Church Service Groups
How to Usher:
Thank you for considering joining the Usher Team at FUMC. As an Usher, you will play an essential role in making worshippers feel welcome in our church. You will be one of the first persons to greet any person who comes to our church and will have the opportunity to make them feel wanted and welcome in God’s house. It is our hope that you find your usher position fulfilling and challenging. If you have any questions or problems, we encourage you to speak to your Lead Usher or any member of the church staff.
Organization of Ushers
There are two distinct roles within the Usher Team:
- Lead Usher
- Responsible for scheduling and providing resources to ushers and for leading ushers at one service.
- Responsible for performing the duties of ushering during a service.
The lead usher has overall responsibility for ensuring that the service they serve has enough ushers scheduled, and for resolving issues that affect all ushers. The lead usher is responsible for recruiting and training new ushers when required, and for ensuring that all ushers understand the usher guidelines.
The lead usher will:
- Arrive at church at least 30 minutes before the service.
- Ensure that the correct bulletins are taken out of the usher’s closet and available at the table and from ushers.
- Ensure that the collection plates and hearing assistance devices are obtained.
- Prop open the second set of glass entryway doors until the service starts.
- Assign ushers to each sanctuary entrance door.
- At least one at each door.
- Perhaps two at center doors.
- Ensure that complete attendance is taken and recorded.
- Communicate all special needs or circumstances for that service to all ushers.
- Assume overall control in case of emergency or special circumstances in the narthex.
- Recruit and train new ushers when required.
- Make sure the thermostat in the sanctuary is adjusted as necessary. The custodian is able to demonstrate the proper use of the thermostat.
- Inform the Pastors and Worship Committee chairperson of problems and issues that affect ushers.
- Arrange to reserve any seats needed for special occasions (e.g., baptisms).
- Direct ushers to their locations for the collection. Lead the ushers into the sanctuary for the collection, at the appropriate time.
- Designate one usher to take the collected offering to the finance committee representative in the office. This same usher should take any one-stop sheets, or other sheets from the bulletin that have been filled out by the congregation, to the office and place them in the wire frame box on the counter.
- On communion Sundays, direct the other ushers in controlling the flow of people as they approach the communion table, and return to their pews.
After the Service:
- Oversee and participate in cleanup of sanctuary.
- Pick up leftover bulletins, trash, or personal items left behind.
- Straighten up the pew bibles and hymnals.
- Leave the attendance books on the pew in the narthex so that they can be replenished during the week.
- Return collection plates, tapers, hearing assistance devices, and other appropriate items to the sacristy. Clean the hearing assistance devices with alcohol swabs, if used.
Ushers’ General Responsibilities
Ushers are responsible for greeting, assisting and meeting the worship needs of all worshippers. These tasks include the ordinary services of providing bulletins, helping people find seats, encouraging quiet and appropriate behavior during worship, collecting tithes/offerings, and assisting and participating in worship. Ushers also provide for special needs; such as hearing assistance, large print materials, materials for children, assisting people (as needed) getting in the building, etc. Remember to treat each person as you would want to be treated and your ministry will touch many lives.
Before the service
We have three Sunday morning services: 8:00 a.m. Traditional, 9:30 am Contemporary and 11:00 am Traditional. You will be placed on a team of ushers for a specific service and will be able to serve as often as your schedule and the team needs coincide.
Should you be unavailable to attend a service that you have been scheduled to usher, it will be your responsibility to find a replacement. You will be provided with a list of ushers and contact information to help you do this.
You should arrive at the church approximately 25 minutes before your scheduled service. Once you arrive, please check in with your Lead Usher to assist with any pre-service. You should also take this time to review the bulletin for special events in the service, familiarize yourself with what’s going on in our community and put on your usher name tag. Should you wish to prepare ahead of time, the bulletin is placed on our website the Friday before each service.
Pre-service greeting tips
At the doors of the sanctuary, please greet each person as they approach you to enter the sanctuary. Whatever invites warmth, hospitality, and friendliness is the key to what an usher should do. Ushers must be good at reading people’s reactions and body language so that they do not force people into an uncomfortable encounter, yet don’t miss an opportunity to be actively welcoming. In general, a friendly greeting and handshake should be appropriate. As you get to know the regular attendees of your service, greeting them by name is a wonderful opportunity to make them feel at home.
We have a bulletin for each worship service. You will find these in the usher’s closet. The bulletin is the same for each Sunday morning service. A bulletin should be offered to each person, not just one per couple or per family. Pay attention to reactions though, we are not trying to force it on anyone and you will learn that many refuse it. Age appropriate Children’s Bulletins are provided for each service, as well. Please offer one to every child within the proper age range.
As needed, you should direct people to seats. If the service is full, this may include encouraging other worshippers to move down in a pew to make room for others. You should also politely discourage small groups of people from blocking the entrance doors to the sanctuary. Approximately 3-5 minutes before the start of services, politely request that everyone in the Narthex begin entering the sanctuary or move to fellowship hall so that the worship service may begin.
During the service
Please seat latecomers, as needed. Close the doors between the Narthex and Memorial Hall and politely request that people in the Narthex be as quiet as possible ~ we understand that children may make noise but would like people who might be having conversations to move into another area during worship services.
You should open and close sanctuary doors/windows as appropriate. This is often a judgment call and is a tradeoff between temperature in the sanctuary and the noise level in the narthex.
Please participate in the collection of offerings as directed by your Lead Usher. You may also collect prayer cards, bulletin inserts, or other notes with the offerings.
On Communion Sundays (the first Sunday of each month), please follow the directions of your Lead Usher in directing the flow of people as they approach the Communion table and return to their seats. Assist those who require help in receiving the sacraments and inform communion servers if there is anyone that needs to be served at their seat.
On Sundays when special presentations occur during the service, please assist as needed in moving chairs, stands, etc.
On Communion Sunday the ushers will bring the communion elements forward during the first hymn. (Hopefully the Pastor will remember to be there to receive them).
After the service
Please assist in a quick cleanup of the sanctuary. Pick up leftover bulletins, trash, and left behind personal items (which can be placed in the Lost & Found located in the usher’s closet.) Straighten Bibles and hymnals and assist, as appropriate, with the storage of equipment. Attendance books. After the 11:00 service, please assist the lead usher in shutting off lights and shutting down the building.
In the unfortunate event of a medical emergency during a service, please keep these points in mind:
- Phones are located: in the church office and kitchen adjacent to the fellowship hall. Medical personnel should enter through the front door as there are no steps.
- Ushers are encouraged to attend our trainings on CPR and AED use. The AED is located in the usher’s closet.
- Inform the Pastors of any problem immediately.