Amish Ministers: How are they chosen? Why does no one want the job? (And More)

In this video, Ben and I do a semi-deep dive on the topic of Amish ministers. I quite appreciated this conversation – it was a chance to get his answers to a lot of questions surrounding both choosing ministers, and the experience of being a minister, including:

  • How Amish choose ministers
  • What is “the lot
  • Do Amish spouses know who the other has nominated?
  • Ben’s own experience in “the lot”
  • Why being chosen to be minister is “scary
  • Reasons why the Amish church leadership is “un-American
  • Are Amish ministers paid?
  • What’s the hardest part of being an Amish minister?

Check the video below for more on all those topics. I will also share a short segment – about how the preaching schedule works in the Amish church. I asked Ben about how ministers prepare – knowing that they won’t necessarily be chosen to preach.

Erik: “As a minister, part of your duties is, you’re preparing for what you’re going to preach. Or potentially going to preach that Sunday – because you’re not necessarily going to be chosen to preach – is that correct?”

Ben: “You may or may not. You always go to church – you go knowing it’s your turn, if there’s no visitors. But if there’s visitors, you defer – to the visiting ministry.”

Erik: “When will you find out if there is visiting ministry?”

Ben: “That morning.”

Erik: “So they’re not calling ahead and saying ‘hey, I’ve got it’?”

Ben: “You usually, generally, send invitations to this person, or that person. But you never know if they’re going to show up or not.”

This to me seems like it would be one of the harder parts of the job. All that prep, but always not knowing? I think that gives you another insight as to why, as Ben explains it, no one campaigns for the job. Runtime: 14:44.

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    1. Emily


      Erik- How long does the minister serve in the position?

      1. Erik Wesner

        It’s meant to be a lifetime position.