Democracy is the tyranny of the many over the few.
Hierarchy is the tyranny of the few over the many.
“There is nothing that distinguishes a church meeting run by Robert’s Rules as one grounded in spiritual practices. The emphasis is on the individual. There are clear winners and losers. The process is slanted in favor of those who know the rules and can manipulate them. Is this any way to make decisions in a church? Until a few years ago I did not know that there was another way…
“Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of the Congregationalists was their belief that no individual—whether a bishop, priest, or lay leader—is fully equipped to discern and follow God’s will. The early Congregationalists believed that the workings of the Holy Spirit can be discerned in community by receptive hearts that are molded in prayer. They put into practice their understanding that the gathered community is the true vessel of the Spirit of Christ—a term that they used often. They met often and their meetings were seen as opportunities to encounter God in their midst. That is, they were more like worship than legislative sessions. The community did not gather for decision making as much as for discernment.”