My wife and I serve on an Usher Team at our church. We have Saturday evening services, as well as the ones on Sunday mornings. There are four Saturday night teams, so we’re on a four week rotation. Sometimes I wish we could serve more often since I really enjoy interacting with people as they come into church.
One of the things we get to do is greet folks as they enter the auditorium/sanctuary (or whatever you choose to call it) and hand out bulletins (or programs or whatever). I like to greet each person with a smile and do my best to make them feel welcome. There are two sets of double doors we use to enter and we are normally at the ones on the right. I like to tell people as they enter that this is the cool kid’s side. (Our side fills up pretty quick).
We have name tags at our church and most people stop by the board and put theirs on. It’s just a little sticker with their name on it and makes it easier to get to know people by name. Anyone coming through the doors without a name tag either forgot to go get it, or they may be a first time visitor. I make an extra special effort to make them welcome. After all, we’re about Connecting People with God, Connecting People with People.
One couple came in and the gal was smiling and joyful, but her husband looked kind of bummed.
So I told her, “Wipe that smile off your face!”
As the look of shock appeared on her face, I added, “And give it him, he looks like he could use it”. They were both laughing as they entered the church.
Ushering is a lot of fun and a great way to meet people you probably should already know (but didn’t). Our pastor is Steve Poe (we’ve met, but you need to know that for this part of the story).
The usher director had previously asked us to try to notice people without name tags since this might be their first time visiting our church. A couple of years ago, one lady came in not wearing her name tag. She seemed really nice and I welcomed her and asked if this was her first time here.
“Oh, heavens no”, she replied.
“Do you not have a name tag on the board?”
“Oh, I’m sure I do”
She seemed like the type of person you could pick on a little, so I chided, “Why aren’t you wearing it? Are you embarrassed about your name or something?”
She stood up straight and with all sincerity and seriousness, said, “My name is Sandy Poe!”
So I said, “Gee, our pastor has a wife by that name!” (He’d spoken of her from the pulpit from time to time, but I’d never met her and had no idea what she looked like).
“Yes, that’s me. I am the pastor’s wife”
“Well, then you should know better”
She smiled and went on inside.
Gulp. I was certain I was about to get fired from a volunteer position at church.
After that, I started taking her name tag off the board and handing it to her as she enters the church. She now expects it and gives me a hug when she sees me and tells people I am her friend (whew).
We have a sign by the doors that says that no food or drinks are allowed inside the auditorium. So last month when a young girl, about 12 or 13 years old, I think, came up eating a cookie (we have a snack area where you can get them) I jokingly told her she can only have that if she brought one for me too. Little did I know that she had one in her other hand, and she handed it to me. She shoved what was left of the first one in her mouth, smiled and went inside. And that chocolate chip cookie she handed me……..was delicious.
One of the duties of being an usher is that we help take the offering. Yeah, we’re the ones who pass the plates.
I think one of the funniest things involving this happened last weekend while were passing the plates during the first Saturday night service. After passing the plates down the first couple of rows, I noticed that plates were coming back empty. Then I started to laugh as it occurred to me the name of the song that was sung just prior to the offering.......
Jesus Paid It All.
Sometimes God just cracks me up. No one else realized it until I mentioned it to the ushers later on. Needless to say, during the second service, the ushers were giggling somewhat as we headed up the aisles to collect the evening’s offering.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
So, if you’d like to come visit us at our church, you are most certainly welcome. Come prepared for some awesome worship, a great message and some fun fellowship. And feel welcome to come over and sit on the cool kid’s side.
We’ll save a seat for you.