Jump directly to the Content

How do churches identify the leaders God wants them to follow? Practices vary. The most radical method is "the lot," used by many Anabaptists since their early days in Europe. This method of discernment, taken from the example of the eleven disciples in Acts 1, is still practiced today by most Amish and a few Mennonite groups.

When a church needs a leader, they hear a sermon (Titus 1 or 1 Timothy 3) on the necessary qualifications. Then each member submits the name of one person from the congregation who meets those criteria.

Anyone receiving three or more votes is given the opportunity to decline but otherwise enters the lottery. If, say, five names remain, then five hymn books (or Bibles) are taken outside the room and a slip of paper, on which is written the words of Acts 1:24 or Proverbs 16:33, is placed in one of them.

The books are brought back into the room and placed on a table. Each of the five individuals picks one book. The one whose book contains the paper becomes the leader! ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Church Leadership for Panicked Souls
Church Leadership for Panicked Souls
Sometimes, our church can feel like a battlefield.
From the Magazine
‘Be Clean’: Jesus and the World of Ritual Impurity
‘Be Clean’: Jesus and the World of Ritual Impurity
These biblical commands rightly remind us about the significance of our bodies.
Editor's Pick
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
We may face new challenges, but the heart of our calling remains the same.