The Mennonite Church is not a hierarchical church. More emphasis is given to the fact that we are all called to be ministers for Christ, a community of believers. But Mennonite churches do have ministers who are in charge of the pastoral care of the congregation and the preaching/teaching of the Bible. In most cases there is also an overseer who is a “pastor to other pastors.” Some churches have deacons as well who give special care to financial and physical needs of persons in the church and community.
Decision-making is usually done by consensus. It means that the church has together sought the unity of the Spirit. The church listens carefully to all voices, majority and minority. Consensus is reached when the church has come to one mind on the matter, or when those who dissent have indicated that they do not wish to stand in the way of a group decision. Consensus does not necessarily mean complete unanimity. Sometimes voting is used to reach decisions.
The church has a variety of assemblies which meet regularly, including local congregations and larger conferences. The local church seeks the counsel of the wider church in important matters relating to faith and life, and they work together in their common mission. Mennonite Church USA is made up of about 23 area conferences each with their own leaders and area programs. Mennonite Church Canada has five area churches. Decisions made at larger assemblies and conferences are confirmed by constituent groups, and local ministries are encouraged and supported by the wider gatherings. The largest assembly of Mennonite Church USA is called the delegate assembly and it currently meets every other year on odd years and is called the Mennonite Church USA Assembly, with conferences sending voting lay delegates and ministers. Mennonite Church Canada also has an assembly every other year on even years, with delegates from local congregations and area churches.