If you’ve been using Planning Center for quite some time, there might be features lurking right under your nose that would vastly improve your worship-organization game… but you’re staring straight past them!

Take it from me. I ran a worship ministry for years under-utilizing PCO, and began to kick myself once I found some very simple solutions for issues I was facing, because they were literally right in front of me the whole time. But better late than never, and our ministry’s organization turned around in a heartbeat after that moment.

So here are some quick-fire ideas that are literally staring you in the face right now. If you aren’t using these quick-tips, go and do it right away!

Send Automatic Rehearsal Reminders

If you utilize the Service Times and Rehearsal Times in PCO, you can let everyone know when they need to be there. But what you might not know is that you can set up PCO to automatically email everyone at a time of your choice to remind them of their upcoming commitment. With busy schedules and lots of distractions these days, reminders are a good thing!

I would suggest reminding team members the day before any rehearsal or worship service. You can have those emails set up independently, and they will automatically default to those times if you ask PCO to do so.

This will help solve the headaches of missing team members immediately!

Add Notes. Lots and Lots of Notes.

If you have certain notes about a song (repeat chorus twice, end small and fade into next song, etc), about announcements (youth group on weds at 7pm, food drive starting next week, etc), or even prayer time (pray for the city, school, neighboring community, etc), you can pre-plan all of these things in PCO Notes for all to see.

I’m a big believer in over-communication. The more information you make available to the public (i.e. your volunteers and anyone else in PCO), the less confusion there will be when it comes down to the details. This will go a long way in helping smooth out transitions between elements, especially if you have people on the platform who aren’t on staff (such as faith story volunteers, etc).

If there’s something to be said about anything in your worship service, say it in Notes.

Stage Layouts Make Your Audio Engineer’s Life Happy.

Your sound engineer has a mighty task to accomplish each and every week. And if the sound engineer is a volunteer, it’s an even bigger task! Anything you can do to make their life easier is a huge win-win; it shows them you care, and in turn will give them more time to get your room sounding great and have a better mix!

So how does one help out a sound engineer with making their life easier? Well, within PCO, using the Stage Layout function is a huge time-saver. Using a standard square template (or by uploading a photo of your worship platform), you can drag-and-drop all of the vocalists and instrumentalists who are assigned to the service into their “spot” on the Stage Layout.

This will show the sound person where they need to route mics, cables, power, and more. By having all of that waiting for the worship team when they arrive, it will smooth out the entire process and give you more bandwidth to focus on leading worship well.

There you have it! It’s amazing how simple changes can bring so much value to you and your worship ministry. Take advantage of them, and go lead worship well!

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