Leadership training - Lesson 10

By Stafford North

Serving Communion and Ushering


To inform the class of good procedures in serving the communion and ushering so those serving can contribute to a good worship time.


  1. Many seemingly insignificant matters play a rather important function in making worship effective.
    1. The congregation is easily distracted by those who seem uncertain about what they are to do or by clumsy performance of responsibility.
    2. Latecomers, uncomfortable temperature, and unusual noise will also draw many minds away from worship.
  2. Serving the Lord’s Supper and ushering are services which seem simple and rather unimportant, but if done well, they can add much to the overall worship; if poorly done, on the other hand, they can be very distracting. Subject Sentence: Here are a few suggestions on serving the communion and ushering.


  1. Serving the Communion Should Be in Keeping with the Dignity and Beauty of the Memorial.
    1. There is no more solemn occasion in all Christian worship than the memorial of Jesus’ body and blood.
      1. It is a time for quiet meditation on the meaning of the cross and resurrection, on our own spiritual condition, and on the return of the Lord.
      2. Thus we look back to his death, burial, and resurrection, look forward to his return, and look inside to our own spiritual needs.
    2. The serving of the communion must be in keeping with this moment of quiet devotion and personal introspection.
      1. When you preside at the table:
        1. introduce the service with a reading or brief comment on some occasions but do
        2. be dignified but warm and thoughtful.
        3. offer thanks for the bread and the cup and work to avoid the worn out phrases such as “and may those who partake do so in a manner well pleasing unto thee,” “the broken body of our savior on the cross,” and “we continue our thanks for this fruit of the vine.”
        4. handle the trays with the least motion possible and work neither too fast nor too slow.
      2. When you serve the congregation:
        1. dress appropriately for the occasion.
        2. know in advance where you are to sit, stand, and take the trays.
        3. work efficiently but do not give a hurried appearance.
        4. avoid anything that would call the attention of the congregation to you rather than to the worship: noisy shoes, whispering, uncertainty, or dropping the tray.
  2. The Usher Can Serve in Many Ways to Make the Worship More Meaningful.

    1. The goal of the usher is to serve so well that no one is aware of the many things he does.
    2. The usher should arrive at the church building in proper attire well in advance of the beginning time for the service (fifteen to thirty minutes depending on the size of the congregation and the time required for preparations).
      1. If asked, he should check the temperature and make necessary adjustments.
      2. If asked, he should check the lighting and speaker unless these are specifically assigned to someone else.
      3. He should check the distribution of song books.
      4. He should prepare any materials he will need such as visitors cards and pencils, visitors tags, and any materials he is to distribute before or after the service.
    3. As the people begin to arrive:

      1. Greet all who come in a friendly manner-make them feel welcome.
      2. Assist as necessary with seating-attempting to get the audience seated at the front first.

        1. Ask the preacher or one making announcements to mention this occasionally.
        2. Particularly in a large auditorium, someone standing in the aisle about two-thirds of the way to the front, facing people as they come down, can get many to move further down than they otherwise would.
        3. The worship will be far more effective with the people comfortably crowded near the front than scattered over the entire building.
        4. One of the most distracting occasions is the seating of latecomers, particularly if all the back seats are taken and they have to go to the front and crawl over several to get to a seat.
      3. Especially when the auditorium becomes crowded, know where seats are available and know the simplest way to get to them so that latecomers can be seated with a minimum of disturbance.
      4. Unless you have seats which can be reached without disturbing those already seated, seat latecomers between songs or after prayers; this is bad but is not as bad as distracting during a song, prayer, or reading.
    4. During the service keep aware of temperature problems before the audience becomes aware of them and make necessary adjustments; and remain available for anyone who needs help.
    5. After the service, get visitors cards on any missed earlier, greet as audience leaves, assist in distribution of materials.


  1. There will be little recognition for doing well at passing the communion or ushering, but these jobs can assist in setting the proper tone for worship.
  2. Whether the task is large or small, praised or unnoticed, whatever we do for the Lord should be done well.

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