Venue: Rccg Mercyland Parish
In presenting this reprint of the second edition of our manual, we testify that we found our God faithful and true.
We cannot help rejoicing. God has continued to sharpen our skills and deepen our commitment. Serving Him in a way He wants is indeed one the highest form of worship.
Absence of regulations or disobedience is a sure recipe for confusion.
God is not the author of confusion and will not be involved in it. One of the first steps of inviting Him to help us is ensure there is discipline and order in all our operations and ministry.
We, by His grace, intend to take that step with this manual.
May God help us.
Pastor A.A Olorunnimbe Head Usher, RCCG
Chapter 1: ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Ever so often. God calls us into His vineyard and gives us different assignments. He never makes a mistake. He has called some to be pastors, prophets, evangelists, Musicians, prayer Warriors and Ushers amongst many others (1 Corinthians 12:28).
The dictionary defines an Usher as a doorkeeper who escorts people to seats in a hall, an officer who introduces, strangers/ or walks before a person of rank. This definition barely scratches the surface.
An Usher is a very important officer of the church who serves as the law enforcement agent, an orderly and a caretaker of the Church and all its treasures; material and souls.
The word Usher does not appear in the bible but the following roles in the scriptures define the positions occupied by Ushers in the Body of Christ.
- Doorkeeper - Psalm 84:10
- Priest - Numbers 3:5-10
- Gatekeeper - 1 Chronicles 9:17-27
- Deacon - Acts 6:1-7
An Usher is thus defined in church by function. As a servant, priest, minister, assistant, aide, doorkeeper, gatekeeper etc. you must become what is desired of you, you must become all things to all men.
- A servant unto God and unto men who helps others succeeds in their ministry (Exodus 17:8- 13, 24:13). When you meet the needs of your Pastor, you make life and ministry easy for him while you also fulfill your own part in implementing the core objective i.e. soul winning.
- A helper who is always available to render assistance to the weak, the needy and to each other (1 Corinthians 12:28).
- A doorkeeper who meets and greets people (Psalm 84:10), He/She is God’s Public Relations Officer and represents the church to every visitor, first-timer and the congregation. He/She is to keep the door, meet the needs of people and welcome them into the presence of the Lord; you only have one opportunity to make a first impression.
- One who maintains order (1 Corinthians 14:40). He/She is expected to maintain order, control movement throughout the service.
- A leader who is in charge of the things in the temple (1 Chronicles 9:19-32). In summary, an Usher is one who spots a gap and fills it/One-who fines a hurt and heals it; one who has a heart ready to serve with willing hands ready feet.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The roles and responsibilities of an usher could be divided into two broad categories:- spiritual and physical. A. Spiritual
The Ushering ministry is a supernatural ministry and contrary to the obvious, it is more spiritual than it is physical. The ministry falls under the ministry of HELPS (1 Corinthians 12:28) and thus must be seen as:
A. Ordained and anointed by God Himself and divinely set in the Church, for a specific need/ Purpose.
B. Important to the smooth running of the ministry or ministration.
C. Entails supernatural empowerment
Usher’s roles & responsibilities include:
A. Assisting the Pastor helping him bring his vision to fulfillment.
B. Meeting & greeting the congregation:- the public relations man representing the church to every new visitor
C. Maintaining order (1 Corinthians 14:40, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-15)
D. Taking attendance
E. Receiving, counting & recording offering. 1 Chronicles 9:26
F. Provision of required information to the congregation.
The Usher must continually ask himself/ herself these questions:-
A. Am I where God wants me to be?
B. Am I still maintaining Godly attributes?
C. Do I constantly do everything necessary to walk in peace with all brethren?
An Usher must be prayerful and diligent, faithfully observing his/her quiet timer. He/She must also be Faithful, Available and Teachable and must also be timely, thoughtful, and tactful and team player.
Physically, an Usher must:
A. Be fit for the job
B. Have an impeccable character within and outside the church.
C. Always be neat and clean – be particular about personal hygiene.
D. Have well groomed and clean hair
E. Wear clothing reflective of Christ, which must always be clean and well ironed.
F. Have fresh breathed at all times. No body odour
G. Wear neat shoes / uniforms no matter how old they are.
H. Pay particular attention to his /her personal health must be fit.
The work of Ushering is enormous, but the Lord who has called us into ministry would always supply the grace to be faithful. The Usher must continually emphasize the spiritual and must not leave out the Physical. He/she must be a faithful servant in the Vineyard and must ensure that he/she is available in the sight of God.
The Almighty God who has called the Usher is more than able to bless him/her as long as he/she pays attention to His words in Proverbs 4:20-27 and 11 Timothy 2:11-15. We must always be ready to adopt to changing circumstances and time frames and anticipate the unexpected. May God bless us all us all in Jesus Name.
CHAPTER 2: USHER’S COMMON RULES & REGULATIONS
A. Under no circumstances must a single usher open the Tithe box or be alone with money in the counting room. At least two or three ushers must be present.
B. Money must not be counted outside the ushers room
C. It is not the usher’s duty to disburse money (Before, during or after counting money).
D. An usher must not also be the treasurer.
E. Spouses must not be in the ushering department of the same parish.
F. An Usher should never discuss the church finances with an unauthorized person including their spouse (utmost confidentiality should be the watchword).
G. A person cannot be an usher in the parish where his/her spouse is the treasurer.
H. The actual offering collected must be faithfully recorded without any alteration in the denominations collected.
I. Cheque exchanges are note allowed.
J. Dirty/Old notes cannot be changed into clearer ones.
K. The Ushering room is strictly out of bounds to those who are not ushers children including.
L. All monies counted by ushers must be handed over only to the church treasurer, the pastor or his/her appointee and ensure that all documents are signed and dated.
M. Parish, Area, Zonal and Province records should be separated accordingly at all times.
N. Ushers’ books (Attendance register, Count sheet, Summary sheet, Usher’s note book) must be filled accurately at all times and kept within the department.
The count sheets and summary sheets are produced centrally by the Province for uniformity. The attendance register can be obtained from the Provincial Office or through Pastor (Mrs.) A. Alimi at the headquarters Ebute Metta.
O. It is the duty of the Ushers to clean the church before/after every service.
P. Ushers are expected to meet weekly to pray and study the word (at least once a week)
Q. Ushers are expected to be financially committed as required.
R. Ushers must take time to listen to the tapes of the services ministered and observe quiet time regularly.
S. An Usher should always remain upstanding. Alert with eyes wide open. Not given to dancing or gyrating to the music, eyes should not be closed (Except when specifically directed by the ministering pastor).
PERSONAL RULES & Regulations
The uniform adopted for National programmes and the Holy Ghost service are communicated to the ushers through the Provincial Head Ushers while provinces are encouraged to have their individual uniforms. However, for programmes that require more-than one day (Convention, Holy Ghost Congress, Special Holy Ghost Service), Schedule of the various uniforms will be communicated accordingly. Male ushers are expected to be in complete suits while female ushers are expected to be in skirt suits.
B. Female Ushers:
Hair attachment is not allowed
No visible facial make-up allowed
No dropping ear-rings, bangles etc allowed.
No slit/mini skirts allowed
Pregnant sisters could wear pinafore on their blouses
CHAPTER 3: GENERAL USHERS’ CONDUCT
The Usher’s lifestyle: Leadership by example
The first key to effectiveness in prayer, spending time in individual and group prayer before and after the service is a very important tool of service.
The usher should also cultivate the “T” Qualities, which are:
-Teach ability: Willing to learn
-Having good memory for names.
-Tactfulness: ability to do and say the right thing without offence
-Thoughtful: Knowing when, how and what to do
-Team player: work better as a team (Luke 9:14) having regular meetings together.
Manners, physical appearance and personal hygiene are crucial as an usher. You should not put people off. Ushers should learn to be sensitive to peoples’ needs and limits to build lasting relations. Be courteous as you direct people to their respective seats; greet people warmly making them feel like the Royalty they are (1 Peter 2:9).
It is preferable to have an overview map of each local auditorium, to facilitate easy positioning.
Seating of Congregation
Where do we seat first? Try and fill up the front section first so as to minimize distraction during the service.
-Aisle seating: avoid seating of ladies at the aisles.
-Ministers/workers seats or rows.
-Altar ushers vis-à-vis the pastor/minister in charge.
-Passing of messages (All must go through the head usher)
- Note the trouble spots i.e. where there will be possibility of heavy human traffic.
Attendance taking: Establish a non-distracting system, be invisible, and cultivate taking attendance from the back or from a high vantage point unseen by people.
-Counting should be analysed into Men Women collection
-Number of new guests
-Number of new converts
- Giving of cards to new guests and converts
Ushering During Ministration
Dressing no flowing attires as these could become tools of destruction in the hand of the deliverer.
Mannerism towards the Congregation
Friendly but firm: one can still firm without been
Eye contact always: usher should readily maintain eye contact with each other periodically during the service.
Use of Discretion
You may need to take immediate decisions without having recourse to higher authorities, utmost-discretion is thus very necessary.
Positioning of offering baskets: they should be in place before the time of offering, Baskets should not be used for collecting communion wine cups or prayer requests.
Taking of offering: This should be started systematically from the front not from the rear.
Counting of offering: This should be done in the vestry
Recording of offering: Vestry operation. Please note that prayer requests should be collected alongside the offering during the latter in the offering baskets.
CHAPTER 4: THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD ORDER OF MARRIAGE SERVICES –ROLE OF USHERS
This order of marriage service guideline is prepared in accordance with the marriage service order of the mission and is aimed at ensuring uniformity of the function in all the parishes of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. May God continue to guide the ushers as we continue to train and retrain ourselves.
The area/zonal/Province (as applicable) head usher should ensure that there is marriage register at the parish. Also the marriage certificates (both government and mission) are already with the Area Pastor or host parish (Usually collected by concerned parties from the province headquarters). Note that a marriage ceremony is usually an area program and it usually holds at the Area headquarters but could hold at any parish at the discretion of the Area Pastor and Parties involved.
In all cases ushers in the areas/ zone are to be in attendance and not just ushers of the host parish.
Courtship procedures/counseling are not part of the ushering function, but handled by the marriage counselor / parish/area pastor.
The register should be filled with the relevant details e.g. name of groom, bride, (Maiden names) groom’s parents, bride’s parents, area pastor, parish pastor, see example format. Names of officiating ministers should be entered in the register as the services starts as you may not know
Beforehand those who will be in attendance.
The Head usher should familiarize himself/ herself with the layout of the marriage certificate to identify where each party should sign on both government and mission certificates, (see Appendix)
The ushers are to put on their uniform during a marriage ceremony (as much as possible except otherwise instructed by the relevant authorities) they should comport themselves in the best traditions of the ministry as a substantial number of those present will be first timers and guests. The usher is responsible for keeping away unaccredited photographers from the church auditorium.
Before the service starts ensure the sitting arrangement is properly done.
Two seats in the forefront for the bride and groom, bride to be seated on the left of the groom
Row behind the couple to seat the bride’s father or his representative to the bride’s left for easy movement when he is called upon to come forward to give the bride away.
Please ensure as much as possible, the mother of the bride is seated beside her husband (What God has joined together, let no child’s wedding put asunder). The groom’s parents can also sit on the front row if identified before the service starts.
Congregation and couple should be seated.
SIGNING OF THE MARRIAGE REGISTER
An officiating minister will announce it is time to go for signing of the register, 2 (two) representatives from the bride’s side and groom’s side to follow the couple whilst choir renderings the couple is led to the vestry by an usher. The bridal trains are not to follow the couple to the registry.
It is the responsibility of the usher to find out the names of the two representatives from the Bride and the Groom’s family for the signing of the register.
AT THE CHURCH OFFICE
- Groom signs register, then marriage certificates (s)
- Bride signs register, then marriage certificate (s)
- Groom’s parents, sign register then marriage certificate (s)
- Bride’s parents, sign register then marriage certificates (s)
THE PARENTS CAN NOW BE ASKED TO GO BACK TO THE AUDITORIUM
- The officiating pastor signs the register and marriage certificate (if applicable).
- Other officiating ministers may also sign the register.
It is the responsibility of an usher to direct the signing procedures and this should not be for record purpose only. (The couple could also take photographs with officiating ministers.
The officiating ministers can take photographs with the couple before leaving the vestry.
Thereafter the couples dance back to the auditorium and kneel down in front of the altar (their chairs would have been moved aside. Congregation willcontinue to dance as they dance back into the hall.
Whilst the congregation is standing, the couple will kneel down for the pastor’s prayer and blessing. After the prayers, the couple standing (With the congregation standing also) will then be introduced to the congregation.
The recessional hymn will be announced.
Proper direction- the couple and the bridal train will first file out, then the usher may follow the couple to ensure that no other member of the congregation is coming behind them.
Everyone will remain in church until the closing prayer is said after the recessional hymn. If the church hall has doors the usher coming at the end of the line could close the doors and turn back facing the church, no one is to leave through that entrance until after the service.
Ushers should please note that during marriage ceremonies there are points where the officiating minister will not be able to hold Microphone either because he is reading (with both hands on the couple) or he is blessing them, an usher should assist by holding the microphone to his mouth except where another minister is already performing that function.
The usher’s official role ends at the marriage service.
The couple could request for service of the ushers at the reception if desired.
CHAPTER 5: CONTROL AND HANDLING OF VARIOUS MANIFESTATIONS DURING SERVICE
Definition of Manifestation:
- To show plainly
- To be made apparently clear
- To be made obvious
- To make something evident or known.
Manifestation of the power of God takes place during intense worship of God.
(..God inhabits the praise of His people…” Psalm 22:3)
There are two kinds of manifestation namely:
A. Positive: This reveals the nature of God through prophecy and word of knowledge and it edifies the body of Christ Colossians 1:26, Romans 16:25-26, 1 1 Corinthians 2:7-13.
What is expected of an Usher!
As an Usher you must be very alert and attentive. In fact, the words of knowledge or prophecy can be recorded by the Usher ministering to the altar.
B. Negative: Demonic/Evil manifestation. This also take place during intense worship where there is heavy flow of anointing (i.e flow of the power of God),”… yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing…” Isaiah 10:27.
So when there is flow of anointing, yokes are broken and people delivered.
Therefore we should expect certain levels of reaction from demons that hitherto possessed people. The reaction can be mild or violent (Mark 5:1-3), the Ushers need to be alert and ready both physically and spiritually to handle these reactions. This is why ushers must not close their eyes except when specifically asked to or kneel down or dance away as the demons only needs a careless usher to wreck havoc on the people or ushers. Ushers must pray continuously both in understanding and in the spirit.
What is needed by Ushers to control the situation.
- Plastic bowls in case of vomiting
- Tissue papers to clean saliva on the floor
- Mats to lay people down.
- Covering materials to prevent the display of the nakedness of women.
- All Usher should manage or carry female and vice versa
Ushers need wisdom and understanding as to know how to officiate during anointing services.
We need to maintain orderliness during services because our God is a God of order (1 1 Corinthians 14:40)
Distribution of Ushers
Ushers should be distributed evenly along the aisles in the auditorium.
These ushers are to help people that are falling under power of the Holy Spirit to prevent bodily injuries.
Ushers should be distributed at strategic positions in front of the altar to prevent pandemonium and to guard the altar and prevent rowdiness.
For Ministrations that involve calling people out
- Ushers must arrange the people to be in a straight line (s)
- Usher should stand at the back of each person to be ministered to on a one-to-one basis, ladies standing behind ladies and men behind men.
- The size and weight of the person you are helping must also be taken into consideration.
Note: In the case of a heavily pregnant lady, two lady ushers should stand behind the pregnant woman with their hands joined together to present a comfortable buffer for the woman in case she is slain in the spirit.
A word of caution for the Usher must be “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.”
CHAPTER 6: OFFICIATING AT NATIONAL PROGRAMMES
This serves as a summary of the operations of the department as it concerns programmers such as the Holy Ghost Service and every programmer at the Camp (Convention, Holy Congress, and Special Holy Ghost Service).
They are categorized, under the followings:
Every Usher is to present him/herself to the Secretariat (usually at the Vestry) for registration in the National register (additional registers are provided at the province level also). Make enquiries as it concerns your province.
Posting and auditorium operations
The general posting of Ushers is done through a chart that is made available to all province leaders who are expected to communicate same to his/her Ushers.
Ushers are then expected to report to the blocks area allotted to them where they are also expected to register; they are then allocated registration tags. No Usher is allowed to officiate without proper registration. The Usher is therefore to see these blocks as synonymous to their
local Parish. They are thus expected to:-
- See to the welfare of the Congregation in their blocks
- Take proper attendance (Twice during the service)
- Collect all offerings (Thanksgiving) within the shortest possible time with utmost caution and tact.
- Stay at their duty post to ensure decency and orderliness (1 1 Corinthians 14:40).
- Stay awake and alert. A new set of operational Id’s which are province specific is now introduced.
The Block Leader is now introduced
The block leader is the head usher of that block and is responsible for the overall operations of the block. Therefore, as much as practicable, only experienced, responsible and tested hands with a proven track record should be appointed block leaders. If an ordained usher fits the bill, such an usher should ordinarily be the block leader. Every usher in a block must report to the leader of the block who is expected to wear tag no. 1 and who should write his name first in the register for block. Other ushers will then register at the block level.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Block Leader
Every block leader must duly register at the Secretariat with proper identification. He or she is to arrange and conduct the ushers ministration in the block and bear full responsibilities for the success or otherwise of the ushers in that block.
He or she is to attend to national executives or their representative during monitoring or inspection of the block
To register all ushers in the block
To ensure that every usher in that block complies fully with all the regulations concerning appearance, dressing and comportment.
Must not leave the block anytime during the service except in an emergency and in such a case the block leader must hand over to the assistant usually no 2 tag.
To ensure that all the materials in that block, (baskets, bags, registers etc) are counted, recorded and accounted for at the end of the service.
To ensure that all the ushers in the block are upstanding and alert throughout the service and that none of them kneel, close their eyes or dance their head away during the service.
To remain alert to the message, instructions, requests from the altar and ensure they are carried out promptly.
To take full control of collection of offering and ensure no usher is idle during collection bearing in mind that time is essence of the exercise.
To take and cooperate with ushers in charge of attendance and record same in the book.
To do everything necessary to ensure that the ushering dept is not embarrassed. To quickly identify imposters, thieves and suspicious characters. A block leader should exemplify all the ideals of a perfect usher.
An officer-in-charge of auditorium operations is also appointed; he/she is responsible for the overall conduct of usher’s activities in the auditorium. He/she is to make sure offering are collected properly within the shortest time possible. He/she is the overall head of operations in the Auditorium and should take final decisions therein accept otherwise stated.
C. Vestry Operations
A number of recommended Usher (by the Province Head Usher) are involved in the Vestry operations where sorting, counting and recoding procedures of the Ushering departments is carried out.
The recommended Ushers are required to register here also.
An officer-in-charge of Vestry operations is also appointed and his/her responsibility is similar to that in that in the Auditorium, the difference is in the operations.
B. Special Holy Ghost Services
For Holy Ghost Services outside of the Camp, the following procedures are adopted:-
Survey: A good survey of the Arena is required, this can be provided by the Holy province which would be confirmed by the advance party to the venue.
Delineation: After the Survey has been gotten, the Area is now divided into blocks for ease of administration.
Registration Area: From the division above, a place is then set out as the registration area (Secretariat), the collation area for all ground works as it concerns the programme.
Officiating: Having done (i-iii) above, officiating can now be continued as if it were in the Camp.
Province head Ushers meet every third Sunday at Ebute Metta at 2.00pm we suggest head ushers of states outside Lagos meet thereafter every month. Efforts are made to forward copies of minutes to them.
WHEN IS AN USHER QUALIFIED TO OFFICIATE IN A PROGRAMME?
Complying with the dress code for that particular grogramme
Reporting at the secretariat in case of national programmes and registration point as the case may be in other programmes
Fill the registration from and duel signed. (See appendix 1)
Identify where to work in accordance to the working schedule (Roaster)
Report to the block leader(s) assigned by the provincial head
The block leader must register/report at the secretariat to collect all necessary materials – auditorium operations tags, offering baskets and bags statistic slips, block registration form, tags requisition form etc
No Usher who is unclear suspension of other disciplinary action should work.
V.I.P PERSONAL SECURITY GUIDELINES
The present security arrangement is not effective.
To secure a man look away from him and towards the crowd. Back him and face the crowd the potential source of threat.
Do not crowd him. Stay at least 3 feet away from him
Joining hands will only Incapacitate in an emergency be diligent.
Form a wide corridor.
Ushers should face the crowd rather than the altar.
VESTRY RULES & REGULATIONS
Bags, personal effects and the other belongings are not allowed in the vestry.
Recommendation must be made by your provincial leader / co-coordinator / or his /her deputy/ Representative. Consequence upon this recommended person must have the vestry operations tag of his /her province
Registration in the vestry Register must be done upon arrival.
There must be no loitering in the vestry when work is in progress. Everyone must be seated except assigned personnel.
No one is to carry money to and from tables and counting area except assigned personnel.
Sorting and opening of envelopes is to be carried out only by assigned personnel.
No sleeping on workbenches while work is in progress
Frequent movement in and out of the vestry is prohibited when is in progress.
Random searching may be carried out from time to time.
Identification and / or approval to be done on Province basis occasionally.
Large sums of money on person must be surrendered to vestry security before enter-and obtain a receipt or tags; on no account should money be found on any Usher’s on duty in counting environment.
Counting Machines and batching of counted notes to be carried out by assigned personnel.