Does anyone ever join the Amish way of life?

March 26, 2012 | Category: Amish | Posted by: Sarah

A common question that we get asked here at the Lancaster County Visitors Center is “Does anyone ever join the Amish?”

We don’t know of any group either Mennonite or Amish that outsiders can’t join. The question is rather if the outsider is truly willing to meet the requirements of the faith. The Old Order Amish have few modern Americans joining them, and the average American would probably say it’s because the Amish are too strict. The Amish bishop would say it’s because the average American is unwilling to submit to the demands of the true Christian way.

The outsider would have to give up a lot of things that they are used to, and learn a lot of new things, almost like moving to another country. He/she would need to immerse themselves into the culture of the Amish and their rules, learn German, learn to live without electricity or a car, and much more. The Old Order Amish are still growing very quickly, despite the fact that not many outsiders join them, because they have so many children, and few leave the Amish culture.

Information provided by "20 Most Asked Questions about the Amish and Mennonites," by Merle and Phyllis Good.

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  1. Carol
    on March 29th, 2012

    Having brought hundreds of motorcoach groups to Lancaster over the past 30 years I always feel as though the Amish have the right idea. I know their lives are not perfect and they have issues to deat with but the pace seems so much more calm, even with the hard work and few conveniences. However, I don’t think I could change my own lifestyle so much as to join the Amish way of life…sometimes wish I could.

  2. Victoria
    on March 30th, 2012

    If it wasn’t for my family obligations, I would seek membership into the Amish church in a heartbeat!!!!

  3. Sharon Ashe
    on March 31st, 2012

    Are there African-American Amish individuals?

  4. Sarah
    on April 2nd, 2012

    It is possible for an African-American to become Amish by choice, but it’s probably very rare, just like anyone from any race changing their complete lifestyle. You are more likely to find African-American Mennonites, a less strict religion with a lot less rules for converting.

  5. mary allen
    on April 3rd, 2012

    i would like a calagou or a good trouist guide on paper – like when fields are being planted farmes marked- sweet goodies -i have read all the amish books i can get my hands on do you have a amish bookstore? my address is mary allen hwy nc 62e, liberty, n.c. 27298 thank you

  6. Sarah
    on April 4th, 2012

    Hi Mary Allen – I would love to send you a Free Map & Overnight Getaway Guide! It will arrive to your house probably in about 2 weeks. Also, there are a few bookstores in Lancaster County, but none specific to JUST Amish books, as far as I know.

  7. shawna dilk
    on July 1st, 2012

    I want to join the amish faith. Can someone help me? I want an amish man to work with take care if and love the lord with

  8. shawna dilk
    on July 3rd, 2012

    Hello? Anyone?

  9. Sarah
    on July 5th, 2012

    Hi Shawna – I would encourage you to read this article titled “So, You Want to be Amish?” You can find it here:

  10. howard martin
    on August 14th, 2012

    i have been thinking for ages now to join and become a true amish member however hard it maybe i live in england but going to the usa is not a problem

  11. tenacousoma
    on September 30th, 2012

    If Obama gets reelected we all will be going by horse and boggy( 0r stear,donkey,goat,sheep or dog) We will be worse off than the natives of Africa. I am in the process of storing almost all of my food stuffs in jars. Because who knows if we will have or can afford alectricity. After the second world war when I was a pre teen and hungry all the time I promissed that later in life I will never be hungry, thats why I moved to the farm.

  12. Lucy Wakefield
    on October 7th, 2012

    My heart longs to join the Amish it is a wonderful was of life I will be willing to live the simple way learn the dutch language but I don’t even live in America and I have family so I couldn’t ask my husband and children to change there whole lives. I love the lord he blessed me with a wonderful family and I was born in GuernseyCI so I can’t see on a practical note how it could happen. I however wish to in spirit be close to the Amish. Could I somehow convert to the faith?.Could I have Amish penpals to converse with to connect to via letter?I live the simple life as much as I can. With out asking my children to give up too much. My husband is now the head of the household I dress as plainly as I can including covering my head.No make up etc. I would love to learn the language but don’t know where to start. Any ideas please. Thank you. My name is Lucy my Email is lucywakey@gmail. Com

  13. sherry
    on January 13th, 2013

    i think this is where i blong ..i lov god an know jesus is mmy lord an savior.just need 2 make him 1st n everything .
    n this world i live n it seems some1 is always makin that choice 4 me..i can learn so much from the amish

  14. Elizabeth Bender
    on February 18th, 2013

    Hi! I had a question. My father is pretty much Pennsylvania Dutch/German. My grandfather speaks PA Dutch and although my grandparents have attended a Mennonite church almost their whole lives and are of Old Order Mennonite “decent” (you know what I mean!) they aren’t Mennonite. They live in Lancaster County Pennsylvania (New Holland) and I have many Mennonite friends. However, the Amish life is a bit more of a mystery to me. The only reason I really talk to them is at bulk food stores and so on. They are really nice, but I just don’t know much about it.
    ANYWAY, I was wondering if I ever decided to join the Amish (I am only 16 now) would it be possible to marry an Amish man? I am living in a very conservative Christian family out in the country…litteraly one step from the Mennonites. I love it. I love how life is slow and we have a hobby farm. Everything is homemade. I quilt. I have a hope chest. It’s how i grew up. And they Amish way of living is even more layed back! I am deeply considering it!
    However, my mother is black/Native American. Will this be a hinderance? I never thought of this until I came across something online saying the Amish only marry people who are totally of German/Swiss decent. No black, or Native American, etc. I guess it would be my dream to be Amish, marry Amish and have a family and live that simple way of life.
    Thank you!

  15. michael
    on June 6th, 2013

    I grew up as a farmer.loving the land and all god has provided us.i have a wife and 3 children who are like me , very willing to give up all that we have come acustomed to.if we could become one of the blessed amish and be part of their a father i would like to ask about the care of my family,were would we live and how would we make a living since we do not own this being selfish to ask or am i thinking clear.we look forward to hearing.

  16. Mylene
    on June 18th, 2013

    Hello, i really agrée the position and the way of Life, and the way of think ….from the Amish way of Life and way of think. But i m in France …and it s very difficult to have that way of Life. So what can j do ? Thanks for your help”

  17. Karen
    on August 13th, 2013

    My great-grandparents (their last name was Bucher) migrated from PA to Astoria, IL and I was always told they were the Pennsylvania Dutch/German. Does this mean they were Amish? I cannot find many relatives left who know much about my Bucher heritage. Anything you could tell me or information I can read would be greatly appreciated.

  18. cassandra williams
    on August 31st, 2013

    I have always loved the simplicty of the Amish life. I would love to have a small farm and raise a small amount of life stock and some garden items. I would love to sit at my a fire in the winter and work on my crochet patterns. I would love to see my children grow up with out the influence of facebook and twitter etc

  19. Danny Williams
    on September 12th, 2013

    I would also love to be Amish. Sometimes i feel that i was born 200 years to late. I dont really fit into the modern world. I understand they work hard and i have no problem with that. I am a furniture maker in Kentucky. The difference is, I use machines to build my furniture rather than hand tools. A simple life is what i really need.

  20. Frank Anderson
    on September 13th, 2013

    I have thought about the possibility of joining the Amish community for many years now. I was brought up in a very simple environment, and I believe I have had enough of my present one.

  21. jennifer
    on December 9th, 2013

    My family and I have recently visited Lancaster county. Talk about beautiful! We have come to realized that we waste money on petty things we dont need… It was a life changing experience for us.. We also have horses and buggies. My husband and I would love to join with the old order amish but my son couldn’t make it without elec. Being We are from louisiana i don’t think we could survive the cold winters.. If u have never been to the amish country make plans to do so..

  22. Michael Brockman
    on December 29th, 2013

    I just left a bible college in Arkansas because I am nowpersuaded in my mind that the amish are the closest to scripture. I’ve begun learning German and am headed to Holmes county Ohio. I am stepping out on faith believing they will accept me if I prove my devotion and sincerity. I’ve read alot and did my homework but any practical advice would surely help especially concerning steps to take once I arrive. I am 18 and very strict.

    any help would be much appreciated.
    M. Brockman

  23. Kristen May
    on January 9th, 2014

    Wow, that a huge step. It is admirable that your convictions are so strong. If you’d like to get in contact with some Amish here in Lancaster for their input and guidance, please email me at Thank you!

  24. Mike A
    on February 26th, 2014

    I dont think alot of people understand that you dont simply “join” the Amish. Many people, though sincere in thier religious convictions, are more taken with the “novelty” of the Amish than the reality. Having spent some time among the Amish a few years back, I can tell you that they are Very friendly, helpful, tolerant people. But they are also aware that many people are fascinated with thier way of life without understanding the religious and cultural commitment. They think they can simply move into the community and “learn” a entire cultural lifestyle. It appears alot of people think that it would be fun to run off and join the Amish utopia to escape the drudgery and uhappiness of thier situations. I dont think they have clue of the challenges inolved, and the reward will nver be complete as many Amish will never accept a non Amish born member of the community. esp in thier first few years as they have seen many “English” think they wanted to be Amish only to leave when the novelty wore off. I understand your religious convictions and the attraction of the Amish “back to basics” way of life but there many other options to live your religious convictions without imposing on the Amish community.

  25. Gabe
    on March 18th, 2014

    Hi everyone… if anyone is interested in an opportunity to visit an Amish family to see if God is calling you towards this life. please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you out. Thank you!

  26. Gabe
    on March 18th, 2014

    Hi everyone… if anyone is interested in an opportunity to visit an Amish family to see if God is calling you towards this life. please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you out. Thank you!

  27. tim
    on March 25th, 2014

    I am familiar enough with amish culture to realize I would most likely not be able to fully accept every aspect of amish life or for that matter be fully accepted by them. Yet from a young age I have considered a simple plain life to be more rewarding then this ever accelerating pursuit of the next big thing in technology and materialism and would like to find an amish area where I could at least find a willingness from them for such things that I might need to live simply similar to the willingness many non amish have to help them (like with access to phones for example)

  28. Mark
    on March 28th, 2014

    I live in the uk and have read a lot about the Amish way of life. It appeals to me a great deal as I believe I hold similar values and dislike most things about our modern lifestyles and all it entails. I would love the opportunity one day to join an Amish community if it was possible, and advice would be great.

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