About Planning Center

Planning Center by Ministry Centered Technologies is a suite of cloud-based applications that are used to support team leaders and members in planning, scheduling and managing church programs and events. The solution’s “Services” module supports tools to keep media organized. Users can upload and tag media and files to locate the right song or video for your service, then schedule and stay in contact with team members overseeing or participating in that service.

Planning Center provides a “Resources” module that allows leaders to reserve rooms and publish event calendars to manage church resources. The events, rooms and resources have their own calendar feed that syncs with calendar programs, including Outlook, iCal and Google Ca...


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Supported Operating System(s):

Web browser (OS agnostic)

874 Reviews of Planning Center

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.70 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.5

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(637)

637

4 stars

(210)

210

3 stars

(26)

26

2 stars

(1)

1

1 stars

(0)

0

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

Showing 1 - 5 of 874 results

May 2020

Tyler from Heritage Park Baptist Church

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

May 2020

So. Much. Better.

I was the XP at a church that used Planning Center. I went to another church that used one of their main competitors. After 18 months, we are on Planning Center. I'm much happier and the rest of the staff is much happier. I think that pretty well sums it up.

Pros

When we switched from our previous software to Planning Center, I worked with our staff to see how it was going. The responses I got were always akin to "well, it is frustrating learning a new system...but this is better than what we were on." Basically, in one or two days our staff was less frustrated with Planning Center than they were continually with a system we had been on for three years. As we've been on it longer, the frustrations have decreased and the benefit to our church has increased. Moving to Planning Center has been the best organizational choice we've made in a long time. Oh, and it is about $100 (33%) cheaper each month. And that's on month-to-month vs an annual contract with the old guys. And when our online giving agreement runs out and we switch the Planning Center giving, we'll save another $200 or so a month. And their support is incredible, typically responding within an hour (vs 2 business days on the old platform).

Cons

To my understanding, Planning Center set out to make a great stand alone tool for Check Ins, a great tool for Registrations, a great tool for Giving, etc...to do this, they set up separate development teams for each module. I understand this, having worked with some tools that started as a great online director or great giving tool or great event tool and tried to expand to do much more. The result is often complicated bloat. I do think Planning Center's model largely avoided this because each thing has to stand on its own. In my estimation, I'd like to see some tweaks to certain modules, but overall each of them accomplishes what I need. The one drawback to this, though, is that the tools don't integrate quite as tightly as I'd like. Everything talks back to their People module, but sometimes it would be good to have them talk to each other a little more. E.g., when we set up an event in Check In, we also have to go into the Calendar module to set up the event to request the room. This can be a bit of a hassle. To be fair, it does seem like they are moving in this direction with new features, so hopefully their biggest weakness (to me) will continue to shrink! But, again...this is minor compared to the frustrations I've had with other systems. I've been on ones that I hated even logging into because I knew I was going to get mad. I genuinely like using Planning Center.

February 2020

Luke from Shiloh Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2020

Exactly what we needed to take our organization to the next level

Planning Center has been a dream for our church. Before we made the move we had a different system for everything and none of them talked to each other in any way. We were scheduling 200+ volunteers 8 weeks out in an Excel spreadsheet. Our previous database software did almost nothing useful and we avoided even using it. Now with Planning Center we're more organized, automated, and streamlined than ever. I know we're not yet using it to it's full potential, there's so much more we can do still and we're excited to see how Planning Center will continue to change, grow, and get better.

Pros

Planning Center apps more than make up for their cost by the time, headache, and agony they save us. They are well designed and regularly adding new features. Planning Center listens to user feedback and is very friendly. They want to see churches empowered and so they listen to users for direction as they're implementing new features. Their help docs are great. The apps themselves are powerful. They may not always do what you want in the way you want it, but there's always a way to get it done. The integrations – Lists, Automations, Workflows, Forms – transform People from a database app into a powerhouse of tracking and automation.

Cons

Some more complicated tasks are not alway simple for PC novices to figure out; they do require some problem solving and hoop-jumping at times but it's still better than going without. Better training docs for getting users or volunteers up to speed for the first time are currently missing. I find myself having to create these based on existing help docs and my own material.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

FellowshipOne is owned by Ministry Brands, which if I'm not mistaken is a for profit company that has been buying up church software companies. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, we were much more comfortable with Planning Center and their model. We quickly got to know the people and their heart to help churches.

December 2018

Karen from Center of Praise Ministries

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

3.0

December 2018

Part of it Works for Us

At this point, it is used in a minimal way, to lay out our order of service and schedule 2 ministry teams out of the 10+ teams that serve at each of our services.

Pros

Makes scheduling and organizing our order of service very simple for the administration team. When an item such as teaching changes from 30 minutes to 40 minutes, the modifications are easy to implement without having to recalculate the time of day from one item to the next. When that same item is moved someplace else in the order of service it's a simple drag and drop and all times for the service are automaticallly adjusted.

Cons

Not a great tool for our volunteers. The scheduling module is a little difficult to train volunteers to use. They all give it a shot but most revert to using excel spreadsheets. Report templates, unless you are an html programmer, aren't flexible enough to give me the layout I am looking for. We tried to use it to check in our children but the unreliability of connecting and printing name tags caused huge delays, aggravated our parents and frustrated the volunteers. I am advised they have resolved that problem, however, due to their prior experience our children's church isn't willing to give it another chance.

Response from Planning Center

Replied December 2018

Hi Karen, Thanks for the review! Our support team is able to help you with some parts of coding those reports if you'd like to reach out to them for help, and give them an example of how you would like your report to look. They would also be able to give you some tips for making scheduling volunteers easier in Services. Sorry to hear that hardware issues were keeping your Children's Ministry from using Check-Ins efficiently. If they're willing to give it a second chance in the future, we'll be glad to help troubleshoot those problems up front.

April 2020

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2020

Excellent Church Management Software

Overall my experience with Planning Center has been a fantastic one, and I'm looking forward to using their current and new products in my church now and in the future!

Pros

Planning Center offers a fantastic suite of software that makes behind the sences tasks for church management a breeze.

Cons

The pricing for some of their products is a little higher than what can be found from the competitors, but it is almost always made up in their excellent customer service.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

We chose Planning Center over Rock RMS due to its ease of setup and not having to maintain/configure the server to run Rock RMS ourselves. In the future, we may move to Rock RMS for some apps given the greater customization and flexibility that Rock RMS offers.

October 2019

Stephanie from The Verb Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

Above and Beyond for Church Management Software

Planning Center is a product that I don't just appreciate for its function in my life - it's a product I truly love. My experience is so positive when I interact with Planning Center, due to this. The software is ridiculously affordable, and adjust based off of your church size and use. This makes it such a blessing to small churches such as ours. Planning Center is also ever-growing, with new features and functions popping up rather frequently. I look forward to continued use of this product, because I know they will continue to grow and develop as a product as it remains highly useful and affordable.

Pros

Using Planning Center is like having the church volunteer who can do it all. The options in all its planning categories is so robust, our small team is easily able to keep track of volunteers, kids, donations, visitors, and more. We especially love the scheduling and volunteers - the categories are easy for the staff to set up, and easy for the volunteers to understand. The opt-in for volunteers to confirm or decline a role is so easy, the volunteer does not even have to be signed in. This feature makes it so very easy to schedule the workload from week to week, and make sure each member of the team has the help it needs!

Cons

I feel that their "groups" function is a little lacking - there's some basic features for setting up groups and protecting host information (such as home address), but I've seen other church group software that provides much more in terms of communication, tracking, etc. Thankfully, Planning Center intends to expand upon this feature, and I trust that they will eventually.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Planning Center was, ultimately, so robust and effective, for such an affordable price. We were able to accomplish so many goals in one place, without having multiple apps. It's a small detail, but we were very much swayed by the function at the time of using barcodes for children's check-in; Planning Center really knew what they were doing when they developed it, and it was a highly attractive feature that helped us see Planning Center as an exciting choice for all of our other needs.