One of the key characteristics of a great worship leader is administration and organization. It may not be glamorous, or even fun, but you literally can’t have a healthy worship ministry without administration and organization. In this month’s episode, I share 5 administrative systems, structures, and schedules that are necessary in order to have a healthy, thriving worship ministry.
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:12 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the worship leader training podcast, a monthly podcast for worship leaders and worship team members. If you’re new, we release one new episode per month on the first of the month. And it’s our mission to create very practical, very helpful in depth yet still to the point, topical resources. And that’s the key, we are aiming to create highly specific topical resources for worship leaders. So that one day, you can go to our website, and you can search for something very specific, and you’ll find multiple resources that are in depth and cover everything you want to know about that specific topic. So a couple of examples of resources that we’ve created recently are five ways that background vocalists can better support the lead vocal, the importance of song selection in worship, and seven key characteristics of great worship leaders. So those are a few of the recent topics we’ve created articles for you can find those articles, and many other topics at worship leader training calm. So that’s a little bit about us and who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish at worship leader training. Today’s topic is going to be about administrative systems, structures and scheduling to bring about health in your worship ministry. And I know that may seem boring, you’re like I’m going to turn it off right now. But don’t turn it off, I promise you, I promise you, you can’t have a healthy worship ministry. Without these things. If you don’t have good administrative systems, structures and scheduling, you will not have a healthy worship ministry. So I’m going to break down these vital areas of administration that you need to be looking at. And I’m going to give you some real life examples from my new ministry at my new church. Speaking of administrative systems, though, our recommended product of the month is Planning Center. Planning Center is super central to what I do. And I’ll be talking about it a fair amount in today’s episode. And what is Planning Center? Well, it’s a very powerful, yet easy to use online software that you can use to schedule your teams to pick your songs to upload your chord charts, to transpose music, all these things and more. There’s a really cool feature that if you link Planning Center to your song, select account, you can automatically import chord charts for the songs that you plan on playing. So there’s tons and tons of things that it can do. And I would recommend you check it out, it’s totally free to try for 30 days. And then after that it’s just 14 bucks a month. That’s the lowest plan. It goes up from there, depending on your team size, but it’s very affordable for what you get from it. I literally use it every day. So check out Planning Center by going to planning dot Center planning dot center. Okay, let’s jump into today’s episode about how to use administrative systems structure and scheduling to bring about health for your worship ministry.
Alex Enfiedjian 03:01 In March of this year, 2017, my family and I moved back to my hometown in Los Angeles, where I took the job of worship pastor at a very large mega church. This is a church that’s in the top 50 or so largest churches in the US. So let’s just say it’s very, very large. And you would think that in a massive church like this, they would have everything figured out and everything dialed in. But they don’t The truth is they didn’t. And specifically in the worship department, they really didn’t have things dialed in. So here are a couple examples. They were choosing their songs a few days before their services, teams were being scheduled via text messaging, the week of the services, the media department wasn’t finding out which songs to make slides for until the day of the service. And sometimes things would change the hour before service. And the team, you know, the team size was not very large. In fact, I’d say it was only one or two musicians deep. So maybe, let’s say 20 musicians total in a church of nine or 10,000 people. So something is wrong, right? Something is wrong. And the thing that is wrong are the systems and the structure. The systems and structure are not in place to support the ministry and the pace of ministry in this size church. And even in my last two churches, they were much smaller, maybe 567 100 people. And we had more musicians, we had the music being sent out a month in advance, band members were showing up prepared communication between worship and media was strong. But culture was good. Just I mean, all these things. So I guess a little side lesson would be don’t judge the health of a worship ministry based on the size of the church because you can have a healthy worship ministry in a small church and a medium church and a large church or in a mega church, if you put the right systems in place to bring about that health. So the things that we’re going to look at today, the administrative side of things, in any church size. If you put these things in place, I guarantee that your worship ministry will begin to become healthy if it’s not already. healthy. So, again, worship leading is not so much about musicianship. It’s more about leadership worship leading, you need to be a leader, and you need to have the health of your organization in mind. So strong systems lead to strong ministries. I know it’s not glamorous, but it’s true. So if you want to have a strong ministry, you need to improve your systems, your structure, and your schedule. So while you listen to this episode, I want you to think of what problems you are facing in your ministry. And ask yourself, How can I solve these problems by changing the structure of my ministry? If you don’t have any problems? Simply ask yourself, How can I make my ministry better? How can I make my ministry stronger? So I’m going to give you a few examples of systems that I’ve changed or put in place in these first few months at my new church. And then I’m going to get into seven areas that need to have strong systems and structure in order to continually improve and bring health to your ministry. So here are a couple examples of how changes to structure and systems have improved our ministry in these first three months that I’ve been at this church. Number one, since we didn’t have a midweek rehearsal, we didn’t have enough time before our Thursday night services to rehearse. It was just too cramped. So we created a simple solution. We asked the band to arrive half an hour earlier. So that’s a super simple scheduling hack to get more rehearsal time. Okay. But that was only half of the solution because the pastors used to come into the sanctuary and interrupt the rehearsal time with a group prayer time in the sanctuary, about a half an hour into our rehearsal, so they would totally stop us dead in our tracks in the middle of our already short rehearsal. So here’s another simple solution. I talked to the senior pastor, I said, Hey, this is kind of messing up our time to rehearse Can you pray in the greenroom instead of the sanctuary, and they agreed, and that simple scheduling change made our rehearsal an hour and a half instead of an hour. And we were able to get a good amount of time to get the song sounding good before service. But this isn’t the second problem. The second problem was the first 20 minutes of our rehearsal was eaten up by asking our sound tech change this in our ears, change this in our ears, and we were spending 20 minutes just getting our ears sounding fine, because there was eight people on stage and everyone needed tweaks, you know, for the first 20 minutes of rehearsal. So simple solution. How can we solve this by changing a structure? Well, we purchased a small, cheap rack mounted digital soundboard. And now we can each control our mixes from our smartphones. So in your mixes now take five minutes instead of 20 minutes. So now we gain 15 more minutes for our rehearsal. On top of that, I’ve had our sound tech pre set up some templates on the board, so that he has a very he has mixes for each of the instrumental so one for the vocalists, one for the drummer, one for the bass player, some baseline mixes. So each week when we start, we’re already starting at a pretty close baseline to a good mix. So that simple change to our structure or our system has purchased us 15 more minutes of time to rehearse. Number three problem that we faced when I got here. rehearsals were too short to spend time really working with the vocalist to assign parts like okay, sing verse and chorus. Let’s listen to the harmonies who’s going to sing which harmony, we didn’t have that kind of time. So here was a simple scheduling fix. To solve that problem that we were facing. We now send the vocalist backstage to work out their parts while the band works on their parts. And then we bring the vocalists out just for the last song or two to mix their ears. But now they’ve all worked out their parts, they’ve tightened things up, and they sound great. So that simple structural change has solved that problem. Number four, we had no time for prayer or discipleship with the team. Again, we never had a midweek rehearsal. So we couldn’t do any sort of spiritual discipleship. So what do we do? Well, there’s a simple fix. We have three services on Sunday morning. So now, one of the services, the first service, we bring the team backstage, and we do a Bible study and prayer time during that service, because we don’t need to sit in the service three times. So now we’ve made a change that has brought about a spiritual element to our teams. So those are just some examples of simple structural tweaks or scheduling tweaks that you can do to solve a problem. And that’s why I said I want you to think about which problems you’re facing in your ministry or what you wish could be better and ask yourself what kind of system or structure or schedule Do I need to change to bring about the results that I want in that area of my ministry. So hopefully, those four examples give you some ideas of the types of problems that you can solve by changing your structure. So okay, now let’s talk about the seven In areas that you need strong systems and structure in order to have a healthy ministry, the first one is auditioning or onboarding, you need to have an auditioning or onboarding process. And we’ve talked about this several times. And on the podcast, we had an auditions roundtable episode that you can check out. And recently, we had our episode about holding high standards in small churches with Katie young. And I’ll link to both of those episodes in the show notes for you. But truly, the auditioning onboarding process is so critical to creating health in your worship ministry. And if you don’t have one, you need to get one immediately. And I even have a free resource that you can download. It’s an auditioning template packet that you can download and fill in the information for your church and use that if you want to. But you really need one. So I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well. So here’s the thing about the auditioning process, think of the auditioning or onboarding process as the front door of your ministry. This is where you decide what type of people you lead on your team, and what type of people you keep out from your team. This is where you create culture. This is where you lay out expectations. It’s the most critical and most influential time to teach new members, what you want from them, what you expect from them, and what things are going to be like because truly, they are a blank slate at this point, they don’t have any frame of reference of how things were before they just come in. And you basically tell them how they are expected to behave. And if you tell them, oh, we come prepared every time and we come prepared and with a good attitude. And we’re on time. And that’s what’s expected of you, well, then guess what they’re going to come prepared and on time. And if they don’t come prepared on time, at least you’ll be able to refer back to the initial conversation and to those documents you gave them. When they came on the team, you say, Hey, remember when you came on our team, being prepared is a huge part of our culture, being on time is huge part of our culture and you haven’t been prepared for the last two months, I need you to work on that. Or this might not be a good place for you to serve. But if you don’t lay those expectations out up front at the front door, then you have nothing to point back to later. So those entry conversations or documents are super crucial to shaping the culture of your team, you really have to guard your gates to guard your culture, the gates, the front door, the auditioning process, that’s where you guard your culture. And that’s where you shape people into the culture you want. When they do enter through the gates. Again, I do have an audition process template, it’s free, you can enter your email and get it, you can go to worship leader training, comm slash resources, and I’ll link it in the shownotes. But it’s not just a document of team member expectations that you want to have during the onboarding process. You also want a document that you give people when they actually do make it on the team. Because there’s tons of information that you need to tell a new team member. And you don’t want to have to try to remember all the things you need to tell a new team member. And you also want to save your voice from saying those same things to every new team member 1000 times over the next 10 years. So what you can do is you can create a document that has information like rehearsal times and the code to get into the sound room and where to put your earbuds when you’re done using them, etc. So you create this document that when they come on the team, they have all the information they need to succeed. And it makes things very clear for new team members and it saves you from remembering and repeating those things a million times. And plus they get to hear it from you verbally and see it in writing. So make a document like that. Also consider making some videos. So for example, I’ve created a video of how to use our in your monitor mixing app.
Alex Enfiedjian 13:45 How do how do you make screeners so when a new team member comes on, they get to watch that and then the first time they’re at rehearsal, it’s not like something totally foreign for them. Or I also made a video of how to use Planning Center and how to block out dates. And the links for both of those videos go out in the initial planning center email, the welcome email that a team member gets when they make it through the audition process. So the team member gets this welcome email, and they can watch those videos and train themselves at home. So once you have a system in place for auditioning and onboarding, it’s good to schedule a couple times per year to promote that you’re looking for musicians. So put a couple of reoccurring reminders on your calendar to do some promotion, whether it’s bulletin announcements or an announcement from the stage, but reoccurring calendar events on your smartphone or your computer are your friend. And I’m going to talk about that a lot through the rest of this episode. So actually, let’s talk about that. Now. The next area to have systems and structure is in your scheduling for your team, for your songs and for yourself. So let’s start with the team. I like to have my team scheduled two months in advance. It’s good for me, it’s good for them. And obviously things change. You know, people can So like I just had a guy cancel three weeks in a row now. And I may have to have a conversation with him. Hey, you remember we talked about showing up when you’re scheduled, because we talked about that in the onboarding process, right. So I might have to have that conversation soon. So, but you have schedules in advance so that your teams aren’t like waiting, like, I wonder if I’m playing this week or not. But it’s good to have a plan. And obviously, things are gonna change. But if they know their schedules, and you know, their schedules, it’s great. So here’s how I use Planning Center to schedule my teams. This is how I do it at the end of every month. So let’s say it’s June, at the end of June, I text my entire team, I have group texts set up with an app on my iPhone called Connect. And unfortunately, you can’t text 30 people at once. So I have to break up my team into like groups of nine. But whatever works for you, I group text my team. And I tell them, Hey, can you believe June’s over already? Wow, I’m going to be scheduling August in the next few days. So please log into Planning Center and block out dates that you’re unavailable to play in August, please block out the dates. It’s very important for August, mind you, July was already scheduled at the end of the previous month. So I text my team, block out those dates, please. And then two days later, I follow up with them and say, Hey, if you haven’t yet, please block out the dates because I’m about to schedule August. Then once I send that second text message to my team, I go into Planning Center, I opened up all the plans in August, using the matrix view of Planning Center where you can see every single service for all your weeks, and I schedule my teams using the drag and drop matrix view in Planning Center. And this is really helpful because like, I can see that I’m not over scheduling someone or under scheduling someone I can kind of see, okay, these people are all playing a fair amount. And I can do multiple weeks at once. So and that’s the nice thing about Planning Center is if people can’t serve on certain days, like let’s say Johnny can’t serve on the third Sunday of each month, I can mark that in Planning Center. And if I try to schedule him, it will warn me, Johnny is blocked out on the third Sunday of every month. So that’s again, Planning Center is awesome. That’s why it’s one of our recommended products. So then once once I schedule all the teams for August, I click Send, and it sends out the emails to my team members. And people start accepting or declining those dates. And for the most part, they’re accepting those dates, because they’ve already gone ahead and blocked out the dates that they couldn’t serve. That’s why I text them at the end of the month. And usually I’ll check back a few days later. And if people decline, I’ll shift people around and fill in the slots. And when that’s done, I’m done for two months, I’ve got all of July scheduled and I’ve got all of August scheduled. So that’s how I schedule my worship teams. And that’s how I would encourage you to schedule your worship teams again, you got to find what works for you. But that’s a system that I do every month, my team knows it. They expected they’re waiting for the text, they block out the dates. It’s a habit.
Alex Enfiedjian 18:04 So that’s how I schedule my teams. Now let’s talk about scheduling the songs. I like to schedule my teams two months in advance and my songs one month in advance. Now that we’re at this new church, we have three unique services per month, Thursday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night. So it’s it’s harder for me to get a month out, I’m usually three weeks out, but I like to be scheduled in advance. Because I want my teams to have time to actually practice and show up prepared, because you can’t expect your band to rock the songs if they’re only getting them two days before service. These guys, they’re busy, they have lives, they have jobs, they have families. And if they’re only getting the songs a day or two before service, they’re not they may not have time to practice. So help your band succeed by getting them the songs in advance. And because I try to match my song selection to the themes of the sermon, that means I also need to get my pastor’s sermon texts ahead of time. So if the pastor doesn’t have like a sermon title, at least having the text that he’s preaching from will allow you to read through that passage and see which songs come to mind from the themes in the passage. So if your pastor is the kind of last minute preacher that many pastors are, then you’re going to need to cast a very compelling vision to him as to why it’s good for him to get you his passages in advance. So help him see that having his passages sent to you early will make the worship band better, which will make the church grow, which will increase his salary. And then maybe he’ll change his ways. I’m just kidding. Sort of. No, but really like you have to have this conversation with your pastor and paint a very vivid vision for him as to why it’s good for him for the team and for the church for him to get you his passages ahead of time so you can start picking your songs ahead of time. So for me picking my songs works well. like this every Monday, it’s on my calendar. Every Monday, I pick the songs for my services that are three or four weeks ahead of that Monday. And once the songs are in Planning Center, with all the resources attached, I make sure that there’s a chord chart, a clean chord chart, that’s
Alex Enfiedjian 20:15 huge. We’ll talk about that later. And an mp3 in the proper key. That’s huge. And I copy the link for that Planning Center plan. And I send it to the band that’s playing that week in a normal email. And I say, Hey, guys, here are the songs for that week. They’re in Planning Center, they’re ready for you to listen to make sure you know practicing. And I also in that email, include any notes that I want them to know like, Hey, guys, this is a new song. So please listen to the recording. Make sure you know it before you come. Hey, Jeff, can you learn the keyboard part for this song, etc. So that email gets sent out on Monday, sometimes Tuesday, if I have a crazy Monday, but my my team’s know, they’re gonna get an email that’s going to kind of just remind them Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to practice. So that’s how I schedule my songs. That’s my system. Now let’s talk about using a schedule for yourself for yourself. It’s important to use a schedule to remind you about things that are going to strengthen your ministry. So here are some of the worship tasks that I’ve turned into reoccurring calendar events on my Google Calendar Monday. Pick songs, email songs to teams, meeting with my staff worship leaders Tuesday, make Ableton Live Set and print chord charts Wednesday, make sure song sequences are correct in Planning Center for the lyric slides team. Thursday, vocal warmups, practice setup stage rehearse. So those are like the weekly stuff like you may or may not need those on your calendar. But here are the ones where it starts to build into the culture of your team. every third Wednesday, I have a reoccurring calendar event, text my team that I’m thankful for them and ask how I can pray for them. Last Thursday of the month, text the team to block out dates in Planning Center, first Monday of the month, schedule teams, second Sunday of every month, meet with volunteer ministry, worship leaders for worship leader training, fourth Sunday of every month, meet with youth band for kids training. And every quarter, I put this on my calendar worship team potluck meeting. Okay, so these calendar events helped me make sure that I don’t miss something important. That’s going to bring health to the ministry in the long term, it’s particularly easy to drop the ball on the things that happen less frequently. So reoccurring tasks are your friend, if you don’t use a calendar, start using one, set those times in your calendar and do them on a routine basis. And here’s the here’s the beauty of having a system like that, you know, you have to pick songs every week regardless. But if you can get ahead three or four weeks for your team, then when Monday rolls around, you’re still going to pick songs every week, you didn’t add more work to your life to stay ahead. It took you, you know, maybe two days worth of work to get ahead. Like let’s say, Okay, I’m going to plan out three weeks worth of sets. Yeah, that takes extra work. But once you’re ahead, it takes no extra work for you to just stay ahead. But the benefit for your team will be huge. So get ahead with your scheduling and stay ahead with your scheduling. And then you don’t have to have the stress of like last minute. Oh my gosh, what are we going to do? Okay, so that was having strong scheduling. The next area of administration, this is the third area of seven is to examine your resources, resources. These are the resources for your team members like chord charts, and mp3 is for practicing and any other tools that you give them to set them up for success, because you want to give your team the resources they need to succeed. And in my mind, there are two vital components to good resources. One, clear correct chord charts. Number two, mp3 is in the proper key if you have clear correct chord charts, and mp3 is in the proper key so they can actually practice the way that the song is going to be played. You are rocking it and you’re going to help your team succeed. Now clear chord charts I personally typed my chord charts up because I like my portraits to fit on one page and I sometimes put notes on my chord charts, I want them to be clear. And I have found that ccli song select chord charts are not very clear. I’m sorry ccli. But the portraits that you supply are very convoluted. So I type up my own chord charts. And I’ll tell you what, what I’ll do is I will put a download link of all of my chord charts that I’ve typed up by hand, I’ll put that in the show notes for you. You can download them for free. There’s like 350 files in there. You can have them just enter your email address. And that will save you a lot of typing and transposing because I have lots of songs in multiple keys and I’ll just put them in there for you guys as a little way to make your life easier. Again, everything I want to do with worship leader training is to serve you and make your life easier. I can’t promise those chord charts are all perfect. And I won’t be held responsible for a bad note on your next service if there is one, but for the most part, they should all be correct. So download those, use them and enjoy them.
Alex Enfiedjian 25:18 If you need to transpose your chord charts, there is a great website called transposer. Without the E, tr, a n, SP s are calm. And you can use that for free. It’s also made by the Planning Center team, but you do not need a Planning Center account. So check that out. Or here’s here’s the cool thing about your chord charts. If you use Planning Center services, if you type up your chord charts using the pro chord format, then and you type it up in their little chord box that they give you, it will automatically transpose your chord chart into every key that you use. Anyway, the point is to have great charts for your team, because it’s going to make rehearsal much, much easier. The other resource you need for your team is an mp3 that are in the actual keys that you’re playing with them. And if you play things exactly like the album recording, then there are some really great websites that you can use that will teach your team members the songs in the actual keys of the recording. So worship artistry, or worship online, both have all the instruments and show you exactly how to play the songs as they’re recorded. But if you don’t play the songs in the recorded keys, or if you rearrange the songs, or rearrange the sequences of the songs, or you come up with your own arrangements of songs, then it’s important to give your team the songs in the correct key. With the correct song sequence. Even a simple recording of you and your acoustic guitar in the proper key is better than no recording at all. And this will give your team members something to practice along with at home. Then when you come together to rehearse, this is cool, check this out. When you come together to rehearse, and you get the band arrangement pretty close to finalize, the best thing you can do is to record your band playing that song. And you can record the audio straight from the house mix. Or if you have nothing else like bare bones, just go set up your iPhone in the back of the room and hit record on your voice memo app. But capture the band’s arrangement of that song. So okay, here’s how we’re going to play it great. You guys ready? Okay, we’re going to record it, boom, you record it, you take that mp3 and you upload it to Planning Center. And now from now on your band knows Oh, that’s how we play that song. That’s how we arrange that song. That’s the structure of that song. And they can reference themselves playing it for future services. And what we do at our church is, every Sunday after service, I tell the mix engineer which service went best, and he sends me the audio files from that service. And I chop up the songs and I put them in Planning Center. And that way, my band has the basic arrangement. This is how we play it. This is where the riff comes in. This is the intro, this is the outro. And if you do that every service and you upload your recordings of service to Planning Center, within a year, you’ll probably have a recording of every single song in every single key that you’ve played so far. And that’s what your band will practice along to in the future. And when you get better recordings of each song, you can just replace the older version with the better sounding version. Again, this is a simple system that’s going to make you better. This is a resource that you’re going to give your team to help them succeed. One of the ways I like to think about resources is tools and time. Does your team have the tools they need? And does your team have the time they need to succeed? If you give them the right tools, with enough time to implement those tools, they will be successful. And if you really want to get crazy about resources, you can take it a step further. And you can actually do vocal recordings, where you have somebody sing the melody, the harmony, and the third part harmony, and you upload that vocal recording to Planning Center. So then your vocalist come knowing the parts really well. Again, the point is this, the better resources you give your band, the better your band will be. So that’s resources. Who, gosh, you’re getting tired. I’m getting tired of talking. Number four. Let’s talk about systems for sound and media. The fourth area of organization is to have systems for your sound and media teams. Do you have a way for your sound tech to know what sort of setup
Alex Enfiedjian 29:45 you’re going to have on the stage each week? How about lyric slides? Do you have a system for making sure that the slides people have the correct lyrics. So for us in Planning Center each week, I check the song sets to make sure that the songs have the correct sequence. Then our slides, people just log into Planning Center and they build their slides based on the sequences in their Planning Center plan, they don’t have to guess. And I go in, it’s on my calendar every Wednesday I check the sequences to make sure that they’re in the proper order. Also, our media team is using pro presenter, and they’re creating unique arrangements for each worship leader who leads. So once they create that arrangement, every time that worship leader goes up and leave that song, they have that arrangement saved in pro presenter, and they can easily call up the lyrics for that worship leader and how he plays that song. What you want to do, again, is to create systems that automate and improve upon themselves with time. So let’s talk a little bit also about sound systems. Having systems for your sound ministry is probably the most important area in where you should have structure and routine because organization goes a long way in sound ministry. Here are a few systems you can have in place number one, find the best microphone for each of your singers voices and then assign them to use that microphone each time they’re scheduled. I’ve talked about this in previous episodes. If you look at the seven principles for improving your churches sound episode, there is more info about that in there, but here’s a quick version of it one night before rehearsal have your singers come early, have multiple different microphones plugged in, turn off all the EQ on the microphones and have each singer sing into each microphone, find the mic that most naturally sounds best for that singer’s voice, and then tell them that’s your microphone from now on. And now your sound guy knows whenever Sally is scheduled, she uses the beta 58. Okay, so that’s one system you can have for your sound. Number two system, find the best mic placement for each instrument. And make sure your mic is placed in the same spot each week. So for example, you can mark your electric guitar amps with a small piece of black tape. And remember the microphone angle or even better just take a picture with your smartphone and keep it in an Evernote folder. So you know, okay, whenever this guitarist plays, his amp sounds best with this microphone angle. And this is where we put it and I have a picture of it and I can recall it if you have a digital soundboard. Number three. If you have a digital soundboard, save your EQ and compression settings for each of your team members. And recall those settings ahead of time before they arrive for rehearsal. That way when they get there, it’s already sounding good. Number four for in ear monitors or for wedges pre build mixes for the team members based on what they need to hear, so that when they arrive, there are only minor tweaks that you need to do if you have a digital system, save those mixes for easy recall in the future. Again, these are simple systems that you automate and improve upon with time number five, label your cables with the length of each cable and have a wall backstage with hooks on it. Hang the cables according to length and label the hook so that you know where to find each cable so you can quickly and easily get the cable you need out to the stage number six, keep an organized backstage sound closet area with specific drawers dedicated to mics or strings, etc. Here’s something I like to say God deserves excellence even backstage, amen. God deserves excellence, even backstage. Number seven, have an N year pinboard. So for our team, we have a cork board in the back. And there are a bunch of snack baggies pinned to it. And I wrote with a sharpie each of the team members name and so when they’re done serving, they take their ever ear buds off the ear of monitors and they put the earbuds in the baggie with their name on it that way. They don’t have to take them home,
Alex Enfiedjian 33:36 and they don’t forget them at home next time they come back because we have that happen a lot of times. So those are a few ways that you can create systems in your sound ministry. And again, when you have systems you can keep improving upon things. automation, plus improvement equals excellence. So it also means that you can free up your time to focus on other things. Finally, the last area on our list to use systems and structure is in communication. Communication. Communication is so key. Here are a few things that I do to keep my teams on the same page with communications. Number one, I have reminder emails set up in Planning Center. So a week before someone is scheduled to play, they get a reminder to say hey, just a reminder, you’re scheduled to play next Thursday. Number two on Saturdays, I’ll usually text my team that’s playing and I’ll say something like, I’m so excited to serve with you guys tomorrow. It’s gonna be a great morning. I’ll see you at seven. And that’s just a simple way to remind people. Hey, we’re starting at seven because we recently changed our rehearsal time so I hopefully just give them a small nudge to make sure that they’re at practice on time. Number three, after service I almost always text the team to say thank you for serving today. You guys did such a great job. And God’s people were so blessed or something like that. Just a note of encouragement for all the hours that They gave up to serve God. Number four, oftentimes, since I just got here, I want my team members to hear audio from the service so they can hear how they are gelling together with me as a new leader. And so I’ll text them a link to Dropbox. And I’ll say, Great job, guys. Here’s the audio from today’s service if you want to hear it, and everybody loves to hear themselves, you know, and everybody also is their own worst critic. So it keeps them improving and analyzing how they’re playing actually sound. So that’s just a way to say, hey, thanks. And here’s how you sound it. And again, I said this in the beginning, I use an app on iPhone called Connect. Or you can use there’s one called group text Plus, I think, but find a group texting app. That’s what I use to text my team. And beyond all the weekly reminder stuff, I use email to communicate about important changes. So like when we switch to our new in your monitor system, I wrote up an email detailing the changes when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, how they’re going to use the stuff. And also, beyond the weekly stuff, I found that it’s important to have team meetings from time to time to check in on how the team is doing, and also to help them see what’s coming next. So what I do is I keep an Evernote folder, or a file with things for the next team meeting. So whenever I have an idea, or we got to talk about that, or that’s changing, or this is coming up, I’ll put it in that Evernote file. And every you know, two or three months, we’ll get together we’ll have potluck, and I’ll encourage them. And I’ll share some of those things from that Evernote file. And I’ll cast vision for the future. So those are some ways that you can create structure to the communication aspect of your worship team. So Whoo. I’m tired. Are you tired? That’s it. We made it. I said there were seven things I lied. There’s only five five areas of administrative system structure and scheduling. So those are the five vital things. Again, these things aren’t very glamorous, and they mostly happen behind the scenes. But when these things are present and strong in a ministry, then the ministry itself is going to be strong. So I hope this episode helped you. Again, you can see how vital Planning Center is and what a huge part it is. So please check out our sponsor Planning Center at planning dot center. But that’s really all we have time for today. Thank you for listening, I really am glad to be a part of your ministry and of your life. I feel honored that you would let me into your ears every month. And if these episodes are helping you please help us by sharing them with friends. I always make it very easy for you to do that. If you go into the show notes, you can click the appropriate link and it will share this episode to whoever you want to, whether it’s on social media or a text or an email, so feel free to share this episode with a friend. Next month I will be back with another helpful episode but in the meantime, feel free to visit worship leader training for more articles, resources and podcasts for worship leaders. God bless you guys. I will see you soon.
One of the best explanations of systems I’ve ever heard on worship leading, I feel Planning Center is essential for employing the techniques you mention, thankfully I convinced our church to get it! Blessings, Evan
Thanks Evan! Super encouraging! Glad it was a help to you! It’s always the goal. 🙂