April 10, 2005 Q & A

Women Ushers


At church services, ushers greet people and provide church bulletins for the service; then part way through the service they collect the offering. May both men and women perform these functions, or is there a Biblical basis for limiting them to men only? If the former, is it customary in the OPC to limit them to men? Or does each local church decide for itself on the matter, based on custom and/or on practical considerations?


Usher is not, according to our form of government, an office within the church. Our denomination recognizes from Scripture that there are three distinct offices: ministers, ruling elders, and deacons. We believe that it is these three offices which are restricted to men only. Only a man can be, according to he Word of God, a minister, ruling elder, or deacon.

That means that other functions within the church are open to women. In our church, for example, women teach Sunday School to the children and perform many other worthy functions.

Traditionally, in OPC churches the ushers have been men and so have the offering collectors (at least in the few OPC churches I have been in—there may be some that are different). But that really is only tradition. There is nothing in our form of government, nor in our doctrinal standards (i.e., the Westminster Standards), nor in Scripture that would forbid us from using women as greeters, ushers, or offering collectors (presuming that such a person would not be leading in prayer—such as an offertory prayer—during public worship).

I hope this helps. Please feel free to follow up with me if you have a further question.



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