Amish Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions About the Amish

Throughout this website we have provided extensive information on the Amish, their faith, lifestyle, schools, weddings, their history, and more. Many questions have been submitted to us about the Amish on a variety of topics. Those questions and their answers are included in the above sections where appropriate. Various questions not fitting into those categories are included below. Most of the answers to these questions were provided by the resident experts at the Mennonite Information Center in Lancaster, PA.


“Can an outsider join the Amish church/community?”

“A local Amishman recently remarked, “You do not need to move here to adopt a lifestyle of simplicity and discipleship. You can begin wherever you are.” Yes, it is possible for outsiders, through conversion and convincement, to join the Amish community, but we must quickly add that it seldom happens. First, the Amish do not evangelize and seek to add outsiders to their church. Second, outsiders would need to live among the Amish and demonstrate a genuine conversion experience and faith that results in a changed lifestyle. Third, it is extremely difficult for anyone who has not been raised without electricity, automobiles, and other modern conveniences to adjust to the austere lifestyle of the Amish. And to truly be a part of the Amish community one would need to learn the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.”


“Is the Amish calendar the same as ours?”

“The Amish use the same yearly calendar that you use. We might add that November is the month for weddings – spring, summer, and fall months there is too much work to be done and in the winter there’s the risk of unfavorable weather. Also, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days for weddings – these are the least busy days of the week.”


“I think some of my ancestors might have been Amish. How can I find out?”

“The best source of that kind of information would be the Mennonite Historical Society, which maintains an extensive genealogical library. Their address is 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602. Telephone: (717) 393-9745.”


“How true was the portrayal of the Amish in the movie “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford?”

“The movie, “Witness,” portrayed Amish lifestyle fairly accurately in what was shown, but it portrayed a very limited segment of Amish lifestyle. The Amish people have had a lot of reservations about “Witness.” The plot seemed to be inconsistent with the lifestyle and culture of the Amish. It was filmed in the geographical area of the Amish, but not on an Amish farm. The actors and actresses in the movie were not Amish.”


“What are the Amish courting rituals?”

“For many of the Old Order Amish young people, “pairing up” begins at Sunday evening singings, The boy will take the girl home in his buggy. The couple is secretive about their friendship and courtship. Several days to two weeks before the wedding, the couple is “published” in church and their intentions to marry are made known. Weddings are held in November, or at the very latest in early December. That’s after the busy fall harvesting season is over. Weddings are on Tuesdays or Thursdays–the least busy days of the week on an Amish farm. The wedding is held at the home of the bride and the sermon and ceremony will last about four hours. Weddings usually begin at 8:30 a.m. There are no kisses, rings, photography, flowers or caterers. There are usually 200 or more guests. After the wedding there will be a delicious dinner of chicken, filling, mashed potatoes, gravy, ham, relishes, canned fruit, plus many kinds of cookies, cakes and pies.”


Why are Amish not spoken of in the Bible?

The New Testament church began after Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension. At Pentecost Christ sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers and the church began. But different denominations of the faith didn’t develop until later. The Amish and Mennonites trace their origin back to the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Followers of Menno Simons in the 1500’s were called Mennonites. In 1693 Jacob Amman split with the Mennonites over the issue of shunning. His followers became know as Amish. As you can see, both groups got their start long after the Bible was written.

You can read more of the history of the Amish here.

Amish-made furniture, handmade quilts, and other products are famously made in Lancaster County, PA.



  1. Angela Bigelow says:

    I’ve always been intrigued by the Amish and I feel deep in my heart that they have the right idea for living, raising children, marriages and worshiping The Lord.

  2. Odin Stepp says:

    I seem to notice differences in Customs. They’re great. I live here in Ohio where there is a thriving Amish Community. Without change there wouldn’t be a way to say “I’m glad for the time spent around the Amish.” Making the best effort’s to stay quiet and respect the distances is important. It is a way of existing in like belief.

  3. Russell Melillo says:

    I am totally disenchanted with the life of excess. I believe that the Amish folk have the right idea. A life of hard work and commitment to God must be satisfying to the human soul. I am praying about my desire to convert my family and myself to the Amish faith. I have done much research into the faith, customs, and lifestyle of the Amish community and have started to learn the language of the Pennsylvania Dutch. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. However, the modern conveniences and luxuries that we are surrounded by are only robbing us of communion with God.

    • Mike Henderson says:

      Russell, I have found this webpage and your message above after searching “is it possible to join the Amish”. I too am disgusted with the material world. Your thoughts and points are very valid. I would repeat the very important message above that states “You do not need to move here to adopt a lifestyle of simplicity and discipleship. You can begin wherever you are.” While surrounding yourself with like minded people who avoid the trappings of modern life is great…a conversion to “Amish” is not necessary to forego the “modern conveniences” and “luxuries” that often distract us from a more pure relationship with god. In fact, if most Christians were operating closer to their true faith the world would be much different…the problem is Christians are not living as Christians. Check out youtube videos of “living with the Amish”. Best wishes in your journey.

  4. Hey! This is an awesome article, and I learned a lot. I’m writing an essay on the Plain people, and I really find them interesting. I recently took a day trip to the Lancaster Amish community, and I honestly love the people there. How much different would our lives be if we lived like them, I wonder? Maybe people wouldn’t be so selfish and stuck-up about everything…. Also, another thing about these people that interests me is their beliefs. I myself am a Christ follower, and it’s fascinating how God-fearing the Amish people are. Simple faith to me is the most beautiful thing in the world!! Again, if people could have half of the faith the Amish do, we could be reaching more and more people every day!

  5. Pauli Aaltonen says:

    Guess I should have joined you at age 20. At 56, I’m too old. Wish you the very best, and God bless.

  6. We visited the Amish community in Lancaster recently and took a short tour of Amish stores etc. I found it to be refreshing to be among people who were humble, resourceful, religious and generous. I am envious of how little they need to be content and how proud they are of their work ethic. If only just a little of that could rub off on the rest of us.

    • Ken,
      I completely agree. My family has actually lived without electricity and gas for a few months this past summer due to not having money. We found a way to survive and I was pregnant at the time with two children under 4! You don’t realize your strengths and resolve until you’re forced to make things work for the sake of your family. I would love to completely adopt that lifestyle. I’ll tell you; when we were finally able to turn everything back on, it amazed me how incredibly lax and lazy we got within a week or so.

  7. I would like to know if “Amish Mafia” is for real or just a TV show!! Because I find that if Levi is Amish how can he be driving a car plus have the camera’s in the cars or wherever the story line goes. Just curious!! But I do like the show. Thank You!!

    • You have asked a good question. For that matter, how “real” are any of the “reality” shows on television? No, the “Amish Mafia” show is not real. The actors are not real Amish. As you noted in your question, Amish adults who have officially joined the church do not drive cars, nor to they pose for photographs. However, I understand that some Amish teens here enjoy watching the show because it is so far fetched.

      • I thought Amish didn’t have electricity… How are the teens watching Amish Mafia?

        • They can either watch Amish Mafia with their English friends or on smart phones. Smart phones have proven to be a stumbling block for the Amish in their desire to keep their distance from the larger society. They can refuse electricity and televisions, but smart phones can still provide easy access to the world.

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