3 out of 4 stars
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Gladys Tywanna Smith’s Guide for Ushering in the 21st Century takes the reader behind the scenes of Trinity Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. This short novel provides insight into the church’s struggle to establish a united and reliable leadership team. Gladys Tywanna Smith is placed in charge of training the ushers, but the task proves to be much more daunting than it may seem. She can’t seem to find anyone that matches her passion for ushering, as evident by the overwhelming amount of opposition she receives from those around her. However, Smith knows that God has called her to his service, and she never allows her efforts to solidify her church’s leadership team to dwindle.
I enjoyed the many bible verses sprinkled throughout the novel. They connect Smith’s teachings to those of Christ and reveal how the Word of God dictates her actions. The key points of the text are also highlighted in bold. This was very helpful to me because it allowed me to pick out the main themes and ideas to remember from the story.
What is so unique about this autobiographical narrative is that it partly reads like a novel. Many people can become disinterested with Christian books that make them feel as if they are being preached to with every word. Smith’s novel does include many of these long insightful phrases, but the author frequently incorporates her own experiences to keep the plot moving forward.
After reading Smith’s guide, I have a new appreciation for the ushers at my church. I had no idea how much work actually went into ushering. Ushers are there to provide for their guest’s every need and to make sure that each visitor has the best experience possible. They are the friendly face that every guest sees as they arrive, and they are in charge of making sure every person is seated comfortably for the service. For the entirety of the sermon, they are focused on watching over the church and are prepared to spring to action in the case of an emergency.
While very informational, the text could be a little repetitive at times. There were a few grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes that I saw as well. Because of this, I feel that Smith’s Guide for Ushering in the 21st Century should receive 3 out of 4 stars. Anyone looking to become more active in their church or even just wanting to know more about how to lead through faith should pick up this quick and easy read.
Guide For Ushering In The 21st Century
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