Thursday, July 28, 2005


This past Sunday, while exchanging small talk with the head of ushers (who is also on the board), I observed a parishioner approach the usher and offer to man the "greeter's post" at a nearby vacant entrance. Apparently, whoever was supposed to be there had not shown up.

Well, the usher hemmed and hawwed, and finally said ok, but noted that the volunteer parishoner wasn't wearing a jacket and tie. Clearly, the volunteer was insulted, but nonetheless went to the spot where he shook hands and distributed the weekly bulletin as people entered.

I did my best to hide my agitation. Trying to get the man thinking, I recalled a church I visited a few months ago where I was greeted by a guy in shorts and an Eagles jersey. The old usher chuckled, then recounted the story of a young guy who showed up at our church not long ago wearing a baseball cap. The kid was in his mid to late teens, and no one had seen him in church before. When he entered, the old usher told him, "That's not something we do, here." The kid walked in and sat down, cap intact. Well, the usher signaled another usher, who went over and told him he was going to have to lose the headgear. For whatever reason, the kid didn't want to take off his cap. Finally, they hounded the kid so much that he got up and walked out of the service. No one has seen him since.

The usher smiled smugly, as if to say, "We won. Nobody defies us and gets away with it." (For his sake, I hope that kid wasn't one of those angels that we "entertain unawares")

I turned and walked away, the contents of my thoughts summed up by the title of this post.


da said...

Amen, there is a way to address this. Man, when as Christians, Evangelicals or whatever, going to realize that the message and the absolute Truth of God are the most important rather than the way someone looks. Your site reminded me of the Scripture "man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart."

Steve said...

This usher/board member is most likely a reflection of his pastor and the "attitude of leadership". Plain and simple. Sorry but it is true. You've got a "Pastor Problem" my friend. Because the leadership of your church doesn't get it the people won't ever get it.

I think someone needs to attend the next church board meeting and say something. Shake it up right! Of course they probably won't be able to fit it on the agenda with all the other "very important" decisions to be made.

loren said...

The title of your post said it all, and it's hard to add anything to it. Arrrgh!

Grampa Dan said...

I was once attended a church service at Benton Street Baptist in Kitchener, Ontario Canada about 5 years ago.

The preacher stopped his sermon and said to a young woman in a pew with two young children. that they had to sit up straight as he would NOT continue to preach with them reclined beside her on the pew.

He stated again that he wouldn't continue to preach until were either sitting upright or removed to the nursery. The ushers came and removed the children to the nursery.

I stayed for the rest of service but I should have left the moment this debacle happened.

I never want to go back there again, and tell all who ask about this specific church my experience.

What an graceless and un-welcoming church with this display of a power mad minister.

Would Jesus have stopped his speaking if this happened to him?

I think I recall John was leaning against Jesus at the last supper account in my bible.

Dan Hergott