6 Helpful Apps For Every Worship Team

28 January 2015

The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to take a step back and look at how we do things … I definitely do it every year!

It can be looking ahead and making our New Year’s resolutions, or taking a honest look back at 2014, or just pausing to examine the present…

For us as a worship team, we always take the first few weeks in January to re-examine how our team works … we put everything on the table, and we diligently and prayerfully consider what needs to change for us to move forward into what God has for us.

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We look at what works and doesn’t work about our team, our gaps and our successes, and we endeavour to change what needs to change!

6 APPS WE CURRENTLY USE

One of the areas I always take a hard look at is our processes and systems. This area can either be an incredible blessing to our team and help propel us forward, or it can be a time-consuming mess that holds us back.

As our team grows and technology changes, we regularly look at how we do things, because often the same systems that helped us 5 years ago might actually be hindering our team right now …

So here are a few of the apps and systems that we use to help manage our worship team … they’ve definitely helped us in different ways – how we roster and schedule our teams, helping us integrate new people, sharing ideas and creativity, managing staff, etc.

We hope that some of them might be useful for you too!

Planning Centre

Rostering teams can sometimes be a nightmare! From scheduling volunteers to organising rehearsals to calling people and confirming setlists and calltimes…

It can easily end up consuming most of your time as a leader, and you’re left with hardly any time to pastor your team, disciple your leaders, cultivate creativity, or even just plan ahead!

This was our experience for a long time, and our search for a better way of doing things led us to start using Planning Center, and we’ve not looked back since! It’s a great system to use, it works on your computer as well as on iPhone/iPad and Android, and we just love it!

The best part is that it’s actually designed specifically for church worship teams, so it does everything that you do already, it just makes it easier and simpler…at least we think so 🙂

Planning Center

Trello

This is a system we use to help manage our team’s workflow. With so many things to juggle at the same time (weekend services, special events, new songs, conferences, etc etc), it can sometimes be hard to keep track of it all…!  This is where Trello comes in…

It’s a little bit like a project management app (think Basecamp meets Pinterest), and we love it because it’s easy and intuitive to use… and it works great on mobile devices too!

Rather than trying to explain how it works, we’ve created a template to show you exactly how we use it … check it out for yourself!

Trello

Microsoft Forms

We didn’t realise how much data we are regularly collecting, until we started using an app to help us with it; from reports (service reports, team reports, etc), to new people sign-ups and auditions, to song submissions and surveys.

We randomly started using Forms to do service reports rather than using email, and we quickly found that we could use it for all of the above (and lots more, I’m sure).

It saves us using paper sign-up forms, it helps us centralize our data and reporting, and it got rid of a lot of confusing excel spreadsheets that are always out of date 🙂

We think it’s worth checking out!

Spotify

I’m sure you’ve heard of Spotify, so I’m not going to bore you by explaining it to you 🙂

One simple way that it helps our team, is with pre/post-service playlists! We used to play CD’s from the sound desk or play music from an iTunes playlist, etc, but this can be unnecessarily clunky and time-consuming. We started using Spotify playlists instead – they can easily be updated on the fly, and can be created and accessed from anywhere!  A simple solution, but every little bit helps!

(PLEASE make sure that you check the licensing agreements, copyright laws, etc, for your country and church, to make sure you’re using Spotify legally!)

Google Docs

If you’re still emailing spreadsheets and printing documents to give someone, trust me when I say there’s a better way !!! 🙂

Google Docs helps us share information with our team. Rather than asking “is this the latest version?”, or “mine looks different, is this out-of-date?”, you can share documents and update them in real-time, so you and your team will always have the ‘current version’.

Check it out, it’s worth learning a new system to eliminate wasted time and resources!

Pinterest

It can be difficult to come up with new and fresh ideas all the time, so it’s important to find ways of feeding your creativity!

I’m sure you’ve already heard of Pinterest… but besides being lots of fun, it’s actually a great tool to share ideas and find inspiration for your team! My wife Cass uses it all the time … it’s great for finding visual references and sharing them with our team.

For example, some of our stage sets and communion tables like the one below were inspired by our team looking through their favourite Pinterest boards,

Hillsong Communion

Quip

Our whole team doesn’t use this, but a few of us do and we really love using it!  It’s similar to a Google Doc or word processor, but it’s so much cleaner and more visually appealing – for any creative writing, this actually makes a big difference!

This whole blog was actually written and edited on Quip 🙂

Quip

I hope you find one of these tools helpful for you and your team! And whatever you do…

Make sure that the systems you choose actually serve your team, and not the other way around!

We’re always looking for better ways of managing our team, so if you have any other ideas or suggestions, please share them in the comments below

Over to you,

Rich