Members were asked to agree to giving and receiving counsel and input from each other and the men met periodically to evaluate where the church was headed and to talk about any issues or concerns that needed to be addressed. The goal of all this was to foster personal convictions rather than just blindly doing whatever the church said to do.
This worked well for our church for many years. We were pretty removed from "Beachy-land USA" and the pressures of changing times and fashions. As time went on and the church grew, with people coming in from different views and backgrounds, it became harder to maintain the close feeling between members and the ability to all be "on the same page". It takes a lot more work to communicate with your members and address and resolve issues than it does to make rules for them to follow!
Fifty some years down the road there's a wider difference in practice between members than there used to be, but that's still the basic premise of church operation for them.