Yesterday, I talked about ushers and how awesome they are – and also gave an example of “ushering gone bad.” Today, I’ll focus on how to give ushers the tools and clarity that they need to do their jobs well.
I’ve said it many times before, including in the previous sentence, but the key word here is clarity. Clarity, clarity, clarity. Define and explain “the win,” the “why” behind it, and give examples. Here are three philosophical wins – a sample, not an exhaustive list [starting simply is usually best]:
1. Servanthood – Everyone working in a church, staff or volunteer, is there to serve – not to boss people around. Why? Because that’s what Jesus modeled;
2. Flexibility – Ushers can be called on to help with everything from spilled coffee to individuals in medical distress to helping with quick production turnarounds between services. “Can-do” is key. Why? Because unexpected things happen and needs can change from weekend to weekend [or even moment to moment];
3. Demeanor – Sometimes the people that the ushers are trying to help will be jerks. The ability to stay pleasant and keep your cool is essential. Why? Because Jesus was clear about how we are to treat each other – even those who aren’t nice to us.
P.S. Pastor/church leaders, don’t underestimate the job of an usher and treat it as a “first-timer” ministry that any warm body can be thrown into. I once saw two families almost come to blows – on Christmas Eve – because one of the dads moved the coat that the other dad was using to “reserve” several seats (in a very crowded service). It was only through the actions, attitude and “defusing” skills of a quick-thinking and compassionate usher that violence was avoided…