Living in a Christian community without a hierarchy creates all sorts of new experiences. The skeptical keep looking for the "hidden" power structures . . . because, after all, you can't simply be serving each other out of love! They want to "sniff" out the power trail to see where it leads.
Still, however imperfectly it is practiced, we are enjoying a communal relationship that is devoid of clear lines of command and control. That presents an interesting question . . . who do you ask for permission? Since there is no one in particular, individually we end up voluntarily consulting with others on actions we are thinking of taking. "What do you think?" we ask someone we think is wise. Out of respect we try and speak to those who might be affected in some way or who may be doing something similar. If I do this will that affect you? When there is no designated person to ask, you just ask somebody. It's really not about getting permission anyway. It's always good to do good . . . and you don't need me to approve it. Just let love and humility lead you to seek counsel and the good of others.