A church usher team is a important part to your next weekend gathering or service. Therefore, providing clarity and adequate training for this team is even more important.
In order to do a great job, team members need clear instructions. This usher handbook provides a way for you to teach your ushers and clarify expectations.
It’s a manual help you lead your usher team toward excellence and servanthood.
This ushering guidebook will provide you and your team with the instruction you’re looking for.
And yes, you will have immediate access to it!
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO PURCHASE THE CHURCH USHER TRAINING MANUAL!
Having the PDF version means it’s yours to keep! And, it will be much easier for you to share with your team whether you decide to print, email, or teach the material.
Here is what others are saying about the Usher Training Manual:
It’s been more than helpful to me, my team and the entire administration. Thank you so much. God bless you. – Barbara A.
I have just been asked by my pastor to lead the usher and parking teams and I have no idea how this works. This has been very helpful and has helped me in my decision of whether or not I am going to take on the role. – Jeff P.
This has been very informative, it has cleared up some of the ways to teach every usher how to handle every situation. I can’t wait for our next usher meeting. – Minnie R.
Below is some of the content that you will recieve in the training manual.
The duty and role of a church usher within the Body of Christ is defined by the gift of “helps”:
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping…
A church usher is a vital member in the Body of Christ and is marked by his/her God-given ability to help.
The word “helping” in this passage means: a laying hold of, apprehension, perception, objection of a disputant. This definition can be summed up with the word anticipate.
To anticipate means to expect, predict, to act as a forerunner to.
If help is withheld until it is asked for it is often times too late. However, those with the spiritual gift of helps are able to anticipate the need and meet it. A church usher should always be ready to serve because in a church setting the needs can vary and can be great.
A church should honor the weekend services as a holy event where God’s people worship, experience His presence, share His Word, and surrender to His leading. The usher plays a vital role in this by helping to maintain order and meeting the needs of the congregation and Pastor.
Critical Connections To A Weekend Service
Almost everyone enters a weekend service by passing through one or more of these connections. Any of these connections can influence a person’s entire worship experience.
- Greeters – If people do not feel welcomed they can easily feel like it doesn’t matter if they are there… “No one cares anyways”.
- Information Center – These ministries are in place to help answer specific questions about church happenings, classes, & events.
- Nursery And Children’s Ministry – This ministry should strive to provide safety for those in their care and security for the parent/guardian.
- Security Team – Obviously this ministry should help provide a safe environment for people to gather by being aware of potential threats and diffusing arising problems. The Security Team hopes and prays for the best, but is prepared for the worst.
- Usher Team – The ushers are an important part as the final connection to the worship service because if a person has had a less than positive experience finding their way into the sanctuary they can play a significant role in turning that person’s experience around.
The importance of making a great first impression cannot be emphasized enough. Being served with excellence, or not, can influence a person’s decision to return or not.
Three Things That Can Hinder A Worship Service
Despite striving for excellence in all areas distractions in a church service can occur without warning in a multitude of ways. Interruptions can hinder a person’s attention, possibly causing them to miss out on an important aspect of God’s Word or worship.
Crying or disruptive children
Entering and exiting a service
Scripturally, we understand that every person is in a spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10-18). The enemy will always try to discourage people. This spiritual attack is common in a worship service. An usher’s can wage war against this attack on behalf of others through prayer and can literally impact the service (and people) in a positive way.
3. Lack Of Order
You are probably familiar with the saying, “Fail to plan and you plan to fail.” Planning is a key to order and we certainly believe it is important to prepare, but are also reliant and submissive to the Holy Spirit.
When change is necessary be flexible.
At first, a change of plans can seem problematic or chaotic, but God is not an author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts as He determines (1 Corinthians 12:11). Therefore, as an usher be confident in the the Holy Spirit by providing help and assistance as you anticipate the need.
An usher team should prepare to maintain order by relying on the Holy Spirit. This is possible, even with large crowds of people passing through in relatively small increments of time.
Who Can Be A Church Usher?
Being an usher is not for everyone. Every person is given unique gifts. Not everyone can play guitar on the worship team, work in children’s ministry, or lead a small group.
Your God-given, specific gifting’s and interests should determine where and how you use them.
Qualifications Of An Usher
- Understanding of and commit to fulfilling the vital role of an usher.
- A heart for people.
- Willing to lead with a servants heart.
- Commitment to the vision of the church.
- Supportive of the leadership of this church.
Responsibilities Of An Usher
- Be spiritually prepared.
Great ushers are prepared mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Ushering is not a duty. It’s a privilege to connect with God as part of your preparation.
- Anticipate and take action!
Do you remember the definition of the the gift of helps? It means to anticipate and take action! At all times be attentive to what is going on in your section and jump in to handle it. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask your leader.
The only wrong choice is not doing anything. Never assume “someone” else will take care of the need.
- Stay calm.
On occasion there will be moments of pressure; if someone is upset or something isn’t working, never transfer the pressure to the person attending the weekend service.
As a church usher you are the leader and others view you as one. You absorb the pressure. Ask for help if you need it. Never make the issue their problem. You should help solve the problem.
- Be a good team member.
Good leaders are good learners. The ability to follow the direction of your Lead Usher and ultimately the Usher Team Director displays attributes of a good team member.
Remember, you are there to be supportive and encouraging. Your suggestions are always welcomed but please be understanding if your idea is not used.
*Arrive 25 minutes before your scheduled service and report to the Lead Usher.
During this time you will be informed of any special details or events taking place within the service. In addition, this is also a great time to familiarize yourself with the bulletin so that you are prepared to answer any questions people might have.
*Assure the sanctuary is in order. This includes:
- Filling the pockets with offering envelopes, visitor cards, and other specified resources.
- Straighten rows/aisles and assure the chairs are properly aligned & secured.
- Pick up and throw away any trash that was left from previous services.
*Pray as a team before service begins.
This prayer may be led by the team leader but if another usher would like to pray as well then by all means do so.
*Help people find a seat.
This may seem like an easy task, however, skill is required. Helping people, especially new people, feel welcomed and comfortable is a special gift.
In a sanctuary or new surrounding people can easily feel overwhelmed or intimidated. Think about how you’ve felt when you’ve walked into a restaurant you’ve never been to.
Do I seat myself or should I wait?
Who should I ask if I have a question?
Who do I talk to if I have special needs?
As a church usher your job is to anticipate the needs of people with confidence. Don’t leave people guessing. Assure them that you can and will help them.
When you are seating someone don’t make them have to say “excuse me” to those already seated, as an usher you are the one who is there to help! Seat the people by speaking up for them.
The Bottom Line is you are there to serve even in the small ways.
A few general seating guidelines:
- If the third song during worship has begun ask those who are entering to wait along the back wall until the people are asked to greet one another, and then assist them in finding seats.
- Directly assist those who have entered after the sermon has already begun in finding a seat in the back rows of the sanctuary.
- Address a person if they leave and enter the sanctuary more than once during the sermon, ask them to find their seats and remain.
*Collect the offering.
Offering is an act of faith and an expression of worship. It is an opportunity for people to display their love, trust, and obedience to God.
The following outline will help ensure safe and practical accountability:
- There must always be at least three, unrelated ushers present when collecting and transporting the offering.
- In the case of collecting an offering by passing bags/buckets, when an usher completes the collection of offering from their section they will join the ushers in the adjacent section so they can exit together. An usher should never be alone with any amount of offering. After exiting the sanctuary the ushers will join each other at a designated location.
- Ushers collecting/transporting the offering will be on a rotating schedule.
*Be responsive to the needs of our Pastor/Speaker and to the Church Leadership (I.E., special offering, water, communion, passing out flyers, etc.).
*Assist with the flow of traffic during altar calls.
Move with a sense of urgency to the altar. Take control and help direct people to Altar Workers/Prayer Team Members who are available for prayer.
*Address & Resolve Distractions
Small children playing loudly with a set of keys
People leaving and entering the service
Someone approaching the stage without being asked
A church usher should resolve distractions in a calm but firm manner understanding that disruptions are a hinderance to everyone.
*Prop open sanctuary doors when the congregation is dismissed.
*Attend and participate in Usher Team Chair Parties and meetings.
Sometimes it’s necessary to remove, rearrange, or set up the sanctuary chairs. This is the usher teams’ responsibility.
- Maintain proper appearance (wear appropriate seasonal uniform) and personal hygiene.
- Show up on time.
- Arrive 25 minutes before the service.
- Read the bulletin – be informed and knowledgeable to the best of your ability.
- Remain in the sanctuary during your time of service, ready and alert unless you have been specifically asked to leave the sanctuary.
- You are not required to usher every Sunday, but when you are on the schedule, give it 100%.
- If you are on the schedule and can’t make it, it is imperative that you call your Lead Usher and that you personally find your replacement.
- Smile, talk to people, and learn their names!
- You don’t have to know all the answers just where to find them!
- Many hands make light work.
Responsibilities Of A Lead Usher
A Lead Usher provides leadership and coordination for the church usher team. Their goal is to ensure a smooth and efficient operation of all related church usher duties (seating, offering etc.).
These responsibilities include:
- Provide leadership and team building for assigned team.
- Identify and train one or more assistant(s) to provide leadership when you cannot be present.
- Recruit new ushers as needed.
- Organize meetings as needed.
- Lead pre-service meeting and prayer.
- Provide current and rapid communication.
- Provide encouragement for your usher team.
- Help maintain quality and standards for all usher functions.
- Provide guidance during special circumstances as they arise.
- Create quick, solution oriented approaches to challenges and difficulties that arise during a service.
- Assure that the process for offering collection is up to standards.
- Train all new ushers.
- Organize and communicate the monthly schedule of ushers serving each week.
- Be a shepherd to those on your team and communicate with the appropriate church staff “need to know” information.
- Be a model of excellence in your attitude and attire.
Emergencies can occur. Therfore, the usher team should function as a team in cooperation with the security team and pastoral staff.
- Medical Emergency
Assess if the situation has need for emergency treatment. If the issue is outside of minor injuries call 911. In the event of this happening, quickly contact key personnel from the security/parking team so they can clear a path for emergency vehicles. Assist with securing the area from bystanders to assist with privacy.
- Security Situations
If someone begins to behave aggressively or inappropriately and it is beyond your control, remain calm and quickly contact the security team leader or one of the senior pastoral staff members to assist with de-escalating the situation. Call the police if necessary.
- Fire Evacuation
The ushers are to guide everyone out of the building and prevent parents from running to the children ministry areas. With a plan in place to reunite the families, reassure the parents that the volunteer leaders are helping the kids to exit.
The following situations could occur in a church service. Each example is followed by the appropriate usher response.
Usher Case Example #1
Case: During the sermon, an usher notices a mother sitting with her child on the far right side. Numerous times during the sermon, the child is moving under the chair which is distracting the people sitting around them.
Response: With kindness, yet firmness the usher should kindly ask the parent to have the child sit still or take him/her outside the sanctuary informing the parent of the available children’s ministries and parents sitting area.
Usher Case Example #2
Case: During prayer time at the altar an usher notices a backlog of people in the aisles as opposed to moving forward to the altar for prayer.
Response: With kindness, yet firmness the usher should kindly guide the people forward to the available altar worker while also making sure they are available to assist the altar worker as needed.
Usher Case Example #3
Case: After communion an usher notices several plastic cups on the floor.
Response: The usher has the responsibility to ensure the sanctuary is clean and in order between services. The usher should pick up communion cups, straighten chairs, check that tithe/offering envelopes are available, etc.
Usher Case Example #4
Case: An usher notices a person walking from the back of the sanctuary to the front of the service during the sermon.
Response: With kindness, yet firmness the usher should intersect the person and kindly ask them to step into the foyer to assess the situation with a pastor or elder.
Usher Case Example #5
Case: The Pastor suddenly calls for a “special offering” for a guest missionary who was present during the service.
Response: With a sense of urgency, yet order, the ushers should gather the offering bags/buckets and follow the instructions provided by the Pastor.
Usher Case Example #6
Case: A word of knowledge suddenly comes forth during a time of worship but there is a family that just walked into the sanctuary looking for a seat.
Response: Kindly let the family know that you will help them to their seat at the appropriate time.
Usher Case Example #7
Case: Prayer is taking place in the altar area but there are a couple of friends enjoying conversation in the altar area.
Response: The altar area is for ministry and prayer. Kindly ask those having general conversations or who have kids playing in the area to move away from the altar area.
Usher Case Example #8
Case: The Pastor is giving an altar call and someone enters the sanctuary to find a seat.
Response: Ask them to wait in the back until the appropriate time before returning to their seat.
Usher Case Example #9
Case: The sanctuary is very full and a couple walks in looking for a seat.
Response: Personally help the couple to find seats by taking them to the row and even accommodate space when needed.
I hope this training material is helpful for your church usher ministry. Remove the frustration of coming up with training material for your usher team.
Included with the Church Usher Team Training Manual is a free resource to help you develop new leaders.
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO PURCHASE THE CHURCH USHER TRAINING MANUAL USING THE EASY TO USE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND GET IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO THE RESOURCE AND BONUS!
I would love to hear how this post and the resources provided have helped you. Which guideline was most helpful to you or your or church usher team? You can share your comments below.