Thursday, September 13, 2007

Are you Qualified for What You’re Doing?

Author, Philip Yancey, recalls an Amish custom:

During a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I once had dinner in an Amish home, where I heard about their unusual procedure for choosing a pastor.

In that part of the country, few Amish acquire education beyond the 8th grade, and almost none have theological training. The entire congregation votes for any men (in this denomination only males need apply) who show pastoral potential, and those who receive at least three votes move forward to sit at a table. Each has a hymnbook in front of him, and inside his randomly chosen hymn book one of the men finds a card designating him as the new pastor for the next year.

“What if the person selected doesn't feel qualified?” I asked my Amish friend.

He looked puzzled, then replied, “If he did feel qualified, we wouldn't want him.”

Philip Yancey, ‘Replenishing the Inner Pastor’, Christianity Today, May 21, 2001, Vol. 45, No. 7, 104.

Image: Amish men.