Saturday, April 6, 2013

How large should a congregation be?

An early Baptist on the most important criterion for the size of a church:
“A church ought not to consist of such a multitude as cannot have particular knowledge one of another,” Thomas Helwys, founder of the first Baptist church in England — a congregation that some scholars estimate numbered about 10 members — wrote in the 1600s.
“The members of every church or congregation ought to know one another, so that they may perform all the duties of love one towards another, both to soul and body,” Helwys wrote. “And especially the elders ought to know the whole flock, whereof the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers.” .... [more]