AirTable

Using AirTable To Plan A Yearly Worship Calendar

I’ve written about using AirTable for recording shepherding tasks, and now I want to show you how to use it for planning your church’s worship calendar for the year. By worship calendar, I’m talking about sermon info, service notes, and files that a pastor and worship team should be communicating on as they plan worship services.

 

Other programs exist that might do this and more, but I like AirTable because it is free and easy!

We set up a table with these column headings

  • Date.  
  • Sermon Title.
  • Text Reference. Our whole service theme is built around the sermon text, so this is important to us.
  • Suggested New title. I’m not the best at creating sermon titles, so this column is for my ministry assistant to suggest something better. If I like it, then I change the Sermon Title box. Of the 5 suggestions this year, all 5 were better!
  • Preacher. Our worship coordinator knows who to work with to get a feel for the direction of the sermon, etc.
  • Scripture Reading. If a Scripture will be read in the service that is not the Scripture text of the sermon, then it is listed here.
  • Main Point/Helpful Notes For Worship Planning.  I do most of the preaching, so when I plan out the year’s sermons, I can put little notes to remind myself of some details. Also, this gives our worship coordinator a better idea of how the sermon Scripture will be applied. We might put a note here for the tech team (i.e., video will be played here…).
  • Sermon Series. Just for easy sorting if we’d like to view everything from the same series.
  • Series Graphic. It’s kept here because our tech team can grab it quickly to upload as our sermon podcast cover image.
  • Special Notes. Used for things like “Mother’s Day,” “The Lord’s Supper,” etc.
  • Website Description. I put a final description of the sermon here for our tech team to paste into the podcast description.

 

Organizing our material this way helps everybody know in advance what to plan for. It helps everything flow smoothly. There is a tab for each year so that we can quickly look back on any details. And you can share the table with whoever needs access; so everyone can access it easily on their computers or devices (the app is helpful).

 

Can you think of other ways to use AirTable or other programs for worship planning?

Pastors: How I Use AirTable To Record Shepherding Interactions

Pastor, you should be interacting with church members, attenders, and guests frequently since you are their shepherd. Shepherding comes in many forms:  hospital visits, “checking in” phone calls, home visits, meetings in the office, texts and Facebook messages, lunches, coffee meetings, and others.

My question:  do you record those interactions?  

My encouragement:  do it!

Why Record Shepherding Interactions?

  1. You will learn details about someone or their situation that will help you minister in the future to that person. It’s easy to forget unless you record it somewhere.
  2. In a more negative sense, you have a record in case you are ever challenged. Someone complains that you never visited with them–what do you do?  Unless you have a record, it is your word against theirs and probably will not build much unity as you flesh it out. If you have a record, you can either say, actually, I did, or you can honestly say, you’re right, I didn’t. And then minister to that person accordingly.

How To Record Shepherding Interactions

I have found AirTable to be very helpful for this task and many others (maybe I’ll write about those later). If you have never used it, it is a web-based spreadsheet tool that is pretty simple to use, has accompanying apps, and is sharable with a team if needed.

 

I set up an AirTable with these headings:  NAME, STAFF, DATE, INTERACTION TYPE, LOCATION, TIME, NOTES, ATTACHMENTS.

After an interaction, I record that information. Most of the headings are self-explanatory, but let me explain some:

  • STAFF. If you have multiple staff members, elders, deacons, etc., who might have access to this table, then you can put each person’s name and select one or more who had the interaction. Bonus: AirTable has nice sorting options and you can save different “views.” So, you could save a view that makes it easy to see what interactions each staff member has had.  
  • INTERACTION TYPE. Phone call, contact from member, encouragement card, visit, meeting, text message, etc.  All can be set up as options to choose from.
  • NOTES: I record a simple summary of what was discussed or any important follow-up items so that I don’t forget…
  • ATTACHMENTS. There might have been a picture or document pertaining to that interaction that you’ll want to remember.

 

Why do you record shepherding interactions and how do you do it?

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