Worship Leaders: How to use The City by Zondervan instead of Planning Center

Our church, www.thewellbuffalo.com has made the decision to use the City, www.onthecity.org by Zondervan as our main platform to communicate with our church partners.

This is a great tool for the church to use, but does cost to use. Planning Center, www.planningcenteronline.com is an incredible tool for worship leaders and worship planning that I really enjoy, but it has a monthly cost to use as well.

Because I do not want to have multiple websites by which people on my worship team have to check to feel connected to our church, I felt that I should use the City for our worship band scheduling, because it would remain consistent with the rest of the church. I think it is working pretty well.

Here is how we do it. In the City, we formed a group called theWELLband, and invited all of our worship team to join the group. Then, I post the songs for each week as an event that I ask them to attend. This is what the songs look like.

V C V C B C2 C2 C3[flash_video:www.box.net/shared/static/5asmbtvbvf.mp3:placeholder:325:10]
  Chart: http://www.box.net/shared/static/qpvirfzc9o.pdf
  Violin: http://www.box.net/shared/static/5u2je1fj00.pdf
  Trumpet: http://www.box.net/shared/static/8g5t85hcaj.pdf
  Trombone: http://www.box.net/shared/static/afjq02yn6q.pdf
  Alto Sax: http://www.box.net/shared/static/fm5k0r0jox.pdf
  PianoVoc: http://www.box.net/shared/static/u3da6ocd3q.pdf
  MP3: http://www.box.net/shared/static/5asmbtvbvf.mp3
1/23/11, 2/6/11, 4/3/11, 5/29/11, 7/31/11

Let me decode some of what you are seeing. The title of  the song is in CAPS. The key of the song follows in parenthesis. The author of the song is next, followed by the way I intend to lead the song, just in shorthand. On this song I will lead it as follows. Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus 2, Chorus 2, and Chorus 3.

Next is a string of code exclusive to the City. It allows you to have an MP3 player imbedded into your event post. [flash_video:www.YOURMP3URL.mp3:placeholder:325:10]

After that, I list all the pdfs for all the instrumentalist. We host all of our files at www.box.net, because they allow you a direct link for each file. People can download just by clicking "save as" on the the link.

Then the City gives you the option to assign roles to the event. I called these roles "Worship Leader," "Lead Guitar," "Soprano," and so on. Then the City also allows you to pick an individual and assign them to a role. This is where I plug in each individual musician.

Then, I post the event. The participants have to option to confirm or deny that they are attending the event, and give a reason why they can't attend. Also, the format of the City allows for open discussion about the worship set list, which is something that planning center can't do at all.

Some of the features of planning center include chord chart transposing, and mp3 transposing. Most people don't realize that they offer this service for free through an alternate entrance to their site called www.transposr.com. So, I am still able to make those changes when I need to as well.

Planning Center and the City both have their own positives, but right now, I feel like I am making the City work really well for us.

What are some of your thoughts?


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