There are many roles of service for persons within the body of Christ. Today, we are focusing on our ushers. Ushers play an important role in our church. As we take the time to thank the Lord for their service, it is our desire that you will see that their work is truly for the Lord, Jesus Christ and His church. As the recipients of the service provided by ushers, we will explore what they do for us and see the value of their service from a biblical perspective.
- 1 Corinthians 3:11-14, 9:25 – They do it for crowns that will last forever. The Lord will give them their reward.
- Hebrews 10:23-24 – Our role is to encourage them to continue on with their work.
- “So the Lord repaid me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight” (Psalm 18:24). God rewards us for our service when we live faithfully in our service for Him.
The word usher is referred to in the Bible as a gatekeeper, doorkeeper or simply a keeper. The word is derived from ush, meaning “to enter into.”
The usher had many duties:
1. Keeper of the city gates
2. Announcer of dignitaries
3. They went before high-ranking people to clear their way
4. They directed individuals to their proper place
5. They were in charge of who to admit or permit into the building
6. They were the ones who made it possible for the speaker to be heard (not allowing disruptions in the room)
Ushers originated from the Levites (2 Chronicles 8:14, 23:18-19). They were the overseers that David had assigned for service at the gates in the Lord’s temple. They made sure that the proper reverence was used in worship of the Lord when entering the temple. There should be, for us, a value when we approach the Lord. When we grow in our relationship to the Lord, we also should have some reverence to our view of God and in our worship of Him. They also assisted the priests in the temple and they also were overseers of the collection of the funds (2 Kings 12:9, 23:4; 2 Chronicles 34:9). The Levites were already highly regarded as priests in their own right. They were entrusted to supervise the work on behalf of the Lord and in His temple. They were operating as overseers and gatekeepers operating within the body in their service (Nehemiah 7:1, 3, 45; 1 Chronicles 23:3-5). David and Nehemiah relied on the Levites as gatekeepers to serve the Lord in their various capacities, but even with all of this, “everything must be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
Dwight L. Moody presented the importance of ushers during the revival period (Third Great Awakening, mid to late 1800s) of the church. He personally interviewed and selected 500 ushers to handle and direct the large crowds. He did it for two reasons: to show that we, who serve for the Lord and the church, are ambassadors for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and that they have a quality about them that showed them as welcoming and hospitable (Romans 12:13).
In the embodiment of ushering, the usher has to reflect the gifts of the Spirit in his or her demeanor and actions. The joy of the Lord must be present, and there needs to be a love and reassurance that comes forth in sincerity and care. The usher must also use the proper discernment and wisdom to keep the peace and have the proper response to know what to do in emergency situations. Ushers need to be sensitive to the needs of the people and dedicated to the tasks at hand with a positive attitude and to be a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Better a day in Your courts than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather be at the door of the house of my God than to live in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity” (Psalm 84:10-11). The joy of being at the gate as a gatekeeper has more value in God’s sight than to be out of fellowship with Him. An usher is not “just an usher” in his or her service for the Lord. It is a position ordained by God and it is a role of importance in our church that deserves our thanks and appreciation for their service.