How to be a Church Usher
Every church needs an ushering ministry to provide a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for attenders. Serving as an usher may seem like a small thing, but it can be one of the most important ways to serve in church.
In my own church, the job of ushers has been expanded. Now the ministry is called HUGS, which stands for hospitality, ushering, greeting and security. Their work is an integral part of the church's overall mission.
Why A Church Needs Ushers
It's A Church Growth Strategy
The first impression new attenders get of your church may be the most lasting one, and that happens as soon as they park in your lot. How they are met and treated before the service can effect how fully they are able to worship. If the experience is a positive one, chances are they'll come back, and maybe even invite others to come with them.
The New Testament of the Bible contains passages about how believers are to act with each other, and how their worship gatherings should be handled.
1 Pet 4:8-9 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
As a disciple of Jesus, Peter saw hospitality firsthand as they went from town to town. People routinely opened their homes and hearts, bringing comfort to travelers. Later, as Peter helped set up the first churches, he continued to encourage everyone to care for each other wherever they were.
Ushering offers a unique opportunity to show a practical kind of compassion and hospitality for other believers. And it sets a great example of Godly love for the rest of the congregation as well as visitors.
1 Cor 14:33, 40 "For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace...Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."
This passage states a main theme of Paul's teachings on worship services. He had seen church gatherings in Corinth that were a bit unruly.
Paul realized that if people got too distracted and frustrated by things going on around them, they wouldn't be able to truly worship God. In the Book of Corinthians he gives a blueprint for how a service should be run.
Ushers are on the "front lines" in creating the right atmosphere before a service. And with a gentle but strong hand they help keep the congregation's focus on worship.
Have you ever ushered at your church?
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What Ushers Do
Check the sanctuary -
- Making sure the seating area is tidy
- Checking that each row contains enough Bibles, Hymnals, Prayer and Encouragement cards
- Turning on the heat/air conditioning if needed
- Arriving at the church about 1/2 hour before the service begins
- Waiting at stations such as the parking lot, the front entrance and in the narthex
- Helping anyone who needs to use the elevator (if there is one)
- Handing out bulletins and any additional materials for that service
- Handing out welcome packets
- Helping everyone find a spot, especially as the pews or chairs fill in
- Assisting older people to get down the aisle by clearing a path for them or even walking them to their seat
Provide support and help -
- Checking on the nursery or youth programs to make sure they are okay
- Looking for parents who are needed in the nursery
- Trying to address any disruptions to find a solution
Collect the Offering -
- Passing the offering plate
Guidelines For Ushering
1. Training - Be sure to find out just what you'll need to know to usher. Learn about any tasks you're unfamiliar with, like collecting the offering or how to run the elevator. Your confidence will lead others to feel more relaxed and secure.
2. Dress - Wear an outfit that's neat and clean. How fancy you need to be depends on the regular dress code in your church - some allow more casual looks than others. But remember that you will be representing the church to newcomers.
3. Attitude - Before you get to church the day you're serving, spend some time in prayer. Ask God to prepare you, and to make you willing to serve and help others. Think of this time not just as a task, but a way to bless others and to be blessed.
4. Approach - Greet people in a friendly and warm way. If you know them, try to connect on a more personal level with them - perhaps a compliment on their outfit or a quick question about their week. Introduce yourself by name to new or newer attenders, to ease them into a new sea of faces.