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How To Schedule Worship Volunteers

How To Schedule Worship Volunteers

It doesn’t matter if you are at a large church or a small church.  If you have dozens of musicians or only a handful. Figuring out how and when to schedule volunteers is a challenge for everyone.  

Right now I’m finishing the worship volunteer schedule for next month.  It’s a pretty big project. We have about 25 volunteers that serve across 20 services throughout the month.  

It’s possible to have strong worship teams for every service.  It’s possible for volunteer cancelations to be the rare exception.  It’s possible to have healthy, excited volunteers who aren’t burned out.  It’s possible but it takes work.  

Although there’s always room for improvement, here’s the process I’ve developed for creating a worship schedule.  

1) Request Block-Out Dates

Around the 15th of each month I email all of our volunteers through a planning center template email.  There are links for them to post their “Block-out dates” to Planning Center.  These are Sundays they are NOT available to participate.  I request the dates are uploaded by the 20th.  

2) Collect Block-Out Dates

Around the 20th I punch everyone’s block out dates into a spreadsheet.  There are normally a  few volunteers who haven’t posted their dates yet so I’ll call or text them a reminder and request them by the end of the day.  

Collecting Block-out dates before you begin your schedule is crucial because this allows you to only schedule volunteers when you know they’re available. 

3) Schedule Teams 

This is where the puzzle pieces come together.  Finding strong teams for each service without scheduling anyone who is unavailable is quite a challenge.  You may need to get creative.  Here are some things to consider.

Try to schedule newer volunteers with seasoned volunteers

Try to schedule musicians who have good chemistry together.

Consider the tone and style of your worship service and schedule the appropriate musicians.  A vocal driven band vs. a folksy band vs. a big full band, ect.  

4) Avoid Burnout 

I let all of our volunteers know they are committing to serve at two services a month.  Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how the schedule shakes out.  If I am scheduling someone more than twice I reach out to them, communicate the need, and let them know that I’m aware I am requesting more from them.  

If you faithfully consider your volunteers time they will be willing to step up when needed. 

5) Communicate Often

Once the schedule is complete I send it out and ask everyone to review it and let me know if they have any questions or conflicts.  Sometimes minimal changes are needed.  The schedule is complete about a week before the next month begins. 

I invite the team to their service on Planning Center the Monday (6 days) before their scheduled Sunday. 

I double check that everyone has confirmed by Thursday.  If not, I’ll follow up with a text.

As you can see this is a bit of an elaborate process but it’s time well spent.  The result is having strong worship teams for every service with very rare cancelations from team members.  This also promotes health and longevity within your teams.  

How is this process similar or different form the way you schedule your team?

What are some challenges you’ve faced when working on your schedule?

Join the conversation and share in the comments below!

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