Check Your Heart First

God teaches us an important lesson through Gideon: focus on your heart before you focus on others’ hearts.

In Judges 6, Gideon knew that God was raising him up to save Israel from the oppression of Midian. The very night that Gideon had a revival moment with God, building the altar called the Lord is Peace, God gave him his first instruction. It is not a war plan; it’s a worship plan.

Priorities! You would think that God would unveil some great military plan to stop the Midianites,

sort of like he did to Deborah and Barak. But God takes a different course of action here and we must catch this lesson. Israel wanted peace. They experience oppression for seven years under the hand of Midian and cried out to the Lord for help. God raised up Gideon to save them, but they needed to look into their own camp for peace and freedom before thinking about Midian. Israel was filled with idolatry and God told Gideon to tear down to the altars to Baal and Asherah in his own town before he gave him any instruction about the Midianites. God was reorienting their heart to Him–a worship plan!

You must get your priorities right in order to be at peace with the Lord. You can cry out to him when you’re in difficult moments (like Israel), but if you’re still trying to find satisfaction and peace in idols, it’s going to be very difficult to see the Lord for who He is and who He needs to be in your life.

Check your own heart before you try to step out in faith to accomplish what the Lord has called you to.  

Photo by Taylor Nicole on Unsplash

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?

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