Must an assembly act with unanimous consent?

Must an assembly act with unanimous consent?

The assembly should act with unanimous consent. Godly overseers know that their leadership does not flow from official power but from spiritual weight (1 Peter 5:3). A shepherd's consistent character, honesty, and concern for the Lord and His people gains the confidence of God's flock. His own humble submission to God's Word sets the pattern that leads others to submit to God's Word (Acts 20:28).

The ideal is for a well-fed flock to recognize the care of those who feed it, to gladly follow their servant leadership (Mark 10:42-45), and to unite around its shepherds in crisis. To our shame, wherever human responsibility is involved, the picture is less than ideal. Both shepherds and sheep have the liability of the flesh within (Romans 7:18). A lack of assembly unanimity may reflect the limitations of either the shepherds or the sheep, or, more likely, both.

In Hezekiah's times, God prepared the hearts of the people and, from their low spiritual condition, brought them to a united spirit of worship (2 Chronicles 29:36). Wisdom waits on God to so work that His people will be united around His Word. Men who force their way rather than waiting on God to open the way give evidence of self-will. This cost Saul his kingdom (I Samuel 13:11-14).

The sad condition may arise in which a united, humble oversight must move forward in dependence on God and guide the assembly to act when some in the assembly still dissent. Such a condition should lead all in the assembly to a spirit of brokenness before God. Something is wrong and each should be asking, as the disciples did (Mark 14:19), "Is it I?"

D. Oliver