There is an old saying in the church volunteer leadership world that is a straight-up lie: 

“Anyone can usher.” 

I understand how that saying came into being. Ushering is seen as a low-time-commitment option – a “front door” into church serving [pun intended]. However, if you simply stick any warm body into the role [or any other role, for that matter], the damage that can be done may be more extensive than you would think…

My family and I once visited a large church in another state. The preacher was top-notch – a great communicator and humble guy. The facilities were beautiful, with an obvious focus on excellence in the kids areas, atrium/lobby and auditorium. However, two of the people that we interacted with quickly changed our mood from “I like this church” to “Seriously???!”

Person one was working the information booth. He talked to the individual in line in front of us as we waited [apparently someone he knew], no problem there. However, as soon as he was done, he turned and walked away, poured himself a cup of coffee and started chatting with the other booth volunteer, giving us a sidelong glance that clearly communicated that he would be with us when he was good and ready – and it wasn’t likely to be any time soon…

Person two was a female usher handing out worship programs at the door of the auditorium. As we approached, she gave us what I would describe as “the look your cranky great aunt gives you to make it clear that she disapproves of your existence.” I wondered what we could have done to deserve that big of a frown. It might have been that she expected someone my age to be in a sports coat [although there were many adults in shorts – a hot day in the south], but not cool to express it in that way…

Together, they made what would have been a good church visit into a “places I wouldn’t want to visit again” experience. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are different personality types and each person is entitled to their own opinions – HOWEVER, when someone steps into a volunteer role at church, they are no longer representing themselves, but the church – and ultimately Jesus. We are all fallen/broken people, and everyone has bad days, but we owe it to each other and to God to make sure that we are helping volunteers to step into a role in which they will be able to serve in a way that builds others up – and represents God well. I’ve been blessed to serve with many top-notch ushers over the years, and have seen first-hand the incredible results when the right people are in the right roles. #creativeworshipideas

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