Recently I made the Sunday morning rounds at our church which include shaking the hands of all of the ushers dutifully assigned to the entrances of the sanctuary.  I noticed that one of our long-time ushers – Bob- had lost noticeably lost weight. I shook Bob’s hand and thanked him for being a great ambassador for the church and continued with my rounds.  Later, I inquired about his health to one of our staff members and she shared with me that Bob had recently received a cancer prognosis and would soon begin chemotherapy.  Consequently, I wrote Bob a note expressing my concern and appreciation for him and I will continue to offer him pastoral care.  Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about the profound witness of Bob’s presence at our sanctuary entrance that morning. It certainly would have been understandable if- after the shock of learning of his cancer- he had called in and told his he would be unable to usher….. but he didn’t.  Instead there he was, smiling and greeting people on behalf of his church. For that sacred Sunday morning time, Bob was more intent on ensuring that others had a meaningful and enjoyable worship experience than he was focused on his own problems  

As clergy leaders in the church, we would do well to remember and constantly value the ongoing witness of our many lay leaders and volunteers who belong to the priesthood of all believers. I know that this week I give thanks for Bob and his ministry within our church!

Article by Dr. John Fiedler

Director of Mark Craig Leadership Network, Preaching Associate Minister at HPMUC

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