Adding Sermon Notes Presentation

Adding Notes to a Sermon

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2019 @ 9:37 am

Did you know that your users can take sermon notes – right in the PocketPlatform app?  Using the powerful Custom Forms available from MinistryPlatform you have a simple and effective way to help your users remember the important parts of a sermon or other message.

Prerequisites:

In order to complete this task, you should have

  • A basic understanding of Custom Forms in Ministry Platform
  • A completed PocketPlatform Sermon
Adding Sermon Notes Presentation

Assigning a Form to a Sermon

Creating a new form

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, select “Custom Forms”
  2. Click “Forms”
  3. Click the button for “New”
  4. Create the form as you would any other form – you may use the form designer, or create fields manually

You may use basic HTML in the Alternate Field Label box when creating your fields.  Any HTML that you use that is not supported will be stripped by PocketPlatform.

Creating a new Custom Form

It is recommended that you use terms relevant to the sermon you are attaching it to.

For example, if your Sermon Series is called “Church Matters,” the Sermon is called “The Purpose of the Church” and the Sermon date is 21 July 2019, you could use something similar to one of the following as the Form Name:

  • Church Matters: The Purpose of the Church
  • Notes: The Purpose of the Church
  • Sermon Notes for 21 July 2019
  • Notes 21/07/2019

Ultimately, though, the decision is yours and what works best for your organization.


Linking the Sermon Notes to the Sermon

Now that you have created a new Custom Form for your Sermon Notes, it’s time to assign that form to the Sermon so it will appear on your app!

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, click “PocketPlatform”
  2. Select “Sermons”
  3. Click the Sermon Record to which you would like to attach this form
  4. Click “Edit”
  5. Use the dropdown menu to select the form you would like to use
  6. Click Save

Selecting a sermon for Notes


Sermon Notes Form Selection

Adding a sermon to a sermon series

So – you’ve created a Sermon Series, and now you need to add some sermons to it. Well, rest easy, because with your MinistryPlatform know how and the PocketPlatform app, this is one skill you’ll have mastered before your coffee gets cold!

Please note: In order to add a Sermon to a Sermon Series, you must have already created at least one PocketPlatform Service Type, one Sermon Speaker, and one Sermon Series. If you have not done these, please refer to the appropriate articles before continuing!


Creating a New Sermon

Creating a new record

  1. First, open the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns
  2. Next, click “Sermons”
  3. Finally, create a new record.
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Create a New Sermon
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PocketPlatform

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Sermons

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Create New Record

Required Information

The following fields are available when creating a new sermon.  Names in red are required.

  1. Series – The sermon series {link} this sermon belongs to
  2. Congregation – The congregation this sermon originated from.
  3. PocketPlatform Service Type – The type of service this was.  Most churches only have one.  For more information, see this KB article {link}
  4. Title – The title of the sermon
  5. Subtitle – The subtitle of the sermon
  6. Description – A detailed description of the sermon
  7. Sermon Date – The date the sermon was originally preached
  8. Sermon Speaker – The individual who gave the sermon. For more information about sermon speakers, please see this KB article {link}
  9. Scripture Links – The relevant scripture for the sermon.
  10. Position – The display order of the sermon
  11. Use for Podcast – this field is deprecated and has no effect
  12. Status – “Draft”, “Hidden”, or “Published” – the status of this sermon.
  13. Notes Form – a link to a custom form in MP for this sermon to be used as interactive sermon notes.

Be sure to save your new sermon after you have filled out all fields!

PocketPlatform | The Fields of the Create New Sermon Screen

Adding a Sermon Image

Once you have saved your new sermon, you can easily add an image. This image will be used throughout the PocketPlatform application as a visual indicator of this sermon.

  1. If the Sermon you want to add an image to is not already open, open it by opening the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns, selecting “Sermons” and clicking the name of the Sermon you would like to use.
  2. Once the record is open, click the button “Attach a file”
  3. Select an image file from your computer to use for the sermon series using the MinistryPlatform dialog that appears.

PocketPlatform has been designed to be compatible with a wide range of image dimensions, however for best results please use an image with the following dimensions:

  • 1920 x 1080
  • 72 dpi
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Attach an Image to a sermon
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Attaching a file

Adding a Service Type

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:16 pm

PocketPlatform Service Types help you to organize your sermons and messages.  In many cases, only one service type will be needed – something like “Sunday Morning Worship” – but adding additional service types allows you to segment out other services as well, such as Nights of Worship or Special Events.  PocketPlatform generally requires at least one Service Type before you can create a Sermon Series


Creating a new Service Type

Creating a new record

  1. First, open the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns
  2. Next, click “PocketPlatform Service Types”
  3. Finally, create a new record.

Adding a new Service Type record


Required information

The following fields are available when creating a new Service Type.  Names in red are required.

  1. Service Type – The Name of the Service Type, such as “Sunday Morning Worship” or “Saturday Contemporary”

Be sure to save your new Service Type after you have filled out all fields!

Create New Service Type
Sermon Links Example

Adding Sermon Links to a Sermon

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:15 pm

Now that you’ve added a Sermon to your Sermon Series it’s time to add some media resources! Adding Sermon Links to your Sermons is how you add video and audio playback to the PocketPlatform app, so we’ve made it super simple and accessible – especially for you since you’re already familiar with MinistryPlatform!

Sermon Links Example

Adding Sermon Links

Opening the Sermon Record

If the sermon record you want to add links to is not already open, simply:

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, open the PocketPlatform Folder
  2. Click “Sermons”
  3. Click the Sermon to which you would like to add a Sermon Link

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Opening A Sermon Record
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PocketPlatform

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Sermons

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A Sermon Record



Creating a New Sermon Link

To create a new Sermon Link once you have opened the Sermon, simply click the button for “Create New Record” on the Sermon Page.

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Creating a new sermon link
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Create New



Sermon Link Details

There are generally two types of Sermon Links, though some PocketPlatform installations, upon request, can include additional types.  By default you should have available to you:

  • Audio – This is the audio-only version of a message.
  • Video – This is a video version of the message

Both of the above media types allow your PocketPlatform app to play back sermons so your congregation – and others! – can enjoy your messages again and again.  Please be aware that you cannot upload audio and video media to MinistryPlatform for playback in your PocketPlatform app, and must use an externally hosted file.  The PocketPlatform Media Manager provides an excellent solution for this, however!

Currently, we support the following media types:

Audio: MP3

Video: MP4, M3U8 playlists, M4V


Required information

The following fields are available when creating a new Sermon Link.  Names in red are required.

  1. Link Type – The Type of Sermon Link.  Generally this will be “Listen” or “Watch”
  2. Link URL – The URL of the Sermon Link. Where does the media pull from?
  3. Podcast Description – This field is deprecated and currently has no effect
  4. Status – “Hidden” “Draft” or “Published”
  5. Use in Audio Podcast – This field is deprecated and currently has no effect
  6. Use in Video Podcast – This field is deprecated and currently has no effect
  7. File Size – The file size of the Sermon Link
  8. File Units – This field currently has no effect
  9. File Duration – The duration of the Sermon Link
  10. Position – The order the sermon series displays in on the app.

Be sure to save your new Sermon Link after you have filled out all fields!

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Creating a new sermon link
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Create New



Additional Information About Media Files

You have many options for hosting your video and audio files for your PocketPlatform app, and sometimes it can be a bit difficult to know what will work well, and what won’t.  Here, we’ve gathered a list of some of your options, and how well they work.

Not Recommended


“Shared” services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, weTransfer and others. 

While all of these types of services will generally allow you to access the raw file, their terms of service explicitly deny you the right to use their service as a media hosting service.  In many cases, especially with Dropbox, they will block your playback after a certain number of plays and may remove your account completely.

YouTube and other “non-pro” video hosting providers, such as Vimeo Free/Plus

While you can use these services to host video, you do not have the ability to access the file directly, and therefore cannot play it outside of their environment, either in a proprietary app or a specific video player.

Recommended


“Professional” video hosting solutions, such as Vimeo Pro or Enterprise

Professional video hosting solutions are designed to give the content creator as much freedom as possible with regards to their media, and therefore allow direct access to the raw audio/video media for playback anywhere and in any player.

CDN/Cloud systems, such as AWS, Azure, Comcast CDN, Rackspace, etc

CDN systems help to ensure that your content will always be available by distributing it around the country – and sometimes the world. Configuration of these systems requires advanced technical skills and maintenance.

PocketPlatform’s Media Manager:

PocketPlatform’s own Media Manager gives you the power of a CDN with the convenience of automatically converting your media into the proper formats for use in both your PocketPlatform Application as well as many other options, like Roku channels or AppleTV apps.

Adding New Sermon Series

Adding a Sermon Series

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:15 pm

Every week, your senior pastor is preaching God’s Word, and now you need to get it into the hands of your congregation.  Fortunately, with PocketPlatform, this couldn’t be easier! Follow the instructions below to add a new sermon series, and then head on over to “Adding a sermon” to add a sermon!

Adding New Sermon Series

Creating a new Sermon Series

Creating a new record

  1. First, open the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns
  2. Next, click “Sermon Series”
  3. Finally, create a new record.

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Sermon Series - Add New
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Open PocketPlatform

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Select “Sermon Series”

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Create a new record


Required information

The following fields are available when creating a new sermon series.  Names in red are required.

  1. Title – The title of the sermon series
  2. Display Title – If you would like the displayed name to be different than the title.
  3. Subtitle – Additional descriptive text about the sermon series
  4. Status – “Hidden” “Draft” or “Published”
  5. Position – The order the sermon series displays in on the app.

Be sure to save your new sermon series after you have filled out all fields!

Please note that your screen may be slightly different than what is shown here. You may have, for example, a “Series Start Date” field. You may fill these additional fields out as necessary.

Sermon Series Filled out

Adding a Series Image

Once you have saved your new series, you can easily add an image. This image will be used throughout the PocketPlatform application as a visual indicator of this series.

  1. If the Sermon Series you want to add an image to is not already open, open it by opening the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns, selecting “Sermon Series” and clicking the name of the Series you would like to use.
  2. Once the record is open, click the button “Attach a file”
  3. Select an image file from your computer to use for the sermon series using the MinistryPlatform dialog that appears.

PocketPlatform has been designed to be compatible with a wide range of image dimensions, however for best results please use an image with the following dimensions:

  • 1920 x 1080
  • 72 dpi

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Attach a file to a sermon series
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Attach a file


PocketPlatform Push Notifications

Targeted Push Notification Tool Overview

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2020 @ 11:53 am

Want to send a push notification to your users? Good news – you can do that! The push notification tool for PocketPlatform lets you send notifications to any of your users, right from MinistryPlatform!

PocketPlatform Push Notifications

Sending a Push Notification to a selection of users

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, navigate to Administration > Users
  2. Select the users you would like to target – this could be any group – a few, or all.
    1. You can also create your own views following the standard MinistryPlatform processes to help you pre-build user selections!
  3. Open the Tools Menu, and select “Targeted Push Notifications”
  4. Fill out the fields in the window that appears
  5. Click “Send Push Notification”

Please Note: You may also have a Tool titled “Push Notifications” or “Global Push Notifications”.  This tool can be used to send a push notification to every one of your PocketPlatform users at once.  For more info, see the KB Article.

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Navigating to Targeted Push Notifications in MinistryPlatform
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Administration > Users in the MinistryPlatform Nouns

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Selecting users

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Choosing “Targeted Push Notifications”

Targeted Push Notifications Window

Sending a push notification.

PocketPlatform | Groups Map on Phone

Groups Map View Overview

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2019 @ 2:48 pm

The groups map view offers an exciting and easy-to-use method of presenting your community and small group offerings to your congregation!  Simply configure the groups you have available with an address and latitude and longitude coordinates, and then you’ll be able to see the pins on the map.  Follow the instructions below to ensure that you have this set up properly.

PocketPlatform | Groups Map on Phone


Adding an Address to a Group

The first thing we need to do is add an address to a group that we would like to feature on the maps.  The only requirement that PocketPlatform has for address display is the Latitude and Longitude values in the address.

If your group DOES NOT have an address assigned to it:

  1. First, create an address.  In the MinistryPlatform nouns, open the “Lookup Values” folder and click on “Addresses”
  2. Create a new address, ensuring that you have added Latitude and Longitude to the address
  3. Assign this new Offsite Meeting Address to your group by opening the Groups noun and editing the appropriate record.

If your group DOES have an address assigned to it:

  1. In the MinistryPlatform nouns, click “Groups” and then open the record for the group you would like to assign.
  2. Click the “link” icon next to the Offsite Meeting Address and edit the address, adding the Latitude and Longitude

See the next section, “How do I get the Latitude and Longitude?” for more information on obtaining the Latitude and Longitude

Addresses in Lookup Values in MinistryPlatform

Addresses in Lookup Values in MinistryPlatform


How do I get the Latitude and Longitude?

So – you’ve got a group. You have an address.  You just need to get the latitude and longitude so it’ll show up on the map, right?

Well, it’s super easy, so let’s dive right in!

Step 1

Go to maps.google.com and enter your destination address into the search field.


Entering an Address into Google Maps

Step 2

Right click near-ish the pin that google drops and click “What’s Here?”


What's Here on Google Maps

Step 3

Glean the Latitude and Longitude from the small area at the bottom of the screen.


Reading Latitude and Longitude

In this example, the latitude is 35.783753 and the longitude is -78.783051

Group Chat in PocketPlatform

Group Chat Overview

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:25 pm

The PocketPlatform Group Chat tool allows your congregation to communicate with each other right in the app!  Any group in MinistryPlatform can be enabled for Group Chat, and then the currently active group members can create conversations and send each other messages without relying on third party tools.

Group Chat in PocketPlatform


Enabling Groups

To enable a group for Group Chat:

  1. Open the “PocketPlatform” folder in MinistryPlatform and select “Group Messages Groups”
  2. Click “New”
  3. Use the group dropdown or the MP selection feature to select a group to enable
  4. Make sure that “Group Enabled” is set to yes.
  5. Leave “Last Message” and “Last Message Date” empty.
  6. Any members of that group will now see the option to open their group conversations from the Profile screen in the app!
Choosing a group for Group Chat

Disabling Groups

To disable a group for Group Chat:

Please Note: Do not delete a record from the “Group Messages Groups” page. Instead, follow the instructions below to disable the group.

  1. Open the “PocketPlatform” folder in MinistryPlatform and select “Group Messages Groups”
  2. Click on the group you want to disable
  3. Click “Edit”
  4. Set “Group Enabled” to”No”
  5. Save the record
  6. The group will now be disabled and will no longer be available to any members
Disabling a Group Chat Group
Disabling a Group Chat Group

Opening Group Chat on the Device

Once a user belongs to a group with group chat enabled, they can easily open up the group chat interface and interact with their fellow group members!

  1. Open the Navigation Drawer
  2. Tap “My Profile”
  3. In the “My Profile” screen, tap “My Group Conversations”
Viewing the Profile Screen for the Group Chat Conversations Button