How to Usher
Ushers are responsible for opening and preparing the church premises for worship. Jesus taught us to show our love, care, and concern to strangers as well as our neighbors (cf. Mt 25:38-40). Ushers should have a caring attitude when fulfilling their duties. Ushers provide the first exposure and impression of the church to visitors.
-Prepare the house of God for worship services
-Prepare others to enter into the house of God
-Tidy up the house of God at the conclusion of worship services
-Spiritual Preparation: Pray for a heart of love for people, a sincere attitude, a courteous demeanor, a heart of reverence, and, most importantly, God’s guidance and direction.
-Physical Preparation: Make sure to get enough rest the night before your ushering duties. Ushers need energy and stamina to welcome the congregation properly and provide for any needs that they may have.
* Preparation of one’s appearance: Because ushers give the first impression to people about our church, dress and groom yourself accordingly to serve God and represent the church.
-Arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the first service.
-Unlock the gates and doors to the church.
-Wear the usher badge.
-If applicable, set up and test audio/visual equipment (microphones, speakers, projector/slides).
-If your church has a nursery, check to make sure the trash cans are empty and there are enough supplies (tissues, paper towels, baby wipes, etc.).
Preparation on the Hour
-Ensure that the lobby, the restrooms, and the chapel are clean, orderly, and presentable.
-Turn on the chapel lights, check the temperature, and make sure the sound system is ready for worship services.
-Make sure there are enough Bibles, hymn books, publications, and visitor welcome kits readily available.
As People Begin to Arrive for Service
-Greet members and visitors with a smile, addressing them by name (if possible) and shaking their hands. If necessary, ushers should hand out or direct members to Bibles and hymn books, hearing aids, and church bulletins, handouts, or publications.
-If new visitors arrive at church, ushers should guide them to the reception desk to fill out a visitor welcome card, provide them with a welcome kit, and give them a prayer card. If the visitor came to church by himself/herself, arrange for a brother/sister to sit with him/her.
-Ushers are also responsible for ensuring members and visitors are seated politely, courteously, and in an orderly manner. Members may not need as much direction regarding where to sit. Set up portable chairs if the pews are filled.
-As people arrive and service begins, keep a watchful eye on people who seem suspicious. Also, periodically check outside the building for anyone loitering on or near the church premises.
-Update the Service Record Book (sermon title, hymn numbers, speaker, interpreter, and attendance during the final prayer session).
At the Conclusion of the Service
-Give visitor cards and other pertinent information to the minister or appropriate church council member. This should be done before announcements are made.
-Scan the aisles, pews, floor area under the pews, pulpit area, and windowsills for loose items. Items left behind should be placed in the lost and found. Bibles, hymn books, and other church materials should be returned to the bookshelf. Note: If this is done at the end of the Sabbath, a cleaning team may already be assigned to do this.
-Make sure the lobby, restrooms, and nursery are presentable throughout the day and have been thoroughly cleaned at the end of the Sabbath.
-Ensure that visitors are accompanied during lunch and/or breaks, and have someone to speak with if they have questions.
-Provide literary materials to people on request.
-Clean up portable chairs.
After Completing Your Ushering Duties
-Make note of anything particular that occurred, such as new visitors, absentee members returning, etc.
-Contact the ushering team coordinator or the following week’s ushers to inform them of any special needs (e.g., restock visitor’s kits, periodicals, etc.).
In all circumstances, be prepared to handle any emergency that may arise. Keep your eyes and ears open for sights and sounds that indicate an emergency is at hand. H an emergency, there are some things you can prepare for:
* Be prepared to act
* Know emergency telephone numbers (police, fire, ambulance)
* Know the location of telephones, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits
* Be calm. Ushers must remain calm in order to respond to emergencies quickly and appropriately.
The above article, “How to Usher” was written by Jerry Wyu. The article was excerpted from Manna magazine.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes,
“Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”