An Exercise in Humility

Dawn of Victory by Rhapsody of Fire
Lux Triumphans by Rhapsody of Fire
Holy Thunderforce by Rhapsody of Fire
Rhapsody’s 2000 album, Dawn of Victory, seems to be pretty high-powered. It’s heavy on rapid guitar riffs, while the more recent albums have a more symphonic sound.

-See previous entry

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. –Psalm 84:10

Today was my first experience in ushering for our church. Although CCF has a regular ushering ministry, the leadership thought it would be a good idea to recruit people from the various pastoral areas and rotate between them over a course of two months. I think it’s a great idea–it would help people get to know each other more (helpful in our congregation, which is huge), it would add vital help to the current ushering ministry, and it would also give church members a new way of seeing how the church works.

It is completely unfortunate that some churchgoers do not really respect the ushers, resenting them for doing their job. I guess this new program would help people realize that they have no right to act in such a way–to begin with, everyone in is called to be a servant, and more importantly, they are in a place of worship.

But why do we have ushers in church? This practice goes way back to Old Testament worship, wherein the Levites would prepare the Tabernacle of God (later the Temple) for worship. They were responsible for security, order, and in general, helping the priests and the people. The same is true for ushers in contemporary churches. We guide the worshipers, direct them to the placers they’re supposed to be in, and watch out for opportunistic pickpockets who pose as churchgoers. (Our ushers have apprehended children trying to fish money out of the tithe boxes).

Today I was assigned to the lower floor where the overflow hall and the Sunday school rooms were. I stood in the entrance, greeting people and handing out the brochures that my mom’s team had assembled for the recruitment of Sunday school teachers. Sounds easy? Not for me.

I am not a sociable person. I’m an ISFJ[link], so I tend to prefer to keep to myself. It was only by the grace of God that I’m able to reach out of my comfort zone, because I’d rather not. Part of my “training” came from my experience as a teacher–this definitely helped me switch between my comfort zone and the Great Outside more easily.

With the logic of ushering being “act in an infectiously friendly way,” I did my best to try to make the worshipers’ Sunday a bright and sunny one. I dressed in a yellow dress shirt and a navy blue tie (instead of my typical polo and cargo pants) and fixed my hair as best as I could. (Of course I did not forget to make sure the air in my personal space was breathable) Above all, I did my best to affect a generally pleasant demeanor of alertness, warmth and action. So how did it turn out?

I learned that there really are some people who would rather not pay attention to someone else. It may be because of a problem, it may be that they’re simply shy–but sometimes you can see that they’re obviously trying to evade your attention, especially since you’re handing out something. Of course, there’s nowhere to run when I’m standing in the stairway and you’re trying to get to an area beyond me, so I’m able to (gently) ambush them, greet them and give them a brochure. Inwardly I felt that they should get used to the presence of ushers in church and that it would be nice of them to at least make eye contact. Some people do, some don’t. Being an usher isn’t like D&D in the sense that it would be a series of Diplomacy skill checks. In some cases people might warm up to you and greet you back, others might just nod, others might totally try to avoid your gaze. It’s not just your way of dealing with them that matters; their way of dealing with others figures into the equation too. It was ultimately an interesting way of seeing how people react to things.

I definitely enjoyed this. While I don’t usually associate with people, I do enjoy watching them, and a little greeting and a smile is I worth seeing all these people. Of course, in the final analysis, I’m doing this for the Lord, and doing anything for Him–even being a doorkeeper–is an honorable act.

Guarding the doors,
Your Black Lion


~ by J. R. R. Flores on June 10, 2007.

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