Several youth helped usher at Easter morning worship this year, and the response has been a little surprising. The grown-up ushers urgently want the youth back. The youth were way into it too; one of them wrote in her Confirmation statement of faith that ushering on Easter was the closing argument for the case that active church membership was for her.
It wasn’t my idea. The Head Usher twisted my arm. It was tit-for-tat, actually, because I asked him to help me with something on Palm Sunday, and he said, “If you’ll help me by getting some youth ushers to help with Easter morning.” Done.
They weren’t doing “regular” usher work, though, which at first perturbed me. Rather than guiding people to their pews, the young people were positioned at staircases and elevators to greet people and direct them to the sanctuary. They jumped in, no questions asked. I’ve found out two important things about that: 1) the ushers have wanted people in those non-sanctuary roles but haven’t had the bodies for it, and 2) the people at the staircases and elevators are flustered, late, and a little grouchy, so a smiling, confident teenager is just the thing for them.
We’re going to experiment with a regular rotation of youth ushers over the summer months, when the Sunday morning programming is on break. It’s a grown up role for which teenagers are well-suited. No. It’s more than that. Adolescents contribute particular value to this task as adolescents.
Ushering, you guys. Ushering.