Managing Church Finances: Choosing Ushers Wisely

Managing Church Finances: Choosing Ushers Wisely

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Choose Ushers Wisely – Here are tips on screening, selecting and training ushers on handling money.

Your ushers are at the heart of the internal controls necessary in setting up your systems for managing your church finances.  They will be the first ones handling the money.

Seriously, not just anyone can be an usher. In the same way that not just anyone can teach a Sunday school class or sing in the choir.  Having the right ability, gifts and passion matters a whole lot. When choosing new ushers the things to keep in mind are the spiritual qualities and characteristics that usher should have and do take care to involve the Pastor or Ministry Team Leader in the selection process.

Spiritual Qualities of an Usher

What comes to mind are the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.   The objective here is not about obtaining perfection but establishing that the desire to live a spirit-filled life is the basis for choosing to serve as an usher.  While all the fruits of the spirit referred to are important, those mentioned below need particular mention.

  • Faithfulness – If you are faithful as a Christian you will be faithful as an usher.
  • Gentleness – It is a mark of maturity when an usher never throws around his or her authority. The humble usher who seeks to put others first despite how pressuring the situation is, is the best usher to have.
  • Self-Control – The usher who cannot exercise self control will not be able to control a large crowd. It is in the midst of hectic moments and last minute changes that the usher’s self control is tested.

 Personal Characteristics of an Usher

Now, the usher plays a vital role in church ministry and it is essential that they understand this. As such the usher should be someone who enjoys and care about people, possess the heart of a servant and is committed to the vision of the church. They need also to be supportive of the church’s leadership.

Training

It is just good sense that ushers be trained to carry out their functions, especially when it comes to the handling of the money. The specifics such as how much area each usher is to handle, which two ushers are to accompany the money for counting, the actual procedures for taking the money to the location for counting and other details need to be laid out and known by all involved.

Here are some general but practical guidelines that the church can modify or adopt as good practices. The usher should:

  • Maintain good personal hygiene and proper appearance.
  • Be on time every time. To help to achieve they should show up
    • Leaders should arrive at least 30 minutes before the service
    • Other ushers should arrive at least 20 minutes before the service
  • Wear a name tag.
  • When required to serve, give it full and total attention to serving.
  • Call the leader of the church or group if you are on the schedule and can’t make it.

These are matters that would be covered at training to which all ushers should be mandated to attend before they are allowed to serve.

Authored by: Belinda Whitfield

Belinda Whitfield is a Certified Public Accountant. Her firm Whitfield & Associates specializes in helping churches and non-profits obtain their 501c3 status, get control of their finances and stay in compliance with IRS and state guidelines.

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