Max: How was the scheduling done prior to MSP and why did you look for a scheduling program?
Jacki: We had someone doing it by hand, repeating the same schedule even though it wasn't working for many people. We didn't have a lot of ministers and people were getting discouraged with being over-scheduled. The liturgy team felt things could be done better — they wanted a way to take care of different people's schedules and schedule families together in the simplest way possible.
Max: What are some of the benefits you see in participating in ministry?
Jacki: It provides a sense of community. It's a life giving opportunity for the parish and for the minister. The more people, the greater diversity. It's wonderful to see a ministry represented in so many different ways. People involved in liturgical ministries are more apt to go on to other ministries and do outreach.
Max: How has MSP changed participating in ministry at your parish?
Jacki: It has helped us get more people involved in ministry. Now we're able to accommodate people that can only serve twice per month or only on the 3rd Sunday. Also, [MSP] has allowed more people to easily connect. Using the Web Terminal, ministers get the feeling that they are not doing this alone. Another noticeable change is that it has helped people become more accountable for their scheduled times.
Max: What would you say are the three greatest benefits of using MSP?
Jacki: I love the email component. Using MSP I can personalize emails and help people stay on top of what's happening. Before, it was just spiraling out of control and some people were dropping out. With the email reminders, ministers know what's going on. I also love that people can look for subs on their own. Some new ministers don't know many people and with the Web Terminal it's easy to make a sub request. It gives ministers a feeling of support – that they're not doing this alone. It has really helped build a sense of community and highlight the importance of ministry. That has been an unbelievable plus. And finally, I really like the way I'm able to put together any report. If the pastor wants a list of experienced Servers or some other listing, I can easily make it just the way he wants it. There are so many things! Our pastor is thrilled with the new system.