Ushering Cannot Be A Spur-of-the-Moment Ministry

One of the things that my Lenten fast has given me the opportunity to do is to talk to my friends who go to other churches about how life is within their congregations.

I’ve talked about ushers and how mishmash UU ushering seems to be in most places before. And as I have received yet another e-note from my home church begging people to be ushers in the coming weeks, it feels like I need to talk about it again.

When I asked my friends about the ushering situation in their congregations, none of them reported the experience that I hear of all too often in UU congregations. What is it about UU churches and UU church culture that makes ushering so hard? Why aren’t my friends in other congregations (mainline and evangelical Protestant) having the same issue?

Could it be that people in those congregations actually understand that ushering matters? That ushers are, typically, the first people visitors and newcomers see when they walk through the church doors and help those who aren’t acclimated to the building yet?

Ushers are an important feature of a well-functioning church. It is not something that can be thrown together at the spur-of-the-moment on Sunday morning. The most open and welcoming churches have a group of dedicated ushers who know how to handle front-of-the-building matters. Ushers can be, and in many cases are, the first line of [offense] when it comes to growth. Never underestimate what good ushering can do.

So…how are ushers/ushering handled in your congregation?

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One thought on “Ushering Cannot Be A Spur-of-the-Moment Ministry

  1. At my church, we have an ushers and greeters email list. If you REALLY want to be an usher, you can take a regular slot and usher, say every first Sunday of the month at the second service all year. If you’re like me and have a wacky schedule because of other church responsibilities, you just stay on the email list. When the regular person can’t be there, an email goes out to the email list requesting a sub and somebody volunteers. At the end of the year, the ushers are reshuffled, some people give up regular slots and some people take them on and the process starts over. I’m pretty sure we have people who have been ushering the same Sunday of the month for years at this point.

    I can’t say we treat it as an honor any more than teaching RE or any other church volunteer job, but there’s no hysterical fear of lack of ushers either.

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