In many denominations of the Christian Church, a Church usher is the first official representative seen when entering the church. The role of the usher in church is a volunteer position, and is often considered one of honor, particularly if the church or a church committee member selects an usher by nomination.
The concept of an Usher is not new. In the Old Testament, there were positions addressed as "Doorkeepers" or "Gatekeepers", and their roles were very similar.(2 Kings 22:4) (1 Chronicles 9:17-27) (Psalms 84:10)
Jesus' disciples can be considered ushers, in the sense that they:
- Prepared the way for Jesus.
- Kept order among those listening to Christ.
- Served food to the audience.
- Cleaning up after a service, such as the Feeding of the Five Thousand.
In modern times
In modern times, the church usher has many duties. Depending on the church's denomination, size, and preferences, ushers may perform all, some, or a few of the following:
though it is common for attendees to seat themselves
- Collect the tithes and offering
- Keep order at the entrance
- Clean and prepare the Church
- Distribute bulletins and service programmes
- Look out for the pastor or visiting speakers
Ushers are required to be punctual and time conscious. In some churches, they are required to be in the church far earlier than the rest of the congregation. Since they are part of the service, some churches have them meet early in order to pray with the clergy. Adequate spiritual preparation by the usher ensures a service full of the presence of God..
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