself.
     
  3. MorseOp

    MorseOp New Member

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    I wish I could answer the poll. There is no clear biblical teaching on the size of a church.
     
  4. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    The size of a local church here on earth is determined by the Lord. Numbers mean very little on earth. The scene in heaven out of Revelation is all believers of every race, gender and denomination. Comparing a local church here on earth and the Kingdom in Heaven is apples and oranges.

    The local church carries out the Lord's work here on earth. The "universal church" has no function in this present age. The universal church never sent out a missionary, preached a sermon, gave to the poor, baptised anyone, took up an offering, adminsitered the Lord's Supper, visited the sick, prayed, or held a Bible study.

    There are three models distinctly different on the church.

    Catholics, a visible, universal church
    Protestant, an invisible universal church
    Baptist, a local, visible church

    The first two are hocus pocus.
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

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    Well the two major categories are important...and not "hocus pocus"

    The Church Invisible refers to the entire corpus of believers. It will meet once, at the eschaton, in the glorious unification and never not meet again.

    The Church Visible refers to individual bodies of believers that are distinct, diverse, and unified through the exercise of the ordinances of baptism and communion.

    So which one are we talking about?
     
  6. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    I am talking about the concept each of the three groups defines a church by in a broad sense. Give me one example of a useful function of a "universal church" here on earth. If one believes in a universal church, visible or invisible, then one believes in a hierarchy. Baptist churches are local autonomous churches as the NT churches Paul started were. The focus is carrying out God's work, spreading the Good News to the lost. That is done by the local church. I said in my post that Baptist churches are visible, but they are not universal, such as say the Lutherans. It comes down to what does a hierarchy do towards the work of the Lord? If one believes in a hierarchy, or some kind of purpose of all true believers being unified here on earth in one body, then Baptist is the wrong denomination.
     
  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    I hold to the universal church and I also hold to the local autonomous church. I see no conflict with this dichotomy. I do not see a need to see a hierarchy in all of this. Sometimes we Baptists take up bad arguments in order to defend against teachings that are truly false.
     
  8. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Finally! We agree on something!:godisgood:

    B. H. Carroll, founder of Southwestern Seminary, apparently did not like the term universal Church so he spoke of the "Glory" Church as the entire body of believers gathered in the presence of God.
     
    #8 OldRegular, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012
  9. IANMO(IAMNTMYOWN)

    IANMO(IAMNTMYOWN) New Member

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    Allot of churches are smaller than they should be. They focus on the members and their activities and their problems rather than the great commission. Jesus Christ had his fellowship of believers with his disciples. Nonetheless, they possessed a unified mission to reach the world around them.
     
  10. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    Not all churches can be big.

    All churches should want to be as big as they possibly can, though.

    A lack of desire for growth, first spiritually among those that are there and secondly numerically so that the Kingdom of God might be expanded, is a sign of a deep spiritual deficiency.
     
  11. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    Can you support this claim? Numbers mean very little?

    I think many people react against many shallow megachurches by swinging the pendulum too far the other way and making statements like this.
     
  12. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    I think every one of these statements is baseless.

    The narrow statement by Jesus does not mean that hell will be vastly more populated than heaven.

    If all children and invalids who die go to heaven, heaven will be vastly more populated than hell.

    Plus, Jesus may not come back for another thousand years. There is not one passage of Scripture in the Bible that says otherwise.

    There may be ten generations where the majority of the human race is Christian.

    That one verse that you take out of context does not establish that all churches ought to be small.

    And, frankly, if I pastored or attended a large church I might be offended by such drivel.
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    You know I answered one of your posts in much the same way you have answered his. You leveled an accusation against me because of it an here we have you doing the same thing. Nice!:thumbs:

    You are busted.
     
  14. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    If you say so it must be so.:rolleyes:
     
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