For the last few yeas, our church gatherings have been more participatory – meaning, more people take part in the speaking, teaching, edifying, encouraging, etc. that happens during our church meetings.I think that makes sense. I respect Alan's approach to using Scripture to back how he practices his faith. For me a lot of this is just theoretical brain pain. For now I just wanted to file it here with my other thoughts on participation at the gathering. Thanks Alan.
However, participation is not an end in itself. Our goal is not increased participation from the body of Christ. Our goal when meeting together is mutual edification (1 Corinthians 14:26; Hebrews 10:24-25). We allow and encourage many people to take part in our meetings because we understand that God works through all of his children (mutual) in order to help us all walk in maturity in Christ (edification).
So, a participatory meeting is not our goal, but a tool that God uses to build up his children when the church meets.