Under the word edification Vine’s Expository Dictionary has,
“(a) “the act of building’…this is used only figuratively in the NT, in the sense of edification, the promotion of spiritual growth ….is used metaphorically, in the sense of “edifying,” promoting the spiritual growth and development of character of believers, by teaching or by example, suggesting such spiritual progress as the result of patient labor.” (www2.mf.no/bibel/vines.html)
It is a work of the church along with evangelism and benevolence. (The mission of the church is soul winning and this is accomplished through the avenues of evangelism, edification benevolence.) This building up of the church is done by building up each individual Christian who makes up the body of Christ. We accomplish this through study (Eph. 4:12-16), provoking one another (Heb. 10:24-25), persuading (2 Cor. 5:10), and doing all things with the intention of edifying (1 Cor. 14:26; Rom. 14:19). Paul instructs us to “edify one another” (1 Th. 5:11).
“To edify means to build up, to strengthen, to encourage. It is to help the members of the church grow spiritually. What are some of the things that edify? God’s Word, fellowship, engaging in worship, helping one another, good works, love, etc. Read these passages: Acts 9:31; Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 14:26; 2 Corinthians 12:19 and Ephesians 4:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11. (truthfortheworld.org)