Worship Assistants

Worship Assistant Ministries at Abiding Presence are an important part of exceptional worship in our growing congregation, and we are so thankful for the indispensable volunteers who make sure worship services run smoothly every single week!

Ready to get involved? Sign up here! Most worship assistants serve about 4-8 times per year. Questions? Contact us. We're working hard to make sure the doors to participation remain wide open so we can truly be a congregation where every person serves!


[Frequently Asked Questions]


How do I volunteer to serve on one of the Worship Assistant teams?

Simply fill out the form above where it says "I'm ready to serve!" Or, contact us. You'll get a welcome email from the team scheduler via Planning Center Services (our worship planning and volunteer scheduling system). The email will include a link to set up an account, but setting up an account is optional. Check out the video below or click here for a quick overview of Planning Center for volunteers!

What's the least I need to know to use Planning Center Services?

This friendly video will get you up to speed in less than four minutes and answer most common questions!

How will I know when I'm scheduled to serve?

Planning Center schedule email accept decline.png

You'll get an email from the team scheduler via Planning Center Services (our worship planning and volunteer scheduling system). When you open the email, simply click the "Accept" button to let the scheduler know you got the message and you'll be there.

If you're not available that day, click "Decline" and the system will alert the scheduler to immediately find someone else to fill that position. There's no need to find a substitute or call the office.

Click here for more detailed instructions.

How should I let the scheduler know if I'm going to be away?


Thanks for being proactive! Two options:

  1. Sign in at services.planningcenteronline.com, click "blockout dates" (under the calendar on the left), and follow the prompts. Click here for more information. Or...
  2. Email the current scheduler a list of dates when you'll be away/unavailable.

I’d like to sign up for specific dates. How do I do that?

We know that many in our congregation travel often or have complicated schedules, and for some it might be easier to let us know when you are here rather than when you’re not here. If you travel often and would prefer not to blockout dates, just let us know when you'd like to be scheduled...

  1. By email: send a note to the Worship Assistant scheduler (currently dave@abidingpresence.net) with the dates you'd like to be scheduled.
  2. Call the office at 703-455-7500 and leave a message for the scheduler with the dates you'd like to be scheduled.
  3. Periodically, we'll send out a email to everyone on a Worship Assistant team with a link for signup sheets in Planning Center. You can then click the link, or just login to your account at services.planningcenteronline.com and click sign up under My Schedule. Click here for more detailed instructions on using online signup sheets and viewing your schedule.

If something comes up and I have to cancel, what should I do? Do I need to find a sub?

First of all, don't worry: we understand that life happens, and sometimes conflicts come up suddenly or unexpectedly. Here are three options for what to do next:

  1. Go back to the original scheduling email for that date and click "decline," or,
  2. Sign in at services.planningcenteronline.com. Click on "My Schedule" toward the top of the page, and then click "decline" next to the date.
  3. Simply email the scheduler or contact the church office to let us know.

When you click "decline," Planning Center sends a notification to the scheduler, and even includes suggestions for people who are part of that team and not already scheduled!

You're not expected to find sub (Planning Center makes it easy for us to quickly find someone), but if you have to cancel super-last-minute and you want to help us out, you can feel free to contact someone else on your team. If you find a sub, use one of the two methods above to click "decline;" you'll see a box where you can put a "reason;" simply type your sub's name in the box and then click the "Submit" button.

Note: You can email the current scheduler for a list of people on your team, but we prefer that you avoid sending mass emails unless absolutely necessary; we want to avoid cluttering everyone's inboxes.

Can I see all of my upcoming schedule at once?

No problem! Simply login to your account at services.planningcenteronline.com and then click "My Schedule" toward the top of the page. You can see your upcoming schedule, and even accept or decline right from there. You'll also see a calendar on that same page with your schedule dates highlighted. Click here for more information.

Wondering who else is scheduled with you on a particular date? Click the date under "My Schedule" to view the plan for that service. You can see everyone scheduled from your team by clicking "Worship Assistants" in the left column under "Teams."

You can also get the Planning Center Services app for your iOS or Android device on your app store.

If you'd like to see everyone who is scheduled for multiple weeks (or even multiple months) at once, go back to the Dashboard (at services.planningcenteronline.com), click the "Matrix" button in the upper right of the page, and then (optionally) select the service at which you usually serve and how many upcoming weeks you'd like to see; then, click "load matrix." On the Matrix page, scroll down and click "Worship Assistants" to view everyone scheduled.

If you'd like a printable schedule to put on the refrigerator, just email the current scheduler.

How far ahead of time will I receive the upcoming schedule?

Normally, we'll send out the schedule 1-2 months in advance. Occasionally, you might get a scheduling email or call only a few days before, but only if someone else has to cancel unexpectedly.

Why do I have to accept or decline every time I'm scheduled?

When you click "Accept" or "Decline," the system records your response, and triggers a notification to the scheduler. This makes it easy for all of the staff and volunteer leaders to see the whole schedule at a glance, without having to dig through old emails or phone messages. If you're not available, the system suggests other people from your team who aren't already scheduled.

Will the system send me a reminder?

Absolutely—we all need reminders in the midst of busy weeks! You'll get an email reminder a few days before you're scheduled. If something has come up and you're no longer available, just let the scheduler know by either...

  1. Replying to the reminder email, or,
  2. Signing in services.planningcenteronline.com and clicking "decline" next to the date in "My Schedule."

How can I sign up for notifications on my cell phone?


Two options:

  1. Add a cell phone number to your profile in Planning Center, and select text message notification options. Click here for instructions.
  2. Get the Planning Center Services app for your iOS or Android device on your app store. Click here for more information on setting up notifications.

What should I do if I want to swap dates with someone? Is there a mass email where I can reply-to-all?

If you and another person on your team want to swap, simply email the current scheduler and let us know whom you're switching with so we can update the schedule. This helps us avoid conflicts, particularly when people serve on multiple teams.

We want to help everyone avoid email inbox clutter, so we ask that you avoid sending out group emails or reply-to-all emails (plus we keep adding new people to our teams all the time!) That's why we're using individual notification emails as opposed to mass emails. We all get enough spam as it is!

I'm being scheduled too much/not enough. How can I let the scheduler know how often I'd like to serve?

Typically, each Worship Assistant serves 4-8 times a year. Optionally, you can let us know more:

  1. Fill out your profile preferences in Planning Center. Click here for instructions. Or,
  2. Email the current scheduler to let us know how often you'd like to be scheduled.

Can I ask to be scheduled at the same time as the others in my household?

Yes, you can! Just fill out your profile preferences in Planning Center. Click here for instructions.

Also, if you'd prefer not to be scheduled together (for example, so one person can watch the kids), you can let us know in the same place.

I can't login to Planning Center. How do I reset my password?

Other questionsEmail the current scheduler, or call the church office (703-455-7500).