“THE ROYAL GUARD”
Usher Ministry of New Haven Christian Church
THE USHER MINISTRY (THE ROYAL GUARD) is a ministry of watchmen and handmaidens of the Lord under the anointing of God. Its mission is to provide a worship atmosphere that is free from as many distractions as possible through fulfilling the role of greeting and seating, security, and parking assistance, while still maintaining the freedom, order, reverence, and respect for the Holy Spirit (Psalm 84:10). The vision of the Royal Guard is to usher in His presence and to bring the glory of God to the people in order for them to receive from the Lord the things He desires to perform in them.
ROYAL GUARD LEADERSHIP TEAM
Assistant Head Ushers:
"Purple" Team Shift Leaders:
"Gold" Team Shift Leaders:
Parking / Security Shift Leader
Service Transition Teams:
Customer Service at New Haven Christian Church
Ephesians 5:1 "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us...."
The mission statement of New Haven Christian Church is "to know Him and to make Him known." This is the primary job description of the staff and leadership of New Haven Church. As a Royal Guard or Diaconate member - you are an important part of the staff and leadership of this Church. Look at your ministry as being Christ to everyone you meet today.
Customer service at New Haven Church? Do we have customers? If our congregation all went away, there would be no one to usher into the sanctuary, no one to direct to the bathroom, no one to preach to, no one to share the gospel with, and no one to make Christ known to. So yes, we have "customers" and they need to be treated as V.I.P.'s (very important people) because if they all went away, we wouldn't have a ministry here.
You have a front line position - this is not only a ministry position, but it is a public relations position! You make a difference in people's lives, so why not just make their day?
Greet people with a smile and say "Welcome to New Haven Christian Church, it is good to see you today!" As a Royal Guard member (in the parking lot, in the sanctuary), you are often the first impression people have of New Haven Christian Church. And more importantly, you are also an impression of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, therefore, let the joy of the Lord shine through you - smile, be warm, be interested in people. Ephesians 5:1 tells us to "be imitators of God, as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us...."
But how about if I don't feel like it? Different personalities respond differently, therefore, you must choose to smile; you must choose to make someone's day. The Holy Spirit is the great Encourager and He lives inside of you, thus you are empowered to be an encourager!
Speak with a smile - it actually makes a difference in what you communicate to people.
WHO EXACTLY ARE THE ROYAL GUARD (Ushers)
The Royal Guard are ushers; they usher the people of God into the Presence of God and they assist in ushering in the Presence of God Himself! The Royal Guard are called to insure the orderly conduct of the people of God in the House of God. They are spiritual gatekeepers, and as ministering servants in the House of the Lord; they are a branch of the deaconate (the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament Levites.)
King David is the one who created the concept of the Royal Guard. He established from among the Levites "four thousand... to be gatekeepers" in the Temple (1 Chronicles 23:5)-guarding the Temple from unclean and adversarial spirits, and yet assisting the people of God themselves to enter into God's Presence with joy. King David set the age for these Levites as "twenty years old or more" (23:27). "The duties of these Levites was to help ... in the service of the Temple of the Lord... [and] to be in charge of the courtyards [equivalent to our Rotunda]..." (23:28).
Theirs was a holy calling with a vast spiritual dimension. "They were to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening. .. they were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them" (1 Chronicles 23:30). All of this was because the Temple was to be "a place of rest" for our God, a place "for the footstool of our God" (1 Chronicles 28:2). This indeed is a holy calling!
Psalm 84 was a psalm written for the Royal Guard in their Davidic ministry-"How lovely is Your dwelling place, 0 Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. .. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising you.. .Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. .. The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Amen.
WHO ARE NEW HAVEN'S PASTORAL ASSISTANTS
The Pastoral Assistants in New Haven's Church is a branch of the Royal Guard especially called upon to protect and to assist the one(s) who minister the Word of God at any given meeting. This concept is also borrowed from King David, who set aside a band of servants called "David's mighty men"; their calling was to give David "strong support" (l Chronicles 11: 10). Various ones of these were also bodyguards to David himself (see 2 Samuel 23:22-23). These servants who flanked David were for his support and for his protection. They served and assisted him well.
Because of the grace of God upon this whole holy order of servants, the House of God is well taken care of-a place for the Presence of the Lord to dwell and a place for the people of God to minister to Him! Amen!
Some thoughts by Pastor Arnold
Being a "Five-Fold Ministry" Church has been our New Haven's vision for years. This vision has been clearly spelled out in our church Strategic Plan. The expression "five-fold ministry" was taken from Paul's words in Ephesians 4:11 - 12: "It was He [Jesus Himself] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare [all of] God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." Thus we have believed that God would open up in our midst streams of apostolic grace and prophetic grace and evangelistic grace and pastoral grace and teaching grace!
Just recently, when I was praying for our church, it dawned on me that God had indeed heard our cry and will abundantly answered us!
AN APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Because New Haven's Church is multi-cultural and will be multi-national. In this fashion God has been making us an "apostolic church." (And there is more to come!) How can you be plugged into this apostolic calling? You can become a part of our monthly MISSIONS TASK FORCE. Also, praying through the weekly ABC's and giving generously to missions and yourself considering going on a short term mission all of these ways plug you practically into our New Haven's Apostolic calling!
A PROPHETIC CHURCH
God's desire is also to bring forth the prophetic ministry in our church in a powerful way - all the way from prophetic worship and banners and drama and dance to prophetic intercession, to the prophetic word ministry. My vision is to have a Friday evening's call "The Father's Embrace" is a real seed-bed for the development of this anointing, as there will be a mid-week body-life cell groups! Ask the Lord for your part in this vital prophetic flow of the Spirit in New Haven's. Then plug in!
AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH
God's passion is for His lost world! He so dearly prized and loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus - "not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him" (John 3:16, 17). Evangelism has unfolded in our midst in multiplied ways - all the way from the Alpha, to the Prison Ministry, to the Homeless Ministry, to the Nursing Home Ministry, to the Prayer Stop, to the Sunday Morning and Saturday night's altar calls (please invite your coworkers, your neighbors, your friends to church!) And don't underestimate the New Haven's Bumper Stickers that we will have - people will come to church because of it and will fine Christ because of this bumper stickers! (Well there be one on your vehicle?) There are a dozen different ways for us all to be plugged into God's great heart to win a lost world! (And under girding all of our ventures is fervent, believing intercession - Romans 9:1-3; 10:1) How are you plugging in?
A PASTORAL CHURCH
New Haven's will have nearly 30 individual pastors, assistant pastors and elders, to help care for the flock of God that will be among us, besides nearly 30 deacons to assist in their tasks. Besides we will have as nearly as many cell facilitators (around 55) who will be there, neighborhood by neighborhood, to tend to the needs of God's people. And yet we ask the great question posed to Jesus, "What are these among so many?" With all the men, women and children, that God is going to send us to care for, we will need more "hands" to care and to tend. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to open up a neighborhood cell group in your home? You can help "tend the flock of God" in this way. Perhaps you served as an elder or deacon in a previous church, and/or you feel God is calling you to that ministry here at New Haven Christian Church. Please contact Pastor Arnold personally! There is a place for you to serve in our New Haven's pastoral ministry!
A TEACHING CHURCH
In a generation where there is all too often little or no real Biblical training (even in churches), it is our joy to see how God has made us to become a teaching church. We are not into Sunday book reviews (unless it is a book of the Bible!); nor are we into "pop-psychology" or some self-improvement "hype" or any other kind of spiritual Pabulum. And we're certainly not into "Mc Church" - to see how fast we can run you through a service, to insure that you can spend enough time on Sundays on the golf course or watching the game." (Please get a VCR if you fear missing the first quarter!) There are 168 hours in a week. If spending 2-2 1/2 hours in God's House on a Sunday Morning are Saturday night (about 1 1/2% of your week) is a chore, you probably need a spiritual overhaul. "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord" (Psalm 122:1). Generally speaking, I hope most of our saints will feel they don't get enough on a Saturday night or Sunday morning - so we well have Friday evenings for more unlimited praise and prayer and the prophetic; and we have Wednesday evenings for more in-depth Word; and we will have cell churches for more fellowship and participation. I am really excited about our New Haven's studies. And I really anticipate seeing you there, plugging into the rich Word of our God!
The whole purpose for this "five-fold ministry" in our church is "to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12). God wants to use you apostolically, prophetically, evangelistically, pastorally, or as a teacher of His holy Word- right where you are, in this church, at your job, in your home, in your own neighborhood! God has called us all to be "neither barren nor unfruitful," but to be "always abounding in the work of the Lord!" Amen!
Your pastor and friend, Arnold
ROYAL GUARD JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Title of Position:
Servant (Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,)
Job Function \ Calling:
Area of Involvement:
Greeting \ Seating \ Security \ Parking
Watchmen and Hand Maidens of the LORD under the anointing of GOD.
Attitude of Service:
Psalms 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Ushering in His presence to bring the Glory of God to the people in order for them to receive from the LORD the things He desires to perform in them.
To usher you into the presence of God,-by providing an atmosphere that is free of as many distractions as possible, yet maintain freedom, order, reverence and respect for the Holy Spirit.
Listed below are usher stations for the Royal Guard. Each person will be assigned various tasks according to the area of involvement and duty station. If your duty station is in the Sanctuary, please remain standing until the sermon begins, and get back up when the music ministry gets up for the altar call (except 4E positions).
Description of Responsibilities for Team Shift Leaders:
Care and Concern
The Head Usher has the immediate care of the people on their shift. They should greet, pray and show concern for members of their shift when they meet them 30 minutes before the start of the service. If the people designated to serve on that shift have not arrived after 15 minutes of our starting time, the Head Usher should stay in the main room until service starting time.
Our starting times are:
*Sun. /Sat. Evening First Service (Purple Team)
5:45 p.m. prayer / announcements
5:15 p.m. Take post Positions
*Sun./ Sat Morning Second Service (Gold Team)
*Meetings are to occur in the Royal Guard
*You must be present 30 minutes before the start of service
Staffing and Training
The Shift Leader has staffing responsibility only for that shift. The Shift Leader may provide on the job training to those assigned to position 4 and new members, as needed
The Shift Leader must confirm attendance. The schedule is only marked up by the Shift Leader. It is important that you accurately check off this list each time you serve, on the small bulletin board because we determine absence / tardiness from it. Please put a ? by those who are on time. Place an O by those who did not send a replacement and did not show up. Don't put anything by someone's name who is late. Late is not being in the Royal Guard room after the first fifteen minutes have past. At the end of the month the Shift Leader will call those names who did not serve on their assigned day and did not provide a reason. Please call and remind them to call in and have a replacement when they cannot attend as scheduled. Please bring to the Overseer's attention excessive absenteeism. (Excessive would be four consecutive times.)
Have adequate Tithes & Offering and bulletins at stations
Additional Duties of Royal Guard Shift Leaders
*Recruitment of new members into the RG
*Monthly calls to those on your shift- a week before or the week of our RG fellowship meeting
*Identify continued tardiness to Assistant Head Usher
*You are responsible for letting worship leader know when to stop playing music at the offering. Please have each aisle usher inform you when their last row has cleared, if no aisle users then you must check it. Proceed to the front and give the worship leader eye contact and a clear signal (nods your head or points your finger)
Know the Usher manual requirements and guidelines.
Responsibilities of the Assistant Team Shift Leader
Be prepared to serve the People and be a blessing to them, before you arrive at Church
Be familiar with all assigned tasks including those who are responsible for carrying them out.
Also be prepared to assist or replace or fill-in wherever a need may arise.
Know the layout of the Sanctuary, and where the main Sanctuary lights are located. You should be able to give directions and information to those who may need assistance in locating classrooms, offices, and restrooms. Also know how to get an announcement on the projection screen.
Greet the Congregation appropriately. You are responsible for directing traffic flow (use ropes and conversation) for seating order in sections. Restricting seating areas for Pastoral Staff, guests and ushers. Re-rope your seating section between services.
Responsibilities of Fire Marshal:
This person must be familiar with the fire-reset procedure. Know where and how to turn off the system, know thoroughly the sanctuary evacuation plan, know all the exits used for evacuation, know how the bull horn works and where it is kept, be able to teach others and assign Pastors as fire marshals
The safety of the congregation is the number one priority in an emergency situation.
The Royal Guard members who are in the sanctuary, whether on duty or not become "Fire Marshals" and are responsible for the orderly evacuation of the congregation through the designated fire evacuation plan.
Each Royal Guard member at their duty station has a responsibility for the orderly evacuation of the congregation in their section.
Transition Team Duties
Your function is to ensure a smooth transition between services. You report directly to the Head Usher. You assist the shift leader, pray for late ushers, and encourage those that need help with timeliness and following established rules for being absent or late. No one that is late (meaning after 5:15pm on Saturday's and 9:15am on Sunday's) should take their posts without having prayer with a team leader in RG room. If someone is visibly shaken or too troubled to be a blessing by serving the congregation that day they should be asked to sit in the service and let the LORD Minister to them after you have prayed for them.
Saturday: @ 5:15pm- Sunday: @ 9:15am Let Purple team shift leader know that you are going to assume your transition team leader duties and remind the shift leader that the Purple team ushers should remain at their posts until they are relieved by the Gold team ushers.
Saturday @ 5pm, Sunday @ 9am -Be in the sanctuary, review ushers schedule for next service. Know the positions and the people's names. Give the Gold team ushers a very good greeting as they arrive. And tell them you are the transition team leader today. When the shift leader comes they should assume their normal duties and pray for the ushers and make sure assignments are covered and checked off. Inform the group of any necessary announcements on the board or other announcements, such as about when is the next RG meeting or information from the last fellowship meeting or make sure handouts are picked up along with schedules if the shift leader has not done so.
Saturday @ 5pm, Sunday @ 9am -Gold team ushers take their post and relieve Purple team ushers who are waiting at their posts. You remain in the sanctuary to greet late ushers and pray with them. Have your walkie talkie on during this time in case you need to be contacted by the shift leader or need to talk to them. The shift leader should send late ushers to RG room 111 for payer with you before they can take their posts. Be familiar with the schedule so you know what usher positions have not been filled after 5:15pm on Saturday and 9:15am on Sunday. Give a great goodbye to the first shift ushers that come in to the room and leave their badges and walkie talkies. Thank them for doing so.
Do not stay later even if not fully staffed. Report short staffing and late ushers to Pastor Benitez by email or phone.
DUTY STATIONS AND FUNCTIONS
If your duty station is 1 or 7 (Sanctuary \ balcony stairs \ altar)
Your assigned tasks are #1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.
If your duty station is 2 or 6 (Door coverage \ pass out bulletins (when needed))
Your assigned tasks are #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
If your duty station is 3, 4 or 5 (Door coverage \ pass out bulletins (when needed))
Your assigned tasks are #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
If your duty station is (Aisle coverage for seating \ altar)
Your assigned tasks are #1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.
If your duty station is RH1 (Greeter),
Your assigned tasks are #1, 2, 3, and 5.
If your duty station is (Altar \ seating \ platform)
Your assigned tasks are #1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7.
If your duty station is (Parking)
Your assigned tasks are 1, 2, 3 and 8.
If your duty station is PA (Pastoral Assistant)
Your assigned tasks are 1, 2, 3 and 7.
If you are a man, your assigned tasks include task 6 to help catch.
ROYAL GUARD DUTY STATIONS TASK CHECKLIST
(The First Three Tasks Are For Everyone)
Be familiar with all the assigned tasks and those who are responsible for carrying them out. Be prepared to assist or replace or fill-in wherever a need may arise.
Prepare your heart to serve the people and be a blessing to them before you come to church. Dress neatly, wear usher badge, use breath mints. Arrive 30 minutes before start of service. Be firm, flexible and friendly.
Be continually filled with God's Holy Spirit, stay alert in prayer, maintain eye contact, be aware of your environment. Handle problematic situations through praying in the Spirit, binding and loosing, and using the authority and anointing you have "in Christ."
Know the layout of the new sanctuary, building and where main sanctuary lights are. You should be able to give directions and information to those who may need assistance to various classrooms, offices and restrooms. Also know how to get an announcement on the projection screen.
Greet people appropriately, smile, hand out bulletins and other material to those who did not get them at the door. Know where the empty seats are. Responsible for directing traffic flow (use ropes and oral) for seating order in sections. Restricting seating areas for pastoral staff, guests and ushers. Manage distracting and noisy people. Develop effective crowd control methods for best way of entering and exiting people in and out of sanctuary. Straighten up seating section between services. Re-rope your seating section between services.
(RH1)-Greet people appropriately at rotunda doors, smile, hug, ("Good Morning, Welcome to Immanuel's"). After 30 to 40 minutes close the doors to station 4 and take your post inside and outside station 4 door. [At stations 3,4,5,] manage distracting and noisy people & control people from walking in and out during communion, the altar call, and other sensitive times (but do not grab or lay hands on anyone). Greet people appropriately, smile, hug, ("Good Morning, Welcome to Immanuel's"), answer questions and give directions. All handicapped people can enter and exit STATION 4 as they desire. Offer assistance where needed. Do not Offend.
[Stations 1, 7, & 4E only]-Assist at the altar in helping keep order when needed, in helping people get off the floor. To direct and assist traffic flow to, at & from altar. Aisle ushers can assist in breaking the fall of those being ministered to (men only) & in covering those on the floor (women only).
Protect the ministering pastor, worship leader and visiting speakers from unnecessary distractions; attend to their needs. Escort or assist ladies up and down the platform steps. Keep the platform clear of unauthorized persons. Stay alert to the pulpit and be ready to respond to their requests or needs. Deacons will handle all requests from congregation concerning the temperature of the building. Deacons will handle communion and offering. May serve as shift leader in this position.
Greet people appropriately, smile. You are the first impression people will have of NEW HAVEN'S church and the level of spirituality within our body. Rotating patrol of parking area and outside building as you assist people in parking. Provide a systematic method of filling up parking lot. Use cones and flashlights to direct traffic flow. Communications will be by headsets. Dress attire is with a safety jacket and ID badge on your suite coat. Please wear dress shirt, and dress shoes. Provide proper assistance and / or escort for the handicap. Secure available handicapped parking areas. Direct drop off traffic back around the sanctuary. Work out identification method for traffic flow to fill up, return, and exit parking lots. Leave parking lot after first thirty minutes of service have passed and join us in the sanctuary. Report any issues to security.
I. Usher's Check List
Be freshly bathed
? Use deodorant and breath mints
? No chewing gum
? Clothes and hair neat
? Clean, appropriate dress (uniform)
? Shoes cleaned and shined
Proud to be an usher
? Optimistic about our church
? Pleasant smile, conversation
? Non-judgmental, kind to all
? Never leaves station
? Does not assume authority
? Concentrate on service, visitors
? Properly equipped
? Follow instructions
II. Some Basic Qualities of An Usher - Exhibits the Fruits of the Spirit Within
Love - being the personification and outward express of God's love to everyone with whom they come into contact, exhibiting an out-going spirit of consideration and respect that is not dependent on the attitudes or behavior of other persons.
Joy - Being a person who radiates joy can be a heartwarming experience for any worshiper. A cold, aloof, mechanical spirit of ushering can be depressing to those who come into our presence.
Peace - The presence of a good Spirit-filled usher will add to the peace and calm of every situation. This type of presence will tend to minimize problems. An efficient way of dealing with situations will be reassuring.
Patience - A great quality of a good usher. The facilities, stubborn ungracious people and unusual situations present ample opportunity to upset. An usher must be longsuffering personally but take appropriate action functionally (avoid taking personal offense).
Kindness - This spirit makes the usher approachable. Calmness gives confidence to others.
Goodness - The usher should seek the good in people they interact with and the good in even the worst situation. Personally they should exhibit goodness since that is a basic quality of the Spirit-filled person.
Faithfulness - Faithfully fulfilling assigned responsibilities and being a good team member is essential to being a good usher. Being where and when they are supposed to be inspires others.
Gentleness - Good ushers do not abuse their authority when directing or controlling people or situations. This calls for forgetting about self and humbly concentrating on the needs of others.
Self-control - If the usher cannot control him/herself, it will be impossible to control others.
(NOTE: No chief usher or the pastor(s) can write enough rules to cover every situation which ushers face. Through personal prayerful preparation, focused attention and wisdom, and a general sense of the fitness of things, ushers will be called on to make unending little decisions which either create a church problem or solve one).
III. What is an Usher?
The Church - As people are greeted by or interact with an usher, the usher is "the church". People tend to form their impressions of what the church is by their interaction with an usher.
A Servant - One, who anticipates needs, walks the second mile, is always close by and is attentive to others.
Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you can
(When an usher can no longer be and do this they should step down)
A Watchman or Handmaiden - The unpardonable (well almost) sin of an usher is not paying attention!! A good usher will watch over the service like a mother hen over her chicks, anticipating problems, looking for disturbances and quieting them in the quickest, most loving way possible.
A Greeter - As one would strive to make a guest in the home feel welcome and comfortable an usher strives to accomplish the same for those in the church, especially visitors
A "John the Baptist" - By helping people to see Jesus through:
- Preparing self
- Geographical praying (for the station area of assignment)
- Removing distractions
- Seating people at appropriate times and places
- Seating people in an appropriate and loving way
A Model - Since the usher is very visible it is important for the usher to model warmth, love, attentiveness, and giving. People do what people see.
A People Person - genuinely loving and caring about those whom the Lord brings into our presence.
IV. Some Ushering Tips
Speak to people, smile at people and look them in the eyes, call people by name, be friendly and helpful, be cordial and courteous, show a genuine interest in people.
Listen to announcements from the pulpit - people may inquire after the service.
Know how to direct people to the Book Store and Tape Area, the various children's ministry areas, etc.
Develop kindness in conversation, even when there is a need to be firm. Negative statements which tend to be judgmental or imply criticism are the opposite of kindness.
Negative: "You cannot go in now!"
Positive: "We will seat you in just a moment."
Negative: "You're late most seats are taken; you'll have to sit in the back"
Positive: "Since the service has started. We have a place for you near the back."
Negative: "You can't stand here in everybody's way!"
Positive: "Would you like to visit over here where people will not interfere with your
Negative: "You teenagers shut up. You're disturbing people'
Positive: "Will you young people help us promote reverence in the sanctuary?"
Positive: "I notice you are wearing a hearing aid, would it be helpful to seat you in a
Don't hesitate to get word to one of the pastors immediately if a situation needs their attention or specific guidance is needed.
Ushers should always seek to put themselves in the place of the person coming into the church or service. Since we like to greet people with hugs, we must be sensitive to some that appear not to want that. They should receive a hearty handshake.
Ushers should pick up any litter or straighten disarray in their assigned station area. Detailed cleaning will be accomplished by assigned cleaning personnel.
ROYAL GUARD TRAINING MATERIAL
Welcoming and Directing
Once the doors open for a service, it is too late to make new plans or to give detailed instructions to the ushers. The usher's job has now begun! By this time, all instructions should have been given according to the plans that have been organized. It is time to work the plan that has been set forth for the particular service.
What time does the service start?
Where are the restrooms?
Is this seat reserved?
You may have your mind on the things you have been assigned to do, but these questions are important to the ones asking them. You must remember that you are in a public relations position as well as in a position of ministry. Therefore, you must:
Walk in love, and let the love of Jesus Christ radiate through you at all times.
Take time to smile and be friendly. Take people's hands and greet them (even if they have already been greeted at the door) be cause a TOUCH of love is important!
Answer their questions to the best of your ability. If you don't know the answer, don't be embarrassed to say you don't know. However, check on their questions and give them answers
Look sharp! Have your coat buttoned, shoes shined, tie in position, fresh breath, etc.
Watch your actions! A hurried usher with a worried look does not minister peace. If you have the joy of the Lord, let your face know it! If you don't, stop for prayer before the service begins.
Watch your words! Minister love, faith, and hope. Let Philippians 4:8 govern your words and actions
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely; whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Remember that you are in charge, so walk with the authority that God has invested in you. The real challenge of an usher usually begins as he attempts to maintain authority and walk in love at the same time.
Remember to work as a team, for it's not a one-man show! Teamwork sets an atmosphere for a stronger anointing to flow in the service.
Your chief purpose as an usher is to see that everyone who comes to the service receives what he has come for from the Lord before he leaves. To do this, you must carry out an orderly system of enforcing certain rules and regulations. You must be ready for last-minute changes, but don't let changes upset you. Be flexible. Be able to shift either to a higher or to a lower gear, depending upon the instructions from the one ministering. Whenever you receive instructions from the speaker or the one ministering to do something at the last minute, respect him and submit to those instructions, as he is the higher authority. Don't complain, don't pout, and don't feel inferior. Just know that the speaker hears from the Spirit of God, and there is a reason for the last-minute changes. Even in situations where you feel the instructions of the speaker are wrong, submit and obey them. If they are wrong, he will correct them later, if necessary. You are assigned to assist and be of help. Do your job to the best of your ability and all will go well.
Guideline for Seating People
The first challenge you may face as the doors open is people running to get good seats. Deal gently and lovingly with these people, and guide them to the best seats that are available to them. The second challenge is sometimes the order in which you fill certain sections of seats. Some guidelines that will help you in seating people are:
Fill the front rows first.
Have people move together (sit together) and do not leave any single seats between them.
Know how many seats you have in your section, and fill it from the front to the back.
Know how many seats you have in the first three rows. When you have three empty seats in the first row and a party of three comes in, you will know exactly where to seat them. By knowing your sections and the availability in each you will then be able to fill them expediently! Do not be concerned with any section other than the one to which you have been assigned.
After you have filled the front three rows, then do the same with the next three rows, etc.
As you seat from front to back, you will keep latecomers from disturbing people. All of the empty seats in the front rows will already be filled.
Keep open to your special sections, as they cannot always be filled in the same order as the regular sections. (This would include sections, such as those for visitors, staff, guests of the ministry, employees, deaf, blind, wheelchairs, cots, etc.)
There will usually be reserved seats for the ushers. However, seats are usually not reserved for spouses or special friends. You will need to go by the rules of the particular ministry or speaker.
There should be no seating allowed in the first three rows or on the side front sections for babies and small children. This is especially important when TV video taping is being done.
Attempt to get to know the people in your section so problems can be prevented BEFORE they occur.
Once the singing or worship begins, the ushers and all people working with the service need to shift into another gear. It is now time for the entire body of believers to get their minds on God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and become aware of the presence of the holy Spirit with respect and reverence. There are many things that the ushers, hostesses or greeters and the ones leading the music can do to create a worshipful atmosphere.
During the worship, praise, and prayer portions of the service, the ushers should spread out around the walls and get involved with the service. As an usher, you are part of the service, and your actions will affect the service.
You can help the people on the platform as follows:
· If they are singing - sing.
· If they are clapping - clap.
· If they are laughing - laugh
· If they are dancing - dance.
· If they are jumping - jump.
· If they are weeping - weep.
· If they are praising God - praise God.
Don't stand around like wooden soldiers. Be sincere. Don't fake it. You may have to start in the flesh, but you will quickly be caught up in the Spirit as you join in with the activities of the service. Remain alert to your duties, however, as you continue to welcome and seat the people until the worship begins. You will need to keep your eyes open as you worship since your duties have just begun. You are expected to worship and to get involved in the service, but you must remain alert with your eyes open. If you close your eyes, you may miss any one of the following situations:
The speaker may be trying to get your attention.
The musicians may be trying to get your attention.
A situation may he developing that you need to take care of immediately.
There may be someone out of order who is trying to approach the platform.
A guest of the ministry may he arriving late.
Wheelchair or cot patients may come in late and need your direction to find
their designated area for seating.
Ushers Responsibilities for Seating
How do you hold people or stop them in the back in a gracious manner? It is all in how you say it!
You know, "your approach".
Let the person know why you cannot seat them and tell them when you will seat them, for example: "Good morning, it is so good to see you today! Communion is currently being served therefore we are unable to seat anyone at this moment, but you will be served communion here in the back and then I will seat you as soon as communion is finished."
Some people well be brand new to New Haven Christian Church and they don't know what is going on.
1. Praise - open seating
2. Worship and Communion - hold people in the back (be polite not pushy)
3. Prophetic Window - hold people in the back (be polite not pushy)
4. Welcome Visitors and Announcements - open seating
5. Offering - open seating
6. Teaching - open seating in back only
In sum, you are also an impression of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, therefore, let the joy of the Lord shine through you - smile, be warm, be interested in people - even when you have to do something difficult.
Seating People During the Singing Portion of the Service
The first part of the service usually involves singing, worship, praise, and prayer. Many times singing is used to get people in their seats so the service may begin. Music should not be used in this way, but with some congregations it may be mandatory. During the first phase, the music is usually more outgoing, such as with the clapping of hands or movement of feet. It is used to create an atmosphere of peace and well being, as many of the people who have come into the service have rushed around In their daily routines and are still uptight.
During this time, it is still permissible to seat people. At this stage of the service, the people are usually happy, friendly, and are free to greet one another.
Seating During the Worship and Praise Portion of the Service
The tempo of the service will begin to change as the music is changed to worship as unto the lord. This type of singing will normally go into praise and singing in the Spirit, many times followed with prophecy and prayer.
During the worship, praise, and prayer portions of the service DO NOT SEAT ANYONE. Late comers should be held at the doors until this part of the service is concluded. Some of the reasons why you need to hold the people at the doors and control the movement at this time are:
It is difficult to worship the lord when people are stepping on your toes, or when they are tapping you on the shoulder to ask you to move so they can he seated.
When people realize that they can worship with their total attention on Jesus, there is more freedom to worship; and it lays the groundwork for a higher level of praise.
Seating People Once the Service Has Begun
The following suggestions should he helpful in seating people once the service has begun:
Seat people near the front during the opening songs if there are any seats left at the front. (Front seats, as discussed earlier, should always be filled first.)
DO NOT seat people during the worship and praise portions of the service.
DO NOT allow movement during messages in tongues and interpretation or prophecy. (This is a very sacred time, and distractions must not be allowed.)
Never just stand and watch when people come into the service, whether the service has begun or not. Immediately move to help people.
When people are held at the doors during these special times of worship, they should not be seated until the ushers receive a signal from the shift leader that it is now permissible to do so.
Do not let the people take their seats until the second phase of the service or until the shift leader has given the signal.
Normally there will he a release in your spirit when it is permissible to seat the people; however, it is still best to wait for the signal from the shift leader.
When you have latecomers in walkers or older people who find it difficult to stand, attempt to seat them near the back if seats are available.
During prayers, altar calls, and offerings, the same procedures should be followed in stopping people from entering the services. At the conclusion of each of these portions of the service, they may be seated.
Taking Pictures During the Service
There should be no picture taking (other than the regular televising of the service) during the service, other than what is appointed by the speaker himself. There are several reasons for this.
Flash bulbs many times disturb people in the congregation.
When flash bulbs go off, they sometimes cause the anointing to lift from the speaker.
The moving about with the picture taking is sometimes distracting. (People will many times watch the photographer and will not hear what the speaker is saying.)
Only one person if any approved by the one ministering will be allowed to take pictures. All others will be asked to keep their seats.
No one will be allowed to go on to the platform to have their pictures taken.
A 35 millimeter camera will usually be allowed as long as the people using it remain in their seats.
Responsibilities of Ushers in the Back of Auditorium
Ushers in the back of the auditorium must remain alert at all times, pray in the Spirit continually, and be of help in the following areas where possible:
Open and close the doors for people, especially for the latecomers, for those leaving early, to avoid slamming or squeaking of the doors which can be very distracting.
Be responsible for handling these areas:
b. People looking for the nursery.
e. Messages for the platform (give to head usher if possible).
f. Counting of number of people at the meeting.
g. Watching and assisting with any movement or activity during the service.
h. Remaining alert to actions during the service.
i. Controlling the thermostats
Guidelines for Ministering Supernaturally
To minister supernaturally means that you are in a service where the Spirit of the Lord is having His complete way . . . He is free to have His way!
As an usher, you need to stay in the Spirit during the entire service, as there is no way to predict the moving of the Holy Spirit. You must listen carefully to what the speaker is saying. Watch constantly what he is doing, and the Lord will show you the direction that will be taken. The one ministering will be sensitive to the direction of the Holy Spirit and will follow the guidelines as the Holy Spirit sets them forth. For example, if the one ministering is listening to the voice of the Lord, he may give an altar call for salvation at the beginning of the service rather than at the end of the service. If the Lord tells him to lay hands on someone and pray for them at the beginning of the service, he will do so. Most churches that are obeying the Spirit of the Lord are growing by leaps and bounds. If you are in this type of church, you can surely see the necessity of praying in the Spirit at all times. And because the Lord has anointed you to minister as an usher, He will prepare you thoroughly for this position.
Guidelines for a Salvation Altar Call
These guidelines will be of help in having a smooth, yet successful altar call.
Do not try to line the people up. Let them stand in a group.
Do not look around. Keep your gestures to a minimum.
Unless you are an authorized counselor, remain in your seat when the counselors are called.
One usher should check the prayer or counseling room before the service begins. If this is not possible, check it right before the people are taken to this room for prayer and counseling.
Be sure it is unlocked.
Be sure the condition of the room is conducive to prayer and counseling.
Be sure lights and air or heat are on.
Be sure that proper handout materials are available.
If you are the usher assigned to lead the people out with the counselors, be sure that all of the people stay together. If you see one return to his seat, gently and lovingly encourage him to go with the group.
Be sure that all doors are open and that you have a sufficient number of ushers to clear the way for this group of people to go directly to the prayer and counseling room.
One usher should be assigned inside the counseling room door and one outside the door to keep spectators away. Ushers will remain at
these doors until the counselors leave.
Only designated and qualified counselors will be counseling.
Specific Duties of the Ushers Picking up the People
The following guidelines will help those who are responsible for helping the people up off of the floor after they have been slain in the Spirit:
Help the people up when they are ready to get up. (No person should ever have to get up alone. An usher should always be there to assist.)
It is best to have two men assist the people up when you have long lines, one on each side of the line.
You may need to assist some back to their seats once you have helped them up.
If several people are getting up at the same time, other ushers may need to come to the assistance of the regularly assigned ushers.
The two people assigned to pick up the people need to work as a team.
Once the one ministering is used to working with an assigned team, the anointing will be able to flow more smoothly and completely unhindered.
While the healing line is still in process, never allow anyone to walk behind the person who is catching or between the one being ministered to and the one catching.
After the speaker has ministered to the person who came forward for healing, if the one ministered to is not in the Spirit but is just standing and praising the Lord, you must get him back to his seat as quickly as possible to make room for others coming for healing. (In most cases, a person under the power of God wills not he able to move, clap, sing, kick, jump, or do other gestures. Usually when a person opens his eyes, he is ready to be helped up and guided back to his seat.)
Let the person remain on the floor under the power of God as long as they are truly under the power of God. Never slap a person in the face, as if you are trying to bring him out of a deep sleep or try to get the person up while he is still under the power of God. Don't interrupt God's work, In your enthusiasm, you can break the anointing and keep the person from receiving all that God has for him.
Be polite (not pushy) as you encourage people to return to their seats. You can simply say, "If you like, you can go back to your seat now."
Watch your attitude and your motivation. The lines need to be cleared, but it must be done in love. Do not detract from what God has done in each person by a hurried attitude in getting them out of the altar.
Keep order in the service
(1 Corinthians 14:40-"Let all things be done decently and in order").
Prevent interruption of anointing.
Help those near the baby to receive
Help the parents of the baby to receive.
Intercession: before and during meeting.
Release of faith-speak the spirit of peace into manifestation.
Rebuke any spirits of disruption.
Placement: near the beck or on an aisle.
Parents not attempting to quiet a child.
Children standing in chairs.
Children turned around.
Noisy or distracting playthings.
When to remove
Listen to your spirit.
Before the platform is disturbed.
Disturbing those near the baby.
Parents not attempting to quiet a baby.
Remember: minister to the area. not just to the parent and baby.
SUGGEST alternate area.
If they want to stay, instruct that they MUST stop the disturbance.
Second trip INSIST on alternate area.
Be as quick as possible.
Wait in back while parent gathers belongings.
Don't create a hostile atmosphere.
Avoid feeling: of anger.
Avoid projecting condemnation.
If parents refuse to leave
Don't force the situation.
Contact the shift leader
Be courteous-open all doors.
Escort all the way to alternate area.
Project attitude of appreciation.
Don't apologize or act defensive.
Give reasons for removal only if questioned or if you sense tension. (Explain that others are not used to noise.)
When back in main room, check vacated area for dropped or forgotten items.
Carry only misplaced items.
Don't remove any personal items.
G. Report any problems or confrontation to the shift leader after the service.
TIPS FOR USHERS REGARDING THE DISABLED IN OUR CONGREGATION
(Thoughts, of a disabled person that will attend services at New Haven Christian Church)
1) Van Parking - Additional space needed to allow for the lowering of the ramp for getting in & out of the van alone. Other wise it requires the help of a second person, who many times is not available, and limits independence.
2) Entrance Doors to the foyer: Need to have an usher monitoring this area as the doors cannot be handled from a wheelchair or motorized chair.
3) Double doors to the rest rooms: Need to be left open on at least one side so that the wheelchairs or motorized chairs have access to the hall areas that lead to the rest rooms.
This allows for independence of movement
4) Leaving before the actual service breaks up: This is necessary in order to get out of the crowds It makes it easier to access the van and get out of the way of incoming cars for the next service. If there is someone doing the pickup it is easier for them and a courtesy not to keep them waiting.
5) "Seeing" problems: Sometimes I move my chair more into the aisle because when people stand to sing I can't see the screen and if someone is speaking I can't See the person.
When functions are planned it would be a good idea to have a check list that would suggest areas that would need consideration for those in wheelchairs/motorized chairs. Example: Services in the new sanctuary and then eating in the old sanctuary. Making sure the person has a way to make the transition easily. Be sure functions are held on the first floor if the elevators are not working.
Suggested Reading Material for Understanding the Disabled
ALL GOD'S CHILDREN
Ministry With Disabled Persons
Gene Newman & Joni E. Tada
Zondervan Publishing House
A COMMITTED MERCY
You And Your Church Can Serve the Disabled
Stan Carder with Forward by Joni E. Tada
Always speak directly to the person who has a disability. (Don't consider a companion to be a conversational go-between).
Don't hesitate to ask the person who has a disability if you can help him or her in any way
Whenever possible seat disabled parishioners with their families or friends.
Don't ignore disabled people. Acknowledge his or her presence normally as you would anyone else's and attempt to include him or her in whatever activity you are doing. A warm smile and a friendly conversation are very welcoming.
Don't hesitate to use words like see, walk, listen, etc. with disabled people.
Touch is often a very effective communicator of love, concern and understanding.
Use positive language when referring to disabilities rather than using negative terms such as "crippled", "stricken", "afflicted" or "victims".
Ask a disabled person to usher.
When greeting a person who has a visual impairment, be sure to identify yourself.
Explain to a person who has a visual problem where things are located.
If the blind person has a guide dog. Ask how much room is needed.
Offer a program to a person with a visual impairment (whether you think they can read
it or not).
Offer a Braille or large-print Book of Common Prayer of Hymnal if available.
Direct a blind person to his or her seat.
Explain the pattern of service and give clear, simple instructions. i.e., "go up the center aisle and down the outside aisle"
Offer assistance during the Eucharist. Extend your elbow to guide: never grab or push
Speak clearly and slowly. But don't exaggerate or shout (Sometimes it may be necessary to communicate in writing.)
Try to stand in front of the light source in order to provide a clear view of your face. (Never speak directly into the person's ear.)
Try to seat in an appropriate position in front of the preacher/celebrant (especially when there is no signer present).
Look directly at the person and speak expressively; remember your facial expressions, gestures. and body movements help in understanding. Just relax you don't need to be an expert in sign language to do this.
Try to give whole, unhurried attention to the person who has difficulty speaking.
Remember the person with a speech impairment may have his or her own means of communication other than by speech, such as writing
Try not to move a wheelchair or crutches out of reach of the person who uses them.
A person who uses a wheelchair may be able to walk, that person still needs the wheelchair
Ask the person who and where he or she wants to receive the Eucharist and make sure that the priest/element bearer is aware of this. If you have a wheelchair section, don't discourage the person from going to the front of the sanctuary steps or other stations to receive. The act of going forward may be an essential component of their spiritual being.
If lifting a wheelchair, be sure to follow the person's instructions implicitly. They have been up and down the steps before. If there are any questions of your ability, look for stronger, more able ushers, helper. (We are all disabled in one way or another.)
Parking is a subdivision of the Royal Guard ministry in New Haven's Church. It is no lesser nor higher than any other branches in the ministry because all subdivisions have one common goal, glorify the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, parking plays a very important role in the ministry. It gives the saints the very first impression of what New Haven's Church is all about.
Greeting the saints, while directing them to the available parking lot/spaces is one of the parking ministry's top priorities.
Any male in the Royal Guard may be called upon to help in the parking lots on occasion.
The parking assignments are as follows:
1- Special Events
2- Sunday Morning
3- Saturday Night
a) Removing the cones
b) Guiding the traffic
Pastor Arnold H Benitez
In His Name
New Haven Christian Church
San Antonio, Texas 78249
Phone:(210) • Fax:(210)