A church usher is a volunteer who acts as a greeter and guide in the church. An usher is often the first representative of the congregation whom visitors encounter when entering a church, and he is responsible for conveying the best first impression to people assembling for worship. But the duties and responsibilities of a church usher are more varied than simply extending a warm welcome.
Greeting and Seating
A church usher must warmly greet and welcome visitors and members of the congregation at the door prior to and during the worship service. If the church has a weekly bulletin or flyer, it is typically the ushers' responsibility to hand this out to arriving visitors. If visitors arrive after the worship service has started, ushers are responsible for escorting them to the nearest empty seat while causing as little disturbance to the service as possible. Ushers may also assist members of the congregation in finding available seats on days when the pews are especially full.
Assisting With Special Needs
Members of the congregation with special needs may require ushers to help them find a place to sit among the congregation. Visitors who use wheelchairs or have other physical disabilities may require an usher to show them the handicap-accessible entryways and areas of the church. An usher may also need to assist vision-impaired visitors with finding seating safely, and may be responsible for handing out and later collecting assistive listening devices for the vision-impaired.
Ushers pass the collection plate around among the members of the congregation during the portion of the service in which monetary offerings for the church are collected. If members have filled out connection cards with their contact information requesting contact or information from the church, ushers must also collect those, either after the service or during the collection of the offering.
Assistance and Orderliness
It's an usher's duty to be ready to offer general assistance and knowledge of the worship service and its proceedings to any member of the congregation who requires it. Ushers should know the location of the bathrooms, fire exits, sanctuary and infant rooms. An usher should thoroughly familiarise herself with the order of the worship service to answer any brief questions that visitors may have, such as when parts of the service begin or end. Ushers may help to keep order during altar calls and Communion, showing members where to stand and where to walk in the aisles. In an emergency, church members may call upon an usher to help keep order and escort everyone out safely.