I read the reply by Ney Rieber, to the question posed by one that was having a problem reconciling with a congregation that does not have elders. These questions come to mind and I hope you can help answer them when you have time or maybe point me toward a similar question you have answered. There is no denying that the whole church is there during these examples. But who calls for the congregation to conduct a congregational meeting? How often do we have them? What was the purpose of the congregation being assembled in Acts 15? Which scriptures do we use to know who is allowed to speak? Do we conduct it like we would do a Bible study? How do women show their approval in light of I Corinthians 14, 11, and I Timothy 2? Do we conduct this during our worship service? Thanks for the opportunity to submit the questions.
- Can a church organize tasks without elders?
- How should business meetings be conducted?
- Majorities and Manners
- Majority Versus Elder Rule
- Business Meetings
Basically, the work continues and the congregation does what is expedient (what is within the bounds of the law that works most efficiently for the group). Details aren't given because God is allowing some freedom of choice in this temporary situation. We know, for instance, that women did somehow indicated their approval along with the rest. We also know that women are not allowed to usurp authority over a man (I Timothy 2:11-12). It would be up to a congregation to figure out the best way to accomplish both. The end of I Corinthians 14 deals with worship service, not all gatherings of the church. The beginning of I Corinthians 11 deals with women showing submission, as does I Timothy 2:11-15. Neither passage states or implies absolute silence on the part of the women.
In Acts 15, the congregation gathered to hear the report of Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:4). In this particular case, there were elders in the church and when a problem became apparent, a special meeting was called. "Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter" (Acts 15:6). But we find it was not a "closed-door" meeting. Though it was the apostles and elders who wrestled with the problem, we find that the rest of the congregation was listening in. "Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles" (Acts 15:12). That is why the whole church could stand behind the conclusion. "Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren" (Acts 15:22).
I would not suggest blending anything with the worship service, but worship.