Growth - lack of

Look ye not upon the fewness of thy numbers, rather, seek ye out hearts that are pure. One consecrated soul is preferable to a thousand other souls. If a small number of people gather lovingly together, with absolute purity and sanctity, with their hearts free of the world, experiencing the emotions of the Kingdom and the powerful magnetic forces of the Divine, and being at one in their happy fellowship, that gathering will exert its influence over all the earth.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 80-81

A small community, whose members are united by their shared beliefs, characterized by their high ideals, proficient in managing their affairs and tending to their needs, and perhaps engaged in several humanitarian projects—a community such as this, prospering but at a comfortable distance from the reality experienced by the masses of humanity, can never hope to serve as a pattern for restructuring the whole of society.

Universal House of Justice, to the Continental Counsellors, 28 December 2010

The House of Justice has every confidence in the ability of your institution to reawaken this enthusiastic eagerness for service throughout your community in order to raise expansion and consolidation to unprecedented levels. It is evident that once you are able to learn to replicate the pattern of intensive action within your most advanced clusters in the hundreds of other clusters where a program of growth has been initiated, it will be possible to engage tens, and eventually hundreds of thousands of individuals in a vibrant, meaningful, and distinctive pattern of Bahá’í community life, open to all.

Universal House of Justice, to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, 5 January 2015

Though that goal is far from being fulfilled, the light already blazes intensely in many a region. In some countries it shines in every cluster. In the land where that inextinguishable light was first ignited, it burns bright despite those who would snuff it out. In diverse nations it achieves a steady glow across whole neighborhoods and villages, as candle after candle in heart after heart is lighted by the Hand of Providence; it illuminates thoughtful conversation at every level of human interaction; it casts its beams upon a myriad initiatives taken to promote the well-being of a people. And in every instance it radiates from a faithful believer, a vibrant community, a loving Spiritual Assembly—each a beacon of light against the gloom.

Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message 2011

We wish to address some additional words to those of you in whose surroundings marked progress is yet to occur and who long for change. Have hope. It will not always be so. Is not the history of our Faith filled with accounts of inauspicious beginnings but marvellous results? How many times have the deeds of a few believers—young or old—or of a single family, or even of a lone soul, when confirmed by the power of divine assistance, succeeded in cultivating vibrant communities in seemingly inhospitable climes? Do not imagine that your own case is inherently any different.

Universal House of Justice, Ridvan Message 2015

What is essential for every National Assembly to acknowledge in this connection is that, if mutual love and support within the community, important as it is, becomes the only focus, a stagnant environment engendered by an insular mentality will develop.

Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, April 2013