Making Decisions by Consensus

Making decisions by consensus is the way that fallible and finite people are able to agree upon what God’s will is and then do it. Basileians are Friends of God who, in our primary discipline of governing from the Table, integrate the practice of making decisions by consensus with welcoming all to the Table and creating wealth, giving and tithing.

Also see Apostolic Rule of Faith, Certain Knowledge, Consensus Decision-Making, Friends of God, and Govern.


God is a covenantal being who created man as a covenantal being, meaning that when “God created man” in His own image He “created him” with a collective personality and “created them” with an individual personality (Gen. 1:27). Just as God is a king with both an individual and a collective nature, so He created man in His own image as the king of the earthly realm with both an individual and collective nature (Gen. 1:26-28). Thus to exercise his dominion authority properly over the earthly realm (Gen. 1:26, 28) both the individual and collective aspects of man's nature must first be distinguished then appropriately integrated (Gen. 1:27). In other words, the proper administration of delegated authority is covenantal. The Hebrew word for “man” in Genesis 1:27 is adam which is a singular noun that in this context speaks of the unity of the human race as a whole. In other contexts, such as in Genesis 2:22 and 2:25, adam may also refer to an individual male (man) in distinction from an individual female (woman). Gender-neutral translations like the TNIV obscure the biblical meaning of adam by mistranslating Genesis 1:26-27 to read, “Let us make human beings in our image…So God created human beings in his own image…male and female he created them.” Such translations reflect the secular individualism of modern and postmodern liberalism by wrongly communicating a non-biblical view that only individual male and female persons comprise the human race. Such translations completely fail to communicate the equal ultimacy of the unified, collective personality of mankind as a whole. This undermines a covenantal understanding (a) of the nature of man and therefore (b) of how man is to administrate authority.

Also see “Governing Roles of Men and Women in Basileia,” and Head.

Mediatorial Authority

All covenantal forms of government are founded on Christ's “good confession” that man's authority to rule is not “of this world” but that it comes “from above” (Jn. 18:36-37; 19:11; 1 Tim. 6:13). Other than Jesus Christ Himself, no individual or collective has inherent authority that may in turn be mediated to others, acting as a “middle man” between God and others. Jesus Christ is the only true “middle man” between God and man. All others are counterfeits and false gods. In the Kingdom of God both individuals and collectives have a derived, secondary, and subordinate authority as ministers of God that comes directly from Christ who alone has been given “all authority” (Matt. 28:19). Thus the covenantal form of government everywhere and always declares, “there is another king – Jesus” (Acts 17:7). For this reason when human authority is exercised according to the covenantal approach it is ministerial and when it is not it becomes idolatrously mediatorial. The Scripture teaches that there are two distinct humanities, one whose covenantal (or federal) head is Adam and the other whose federal head is Christ. Adam “is a type of Him who was to come” (Rom. 5:14b), the representative head of humanity who fell in seeking autonomous mediatorial authority “like God” (Gen. 3:5). In contrast, Christ, the “last Adam” or “Second Man” is the representative head of the new humanity (1 Cor. 15:45, 46) whom He has redeemed to exercise ministerial authority as God had originally intended. The old humanity in Adam is the seed of Satan and will not inherit the Kingdom of God. The new humanity in Christ is the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) and a “new creation” (1 Cor. 5:17) to which the Kingdom has been given (Lk. 22:29).

Also see Cosmic Impersonalism, Head, Judgment, Ministerial Authority, and “The Opportunity Presented by Members Called to Function Together Ministerially.”


Both individuals and collective jurisdictions are members of Basileia. An individual is always and only membered to a Fellowship or a Chapter. Individuals cannot be membered to any jurisdictions other than these two. Fellowships and Chapters are in turn collective members of broader jurisdictions that in turn are members of yet broader jurisdictions. For example, a Fellowship is a member of a Basileia Community that in turn is a member of the Basileia Alliance that in turn is a member of Communio Christiana that in turn is a member of the universal Church. This is similar to how individuals in ancient Israel were members of families that were in turn members of clans that were in turn members of tribes that were in turn members of the nation. This nesting of jurisdictions within jurisdictions in the Kingdom of God is ministerial in nature, not mediatorial. The Fallen World System typically perverts this by turning broader jurisdictions into overlords of narrower or more local jurisdictions, turning them into “departments” of a monolithic whole. This kind of “unity” is the so-called “unity” of the Tower of Babel that the Lord put an end to. Broader jurisdictions do not have “more authority” than narrower jurisdictions. Instead all jurisdictions have equal authority while being different in function. As this applies to Basileia, a Chapter, for example, is a member simultaneously of both of a Fellowship and its respective Vocational Society. But this does not mean that this Chapter is ruled over or can be subjectively overruled by a Fellowship or its respective Vocational Society. No member, individual or collective, has mediatorial “authority over” any other member. We constantly work to purge such mediatorial language (e.g., “authority over,” etc.) from our vocabulary in that Jesus says it has no part in His Church (Lk. 22:24-27). Finally, a jurisdiction’s members, geographically speaking, may be and come from anywhere in the world.

Also see Adult Communicant Member, Communicant Member, Governing Members, Jurisdictions, Ministerial Authority, and “The Opportunity Presented by Members Called to Function Together Ministerially.”

Ministerial Authority

Ministerial authority is the subordinate, secondary, derivative authority that comes “from above” in contrast to mediatorial authority, which is the insubordinate and autonomous exercise of authority that is “of this world.” Ministerial authority ultimately aims at the restoration of the image of God in fallen man and the empowerment of those so restored to operate and grow in the likeness of God for the life of the world. Thus, ministerial authority gives rise to judgments (i.e., decisions) in both corrective discipline and formative discipleship that are ultimately restorative and never only punitive. Members are expected to exercise ministerial authority in relation to the jurisdictions to which they are membered just as jurisdictions are expected to exercise ministerial authority in relation to their members. The only Man to whom mediatorial authority is given is the Man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5; cf. Is. 9:6). Jesus alone, because He is both God and Man, is able as a Man to a source of authority in relation to others. Because He exercises this authority in His capacity as the Second Adam, it is through Christ alone that all others, both individuals and collectives, receive ministerial authority. Thus all ministerial authority is delegated authority whose source is in God and comes directly to each individual and collective from God in Christ. No other person, other than Jesus Christ, can claim to be a “middle man” in between God as the source of all authority and any individual or collective who is an “appointed” or delegated authority. “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Rom. 13:1b). This ministerial nature of covenantal authority, structures, and relationships creates an equality of authority among members and at the same time a division of powers or roles that checks the unwarranted abuse of power. In addition, ministerial authority functions in a more effective manner by harnessing the symbiotic or collective wisdom and abilities of mankind as a whole in cultivating and keeping the earthly creation.

Also see Apostolic Rule of Faith, Capacity, Charism, Consensus Decision-Making, Cosmic Personalism, Head, Judgment, Mediatorial Authority, Member, and “The Opportunity Presented by Members Called to Function Together Ministerially.”


To be missional is to be sent; it is to be apostolic. The whole Church is by nature apostolic and therefore missional, not just some parts of the Church or some people, like evangelists or missionaries. Basileia recognizes that all believers are equally called to be missional, not just believers who are evangelists or missionaries. Thus we reject the “local church” and “mission church” false dichotomy and embrace a way of being the Church that is apostolic. This is particularly brought into focus in our Basileia Communities where what some may think are “local church” expressions (i.e., our Fellowships) and “mission church” expressions (i.e., our Chapters), operate together as one and do so without geographic limits. This is “The Celtic Way of Evangelism.” Thus Basileia is missional in how we worship, live and govern ourselves. Our charism as expressed in every part of our Constitution is missional through and through.

Also see Apostolic, Celtic Christianity, the book The Celtic Way of Evangelism, Missional Council, Missional Initiative, and “The Capital C Church.”

Missional Council

A Missional Council of a Basileia jurisdiction leads and administers the diaconal functions of equipping and releasing leaders of missional initiatives. Missional Councils complement the roles of Presbyter Councils and Deacon Councils in providing leadership to one of the three major areas of the life of Basileia, namely, the area of apostolic mission, which each jurisdiction participates in. Until Commissioned Governing Members are raised up and to lead Missional Councils, Presbyters and Deacons are authorized to do so. But after Commissioned Governing Members are appointed, Presbyters and Deacons join with other baptized members in diaconal service to these Missional Councils. Basileia has the following six types of Missional Councils:

  1. Alliance Missional Council.
  2. Community Missional Councils.
  3. Fellowship Missional Councils.
  4. Abbey Missional Councils.
  5. Society Missional Councils.
  6. Chapter Missional Councils.

 Also see Missional, and Missional Initiatives.

Missional Initiative

A missional initiative (often called simply an "initiative") is a charism of ministry started or sponsored by one or more members and/or jurisdictions. A missional initiative is different from a jurisdiction, the latter being founded when the appropriate Presbyter Council charters or officially founds it. Some, but not all, missional initiatives may eventually develop into jurisdictions, while others, because of their nature, will not. A school started by members of a Basileia jurisdiction is an example of a missional initiative. People may speak of such a school as a “ministry” or as an ongoing educational “activity.” It may develop a highly complex organizational framework, own properties and have staff, some who may not even be believers. Likewise, a onetime weekend retreat is also a kind of missional initiative, being a one-time “activity” or an “event” that makes its appearance briefly and then is past. Furthermore, a study group is another kind of missional initiative that may meet in a home or in a coffee shop week after week. In time such a study group could naturally and organically become a Fellowship. To the casual observer where the study group ends and a new Fellowship begins may not be obvious. Nevertheless, the official transition from being a study group to the founding of a new Fellowship happens only when the respective Community Presbyter Council charters (i.e., officially founds) the Fellowship. In an official sense the act of chartering is the exact point where, in this example, what started as a missional initiative (a study group) is founded as a new jurisdiction (a Fellowship).

Also see Jurisdiction, Missional, and Missional Council.


While in general all members of a Fellowship participate in an order of Christian life that models a new, missional and apostolic monasticism for the 21st century, some members choose more intensive and total forms and modes of our Basileian way of life than do others. One mode is not more “spiritual” or “better,” than another. Each has its honored place in the whole life of a Basileia Community. Nevertheless, some members choose forms and modes of community life that are more totally shared seven days a week for a season or even for a lifetime. The men, women and families dedicated to these more intensive and total forms of community life live by a common Rule that defines them as an extended ecclesial family in relation to a Fellowship or Abbey. The Rule of such a monastic ecclesial family describes in what particular ways they aim to share life together in regards to prayer, study and work, and how others may join them for a season or for life. Their Rule may also define how they collectively own and manage businesses and properties as well as financial mechanisms for providing for their members in their passive income years.

Also see Familial.

Mustard Seed

An Abbey is to a Basileia Community what a mustard seed is to a mustard tree. The former contains the genotype (the seed) that gives expression to a phenotype (the tree). In light of the phase, “Abbey and the Oak Tree,” we could slightly modify the analogy here and say that an Abbey is like a source of acorns that are then planted in a circle around the Abbey to give rise to a ring of Fellowships which in turn are encircled by another planting of acorns that gives rise to an even broader ring of Chapters. The missional initiatives that radiate outward to the world give rise to a mustard tree expression of kingdomculture. 

Also see Abbey.


We gladly admit that there is mystery for us in all things while there is no mystery for God in anything. We do not claim to understand even one thing exhaustively. Therefore, we can in ourselves be certain about nothing. But because God understands all things exhaustively, now, “having made known to us the mystery of His will” (Eph. 1:9), we can in Christ be boldly and humbly certain about everything that we do know. “In Your light we see light” (Ps. 36:9). When the people questioned how it was possible that Jesus knew so much, even though He had no formal degrees or “letters” after his name, like a Ph.D. (Jn. 7:15), Jesus explained to the people how He knew what He knew. His explanation gets to the heart of what is the biblical sense mystery. He said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (Jn. 7:16-27). Upon this basis He then commanded the people to “judge with righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24). To judge rightly or righteously is possible for anyone who “wills to do His will.” Being willing to do God’s will and not our own is the only sure basis upon which we “shall know” anything for certain. The debate surrounding Jesus (and thus also by implication, the debate surrounding us as Basileians or of any believer who comes across as irritatingly “authoritative” to citizens of the Fallen World System) is that Jesus taught with an authority that was rock-solid and certain. He was able to do so because the source of authority of His “doctrine” was “from God.” He was not His “own authority.” Jesus operated by the One-Source View of authority. Practically, the One-Source View is the view of anyone who “wills to do His will.” Therefore, Jesus commanded the people to use the One-Source View in righteously judging whether He Himself was indeed using the One-Source View or not. He refused to allow them to judge Him on the basis of their own autonomy. Experiencing the Father “having made known to us the mystery of His will” is the basis of true kingdom authority. All knowledge not based on this kind of mystery is “falsely called knowledge” (1 Tim. 6:20). 

Also see Body of Christ, Certain Knowledge, Council of the Lord, Eucharist, and One-Source View.