New Updates – Song Mapping and Improved Text Notifications

We’ve update worshipplanning.com to include a new feature that we know many of you worship leaders will love:


ordering in song librarySong Mapping

This new tool allows you to easily map out the order of choruses, verses, intros, bridges, and more.  Each song can have a “default” mapping that is defined in your song library, and then it can be easily changed in the worship flow.

The mapping you set for a particular worship service is accessible by your team members via MyWP and many of the worship flow print options.

We’ve also create a brief video tutorial on how to use this feature.  You can view it here:
http://www.screencast.com/t/GZzI66VJK7xH

Improved Text Message Notifications

Text notifications from WorshipPlanning.com is nothing new (here’s how to do it if you didn’t know).  But in the past WorshipPlanning.com sent text messages using email-to-text gateways run by cell phone carriers.  And not all carriers were consistent about messages being delivered when sent this way (especially carriers in Europe and Australia).

With this update to WorshipPlanning.com, we’ve begun using an SMS expert service call Twilio.  If you already have text notifications set up and working for your account, you shouldn’t have to do anything for this new SMS service to start working.  But if it has not worked for you before, try re-setting up your text notifications in WP and it should work a whole lot better.

Privacy Info Defaulting to “Most Private” 

When creating a new Helper or Planner account, the default setting for “Contact Info Privacy” has been changed from “Visible to all helpers at my church” to “Hidden from all helpers”.  This setting has always been accessible to Planners creating the account and the person whose account was created.  But in the age of increased privacy concerns, it makes more sense to default it to the most private setting.

By the way, accounts that were already set up were not modified with this update.

Exporting 

The tool used to export worship flow to Word and Excel has been updated to work better with Mac OSX based computers.

How to Be Successful in Your First 90 Days on Church Staff

Joining a church leadership can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Whether you’re joining as a paid staff member or an unpaid, volunteer staff member, there are a few things to keep in mind as you get started in the first 90 days.

1. Don’t Make Drastic Changes90 days
During your first 90 days, it should not be your goal to make huge changes in the ministry you are leading. (i.e. “firing” the entire worship team) Fast changes can impact ministries in negative ways and hurt people unintentionally. Take things slow. Think long-term.

2. Listen to Your Volunteers
A great goal during your first 90 days is to meet every volunteer in your ministry on a one-on-one basis. So much of ministry is about relationships. Make it your priority to build relationships and get to know those already on your team. Listen to their concerns and ideas. If you can take the volunteers out to coffee one-on-one during your first few months, it is an investment worthwhile.

3. Pray for Your Church
This is an obvious one, but in our excitement as we get started in our new role, it’s easy to forget to pray for those you are serving with and ministering to. Ask your volunteers, when you meet with them, how you can pray for them. We can never lose by praying for God’s church and His people.

4. Receive Feedback From Your Pastor (or Supervisor)
If you have the opportunity to receive feedback on your “job performance” on a regular basis from your pastor or supervisor, it will help you have longevity in your role. For example, if you’re a worship leader, it would be extremely beneficial if you and your pastor sat down on a Monday or Tuesday to review the past weekend services. It will ensure that what you are doing lines up with the pastor’s vision and will help you continue to improve.

5. Be a Team Player
Even if you are leading one specific ministry of the church, be willing and available to help in other areas. Churches are looking for team players, not lone rangers.

These are just a few things that will help you be successful in your first 90 days on staff at a church. What other things have you found helpful in your experience? Share in the comments below:

-Mark Logan

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