This week I’ve been writing out every detail of our Child Dedication process. This post is my last entry in this series, and probably one that’s just a little shorter. 🙂

With the system and process that we have in place, it’s very important that we keep all the files nice and tidy so that when a class or dedication comes up, everything is easily accessible. I thought I’d give you a sneak peak into how we store all the files pertinent to our process. For the past two years, I’ve kept these files neat and orderly, but not in a convenient place for anyone but me. Yeah, they’ve been sitting on my desktop. If I’m being totally honest, the fact that these are sitting on my desktop is what inspired this entire series. On Saturday after finishing our most recent Child Dedication, I finally decided that it was time to move the files off my computer and onto the church’s server. However, I figured that I’d write this series before placing all the files on the server for safe keeping. I know, it doesn’t totally make sense, but that’s the way my mind works.

So, in my Child Dedication folder, I have four sub-folders.

Child Dedication Service, Media, Prep for Child Dedication Class and Service Files. I just hit one at a time for you.

Child Dedication Service Folder

This one is pretty simple. It has three documents in it. The first document is the Service Outline. These are my notes for my short talk. The second document is a service schedule. I make modification to it for every dedication and pass it out the the musicians, staff, and volunteers. It has timelines and cues for the service. The third document is an outline for dedications that I might do in someone’s home. It’s one document that I need to develop further.

Media Folder

The media folder currently holds three songs that I use for the slideshows. I picked all three of these songs two years ago and to this day haven’t found any songs I like better (but I am on the lookout for new songs). “This Very Moment” is a song by a guy in our church that I’ve used several times. “In My Arms” is a great song by plumb and “Little Wonders” is from Rob Thomas. They’re all here because when I’m making my slideshow, I don’t want to have to search through my entire computer to find one of these songs.

Prep for Child Dedication Class Folder

This is my quick, go to folder for the Prep for Child Dedication Class. I’d be lying to you if I told you that all the handouts and my notes were always printed out the Thursday before Sunday’s class. Probably if I didn’t keep all my files on my own computer, someone would have done this for me. Needless to say, my version of the handout as well as the parent handout is in this folder which I can quickly print out. In addition is a video I made of a class two years ago (it’s posted on this site on one of my earlier posts about Child Dedication. I’ve hung onto this video for other staff or volunteers who need to know what is said or need to prepare for leading their own class.

Service Files Folder

The final folder in my Child Dedication file system is the Service Files Folder. In it is a folder for each Child Dedication I’ve done in the past two years. Within each dated folder is one excel spreadsheet and two more folders. The excel spreadsheet is a copy of the google spreadsheet I wrote about yesterday. Although I keep the file in the cloud, I also download a copy to put in the folder for offline storage so it is with all the other files associated with that service. One of the folders are of dedication pics. Every picture that parents send to me are in this folder. I put them here until I need to upload them to Animoto for the slideshow, but I’m also a digital pack rat. I never throw away these pictures. The last folder is the Dedication Slideshow. I’ll upload the pictures to Animoto and let it mix a slideshow with one of the songs from the media folder. I’ll usually do the “one click remix” to see if I like the remix better than the original. I might even use the pictures with another song just to see if I like it better. Every slideshow that Animoto makes is unique. Once I find my winner, I purchase the high resolution video and download it to this folder.