C hu r ch O r d e r 45 55 In a church united by love, the service of leadership will always point to Christ. Among us we know no difference in rank. We are all brothers and sisters, all members of the one body, each serving the other. Governing this body is its sole head, Jesus Christ. Making Decisions 56 Decisions in the church community should be the expression of a unanimity freely arrived at through common discernment and prayer within the fellowship of believers. Unanimity in decision-making is a fruit of the unity of the body of Christ, to which we seek to belong. It comes from listening together to God’s Spirit, who speaks the same message to all who desire to hear him, in practical as well as spiritual questions. We therefore reject decision-making by democratic or congregational vote. The rule of human opinions, whether of the majority or the minority, is the enemy of the rule of the Holy Spirit, and accordingly the checks and balances of representational government are not of God’s kingdom. 57 Unanimity in the Spirit is not conformity. It cannot be manufactured through consensus-building, persuasion, or pressure. In our experience, the dissent of a single voice has at times proved to be prophetic. Members must be able to speak their minds freely, especially in matters of conscience. A false unanimity produced by conformism or fear drives away the spirit of Christ. Col 1:28–29 Matt 23:8–12 Eph 1:22–23 Acts 15:1–35 Acts 4:31–32; Eph 4:1–6 John 16:13 1 Cor 1:10–17 Rom 12:3–8; 1 Pet 4:10–11 Rom 14; 1 Cor 8