MSP User Spotlight: Our Lady of Lourdes

Scheduling 675 active volunteers serving at 5 weekly services is no small task. However, since 2012, Paul Fell, Directory of Liturgy and Music at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church has accomplished all of this and more with the help of Ministry Scheduler Pro.

Paul schedules a total of seven ministries in MSP. Most of the positions require training, which means that Paul and the volunteers need a quick and easy way to keep track of their ministry training requirements and deadlines.

In the Children’s Liturgy Ministry, for example, volunteers must complete a child protection training. Since volunteers have different training requirements, the communication required to keep all volunteers informed could easily become overwhelming.

Thankfully, MSP allows volunteers to see their unique profiles, along with their schedules and supplemental resources, in the MSP Web Terminal. Volunteers just go online and click on the "My Profile" tab where they can view training information. “The ‘My Profile’ tab saves me the headache of sending out individual emails to everyone,” Paul shared. “It eliminates the back and forth emails asking when they need to receive their training.”

To add volunteers’ individual training information to their profiles, Paul created an MSP Custom Field, an easy way to track unique information. Some custom fields can be made public, like training renewal dates. Custom fields can also be kept private, such as volunteer start dates, specific volunteer training, or birthdates. “Sometimes we have events that come together quickly, and we need childcare. It’s easy for me to look in MSP and see who has done the child protection training needed to supervise that event. Or, if a musician is out sick, I can see who’s qualified to fill that position, such as an alto for vocal.”

To further streamline the process, Paul linked training dates to the MSP Web Terminal “Home” tab. “Letting volunteers see their training renewal dates alongside upcoming training dates, times, and locations makes it really convenient,” Paul explained.

Additionally, Our Lady of Lourdes volunteers enjoy having their schedules in the palm of their hands with the MSP Mobile App. The app allows them to view their scheduled services, request substitutes, and update their profiles. Recently, a woman realized her spouse was serving at a certain service, and it was easy for her to jump on the app and sign up for an open position during that same service. “They sign up right when it’s on their mind, and they’re having the conversation. They don’t have to wait until they get home to do it.”

Since 2012, Paul has transformed his church’s use of MSP from a scheduling tool capable of meeting his volunteers complex preferences and availability to an invaluable communication tool that makes it easy for volunteers to stay informed of training requirements. Paul has shown that ministry scheduling isn’t just about ensuring volunteers show up, but it’s also about clearly communicating training needs and opportunities.

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