A friend of mine, Jordan Liggitt, has developed a software program for managing songs. It’s part of the Gospel Software site which produces “online tools to ease church administration.” The specific software for music is in the songbook section of the site. I asked Joseph Stigora, worship pastor at Covenant Fellowship in Philadelphia, to give me his thoughts on it, as he’s been using it for a while now. Here’s what he said.
For years I had been looking for a software that would allow me to input our own song sheets and transpose them instantly. Those were my only criteria, really. I was using a program that allowed for that but it had been discontinued and was full of bugs. We worked around them and made it function but it was becoming quickly outdated and cumbersome.
Our church administrative staff puts together the song packets for Sunday mornings. Now they have instant access to whatever I put into the system. I can manage our entire songbook and set lists for coming weeks remotely online, any time. The song sheets are clean and present well. I can save multiple arrangements or chording options within a single song. We can search songs by words, we can label songs for specific contexts (Christmas songs, children’s ministry songs…immediate access with one click…), we can attach lead sheets to songs, give different access levels to different people, transpose with one click, archive lesser used songs, fend off alien invaders, locate missing socks and discover new renewable energy sources.
As soon as I saw Jordan’s program, I knew this is what I had been looking for. I begged him…pleaded with him to let me use the system. After some coercing and promising to clean his white walls, he agreed.
The beauty of the system is that the whole band has access to the songbook at any time. All of the worship leaders in the church also have access and can create their own song lists. We used to have trouble keeping songbooks up to date for small groups. Now everyone has access to songs as soon as they are put in the system. If I want to introduce a new song and have them review it before rehearsal, we simply input the song and attach an MP3. Band members can go in on their own time, review song sheets and listen to the songs. I can send one email and the whole team gets the list, any notes I want them to read and PDFs of the whole song set. It makes the whole process very smooth.