Worship Organizer

I was poking around the Internet this week and I discovered this web-based worship organizer program. It looks really cool! It’s a monthly service that costs about $35 a month. I would use it to plan services, organize songs, and create musician assignments. The people on the music team would be able to go to this website and in a few clicks print out a service order which would include lyrics. Then they could get their PDF charts off the same site and even get access to song files to listen to the song. They could then go in to the calendar/schedule section and access their own personal schedule to see when they are assigned, and THEN they can even click on dates that they are unavailable or in one click they can send an email to a sub. This program even automatically sends email reminders to the musicians when they are playing a particular week. This program could seriously streamline my job, help me stay organized and up-to-date, and it would give the musicians enormous freedom to access music and be involved in their scheduling.
Some possible cons:
1. I have found that there are some people on the team who are extremely techno-phobic. They have mastered email, but if you ask them to do much more they start to sweat. I have grown up around computers and find computers safe and predictable (in their own way.) But, I know there are folks who find computers confusing and threatening. (Not to mention those folks who have no computer at all.) Would this program be user friendly enough for even the most technically impaired?
2. Some folks on the team put very little prep into their involvement on the team. They seem to just float into the rehearsals without any preparation and often fail to show up to things that they are assigned to. Would this program be heavily used by a handful of team members while everyone else would still expect me to be their mom, doing all the work for them, even though they would have this powerful tool at their disposal?
3. I spend too much time in front of the computer already. I could see this program helping me to speed up all of that so that I can do the more relational aspects of ministry, but it could also turn out to be computerized quicksand. Would I find myself mired in the technical details of getting this program to work for me while neglecting the flesh and blood work of ministry?
What do you think? Is it worth a try?

  1. #1 by Heidi M. Vincent on January 19, 2006 - 2:34 pm

    Hi all!
    I say streamline on! The automatic email reminders and easy access to audio files seems splendid. In reference to the getting bogged down in the technology mire, honestly, the tutorials, that new programs are equipped with, are amazing these days. I think you will have little trouble getting cozy with the features. If you do get a bit muddy, most programs have wizard features that can answer an absorbent amount of user questions…I think? Well, the ones I’ve installed do. In any case, thanks for looking out for our best interest…in a rockers voice I say: “Streamline On!”

  2. #2 by Josh Henning on January 19, 2006 - 3:06 pm

    Excelleny idea. You have my full support (which means I will be personally responsible for showing Jeremy how it works.

  3. #3 by bryce on January 19, 2006 - 5:35 pm

    Great idea! If you don’t already prepare than this will probably not help that person. I like it though.

  4. #4 by Aimee on January 19, 2006 - 9:04 pm

    I have the feeling that comments on your blog will be biased toward the “yes” side— because those of us who read your blog are the initiative-taking computer-users of the group!
    While in the middle of reading your post, problems with implementing the program with our particular group started brewing in my mind. Then I finished reading and saw that you’ve thought of them too. I was concerned about both #1 and #2. Especially #2. And #1. Hmmm.
    Speaking for myself, I find the current setup adequate, but would utilize the program if you implemented it. I say if 75% of the group would use it then it would be worthwhile. I would also say if problem #3 were to occur then you could always cancel the subscription.

  5. #5 by Dan McGowan on January 25, 2006 - 8:01 am

    I wonder if this “mothering of the praise team members” is a problem in more churches than just yours and mine! Sometimes it’s almost to the point where I fully expect my guitar player to say, “Dan, I’m tired – will YOU strum for me today?” One way I have dealt with this is to only hand out some information once. I make sure everyone knows (via email, phone calls, etc) WHEN we are meeting. Then, I hand out important info at that meeting, and that meeting ONLY. If they don’t GET the info, tough beans. Now, this can (and has) impacted their involvement down the road – but I’d rather have 3 dedicated, passionate people on the team than 10 lazy ones, if that makes sense…. I may check this organizer thing – looks interesting….

  6. #6 by kirk on January 25, 2006 - 9:35 am

    i have heard it said that the best volunteers are the ones who are FAT. Faithful, Available and Teachable. This might be the qualifications that can best be aplied to the disciples. Jesus had a lot of followers, and there are plenty of stories in the Gospels of people who were given the opportunity to follow him, but they failed because they were not FAT.
    I think we, as leaders, are so consumed with fear that we will loose all our volunteers that we foster an environment of mothering. If we look to Jesus’ example, we see that he presented the invitation to follow and take up our cross, then he turned and kept walking. He left it to the individual to take the steps to follow; he didn’t hold their hand and drag them. He trusted in the Father’s sovereign control and the Spirit’s leading.
    I might follow your example and do more to force my volunteers to take ownership of their participation.
    Thanks for your comment!

  7. #7 by Aimee on January 25, 2006 - 1:36 pm

    The thing is…
    not only is musical worship your passion, it is your JOB and is therefore that much more of a priority for you. You probably think about it as much as I think about my job, and maybe spend about as much time at it. None of the volunteers you have will possibly dedicate as much time and thought as you do, no matter how committed.
    Knowing that your musicians are volunteers who
    1) have less passion about it, and
    2) have demanding families, careers, and church commitments and therefore MUST prioritize volunteer music team lower than you do;
    you can see the explanation for the difference in our attitudes/work ethic/level of commitment. I’m not saying we shouldn’t step up– we definitely could stand to see people taking more initiative and being more committed and having a better team attitude etc.– but I think we’re going to have to meet somewhere in the middle, between where we are and where you’d rather we be.
    That having been said, I LOVE singing on the worship team even more than I used to because you are there to lead and organize. You already HAVE done a lot to enable us to “take ownership of our participation” with all the work you’ve done with organizing schedules, arranging and providing charts, keeping the website, and keeping a blog about it. Yes, it is now up to us to follow through on our responsibilities.
    To sum up, I think it a matter of attitude and priorities, and I don’t currently have any proposals for mechanisms to change what needs to be changed there. Not yet. Not besides bringing a bullhorn and a whip to practices.

  8. #8 by tony carvalho on February 2, 2006 - 10:46 am

    Doesn’t sound like it would improve much on what you are using now. We can e-mail a sub, write down the dates we are playing, download pdf files including lyrics and if we need music just ask for a cd. Where’s the benefits? A lot of fluff for way too much money! Your arguments against it seemed to say it for me.
    I like getting an e-mail everyweek from you and checking on what’s happening. Makes me feel more in-touch. I click a link and am taken to the New City website. That’s where I’d prefer to get my info.
    Love God, Play loud!

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