Planning Center Online

April 30, 2007

plannig centerBeing responsible for the order, timing, and flow of the weekend worship service and trying to inform everyone of what is planned can be a tall order week after week. I can’t even count on two hands the amount of times I’ve attempted creating a planning template for weekend worship services & presenting it. The over-zealous planner vs the fly-by-night worship leaders, teachers, pastors, announcers, and any other additions thrown into the mix.

Then I stumbled upon http://www.planningcenteronline.com – I can’t even remember how I found it! It must have been divine intervention. This is an online planning center that is totally web 2.0 looking – very easy to navigate through and packed with features designed just for the church. Plan your service from start to finish. Include preservice activities, worship songs, announcements (yuck!), videos, teaching, communion, offering, etc. As you add elements to your services, a running total adds up the time each event takes and keeps an updated total time so you can see how each addition affects the overall time.

This doesn’t just keep the events of a service organized, it is also a volunteer organizer, helping you keep track of your teams, scheduling and automatically emailing them & reminding them of rehearsals and services that they are scheduled for. Better yet – when they confirm their position, they can view the plan online with all the details – the songs, keys, charts, videos, etc. Did I mention that this becomes your worship leaders song database as well? Add songs to the schedule, upload the lead sheets, the mp3’s, make notes on arrangements – as you add songs to your database, planningcenteronline shows you how often you play songs, when the last time you played it, etc.

If all this is not making you drool all over your keyboard, there is also a matrix view that let’s you look at weeks at a time so it becomes super easy to plan songs, videos, promo’s, teams, speakers weeks in advance. You can also look back in time to see what has happened in the past weeks – remember you did that really cool new song? You forgot to do it again! Let’s plan it for this week!

Check it out here – you can sign up for a 30 day FREE trial, after that you can sign up for plans from $10 or so per month.

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2 Responses to “Planning Center Online”


  1. Hey some guys just turned us onto this. I like the features. Our systems are already fairly streamlined (example. our church of 2,500 has two worship bands creatively named band odd 1,3,5 weekends of month and band even). Thus, the guys innately know when they are up and just email me if they have a conflict. I love some features of it but wonder if it would get us bogged down in needless infra-structure (such as now having to individually progam names for each weekend). What is your experience?

    Also, when you type in the songlist, do you have to manually attach the pdf and/or mp3 or does it auto-retrieve it for you?

    Very curious.
    jordan fowler
    crawl in. get dirty. serve the body. http://www.worshiptrench.com
    a collaborative tools, tips and best practices blog for worship leaders.

  2. alex mclean Says:

    I’m not an expert on planning center, but I’ll d my best.

    You are in a little bit of a different league than us – we are only about 800 people. And we don’t have multiple teams. We have rotate musicians & worship leaders, so it works well for us to schedule weeks in advance.

    It also works well for our tech team to know exactly what to expect for the weekend and for the service in a line by line printout.

    Another of my fave features is the matrix, where we can view weeks at a time and look back and forward in time and see trends and stuff.

    You DO need to upload the mp3’s and PDF’s or Word docs, text files, etc. If you use CCLI, then you can add songs and that will automatically bring in all the copyright, and tag data.

    We are loving it.


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