Quaker-type meetings

May I humbly ask all who read these posts to search out Web pages concerning Quaker business meetings. I have already raised this subject in an earlier post, but the more I look into it, the more excited I become as I see these types of meetings as vital to the future, not only of Church business meetings, but also of commercial enterprises and, eventually, of governments of countries ("eventually" presumably being quite a way into the future!). Christian groups already existing in secular business and in political organizations (politicians Christian fellowships etc.), by conforming to the "Quaker" meeting ideal must surely become prophetic voices in their secular surroundings, as decisions are arrived at as to where Christians stand on certain controversial ethical issues and, more generally, are guided as to what true Christian positions are on a variety of issues.
The only stress that I would make that may differ a little from the traditional Quaker business meeting is that something more than a simple peaceful "spirit of the meeting" should be reached through the opening silence. Each member of the meeting must also be in a state of complete surrender to the inward presence of Christ ("the "Galatians 2:20" condition) and the meeting should best open with a prayer that Christ truly rules the meeting and reveals his perfect will to all its members.
Such groups, I believe, will become nuclei for Kingdom growth in Church, commercial and political spheres.
Please pray earnestly about this matter, for I believe it to be the future for both Church and society!
Blessings to all.
 
For it to work, people need to understand that there is no spoken 'opening prayer' in that someone stands up in front and says a prayer.
I have been to church meetings where people 'open in prayer' and STILL proceed to direct the meeting according to their own agenda, just because they were the first to speak, or said the prayer.

People need to come in, sit down/stand still and wait. They need to be silent. That's when God will minister. Quakers will raise their hands when they want silence. When everyone else at the meeting has raised their hand, they know everyone has seen and it's time for silence.
 

bobinfaith

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Hello Daffydd;

I'm glad you started this thread and will tell you why. I read your other thread in Kingdom groups and in my own research I want to visit a Quaker meeting group. There is such a meeting group about 15 minutes from where I live. It's called the San Francisco Friends Meetings Quakers. They have a history of 150 years in the Bay Area.

We studied the Quakers back at seminary during Colonial America, the struggles for religious liberty and the influence of William Penn. My purpose is to meet some new people, have a cup of coffee, listen,
understand the spirit of silence and share.

At this time they are closed due to the pandemic.
 

Garee

Account Closed
learned somthing new. It would appear the "spirit of silence "is one of the main emphasisis points in that Quaker format or cerimonies as signs .

What other kind of tools make up the Quaker format as a sign to the world ?

Or is that not how the Quakers veiw the spirit of silence.?
 
For it to work, people need to understand that there is no spoken 'opening prayer' in that someone stands up in front and says a prayer.
I have been to church meetings where people 'open in prayer' and STILL proceed to direct the meeting according to their own agenda, just because they were the first to speak, or said the prayer.

People need to come in, sit down/stand still and wait. They need to be silent. That's when God will minister. Quakers will raise their hands when they want silence. When everyone else at the meeting has raised their hand, they know everyone has seen and it's time for silence.
Not necessarily a spoken prayer, but more a prayerful attitude of each person - an inward and conscious surrender to Christ and his presence within. Christ promised to be present when "two or three" are gathered in his name. By surrendering to him, he is "in charge" of the meeting (if I may put it as crudely as this!). I think that George Fox probably would have believed that the nations would eventually be governed in this way. There is good reason to think that Fox was a "preterist/idealist" and held a very similar position to that of John Noe of the Prophecy Reform Institute. Noe arrived at this through Biblical study, Fox by mystical insight (though confirmed by his reading of the Bible). I believe that there is a mountain of potential here for church and societal reform and that Quakers and other Christians influenced by the Quaker approach have the opportunity for doing great things for the Lord.
 
Not necessarily a spoken prayer, but more a prayerful attitude of each person - an inward and conscious surrender to Christ and his presence within. Christ promised to be present when "two or three" are gathered in his name. By surrendering to him, he is "in charge" of the meeting (if I may put it as crudely as this!). I think that George Fox probably would have believed that the nations would eventually be governed in this way. There is good reason to think that Fox was a "preterist/idealist" and held a very similar position to that of John Noe of the Prophecy Reform Institute. Noe arrived at this through Biblical study, Fox by mystical insight (though confirmed by his reading of the Bible). I believe that there is a mountain of potential here for church and societal reform and that Quakers and other Christians influenced by the Quaker approach have the opportunity for doing great things for the Lord.

I have only attended one Quaker worship service and that was a long time ago. I remember that it was very different than what I had been used to in Christian churches in that it doesn't follow a set liturgy or code of rules - a service has no structure, and no one leads it.

Now that I think back on it, I can see how that can lead to a lot of problems especially in a meeting where business is conducted.

I do have a friend of mine who is a Quaker and he describes their faith as an "Alternative Christianity," which relies heavily on personal communion and revelation from God rather than adherence to a creed and doctrinal beliefs.

"That" right there would be a concern for me as it opens the door for the imagination to take over.

The he tells me that they believe in the religious belief that truth is continuously revealed to individuals directly from God. He says that Quakers are taught that Christ comes to teach the people himself. Friends often focus on trying to hear God. Because of this, Quakers reject the idea of priests, believing in the priesthood of all believers.

That would be the second thing that would cause to to be cautious.

Please do not take what I have posted as a rejection of the Quaker faith as that is not my intention. You have posted some comments that are very positive and I am sure you are correct. I only sought to give a somewhat "Rest of the Story" so as to balance out the position you are proposing as there is always two sides to every position and we all must decide what is the right one for us as individuals.

I have spent 60 years in the "Congregational" type of meetings where a Pastor leads in the business of the church and he is advised by his deacons and committees who propose the needs of the church as those needs arise. Those people in the committees investigate the cost, the need and feasibility of that need. Then is a business meeting, lead by the Pastor, The people of the congregation then discuss that business and vote yes or no on all proposals.
 

bobinfaith

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I have only attended one Quaker worship service and that was a long time ago. I remember that it was very different than what I had been used to in Christian churches in that it doesn't follow a set liturgy or code of rules - a service has no structure, and no one leads it.

Now that I think back on it, I can see how that can lead to a lot of problems especially in a meeting where business is conducted.

I do have a friend of mine who is a Quaker and he describes their faith as an "Alternative Christianity," which relies heavily on personal communion and revelation from God rather than adherence to a creed and doctrinal beliefs.

"That" right there would be a concern for me as it opens the door for the imagination to take over.

The he tells me that they believe in the religious belief that truth is continuously revealed to individuals directly from God. He says that Quakers are taught that Christ comes to teach the people himself. Friends often focus on trying to hear God. Because of this, Quakers reject the idea of priests, believing in the priesthood of all believers.

That would be the second thing that would cause to to be cautious.

Please do not take what I have posted as a rejection of the Quaker faith as that is not my intention. You have posted some comments that are very positive and I am sure you are correct. I only sought to give a somewhat "Rest of the Story" so as to balance out the position you are proposing as there is always two sides to every position and we all must decide what is the right one for us as individuals.

I have spent 60 years in the "Congregational" type of meetings where a Pastor leads in the business of the church and he is advised by his deacons and committees who propose the needs of the church as those needs arise. Those people in the committees investigate the cost, the need and feasibility of that need. Then is a business meeting, lead by the Pastor, The people of the congregation then discuss that business and vote yes or no on all proposals.

Hello Major;

I also have concerns for religions where doctrines are slanted down to the point of "convenience and imagination."

I'm just interested in attending so I can learn about the Quaker faith in Christ, while holding firm to my personal Christian convictions, and that is a solid creed and doctrine that only aligns with the Bible.

Unfortunately, they are not open for meetings during the lockdown.

God bless you and your family.
 
I have only attended one Quaker worship service and that was a long time ago. I remember that it was very different than what I had been used to in Christian churches in that it doesn't follow a set liturgy or code of rules - a service has no structure, and no one leads it.

Now that I think back on it, I can see how that can lead to a lot of problems especially in a meeting where business is conducted.

I do have a friend of mine who is a Quaker and he describes their faith as an "Alternative Christianity," which relies heavily on personal communion and revelation from God rather than adherence to a creed and doctrinal beliefs.

"That" right there would be a concern for me as it opens the door for the imagination to take over.

The he tells me that they believe in the religious belief that truth is continuously revealed to individuals directly from God. He says that Quakers are taught that Christ comes to teach the people himself. Friends often focus on trying to hear God. Because of this, Quakers reject the idea of priests, believing in the priesthood of all believers.

That would be the second thing that would cause to to be cautious.

Please do not take what I have posted as a rejection of the Quaker faith as that is not my intention. You have posted some comments that are very positive and I am sure you are correct. I only sought to give a somewhat "Rest of the Story" so as to balance out the position you are proposing as there is always two sides to every position and we all must decide what is the right one for us as individuals.

I have spent 60 years in the "Congregational" type of meetings where a Pastor leads in the business of the church and he is advised by his deacons and committees who propose the needs of the church as those needs arise. Those people in the committees investigate the cost, the need and feasibility of that need. Then is a business meeting, lead by the Pastor, The people of the congregation then discuss that business and vote yes or no on all proposals.
You have raised a good point here and it is in this context that I stress the spiritual "condition" of Christians involved in this sort of meeting. By that I mean that for this approach to work and to work safely, those gathering in the meeting should be surrendered to Christ - should be able to repeat Paul's words in Galatians 2:20 as relating to their own experience. If they are not surrendered to Christ, there is a real danger that personal imagination will get in the way and ones own wishes will be mistaken for the "still small voice". Unfortunately, many Quaker meetings do hold very liberal theological views, however that was not the case with the earliest Quakers and of George Fox himself, nor with those who follow the more traditional line.
As I have said, I am not myself a Quaker although I have had some experience with what might be termed "Quaker-style" contemplative prayer meetings and I firmly believe that (given the above mentioned qualifications) any meeting for church business, and even for "secular" business if such an enterprise is in the hands of Christians, can be conducted in this manner. Perhaps in a congregational setting, instead of the congregation discussing the proposals and voting on same, a period of quiet meditation could be introduced into the meeting in which the will of God is actively sought. After all, the will of the majority is not necessarily the will of God and the real issue (and please don't read this as criticism) is whether a church congregation is to be run according to the will of its members or the will of God - is it a democracy or a theocracy?
 

bobinfaith

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I want to raise the question whether experiencing a Quaker-type meeting, or a Christian gathering with my church family, is God's Place where non or new believers are coming to Christ?

The governance of the church where I pastor is a theocracy, meaning, we submit to the called leadership of the Lead Pastor, Elder, Youth Pastor, Music Minister, Overseer of our Bible Study, Board of Directors, etc...to make the decisions that will impact the ministry, bringing others to Christ Jesus. My role as overseer is to train, guide and hold that leader accountable and support them fully, but step in when a circumstance needs my help, and in some cases make a decision.

We don't recognize Christian democracy within our church family. Is Christian democracy Biblical and can it get bogged down with certain denominations who advocate CD in their doctrine?

Why don't we recognize it? Because we would not put the responsibility of a member to make a church wide decision on an area they are not experienced with, like music, teaching, or decide what message the Pastor is to give, for example. This is why we have Bylaws that give the whole congregation the opportunity for "town hall meetings," to pray, discuss and finally, vote.

Please share if democracy is indeed Biblical.

I still want to experience my first Quaker meeting when they can open the doors. But the question I pose is, are the meetings, business meetings, order of leadership, call it what we will, anointing and bringing new believers to Christ Jesus? Are those already involved growing in their faith for the Kingdom?

God bless you for allowing me to discuss, agree or disagree, but I'm sure we can agree that this has been an ongoing concern for centuries in the Christian community.
 

Garee

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Democracy or a theocracy ? Is there any limbo in bewteen. How does the word Christianity fit in.?

The scriptures say there must be heresies bewtwen us. He came to bring peace through division.
 
You have raised a good point here and it is in this context that I stress the spiritual "condition" of Christians involved in this sort of meeting. By that I mean that for this approach to work and to work safely, those gathering in the meeting should be surrendered to Christ - should be able to repeat Paul's words in Galatians 2:20 as relating to their own experience. If they are not surrendered to Christ, there is a real danger that personal imagination will get in the way and ones own wishes will be mistaken for the "still small voice". Unfortunately, many Quaker meetings do hold very liberal theological views, however that was not the case with the earliest Quakers and of George Fox himself, nor with those who follow the more traditional line.
As I have said, I am not myself a Quaker although I have had some experience with what might be termed "Quaker-style" contemplative prayer meetings and I firmly believe that (given the above mentioned qualifications) any meeting for church business, and even for "secular" business if such an enterprise is in the hands of Christians, can be conducted in this manner. Perhaps in a congregational setting, instead of the congregation discussing the proposals and voting on same, a period of quiet meditation could be introduced into the meeting in which the will of God is actively sought. After all, the will of the majority is not necessarily the will of God and the real issue (and please don't read this as criticism) is whether a church congregation is to be run according to the will of its members or the will of God - is it a democracy or a theocracy?

The problem I have seen in church all my life is that not everyone who says that that are born again are actually, "Born Again".

A lot, and I mean a lot of the time those people are religious but not born again. What they actually hear in the quiet time waiting and God to speak to them turns out to be their own conscious minds telling them to push an agenda that they want.

In every church I have ever been associated with, there is always a time pf prayer before the church does its business.

Now, you are correct in that the majority is not always right. That my friend is why discussion of all business should be open and talked about. All good men who pastor a church can feel if a certain business situation is not popular to his church. If there is a lot of animosity or negitive discussion he can simply "Table" the proposal instead of taking a congregational vote.

My experience over the years is that if any business proposal is looking like a 50 -50 vote....reject it completely and know that what you are trying to do is not the will of God.

To this day, the business meetings I have presided over where money is to be spent has been a unanimous vote including $100,000 for a new education building 15 years ago. WHY?????

Because if everyone who tithes to the church is not in agreement, it is not going to work. Everyone must be on the same page of reality to be in God's will.

Remember...."one" worm in a barrel of apples ruins the whole barrel......in time.
 
I don't think church meetings necessarily bring in new believers. The work christians do as evangelists is always outside of these meetings!
When someone believes, it's then that God convinces them they need to meet up and have fellowship, but I don't think it's the case that ALL church meetings are designed for teaching and discipleship.

Quaker meetings are for worship. They call it a worship meeting. The period of silence is where everyone can encounter God's presence. After that people that are enquiring can seek someone and ask them more questions, but usually there's a lot of pamphlets available that explain things about Quakers and their history and what they do. Most other churches have this too but I've noticed Quakers have entire racks of pamphlets explaining a lot of their practices, thoughts and testimonies, which you actually can read if you want during your time of silence. Nobody's going to tell you off!
 
Democracy or a theocracy ? Is there any limbo in bewteen. How does the word Christianity fit in.?

The scriptures say there must be heresies bewtwen us. He came to bring peace through division.

The church is supposed to be a "Theocracy".

But just like everything else in life, if a church gets a Pastor who is lets say, un-ethical, or self promoting etc. it opens the door to confusion.

he scripture never gives us an example of one pastor making a decision for the whole church. In Acts, we see that elders (plural) made decisions. It wasn’t a one man show. Paul did serve as a judge in the case of the man who sinned as we read in I Corinthians 5 but that is the only exception.

If a church has biblical meetings with turn-taking, and mutual edification, then it is easier to apply the same good manners people are used to applying in using their gifts to edify one another when a business-related issue occurs. If the saints are already used to having to deal with disagreement on occasion when they teach scripture or even discuss it, then they may have a relationship strong enough to endure a disagreement on how to take care of some kind of practical issue.

Personally, I don’t care for Robert’s Rules of Order for church meetings. I know them and have used them but they present a very structured and formal position. A church is supposed to be a family. A highly formalized order of meeting doesn’t seem to promote this kind of atmosphere, imo.

Also, the archaic yea’s and nays are a bit odd and the kids wonder why you are talking so funny. I have at times asked that if you are in favor of something..... "stand up"........or say "Amen".
 
In terms of business meetings as far as I know its a bit more like a worship meeting and then after there may be discussion about the things affecting Quakers and the work they do, or it might just be they want to stop a leak in the meeting hall or something. I haven't been to a business meeting so I can't say, but there will always be a period of silence - so that God can minister to all those who come with business concerns.

Here's a link if you want to find out more. https://qandb.org/resources/publications/150-quaker-business-method
 

bobinfaith

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I don't think church meetings necessarily bring in new believers. The work christians do as evangelists is always outside of these meetings!
When someone believes, it's then that God convinces them they need to meet up and have fellowship, but I don't think it's the case that ALL church meetings are designed for teaching and discipleship.

Quaker meetings are for worship. They call it a worship meeting. The period of silence is where everyone can encounter God's presence. After that people that are enquiring can seek someone and ask them more questions, but usually there's a lot of pamphlets available that explain things about Quakers and their history and what they do. Most other churches have this too but I've noticed Quakers have entire racks of pamphlets explaining a lot of their practices, thoughts and testimonies, which you actually can read if you want during your time of silence. Nobody's going to tell you off!

In terms of business meetings as far as I know its a bit more like a worship meeting and then after there may be discussion about the things affecting Quakers and the work they do, or it might just be they want to stop a leak in the meeting hall or something. I haven't been to a business meeting so I can't say, but there will always be a period of silence - so that God can minister to all those who come with business concerns.

Here's a link if you want to find out more. https://qandb.org/resources/publications/150-quaker-business-method

The church is supposed to be a "Theocracy".

But just like everything else in life, if a church gets a Pastor who is lets say, un-ethical, or self promoting etc. it opens the door to confusion.

he scripture never gives us an example of one pastor making a decision for the whole church. In Acts, we see that elders (plural) made decisions. It wasn’t a one man show. Paul did serve as a judge in the case of the man who sinned as we read in I Corinthians 5 but that is the only exception.

If a church has biblical meetings with turn-taking, and mutual edification, then it is easier to apply the same good manners people are used to applying in using their gifts to edify one another when a business-related issue occurs. If the saints are already used to having to deal with disagreement on occasion when they teach scripture or even discuss it, then they may have a relationship strong enough to endure a disagreement on how to take care of some kind of practical issue.

Personally, I don’t care for Robert’s Rules of Order for church meetings. I know them and have used them but they present a very structured and formal position. A church is supposed to be a family. A highly formalized order of meeting doesn’t seem to promote this kind of atmosphere, imo.

Also, the archaic yea’s and nays are a bit odd and the kids wonder why you are talking so funny. I have at times asked that if you are in favor of something..... "stand up"........or say "Amen".

Thank you, Lanolin;

Your visiting the Quaker meetings gives me an idea now because, like I said, they're locked down and don't know when they'll be open again.

We all know the difference between meeting to worship and meeting to discuss the operations of business, finances, maintenance. Either way, the meetings should be to edify Christ and less about squabbling about who knows what.

Major, thank you for clarifying Theocracy because this a debatable issue in the church, I'm sorry to say, many churches are not structured and believe everyone has a "say so" on what the Pastor should preach on, what Bible study should be taught and how the Children's minister should teach the children.

As far as Robert's Rules of Order, I also never favored it from an experience I had years ago at a church meeting. I noticed the church family I knew seemed to put on a serious corporate face. The yeas and nays, it just didn't seem to fit in a church meeting, though I know many churches use this procedure. Then if the meeting got the procedures of Robert's Rules wrong, there was a 20 discussion on how to do it right.
 
I mentioned in my article about the church council that adopted something similar to the "Quaker" approach in its business meetings. A proposal was only passed if everyone in the meeting was convinced that it was the will of God. Sometimes there would be a dissenting voice (or voices) and when this happened, the meeting would pray and bring the matter before God until everyone became convicted as to God's will in the matter. Often, it was the majority who changed their view. Had the matter been settled by a majority vote, the outcome would not have been according to God's perfect will. The result may still have been "good", but it would not have been best.
Can we imagine that the something like the Quaker approach to business meetings becoming the normal, not just for church business meetings, but also for commercial enterprises (see the link that Lanolin has provided for more about this) and, eventually, for parliaments of nations and even meetings of the UN? "Impossible" we might say. Yet, the Bible does teach the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2) and the final transformation of the "kingdoms of the world" into the Kingdom of God and it seems to me that the model presented in these posts may well be how Christ will rule the world through his dedicated people. Different people have different ideas as to how the total rule of Christ may come; whether suddenly or growing from within the present situation. Either way, the vision is something that Christians should hold in mind. Churches and Christian enterprises where Christ is allowed to rule through something like the Quaker approach can be seen as present manifestations of the Kingdom and, therefore, as forerunners of how the whole world will someday be governed. I believe that this is a vision that should be strongly promoted within the church as it sets both a Kingdom orientation and concentrates on the experiential rule of Christ in the here and now in a practical way.
 
I do think there needs to be a period of silence and listening to God before people speak - at any kind of meeting.
If this was common practice it would be beneficial. Sometimes at prayer meetings this does happen.

But I've also been to prayer meetings where people FORCE each other to pray aloud, and launch straight in, not even stopping to listen to God at all. Some people have a long list of prayer needs, they talk about it, and then pray about it in a more formal way and end up repeating themselves, but this time trying to flatter God as well. God heard you the first time. After a period of longwinded oratory and the last Amen then everyone bursts into song and doesn't even give time for God to answer. Ok all I heard was mostly one person praying. Or ten people! Plus I don't really need to know everyone else's problems in such detail. And then since I was so busy listening to someone else's prayers I didn't hear from God at all.
 

CPerkins

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For me God speaks to me mostly through his word, the Bible.

In my prayers I have periods of silence at times, as well. Most of my prayer time though is speaking to God. It's a solemn time because I know that God has granted me access to his very throne room as we are told in

Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)

I can see were a period of silence before praying though can be useful. Especially in preparing us to give proper respect to the Almighty God our Father. Active listening and and proper fear of the Lord are necessary if we seek understanding.

Prov 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)

Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (KJV)

I've never been to any Quaker meeting, but I would like to see what it is about some time.

God Bless.
 
I mentioned in my article about the church council that adopted something similar to the "Quaker" approach in its business meetings. A proposal was only passed if everyone in the meeting was convinced that it was the will of God. Sometimes there would be a dissenting voice (or voices) and when this happened, the meeting would pray and bring the matter before God until everyone became convicted as to God's will in the matter. Often, it was the majority who changed their view. Had the matter been settled by a majority vote, the outcome would not have been according to God's perfect will. The result may still have been "good", but it would not have been best.
Can we imagine that the something like the Quaker approach to business meetings becoming the normal, not just for church business meetings, but also for commercial enterprises (see the link that Lanolin has provided for more about this) and, eventually, for parliaments of nations and even meetings of the UN? "Impossible" we might say. Yet, the Bible does teach the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2) and the final transformation of the "kingdoms of the world" into the Kingdom of God and it seems to me that the model presented in these posts may well be how Christ will rule the world through his dedicated people. Different people have different ideas as to how the total rule of Christ may come; whether suddenly or growing from within the present situation. Either way, the vision is something that Christians should hold in mind. Churches and Christian enterprises where Christ is allowed to rule through something like the Quaker approach can be seen as present manifestations of the Kingdom and, therefore, as forerunners of how the whole world will someday be governed. I believe that this is a vision that should be strongly promoted within the church as it sets both a Kingdom orientation and concentrates on the experiential rule of Christ in the here and now in a practical way.

When Christ rules everything will be different that it is now.

In the day that you are speaking of, there will not be a Supreme Court, or a UN or Congress. There will not be nations meeting to discuss the affairs of the world.

As I read the Scriptures it says to me that Jesus Christ will be the Supreme Ruler. HE will be the only one giving orders and those orders and directions will have no need of any approval or vote from anyone.

Then those same Scriptures tell me that just like the bodies of all the believers from the Old Testament era, David’s body will be resurrected, glorified, and reunited with his soul at Christ’s Second Coming and he will then serve as what we might think of as a “second-in-command” under Jesus during the millennial reign.

Then, Christ’s 12 apostles will sit on thrones with Him and serve as judges over the 12 tribes of Israel.

Then we can also know that Christians will reign with Jesus.

In Revelation 5:9-10, we read a quote that comes from twenty-four elders that John sees in heaven. These twenty-four elders represent the entirety of the church in heaven following the Rapture.

IMHO.....I do not find in the Scriptures that there will be any type of meetings which will decide the fate of people or any business to be done. Jesus Christ is the Supreme Ruler and we will be in a complete "THEOCRACY".

Human government has been a dismal failure. Our nation of America has probably been the greatest success of all efforts to govern society. Even this nation will continue to disintegrate as we approach the end. Most governments have made life unbearable for its subjects. Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar elevated human control over the masses to an art form. Bureaucracies were established to create a system of domination. You should notice how the church has become an extension of this same design. The “Shepherding/Discipleship” disaster (still strong) was a striking example. Jesus will set up a government that is righteous and just.
 
I do think there needs to be a period of silence and listening to God before people speak - at any kind of meeting.
If this was common practice it would be beneficial. Sometimes at prayer meetings this does happen.

But I've also been to prayer meetings where people FORCE each other to pray aloud, and launch straight in, not even stopping to listen to God at all. Some people have a long list of prayer needs, they talk about it, and then pray about it in a more formal way and end up repeating themselves, but this time trying to flatter God as well. God heard you the first time. After a period of longwinded oratory and the last Amen then everyone bursts into song and doesn't even give time for God to answer. Ok all I heard was mostly one person praying. Or ten people! Plus I don't really need to know everyone else's problems in such detail. And then since I was so busy listening to someone else's prayers I didn't hear from God at all.
I was even told of the prayer meetings of one church where the minister alone prayed and the rest just said "Amen"!
 
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