I read recently about the business concept of 'scaling'. It is when a business can increase it's revenues while keeping it's costs steady. Growth disproportionate to investment. Online businesses have great potential for this to happen.
A paper book takes work and materials to produce. If there is demand or a new edition more must be printed and distributed it takes resources. An online book has an initial investment but one million copies can be sold almost as easily as one hundred can and new editions are easy to distribute. The revenue potential is much higher. Of course people are willing to pay more for a paper book than they are for a digital one.
Increased revenue sounds great but if something 'scales' too fast there are pitfalls. Things become impersonal very quickly. The reliability of your distribution can come into question. How do you handle all the potential correspondence or complaints? etc...
Aside from business we see scaling issues in our own lives. Perhaps lonely people would love to have more friends like a new business owner would like to have more customers.
How does a great grandparent keep track of all their grandchildren? In growing families do you buy everyone presents or do you switch to a different method? Can a Pastor know each person in his growing assembly?
Jesus seemed to have these issues also. At times He seems to say statements designed to thin out the crowd but those that remained grew in intimacy with Him.
The Trinity had plans to build a Church and that would require something new...
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." - John 16:7 KJV
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever... But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." - John 14:16, 26 KJV
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" - John 15:26 KJV
Is one of the reasons God sent the Holy Spirit to deal with scaling issues? It sure seems that way. Now God can be personal with each one of us. He can supply to all of us at once.
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:22-25 ESV
"And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." - Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV
The Church is part of God's plan to cope with relationship scaling. Every relationship supplies something vital because the Holy Spirit is in the midst causing there to be a unique dynamic that can be found nowhere else.
God is good at everything. He is also a master businessman. He knows how to grow His startup business. We see that in the book of Acts. He also knows how to make his local startups a success and keep them personal and impactful.
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." - James 4:8 ESV
The is a individual drawing near but that concept is also has a real world application that requires humility. Can we draw near to God's people?
Let's draw near to where the message is proclaimed and people who believe are gathering. Let's have our mind renewed and be connected in ways that don't leave us lonely or that thin out our resources because we are trying to sustain too many relationships without the proper resources.
Let's go to Church and worship in the midst of other worshipers. God sent His Spirit to be with us there in a special way.
"And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle." - Revelation 1:13 KJV
Where two or more are gathered He is there. God walks in the midst of His candlesticks, those assemblies that shine His light, and He is personal to each one of us there.