In all denominations of the Christian Church, a Church usher is the first official representative seen when entering the church. The role of the usher in church is a volunteer position, and is often considered one of honor, particularly if the church or a church committee member selects an usher by nomination.
The concept of an Usher is not new. In the Old Testament, there were positions addressed as "Doorkeepers" or "Gatekeepers", and their roles were very similar.(2 Kings 22:4) (1 Chronicles 9:17-27) (Psalms 84:10)
- Jesus' disciples can be considered ushers, in the sense that they:
- Prepared the way for Jesus.
- Kept order among those listening to Christ.
- Served food to the audience.
- Cleaning up after a service, such as the Feeding of the Five Thousand.
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In modern times
In modern times, the church usher has many duties. Depending on the church's denomination, size, and preferences, ushers may perform all, some, or a few of the following.
- Greet people entering the service
- Seat attenders (varies be denmoniation, some churches seat themselves)
- Collect the tithes and offering
- Keeps order at the entrance
- Cleans and prepare the Church (varies by denomination)
- Count people in service
- Distributing and collecting surveys (such as visitor pamphlets)
- Distribute bulletins and service programmes
- Prepare the altar for service.
Ushers are required to be punctual and time conscious as they are required to be in the church far earlier than the rest of the congregation, who may still be at Sunday school.
The following behaviors are among those deemed inappropriate while ushering.
- Dress inappropriately (e.g. tight or short clothing, immodest apparel)
- Force a hug when greeting
- Separate families when seating them
Ushers, as the ones who stand at the door, greet, and distribute pamphlets, can be considered an ambassador for the church, and a key part in the Body of Christ. The role is supposed to continue long after the church has adjourned. The life of an usher should be an example of Christian living in everyday life. Daily conduct should be in line with the word of the Christian God, the Bible, and the Ministry of Jesus.
An Usher should always remember their role as they meet people that have not received Christ as their personal Saviour.