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SMALL GROUP STUDY GUIDE - Dan Reiland

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SMALL GROUP STUDY GUIDE - Dan ReilandDan,group,study,Guide,Group,dan,guide,small

Usher Training Manual

Updated September 5, 2008

Table of Contents

    The Spiritual Significance of Ushers ........................................................................................................... 1 Three Critical Gateways to Worship .......................................................................................................... 1 Three Things That Can Really Hurt a Worship Service ....................................................................... 2 Who Can Be An Usher?.................................................................................................................................. 3 Spiritual Qualities of an Usher ...................................................................................................................... 3 Qualifications of an Usher .............................................................................................................................. 4 Responsibilities of an Usher .......................................................................................................................... 4 Committed leadership ................................................................................................................................. 4 Core tasks ...................................................................................................................................................... 5 Common sense .............................................................................................................................................. 7 Handling Emergencies .................................................................................................................................... 9 Responsibilities for Service Leaders ............................................................................................................ 9 Responsibilities for Section Leaders ......................................................................................................... 10 Just for Fun! ; ............................................................................................................................................... 11

     TMCopyright ? 2007 12Stone Church

    All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in

    any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior

    permission of the author.

The Spiritual Significance of Ushers

An usher is a spiritual ambassador for the local church God’s ordained and organized body of

    believers. The usher serves as a “first representative” of Jesus Christ for a worship service. Though we thoroughly enjoy the creative edge of our 12Stone services, make no mistake, this is a holy event where God is meeting with His people.

    From the tabernacle in the Old Testament to the temple and synagogue in the New Testament, God’s presence and the teaching of His word is of supreme importance.

    34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

    Exodus 40:34

    They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began 22to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had

    authority, not as the teachers of the law.

    Mark 1:21-22

     2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. John 8:2

    When you serve as an usher, you set the stage for the worship experience. You are literally part of the continuing story of God’s redemption. Your spiritual readiness and act of service plays a huge role in the life-change that takes place that day.

Three Critical Gateways to Worship

    Virtually no one enters a worship experience without passing through one or more of these gateways. Any of these three gateways/ministries can make or break a person’s entire worship experience.

    ; Parking Lot Attendants If the people get frustrated in the parking lot, they will not

    be receptive to what God has in mind.

    ; Nursery Care Givers If the people don’t feel their babies are safe and secure they

    won’t be able to focus on what’s happening in the service, let alone hear what God has

    to say.

    ; Ushers The ushers (and greeters) play a big role as the third and final gateway to the

    worship experience. If a 12Stone regular attender, or visitor had a less than positive

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    experience finding their way to the Worship Experience Center, an usher can play a

    significant role in turning that person’s experience around by helping them find not just

    the right seat but the right frame of mind.

    We cannot overestimate the importance of the front line. Whether a clerk at a hotel desk, a bank teller, or a teenager at your favorite fast food restaurant, you know what a difference it makes to be served well. It makes so much difference it can determine whether or not you ever return.

Three Things That Can Really Hurt a Worship Service

; Distractions

    Our goal is not to achieve a perfect environment; however, the number of “common”

    distractions that can occur in an auditorium that seats approximately 2500 people is

    staggering. Any one of these distractions can bring a spiritual moment to a complete

    stop for the people in that area. If the distraction is large enough, it can affect the entire

    service.

    Examples:

    o Small Children

    o Cell Phones

    o Leaving and entering the service

; Discouragement

    One of the top tactics of the Enemy is to discourage believers. This form of spiritual

    attack is common in a worship service. An usher’s quick moments of prayer can literally

    turn a service around and make or break a life-changing experience.

; Disorganization

    All large churches, no matter how well organized, will have their own form of chaos.

    This is unavoidable when dealing with such a large number of people in relatively small

    increments of time. The more you do as an usher to reduce disorganization and

    increase the quality of experience for each attender, the more likely they will be able to

    hear and respond to the voice of God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

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Who Can Be An Usher?

    Not just anyone can be an usher. In the same way that not just anyone can sing in the choir, work in children’s ministry or lead a small group. The right gifts, passion, and ability make a

    big difference.

    As you recruit new ushers keep spiritual qualities, characteristics and usher responsibilities in mind. Please make sure you work in coordination with your Section Leader or a Service Leader rather than practicing “random recruiting.

Spiritual Qualities of an Usher

    The fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 is a solid guideline for a good usher. This is not about perfection, but a heartfelt motive and desire to live a life of a spirit-filled believer.

    ; Love In I Corinthians 13:13 the apostle Paul says that love is the greatest of these

    things. If you choose to genuinely love the people you serve as an usher, God will bless

    your actions.

    ; Joy Take God seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up and enjoy

    the moment. Your spirit will be contagious to others. If you are cold, aloof, and don’t

    smile (basically you are a grumpy usher) you will discourage others around you.

    ; Peace You can add peace, calm, and order to what might otherwise be an

    overwhelming and hectic experience.

    ; Patience This is a great quality of a good usher. Most of us are impatient by nature.

    Many of the people will have waited in line to park, waited in line to drop their kids off,

    and waited in line for coffee. Their patience will be running thin. You can set a good

    example with your patience toward them.

    ; Kindness This is the attitude that makes you approachable as an usher. Going the

    extra mile can make all the difference in the world! Be imaginative. Think of all the

    ways you could show kindness to someone as they come to worship.

    ; Goodness The inner quality of goodness is a gift that results from the Holy Spirit’s

    power working within us. This state of being will naturally spill over into our service

    and bring an intangible but powerful presence into the worship experience.

    ; Faithfulness Faithfulness as a Christian bleeds over into your faithfulness as an usher.

    Showing up, being responsible and doing your ministry well matters to all of us on the

    12Stone team. It matters to God, and it matters to all those who call 12Stone home.

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    ; Gentleness A mature usher never throws around his or her authority. The best usher

    is a humble one who seeks to put others first no matter how much pressure may be

    present in the moment.

    ; Self-Control It is impossible to control a large crowd if we cannot control ourselves.

    In calm moments self-control is easy, it’s under the pressure of hectic moments and last

    minute changes that your grace and self-control will shine.

    Qualifications of an Usher

; You understand the vital role of the usher ministry.

; You enjoy and care about people.

; You possess a servant heart.

; You are committed to the vision of 12Stone.

; You are supportive of the leadership at 12Stone.

    Responsibilities of an Usher

    Committed leadership

; Prepare yourself spiritually.

    A good usher comes prepared mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is

    not to be seen as a duty, but a privilege to connect with God as part of your preparation.

    Don’t feel like this requires an hour of Bible study before you show up. God is far more

    interested in the commitment of your heart than the amount of your time. Take a few

    moments at home to connect with God and ask Him to use you as a representative of his

    love and an agent of His redemptive plan.

; Take initiative!

    This is huge. The cardinal sin of an usher is to not pay attention. At all times watch

    what is going on in your section and jump in to handle it. If you aren’t sure what to do,

    ask your section leader. The only wrong choice is to do nothing. Never assume

    “someone” else is taking care of the need. Pay attention, take initiative, make it happen!!

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; Absorb the pressure of the moment, don’t transfer it.

    Most of the ministry of an usher is pure joy. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun. But on occasion there are moments of pressure when someone is upset or something isn’t working right. In these moments never transfer the pressure to the person entering into their worship experience. You are the leader. You absorb the pressure. Get help if you need it, but never make the issue their problem. You help deliver a solution.

; Own your section, lead your section, shepherd your section.

    This is exciting. In an average environment with average ushers, once the seats are filled the ushers relax and mentally check out. As a leader at 12Stone you are empowered to take ownership of your section and give leadership where needed. Think of your area like you are responsible to do everything in your power to ensure that all those people have the best opportunity possible to connect with and hear from God. You can shepherd the people by getting to know them, praying for them, learning their names, and meeting appropriate needs.

; Follow the direction of your Section Leader.

    All good leaders are good followers. It is important that you follow the leadership of your Section Leader. Be supportive and encouraging. Offer suggestions if you have good ideas, but don’t be overly sensitive if your ideas aren’t used. Your section leader

    will do his or her best to serve and lead you and the rest of their team well.

    Core tasks

    In each of these areas you will receive practical hands-on training.

; Help people find a seat

    This seems obvious, but there is an art to it. The art is all about making people, especially new people and people far from God, feel comfortable. In an auditorium of 2500 seats, and especially in the round, people feel exposed because everyone can see them. Their insecurities can rise and their feelings of self-consciousness prevent them from connecting with God.

    Imagine what it feels like to walk into an unfamiliar restaurant or other environment and not know what to do. Do I seat myself or do I wait to be seated? Who do I talk to if I have a question? Who do I tell if I have special circumstances (e.g. potential medical condition)

    Your job is to move toward and engage people quickly and with confidence to help them know what to do. Don’t leave people hanging. Let them know that you can handle

    anything they need, and that you are the one that can make this a smooth and enjoyable experience. (We know that no one person can handle “everything but there is always

    someone to help you with the really tough situations.)

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Let’s look at another example, if you are seating someone who is a little late and you

    need to seat them front and center because that’s all that is left, walk with them. Stay

    close to them. Don’t make them feel like they are clueless. Make them feel like you are

    seating a king or queen, not the social outcasts who are “late again.”

    Don’t make them come to you and ask, you approach them with confidence and a smile. Take charge with grace and poise.

Bottom line. . . treat them like you would want to be treated!

    ; Collect the offering.

    On a divine level, the offering is part of worship. It is the opportunity for 12Stone worshippers to express their love, trust and obedience toward God. On a practical level, the financial needs of a large church are significant. Your smooth and coordinated execution of an offering can and does impact the resources that fund the Kingdom. On a security level, this is one of the most detailed functions of an usher.

    You will be trained in the actual physical process for receiving an offering in a live session.

    The following outline will help us ensure compliance with legal guidelines and practical security issues.

    o There must always be a minimum of two, unrelated, ushers present when collecting

    / transporting the offering.

    o As each usher completes the collection of offering from his/her assigned section,

    they will join the usher in the adjacent section so they can exit together. Once the

    ushers exit the worship center, they’ll join ushers from the remaining sections at the

    central meeting location.

    o Once the ushers meet at the central location, the offering baskets will be placed on a

    rolling cart. Two to four ushers, along with a 12Stone employee, will take the

    baskets into the church office where they will sort, bundle, and deposit the offering

    in the drop safe.

    o Ushers collecting / transporting the offering needs to be rotated on a periodic basis.

    o If a 12Stone attender misses the offering basket, the ushers need to direct them to

    one of the two offering drop boxes located adjacent to the Bridge entrance or the

    Children’s’ Ministry entrance.

    ; Assist in the execution of special moments

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    12Stone is known for creativity in the worship services. From motorcycles to

    doughnuts, to tractors and bottles of coke, you just never know what may be coming

    down the isles! Some of the special moments are fun, some are crazy, and some are

    deeply spiritual. Things like crossing a bridge, writing in journals, or taking

    communion. The service of an usher is crucial to these moments being leveraged

    toward life-change.

    12Stone is also depending on your flexibility. Don’t get flustered when last minute

    changes are made. That will happen. Just keep positive, stay flexible and know that

    creativity is at work “making the magic” that makes all the difference.

; Get an accurate people count

    Why does this matter so much? Why must these numbers be so accurate? Why can’t

    we just make a good estimate? The answer is that every number represents a person.

    We want to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us and therefore it

    matters that we know how well we are reaching people. Just like in the book of Acts,

    they counted, recorded, and celebrated how many people were saved . . . we count too!

    The counting process is simple enough. The unique feature is requiring two people to

    count until the same number is agreed upon.

; Re-set and clean up the auditorium

    People will leave papers, cups and “stuff”. The glamorous part of an usher’s ministry is

    cleaning up after each service. In addition, supplies such as Bibles and pens are

    replenished.

    Remember, many hands make light work. If all ushers jump in and help, it takes about

    10 minutes.

    Common sense

; Maintain proper appearance and personal hygiene.

; Show up on time.

    o Section Leaders 40 minutes before the service

    o Ushers 30 minutes before the service

; Read the bulletin get informed, stay informed.

; Wear your name tag.

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