Worship Planning with Google Spreadsheets

We've been wired in our worship meetings for a little over a month now. What does that mean? As part of our new, improved worship planning process we're planning more weekends in advance than ever before. As I said earlier we've basically got a preaching calendar through Easter including series groupings. Our creative team will handle branding of these messages about a month before they occur. The new process is more of a system (I love systems).

We meet every Tuesday at 4pm with the entire worship team. Each week we try to spend:

  • 5-10 minutes critique (both good and bad) of previous weekend
  • 5-10 minute review of upcoming weekend
  • 5-10 minute finalization of weekend two weeks away
  • 10-15 minutes of discussion of the message manuscript for 2 weeks out
  • 30-45 minutes of creative brainstorming about the weekend 6 weeks out

The goal of this structure is that we cover everything that needs to happen in the meeting and get done in 90 minutes or less. This system is HIGHLY dependent on everybody making sure our planning documents are prepared with appropriate content prior to the meeting. That means music people fill in information about future weekends, the drama team does the same, the preaching pastor provides all appropriate info, etc. Ideally the meeting time is document review and polish rather than actual planning for the two most pressing weekends which leaves us free to be creative for most of the meeting. Some weeks have been better than others, but we're getting better.

We do our planning via google documents for each weekend. Here is our worship planning template. We have a copy of this document for each weekend. It includes a worksheet for each of our weekend services, plus sheets for general information, possible elements, post-weekend feedback, creative notes, and bulletin announcements. Every person on the worship planning team is able to edit these documents and several others are able to view them.

So far this has been a great improvement to our process. It allows multiple people to work simultaneously, it moves the wrote planning to premeeting prep rather than within the meeting which lets us focus on what really matters. We're still tweaking, but after several weeks I think we're hitting our stride.