Counsel of Many

Proverbs 11:14 says, “in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” This goes to the heart of what consensus decision-making is and what it is not from a covenantal perspective.

Each person is uniquely gifted to enter into the Council of the Lord to see, heard and mark His Word. Each person therefore brings a special, needed, and valuable perspective to the Table discussion about what God’s Word means and how it should be applied. However, due to differences in gifts, various degrees of maturity, the influences of sin, and so forth, each person has a different capacity in being able to fully, accurately and faithfully express their perspective.

Therefore, in Basileia the practice of making wise decisions happens through a process of consensus where a Presiding Member is ultimately responsible to gather together the “multitude of counselors” and listen. The role of the Presiding Member is to speak least and speak last. Once all have had their say, the Presiding Member then speaks, integrating the input of all into a coherent whole. The Presiding Member says nothing new in regards to content, but for the first time gives an overall context or framework that brings the parts together as a whole. When an integrating statement rings right, as happened in the Acts 15 Council, the group assembled will say, “This seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.” There is safety, security and certainty that what has been decided by this group of fallible and finite people is according to the will of God and not man.

Also see Certain Knowledge, Consensus Decision-Making, Council, Council of the Lord, and Fallible and Finite.