Spring cleaning your database

When doing a spring cleaning in your home, you typically focus on spots that you don't get to regularly. The same process should be applied to your Ministry Scheduler Pro database -- especially now due to Covid.

In this article, we'll cover what aspects of your database would benefit from being cleaned regularly and how doing so will help keep your ministry scheduling running smoothly.

Clean up your volunteers

Touch base with everyone to make sure their contact information is up to date. Use the engagement report to see who has been opening your emails and any addresses that may have bounced. This is a good time to encourage volunteers to update their contact info and to send them information on how to download the MSP mobile app. They'll appreciate staying in the know.

You may have gained some new volunteers during COVID. It's likely that many of those volunteers were trained on the fly or need additional training to transition to a different ministry. You can easily record and track a volunteer's training dates with custom fields and use that as a filter within the Announcements pane or with the autoscheduler for any ministry.

Do you have volunteers who are not comfortable returning to services yet? You can identify who hasn't been scheduled in a long time with this helpful article. Once identified, reach out directly to gauge when they will be comfortable returning. You can use the inactive checkbox combined with notes on the volunteer profile to keep track of your inactive volunteers and easily stay in touch, allowing you to welcome them back quickly.

Clean up your Ministries

Were there some new ministries added during COVID that are no longer needed, like sanitizing? Keep these additional volunteers in your reserve by inviting them to a different ministry! You can even allow volunteers to select their new ministries from the Web Terminal, empowering them to continue to serve. Check out this article on how to customize what your volunteers can update on the Web Terminal. Before removing any temporary COVID ministries from the program, be sure to reach out to all those who were involved, thanking them and pointing them to other areas where help is now needed.

Consider using titles to qualify volunteers in a ministry. For example, when moving your sanitizers to the hospitality ministry, you can mark the newbies as inexperienced and set them up to only be scheduled with those volunteers who are experienced, ensuring they'll be off to a good start.

Clean up service times

Are there any service times not needed anymore or that have been eliminated permanently due to COVID? Let your volunteers know before making any changes, and find out which service they will be now attending. Volunteers can easily update their service preferences from the Web Terminal. You can also mass edit your volunteers to make easy work of changing everyone from one service time to another. Don't forget to add in any summer services and ask your volunteers to update their preferences. We have an article on how to account for seasonal changes in your service times!

It's also helpful to evaluate the flow of your services. Have you been scheduling too many Ushers? Too few? Check-in with the Pastor, other leaders, or even your volunteers to see what changes you may want to make. You can easily adjust the number of ministries needed at each service from the service times pane or directly on the schedule for any week-to-week changes.

Clean up your installations

How many admins have MSP installed on their computers? Who has been using it recently? It's important to know who has access to your database, so do a regular check to see how many license installations you're using actively and remove those that are no longer needed. This is also a good time to onboard a new scheduler, or train a backup, and set them up as an admin.

Doing an annual spring cleaning of your database will ensure your volunteer roster is accurate, profile information is up to date, and your services reflect current ministry requirements. Keep in mind that while it may sound like a daunting task you don't have to do everything all at once. Just like house cleaning, choose one area to focus on that would be the most useful to you. Your future self will thank you, and your ministry schedule will sparkle!