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Preparation

There are certain steps that our production team has to take each week to stay on top of our game. I have found that if we are prepared like we need to be each weekend, then it gives us the flexibility to create, and it gives us the space to solve problems, not if they come, but when they come. Call me a pessimist, but we plan on a computer not booting up, a projector not turning on, or a screen not working properly. Not that we want those things to happen at all, but when they do happen, we want to have the time and metal space to fix the problems properly with low stress, so we can lead our volunteers well. There are the obvious weekly steps, like scheduling volunteers, inputting song lyrics into pro-presenter, picking backgrounds, and programming lights. But what about the less obvious weekly steps?

One of those less obvious steps for us is simply planing where every person on the worship team will be on the platform for every single weekend. This may seem small, but it only takes a few minutes each week to avoid unnecessary head ache and confusion. Planning Center Online has built in functionality for this that we use to keep things simple and quick. Here’s why we do this:

  • It keeps our worship leader from having to decide on the spot as people come into practice. It let’s he or she lead in what matters most rather than having to decide who goes where on the spot.
  • It allows our production team to properly prepare the platform before our weekly band practices. We’re able to have microphones labeled, boom stands in place, guitar rigs in place, and audio boards properly labeled.
  • It allows our production team to properly prepare our lighting cues around who is leading which song. This is probably another post within it self, but if you want a great run through or practice for your weekend services, lighting is key as it affects so many other areas.
  • It instills a sense of confidence to our worship team that the production team is thinking in advance for them. We are all on one team, and we have their back by making sure everything is ready for them to start.
  • It allows us to catch mistakes in our weekly planning. This is one more step to putting ourselves “in” the weekend services to help us think through if we have too many of any one instrument scheduled, if the platform will be over crowded or under scheduled.
  • It answers a lot of questions and keeps our team in sync. It reduces the inevitable text messages about what does the worship set look like? Or, what does the special or closer look like? Where is this person going to stand? Through using planning center, anyone scheduled on the weekend knows exactly where they will be before they even show up.
  • If our services are more complicated, we’ll do multiple stage plots for each different look. This helps us think through those tricky transitions.

I’m not sure who said it first, but I’ve heard it a lot over the past few years: Trust the process. This is one step in our weekly process. No matter how complicated or simple the week, we make sure it gets done.

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