(7) Small groups can actually fulfill the mandates in Scripture in regard to caring for one another, etc. This is not an argument for a smaller group within the greater local church that can do all these things. Rather this is an argument for either (1) a smaller church or (2) the need to extend our love, prayers, and burdens to a bigger group than only those few people near us. After all, Peter says honor all men (1 Pet 2:17) and by that he’s not saying to redefine “all”; by making it a smaller group. So when he says “love the brotherhood”; he’s similarly not saying “limit the brotherhood to a smaller group that you can love”;. Christ tells us to love each other so that all men may know we’re his disciples (John 13:35)—this is far easier if it were just your wife and a few others; much more difficult when you have those abrasive Brill-o brethren who are part of the local assembly.
(8) Small groups have been effectively used. Large groups have also been used effectively throughout Church History. Nicaea. Geneva. Big tent revival meetings. The idea that only small groups are effective in the ministry of the Gospel both is historically false and unnecessarily misunderstands God’s abilities.
(9) Small home groups are less intimidating. Maybe. But the Gospel is also intimidating. And so are morals. And so is the subjection to one another for love and discipline. And so are paintings of people praying on the kitchen wall. And so are people sitting in a circle praying to an all-powerful invisible being who is asked to weigh in on things. This winds up not really being an argument for a smaller group to branch off from the whole but rather an appeal about being pragmatic and sensitive to the seeker. And okay, maybe a home would be more welcoming than a building with large wooden doors and Luther’s 95 Theses etched into it but then that wouldn’t be an argument for a small group. It would be an argument for the local church to meet in a home.