?Philip Yancey recalls an Amish custom: “During a trip to Lancaster, Penn., 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 eighth 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)


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About The Author

Dr. Geoff Pound joined the Ashburton Baptist Church staff in September 2012. He pastored churches in New Zealand before coming to Australia with his family in 1992. Geoff served the Victoria Baptists in a number of roles including Home Mission Superintendent, Director of Leadership Training, President of the Baptist Union of Victoria and Principal of Whitley College. In the seven years prior to coming to Ashburton, Geoff worked as a freelance writer and teacher based in the United Arab Emirates. Geoff is married to Lyn who is an English Language teacher. They have a son who lives in Sydney and a daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren in Melbourne. 

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