User Reviews Overview

Feature Ratings

Ease-of-use

4.5 / 5

Value for Money

4.5 / 5

Customer Support

4.5 / 5

Functionality

4.5 / 5

Ratings Breakdown

5 stars

(631)

631

4 stars

(209)

209

3 stars

(25)

25

2 stars

(1)

1

1 stars

(0)

0

  • Pros

  • "I love the freshness of the design, layout, and features. Everything with them is extremely well thought-out, planned, and executed."

  • "I love the user interface, the price, the support, the multitude of features, and the way they are constantly developing the software to make it better. "

  • "I like it's ease of use. Its a very easy way to see info pertaining to the service you are a part of. "

  • Cons

  • "Certain parts of planning center are not very intuitive. Once you have worked in the system for a while and have experience, it's easy to understand, but the learning curve can be quite detailed."

  • "The only bad thing about Planning Center is the price. It can get expensive as you add people to your teams. However, it is still a great value for the money."

  • "This is necessarily bad, but the overall system is still pretty new, so they are still working to add more features and grasp how each app needs to communicate with another."

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January 2020

Darien from Gateway Alliance Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

January 2020

High quality Church Management Software with a few areas for growth

Overall, Planning Center is a fantastic platform that offers a number of robust features and solutions for most of your church management needs! With the numerous optional aspects of PC such as services (service/event management), groups (small group management), people (database management), check-ins (attendance management) & giving, this platform is essentially a one-stop shop for most of your church management needs!

Pros

Planning Center is an extremely useful & powerful tool that really helps simplify & improve my everyday workflow; one that is clearly committed to excellence and consistently striving to improve their platform. Planning Center creates an easy-to-use platform for a number of different needs - including planning services, organizing teams, managing a database of people, kids check-ins, and a simple group organizational platform; all of which helps create a simple, cohesive, one-stop-shop for church management. All in all, there are very few things a church would need to do that planning center could not help them accomplish (see below); and with the Planning Center team constantly accepting feedback & looking for ways to improve the platform; this is an excellent piece of software that every church should consider getting!

Cons

While Planning Center offers a robust set of powerful features, it has a steep learning curve that some users may find difficult. While fairly intuitive, it carries so many different features; some of which don't appear to have any documentation or explanation, that it can be overwhelming for a first time user or someone who struggles with technology. That being said, once it is setup properly the majority of these problems go away. Planning Center also offers an intriguing Event Management platform called "Planning Center Registrations" - which is essentially a less-intuitive and much more complicated version of Eventbrite. While the Registrations platform ties in with the rest of the Planning Center platform; we have found it to be extremely difficult to setup properly; with a very confusing event configuration UI. Potentially, this is a part of the platform that I simply need to learn; but the fact that a platform like Eventbrite offers a similarly priced & very simple interface makes me less likely to ever use Registrations. My only other complaints about this software is the fact that Planning Center necessarily collects so much personal data about people; yet it does not offer simple admin tools such as 2FA or password guidelines for upper-level account editors & admins. This lack of optional security settings is concerning, as it creates a risk for low-quality passwords that could simplify data leaks from the platform.

Response from Planning Center

Replied January 2020

Hey Darien, We just wanted to reach out and say that we are sorry that the Registrations product has been difficult to figure out. We have many resources designed to help people get started with all of our products, including Planning Center University, our help documentation, and our support team. All of those resources are 100% free for customers and non-customers alike. If you have any specific aspects that you are struggling with please don't hesitate to reach out and let us know. Our support team would love to help you find a solution, and if they can't they can send a feature request along to our product team. You can reach the support team at any time by clicking on the "?" in the top right hand corner of any of our products.

October 2019

Ryan from Harvest Christian Fellowship

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2019

Best Church Management Option

Overall, it's really helped us manage our church. We use it for scheduling, groups, workflows, emails and tons more and it really works exceptionally well for us.

Pros

Planning center seems to be designed to be easy to use first, and to have all the features second. I appreciate this because a lot of the alternatives end up being too difficult to use, PC is great for the end users.

Cons

I guess the only thing is that there are a few features they don't have yet that I would like to see, like more automation and a bit more flexibility on user permission management

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Ease of use

October 2019

Josiah from Faith Chapel

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

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

Is Planning Center the way to go?

Overall, I think Planning Center is a good product...when you figure something out and it does what you want it to do, it's amazing. It's just getting to that point which is the pain for the majority of the time. Because there's a different "Platform" for each area Planning Center has, "Services" "People" "Groups" "Registrations" "Check-in's" so forth...they are similar but not 1 platform.

Pros

There is so much that Planning Center can do. I love that there is a way to get pretty much anything I want to do done. It's also the major giant when it comes to church systems and platforms.

Cons

The reason I chose this software to speak to is because of a major issue I've had with planning center which is, duplicating what I'm able to do with other people. It's quite difficult replicating ALL that Planning Center can do. In my line of work, getting multiple people to do what I do is GOLD...with Planning Center, I spend a lot of my time looking at tutorial videos and in the help menu trying to figure out how to do something that I'm almost positive it can do. So, when raising up other leaders to use Planning Center, they are often left frustrated and decide to just not. Not to mention, when I have somebody in charge of Planning Center for our ministry, they usually last no longer than a year, before they burn out. The reality is, planning and working directly with volunteers is an ANIMAL in itself. Dealing with people cancelling, forgetting, double booking, or complaining is no fun job for any scheduler...so dealing with certain frustrations with Planning Center is the last thing that individual wants. So what's the solution? Perhaps share the work-load with multiple people doing the scheduling...however, we never get to that point because of the difficulty of the program to the average volunteer. It's not impossible...but it's also not easy. I consider myself pretty computer savvy and every now and again during big events I assist the scheduler for that specific event and even though I've used Planning Center off and on for years...I'm always left frustrated.

Response from Planning Center

Replied October 2019

We certainly don't want you to have stress when it comes to training others using our products. Something we've done recently to help with this is to make our Planning Center University courses more accessible. We recommend that you have new leaders/volunteers to review these courses. It will help set in all on the path to success! https://planning.center/university

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.

October 2019

Jason from Teach 2 Teach

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2019

Unique, Full Featured, and Time Saving

This is a necessary piece of software. Even with the occasional bugs, you need it if you're in church leadership.

Pros

I'm a worship leader, so I use the scheduling, chord-chart features, etc. Music Stand and Services, mostly. The auto-scheduling saves so much time. So does Music Stand with the key changing features and chord chart sharing. It's great how the whole church can use this.

Cons

Every once in awhile there will be a bug on Sunday mornings. Each worship team member has his own iPad with the set. If I change a key or make an update, sometimes it doesn't update on each iPad. Also, sometimes when I change the page, it will change the pages wrong on the other iPads. This can cause some pretty bad disasters on stage... There are workarounds and these problems are intermittent. It's still frustrating.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

It's one of a kind. Nothing else does all the stuff this does. Especially from a worship team management perspective.

Response from Planning Center

Replied October 2019

Thanks for your review Jason! Our support team would like to help you with those issues you pointed out. That is not normal behavior and we'd like to get those resolved!

November 2019

Ciarra from andrade heating & air conditioning

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Public Relations and Communications

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

November 2019

Planning Center

Works for our scheduling needs week to week, able to email reminders of the positions scheduled seamlessly

Pros

The options to customize and add tabs that meet your scheduling needs are all there, available and ready to use

Cons

The kids check in option requires a laptop/desktop and cannot just use a tablet which we prefer to do

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

It was able to integrate easier with our attendance reports and the cost was less

Response from Planning Center

Replied November 2019

Hey Ciarra, Thanks for reaching out and leaving an honest review. We just wanted to pop in to let you know that we do actually support using any iOS or Android devices as your Check-In stations. If you need any assistance in going through your options and picking out a tablet don't hesitate to email us at support@planning.center. We would be happy to help!

January 2020

Chris from Carroll County Public Library

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

January 2020

Keeps everybody on the same page! No more guessing

We have been using it for years to make sure worship team members know who is scheduled for which weeks and on which instruments, as well as what songs we are playing on sunday. Because of this, we're able to just show up on Sunday mornings and run through the songs without having to have lengthy discussions about who is playing what, etc. It's a life saver.

Pros

This product has been a life saver for our church. It keeps all of our files, sheets, arrangements, notes, and tracks all in one place where anyone can access them. It makes scheduling team members a breeze and makes it so intuitive and easy to see what the service will look like and who will be doing what at any given time.

Cons

Honestly, i can think of very little negative feedback. This product does exactly what it is supposed to do and doesn't try to do something else. It works exactly like it should.

October 2019

Teddy from Friends Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

PLANNING IS GENIUS

Communication is easy. Scheduling Teams is easy. Updating information is easy. That is what is needed. You can also communicate through texts. Beautiful!

Pros

It is simple, intuitive and does what a planning software for churches should do. The apps are great too that comes with it. I love it that team members can update their information and block out dates they are not available to serve. For a planner, this is a dream come true. It helps the team communicate very well and it has revolutionized how our team works.

Cons

On the music part, I wish they had preloaded music like other software that do the same. Loading songs can be cumbersome and costly especially buying matching MP3s

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

The simplicity of use and great customer support.

November 2019

Alexis from Nichols Fine Arts Studio

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2019

Great Service Planning Software

Really good experience overall. The software works really well and rarely crashes.

Pros

Planning Center Online is the best service planning software available. It is browser-based, has a functioning app, and all of the functions you need. The additional add on modules expand the functionality to other parts of church life but are not required.

Cons

The cost is the biggest problem with Planning Center Online. It is the best software available but the cost reflects that. The more modules you add the greater the cost.

October 2019

David from Leading and Learning Consulting

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2019

The Way to Organize Your Church Services

We use it to plan our Sunday services and special events. It allows everyone involved in several key teams to easily see what everyone else is doing as well.

Pros

Planning Center allows multiple departments to plan and schedule their respective teams for events and regular meetings. The app makes it even easier to use.

Cons

It took several times of using the software to get the hang of it. One of my team leaders walked me through it until I was comfortable using it.

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.

September 2019

Sean from FountainGate Fellowship

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

September 2019

Church management software that scales with your organization

The overall experience with PCO is a good one. It is robust and continually has new, helpful features being added. It is a fantastic tool for tracking and managing people resources, donations, volunteers, and communication. I would highly recommend PCO for any church looking for a full featured ChMs without an oversized price tag.

Pros

Planning Center Online (PCO) is a scalable church or organizational software that adapts with your needs and provides great features that meet nearly all of the organizational needs. PCO offers event organization, people management, resource management, a donation platform, volunteer scheduling, and groups management. All this along with a solid communication platform and several third party integrations make PCO a powerful tool for any church or organization.

Cons

There are some features lacking such as built-in texting capabilities or whole-organization integration such as web site and app. The PCO app is not branded and lacks in features but most parts of PCO will integrate into other website platforms such as Wix.

September 2019

Eric from Freedom Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2019

Best ChMS every church needs

Workflows, workflows, workflows. This saves us a ton of a time each week. Attendance is easy to track with the Headcounts app. Services app for planning worship, communicating with volunteers, and scheduling the team is essential.

Pros

I like having individual apps for the different functions in PCO. Each module/app is easy to use and setup. Plus they all integrate seamlessly with one another. Workflows for everyday tasks like first time guest follow up, volunteer email/communication, event registration, and attendance is extremely valuable.

Cons

After using multiple church management systems, PCO has all the features we need...so not real cons for me.

September 2019

Daniel from Stanchfield Baptist Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

3.0

September 2019

Comparison to WorshipTeam software

Overall, I do like Planning Center, but I am really torn, because the "Cons" chew up a ton of my time. In my previous church (5 years ago), I DID use Planning Center and thought it was great. I realize that Planning Center is the "BIG PLAYER", but there are definitely things they could improve to make the experience easier.

Pros

1. Parts Storage - I can store my keyboard parts, lead sheets, chord sheets all in one place 2. Templates for services is very handy - saves a couple minutes each week allowing me to just add in my songs and any special things happening in the service. 3. Matrix view of plans and people - I do my people planning every 2 months, so it's nice to see 2 months worth of services all on one screen and fill in the blanks. 4. Black out dates - each team member can block out dates that they are not available, so I don't even need to bother asking them 5. Music Stand app - allows all of my musicians to be totally paperless (using an ipad), even my piano player (since I can import her music right into planning center along with my lead sheets from SongSelect). In WorshipTeam, I first have to create a PDF, and I can only create the PDF with Chord charts. I can actually turn pages for all of my musicians simultaneously using a session. 6. Notifications - I love the automatic notifications of members for upcoming services they are assigned to 7. Church Management - great tool for planning nursery workers, sunday school workers, ushers, greeters, etc. And they all get email/text reminders too! 8. Auto import of chord charts from SongSelect is great (too bad it won't also import my lead sheets) 9. I have heard of the ability to automatically create my projection slides from my weekly plan including proper sequence for each song - no mismatch of words between slides and chord charts.

Cons

1. Transposing songs is PAINFUL! In WorshipTeam, I can transpose with one click. I don't have to manually transpose the MP3 for the song and the chord chart is automatically transposed too. In our church, we have a lot of altos and basses. Rarely do we ever do a song in the original key. 2. Library is self populated. In WorshipTeam, I have the songs I have added to the library, but also all the songs that everyone else has added. So, for contemporary songs, they are usually already in the library for my use all ready to go. When I have a substitute worship leader, they are extremely daunted by the task of adding a song to the library in Planning Center. I don't know if they will ever do it even though I wrote out a procedure for them. 3. Not sure, but I think the storage area is limited in Planning Center. So, if I have created to many alternate keys of songs, I will eventually run out of space? 4. CCLI reporting is more complicated. With WorshipTeam, a report is easily created with one click and I don't have to keep track of anything on a weekly basis.

Response from Planning Center

Replied September 2019

Thanks for your honest review, Daniel! Many of the items in your CONS list are things we can help you with. Would you reach out to our support team at support@planning.center and we'll help get some of these pain points resolved!

July 2019

Justin from Church of the Highlands

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

July 2019

A must for Houses of Worship!

Overall, it's an excellent tool and I would highly recommend it. It's a must-have for anyone planning events, especially those in Houses of Worship.

Pros

It makes planning an event flow very easy and intuitive. It's a simple process to upload files and media to attach when creating an event flow, and it's easy to add additional notes and comments to aid in transitions. The timing features make it easy to track session lengths, and PCO Live is a great way to communicate real-time updates to users.

Cons

The Teams feature could be developed a bit more. When managing a checklist, there's no way to skip over items and come back to them later...everything must be completed linearly. In addition, it's difficult to go back and make edits after the fact or even view past progress and notes.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Broader feature set, especially when it comes to the integration of team/volunteer management.

Response from Planning Center

Replied July 2019

Hey Justin, Thanks for taking the time to write an honest review of our software! Sounds like you may have some ideas for how it could be improved. If you haven't already, we'd love it if you shot some of those ideas over to us at support@planning.center. Thanks!

July 2019

Timothy from The Father's House

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2019

Our Virtual Assistant

Our team has come to a place of embracing this product and using it well for planning worship events. Early on, it was a bit of a learning curve. Having been use to software having phone support with programs. Over all, this product has become a virtual part of our team. We like the ability to update it on the fly, even in the middle of an event. We have also used the "groups" portion of the app, but not a lot. Our next adventure with this product is to be implementing the "check-in" portion of the app. The PlanningCenter portion is great for setting up teams to serve and for bringing our sheet music library into the 'plan.'

Pros

This app/program has become a great aid in planning worship services and events for our Sunday Services and other events. It helps us get all of our information into one spot. Secondly, in planning our worship services and other events, it has become a template that leads us to our 'finished product,' a well planned and detailed event.

Cons

All support is done through tutorials and through email contacts. There is no phone support, at least that I have found.

Response from Planning Center

Replied July 2019

Hey Timothy, thanks so much for your feedback and sharing how the software helps your Team get to the finished product for your events. As for phone support, you are able to schedule a call via the (?) on the top right of the app you have questions in. While email support is the fastest most efficient way to receive support. You can still schedule a call via the (?) via the "open a ticket" modal. Hope you have a blessed one!

July 2019

Jason from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Arts and Crafts

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

July 2019

Interface

I would also take a moment and think through the basics of the site. If the goal is to do something basic like add a song, or even to rehearse a song [Which is difficult to do, or at least not clear to my older choir members], then it should be easy to see, and easy to execute. I love the fact that things are customizable, and that I can plan my service down to the second, but the moment I go to show someone else how to run basic things especially within the app, I am painfully aware that the interface could be tweaked to help make things a little bit easier for the users who are using your products the most. Most churches are less than 50 people. Most church members are baby boomers. Do your market research with that demographic in mind and I bet you will quickly see what works and does not work with regards to your interface. That being said, anyone outside of that demographic is willing to find out how to do things from youtube tutorials, so keep those up to date and looking nice and you will remain at the top of the church-planning food chain.

Pros

The things that Planning Center does well, it does very well. It always delivers notifications and I feel that it is reliable. Every single time that one of the people on my team have had an issue with the software, it was incredibly simple to resolve, and usually was a case of user preferences that needed adjustments. For the majority of the people that benefit from the software, the experience is seamless and professional. Due to the fact that most of the people who use Planning Center are not directly paying for the software, it has set itself apart as the crown of church planning resources. It is certainly my first suggestion to new worship pastors or churches that are trying to become organized. The fact that it can take care of so many different church needs from one platform is also worth mentioning. My church uses another system for online giving, but it is comparable to what Planning Center offers. We are in the process of transitioning all of our check-in systems to Planning Center and it is significantly cheaper and easier to use than ANYTHING else on the market right now.

Cons

My experience with Planning Center is not limited to, but mostly within the realm of "Services" so that is where I will spend most of my time. Before that, however, I will mention that while I know of a number of people who enjoy the "Music Stand" app, Planning Center does not offer the best deal for the service. Apps like Onsong, while expensive up-front, are not a monthly expense and allow for many file types and importing formats, including the ability to download the music straight from "Services." This allows for some freedom in set design and application as many of my musicians are playing during the week and not at the church. If they could pay once for "Music Stand" and also import the secular music into their setlists, they would use the app outside of a Sunday morning context. Now for the interface. One of the best tools in "Services" is the REPORTS section. And while I love the way it looks now, it has lost a lot of versatility. It is difficult to select the date for the reports, not to mention, hard to find the reports to begin with. Now, if I want to find songs from last Christmas, I really have to hunt to find the reports, find the right drop-down bar, and select "custom" on the display. Why not keep the custom option in the bar to begin with, and have the presets in the drop down bar? There is just a lot of unused real estate on that particular page, and I have spent too much time trying to relearn something that wasn't much easier in the last edition.

February 2019

David from Rolling Hills Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2019

Amazing Church Management Software

Overall, Planning Center is a pleasure to use and the support team is one of the best I've ever seen. They care about their customers and strive to make sure their product works perfectly. The development of these tools is ongoing and new features arrive all the time. Planning Center is a textbook example of how to do church management software right.

Pros

I love that Planning Center makes church management easy and fun. The web interface just keeps getting better and the developers are very active in trying to meet the needs of their customers. Its modular design ensures that it has tools available for all churches no matter how big or small. The prices are fair and you only have to pay for the parts that you use. Planning Center has transformed the way we manage our church and has improved communication between our leadership and our church body. This is a must-have tool for any church interested in improving the way they operate.

Cons

While I know that this is a work-in-progress, I find the lack of consistency across the various modules to be an issue. When a new feature is released in one module, it can take some time for it to migrate across the entire software platform. This causes confusion to those of us who are using nearly every tool offered by Planning Center. Additionally, some modules force users to use the archaic and difficult to use Markdown coding langue to format outgoing emails. To make matters worse, there is no email preview in the Markdown editor. So, it's a mystery if the code was entered correctly until after you hit the send button. Frustratingly, some modules do provide users with a full, rich text editor for correspondence. Why don't all of them?

November 2018

Jonathan from Alive Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2018

A strong suite with a little too much monopoly

Quality way of maintaining a database of church members that integrates well into scheduling them to serve, checking in their kids, or having them sign up for events or small groups. Nothing else quite like it out there in the market right now!

Pros

I love that it has a variety of different tools that are not only practical but have swiftly become necessary to running ministries in the church. I can't imagine using another software for scheduling teams, checking in kids, or organizing our small groups. This truly is a robust central point for our database management at our church, and it's in a whole other category than any other church management software because of its significantly lower price point.

Cons

Perhaps it's because of the price point, but where Planning Center fails in its ability to stay innovative and continually becoming more intuitive in its design and structure. I can't tell you how many times, even after years of use, I have spent dozens of minutes trying to find a certain feature or settings option that still evaded my insight for where it should go. Also, despite regular suggestions for updates to make the software stronger, I rarely see them innovating. If they didn't hold such a strong monopoly, I would not be surprised to see them ousted by a more aggressively advancing competitor.

Response from Planning Center

Replied November 2018

Thanks for your honest review, Jonathan! We'd love the chance to chat with you about your comments. You can email us at support@planning.center. We're working hard to update our apps often to keep them competitive. This month, we've pushed out major feature updates to Resources, Registrations, Groups, and Services. We have many exciting updates coming before the end of the year as well!

November 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2018

This is the software you want

I can't reccomend planning center enough. It's easy to use. It looks good when integrated with our website and digital signage. It encourages collaboration between teams. While it doesn't have an accounting module that kind of thing is best left up to the experts; intuit's products handle accounting much better than any church management software anyway. If you're not already using planning center services, you really should it makes planning worship so much easier and once you see how great that is you'll want to get groups, resources, and everything else and by that time most of your database is already populated and the people module is free. You'll be swapped over to it as your main church management software before you even realize it.

Pros

It is the most user-friendly software. They have more features than you'll ever need and it makes collaboration a breeze. The system always functions as it should and most of the time the development team is several steps ahead, putting out new features that are actually helpful. The fact that they work with groups like renewed vision to integrate with propresenter is incredibly valuable. Everything being cloud based also makes it easy to collaborate between departments on events. Their groups search is easy to use, resolution-responsive and looks great integrated into any website. The kiosk option in their events module makes dynamic calendar-based digital signage really simple. Everyone who has ever resisted adopting planning center at our church has eventually come around to really like it.

Cons

If you have a need for a feature the development team is going to tell you that they may add it one day and never commit to a release. Also they don't offer any training other than videos online - for savvy people this isn't much of a problem because their interface is so user friendly, but if you have staff who refuse to learn things on their own this will deter them from wanting to adopt planning center - though it shouldn't because it is really easy to learn. The pricing model can be somewhat confusing at times and I wish there was more of a discount for people using multiple modules; a large church can get close to spending a thousand dollars a month without much trouble, though I know this is comparable to some other platforms and honestly you get what you pay for.

March 2018

Jayden from University of Nebraska Lincoln

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2018

When it comes to all-in-one church planning and management, Planning Center is second to none.

Pros

It offers almost every feature you can imagine necessary for your church, regardless of your position. As a leader, you have the ability to set up a plan for an entire service, including music sets, speakers, sermon notes, etc. with as much or little detail as you like. You can then share this with any or all members of your team for their reference. Chain emails can be sent for reminders of meetings, worship rehearsals, or other information. For worship pastors, you are also able to attach chord charts, song files, and list of members for future worship sets, allowing everybody to have access to practice materials and be on the same page. There is also an ability to create your own chord charts for songs you've written, along with personal notes for your band to follow directly from you. For the congregation, there is a hub for offering/donations that can be done completely electronically. Members can also have their own profiles to check in, register for church events, and more. The best part of all of this is that it's all categorized, making every feature streamlined and easy to setup, use, and view. Most software becomes complicated when jam-packed with as many features as Planning Center, however the folks here have done a fantastic job of laying everything out in a logical and easy-to-use way, for the most part.

Cons

While most features are streamlined, some are buried underneath others, and thus require a bit of digging to figure out every last odd-and-end in the program (of which there are a lot). This isn't detrimental, but it is good to know that you'll have to be willing to invest a little bit of time to truly master everything.

February 2018

Nicholas from Hoboken Grace Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2018

It's core programs are stellar

All in one stop shop for Church Database Management

Pros

Planning Center is a great all in one suite for a church database. Their customer support is really good. They will respond to your email within an hour. They've had a slack channel that is also helpful for you to learn from others how they are using the software. The majority of their products are great. People, Services, Check-In are best in class in my opinion. Resources and Registrations are good they get the job done. One of Planning Centers best features is that they are constantly making quality improvements. Their updates keep them at the top of the ChMS game. I've witnessed others get the lead and they play it safe or drop the ball. Or they just built such a large product that its too big to update. People -Easy to import and export (this is a must feature in my opinion for any database) -Customizable (again another dealbreaker for me if a database doesnt have that) -F R E E Service - The best volunteer management software in any industry Check-In -Simple to use and straightforward -Beautiful UI

Cons

Groups and Giving are what I like least about Planning Center. We had to move on from PC Giving because after 2 years of using it they never added the ability to mass import donations or work with outside vendors. I would have loved to have been able to integrate PushPay with Planning Center. It would have saved us H O U R S. I would have loved to have our members see their entire history of giving. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to manually re-enter every gift. That would take months to complete and we are only 10 years old as a church! Reporting could be much improved too. You can really only search by one category at a time. So if you want to look at everyone who has given to a certain fund by check you'd have to export the info to get that. Groups is still in beta in my opinion and have been since they launched in June of 2016. It's not complete or usable in my opinion. All it does is take attendance. Our groups are more than just taking attendance. Every group's system has a span of care (coaching structure) but groups don't have anything to assist you with that. It also doesn't receive many updates. The team that works on giving also works on groups so giving naturally gets all the priority. Finally, one thing that scares me about Planning Center is that some of the staff can be really arrogant. I don't know if it's because of how many users they have and managing all the requests but they don't listen well enough.

Response from Planning Center

Replied February 2018

Hi Nicholas, Thanks for your review. We've had a lot of changes to our teams in the past two months, and the Giving/Groups team has been split in to two separate teams to help advance both of those products faster. It still might be awhile before Giving has a way to bulk-import payments, but adding the ability to track external payments in September was a step in that direction. It's definitely concerning that you feel our staff is arrogant, so if you would like to contact me directly about experiences that contributed to this feeling, I'll gladly look into it with you. Reagan Helms Support Team Lead Planning.center

July 2017

Kevin from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

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

July 2017

I couldn't imagine church service planning without PCO!

It revolutionized my planning and communication process. It made it so much easier to see who is serving when and to know whether or not they've been sent certain communication pieces and resources. It also makes it simple to collaborate with others on the planning process.

Pros

I've been in church music ministry for over 14 years now. I've tried and evaluated several pieces of software over the years. I always came away with the sense that software packages certainly worked for someone, but I would have to change several things to fit into most of them. That was until I found Planning Center. During my first contact with the product, I was thinking, "Who has been spying on me and conspiring to make my work simpler?" Planning Center is designed for church event & volunteer management by people who operate in that realm. They understand the challenges and needs of people serving in churches, and their software makes it incredibly easy to keep people in the loop and keep spots filled. Their customer support is second-to-none. In their early days, they had some issues with their hosting company. They live-tweeted as someone drove to the server farm, pulled their servers, and drove to a new hosting company that offered guaranteed up-time. We all understand that stuff happens. They won a lot of loyalty as their customers saw them doing everything humanly possible to make their product reliable.

Cons

One feature I'm hoping for soon is the ability to incorporate calendar invitations into people's serving schedule. As it stands now, you can subscribe to a calendar of your PCO activity, but it's a separate calendar. Not everyone will do that. As a result, I've been inviting people to Google Calendar events based on who is serving when, just to try to make sure it gets on people's schedules. It would be nice for that functionality to be integrated into PCO instead of doing it separately. When someone accepts an invitation to serve, they get a calendar invitation sent to the email address they indicated was their primary calendar. Other than that, I really have no complaints.

January 2017

RJ from Redeemer Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

3.0

January 2017

Great Church Management Software

I love almost everything about PCO, I've used many different CMSs over the last few years, and PCO has been the best. Their best apps are: The original "Services" is fantastic and the most polished. Works great not just for (all though especially for) worship team. It is also great for Children's/kids church, greeters, ushers, refreshment team, really any team! The next best is also their fantastic "check-ins" works great! they have thought through these well and made excellent improvements. Fast, reliable, intuitive, versatile, really just great. The third best and it starts to fall off pretty quickly from here, is their "People" app, it works well, they have mad significant improvements and honestly I think the reason this one does not seem to work as well as i wish it would is because of the other apps they've created... I'll try to explain. "Giving" seems to really frustrate my finance ladies. One works for several churches and she is not a fan of how things work in PCO, especially if you collect money through Text, or registrations... it seems to become very difficult to resolve on her end... i don't really know finance though, so i can't be more help there. "Registration" and "Groups" are all great efforts that seem to have too much crossover and convolution with each other but also "Check-ins". It can be hard to tell if a group should be entered into "groups" or "check-ins" or both.Such as Youth Ministry? Group or Check-in? Both take/track attendance, each in different ways with plusses and minuses each way. But good luck getting a useful report out of either them. Also if you use "Registration" to collect funds for an event, it's great for tracking that, but your finance office will hate you because it doesn't seem to report with everything else, so it adds a bunch of extra steps, i thought we were doing it wrong so they called PCO and basically got a "Sorry that's how it works." These apps all allow you to enter new people into the "People" app, and you also expect to find useful info on member activity in "People" but you really can't find much useful info on individual, just "Lists" of people. Reporting (in "People" or in the apps themselves) fails to be as useful as you need because of the overlap and convolution... want to know who didn't attend this week? No way to find out. Missed 3 times in the last 6 meetings? No way to find out. Want to see how attendance is going in each of your small groups in the church. sorry.

Pros

listed in my review

Cons

also listed in my review

June 2019

Jordan from Christ's Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2019

Best CMS out there.

If I didn't have a tool like this to keep everything together and organized, I probably would not still be in the ministry. PCO has helped me stay organized and lead my teams better than I ever could have on my own.

Pros

Scheduling volunteers and planning worship services - these two things drew me to PCO back in 2007. This was before it was a full featured CMS and even then I was recommending it to churches as a superior worship planning tool.

Cons

Now that it is much a much more full featured CMS, it can be a little less intuitive to use at times. I find that my team members often are unable to intuitively learn how to do some specific things - like building lists and flows in the People database. Good thing they have great tutorials and customer support.

September 2019

John from Bridge Church Ministries inc

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

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

September 2019

Not sure why anyone uses anything else

Overall I LOVE this product. It's specifically set up for church ministries and makes what we do look easy. The user experience is second to none, and makes everything we do better!

Pros

I love that you can plan services, schedule servers, communicate with servers, check in kids, set up groups, create event registrations, take payments for said events, receive giving and send giving statements all in one place. AND you can access this online or on an app. PLUS, there are individual apps for Church Center that people can interact with information, check-ins and headcounts. Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Cons

There are small aspects of each module that can get a little confusing. Creating groups and all of the different settings can be confusing. Making sure people can see it, sign up, get communication can be overwhelming. That's just one example. I love that they give options, I wish some of the options were put in the hands of the people interacting. i.e. I sign up for a group and know I'm forgetful, so I click a box to be reminded. My friend though is very organized and doesn't want all the emails. He signs up and says "no thank you" to the reminders.

Response from Planning Center

Replied September 2019

Hey John, Thanks for leaving an honest review of our software! Just wanted to reach out and mention that if you haven't already sent in some of these suggestions to our team you should. While we don't always work exactly the way people expect us to, we are always looking for ways to improve our apps, and a large part of that is user feedback. Any ideas you have you can send in to us at support@planning.center. Thanks!

July 2019

Matthew from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

July 2019

The only service we need to plan and execute our events

Excellent overall experience, we have never or very rarely had any service issues with the site crashing or anything like that. Just little bugs here and there which are always quickly resolved.

Pros

The seamless integration of various elements and components of our service or event. The ease of adding songs and lyrics, media elements, notes and documentation, organization of all the pieces, easy scheduling of staff and volunteers and ease of communicating to all those involved. The continued innovation and adding of features, listening well to their user base.

Cons

Some of the setup and coding of reports has a big learning curve, and some settings have been hard to find in the past, but the user support is there when we need it.

April 2019

Matt from NGO/Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2019

Planning Center is great for organizing church events, worship team, staff members, volunteers, ect.

It makes scheduling team members for your church simple and easy. Honestly, I don't know how we could go without it at this point. It's such a time saver, and the best way to share songs and files with the team. There is a phone app that works really well too, with only a few minor limitations compared to the computer/browser version.

Pros

I've been using Planning Center for many years with multiple worship teams, and it keeps evolving and getting better. I'm an admin with Planning Center for my current church, so I use it quite often. It stores a data base of team members that can be grouped into multiple categories (worship team, audio/lighting tech, sunday school/nursery volunteers, etc). I think PC really shines for scheduling worship services. It stores audio files, video links, and documents which can easily be linked to any new service so your team has the information (music, audio files, videos) they need to be prepared in advance. Your worship team (or for any other aspect of church functions) can be alerted when they are scheduled to serve, and they can accept or reject the invite to serve which will alert the admin so they can make sure that a person for each required position of a service or event has been filled. It can save tons of time for an administrator to put together a team and get them the resources they need. It even links to online calendars so when you accept a position for an event, it can automatically be added to your calendar (in my case Google). Overall, if your church isn't using this, you need to try it - it's a huge time saver!

Cons

It can be a little confusing sometimes, and there is way more to it than we use that I wish we could turn off until we need it, but honestly it's still probably the best options out there that we've found.

May 2019

Chad from Grace Church of Greater Akron

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

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

May 2019

Indispensable software, far outshines the competition

Planning Center is an absolute must for any church or non-profit. They have everything you need, and they help you organize even better than you thought you could. There's literally no reason not to use it!

Pros

Planning Center has a suite of software that integrates so seamlessly and offers so much to help the teams. The team who plans and develops Planning Center has a deep understanding of the unique environment that churches are in, and their software constantly delivers modern tools to navigate it. I use Services the most, and it does everything you could ask it to. The newly redesigned interface is beautiful, intuitive, and fast. The power user features make editing and managing songs and people easy. The android and iOS apps are top notch as well. You can do most of what you would need to on mobile, and the apps report any updates instantly. Oh yeah, pricing is incredibly affordable and there's a free version to boot. Once, the gracious support team even helped me add more members than my plan allowed.

Cons

In services, I wish the apps allowed you to edit more song details, such as adding new keys and changing song sequences. Other than that, there are no cons.

Response from Planning Center

Replied May 2019

Hi Chad! Thank you for your kind words and honest review! For the Song details, let us know what you'd like to see in the mobile app. We have plans for what we want to add, but your feedback would be valuable, for sure. Contact us through the helpdesk in the mobile or web apps and we can start the conversation, there! - Clay

October 2017

Brandon from Woodlake Church

Industry: Religious Institutions

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 2017

Planning Center is THE standard when it comes to Church Planning Software for good reason!

Planning Center allows me to keep all of my teams and schedules organized with very little headaches along the way. I use Planning Center multiple times each week and use it to keep track of a large database of volunteers. Within seconds I can see what areas we are weak in volunteer wise and schedule accordingly. I have had very little issues with Planning Center, but anytime I need help, their customer service teams are phenomenal.

Pros

Planning Center allows me to keep all of my teams and schedules organized with very little headaches along the way. I use Planning Center multiple times each week and use it to keep track of a large database of volunteers. Within seconds I can see what areas we are weak in volunteer wise and schedule accordingly. I have had very little issues with Planning Center, but anytime I need help, their customer service teams are phenomenal.

Cons

On rare occasions there are features that are difficult to navigate. For example, I was recently changing someone's availability within their profile and the dropdown for possible service times wasn't showing the service times it should have. There was a menu I had missed that changed this dropdown to be correct. The Planning Center team fixed the issue for me quickly and taught me how to do it myself in the future so I am definitely not complaining, I would just say there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to navigating all of Planning Center's options.

December 2019

Aaron from First Free Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

December 2019

The best possible planning tool for teams

Planning Center allows me to solve frustrating team communication issues. Everyone on my team knows all the details. Songs... check. Service times... check. Rehearsal times... check. Media and lighting cues... check. Its been a game changer for my team overall.

Pros

Team communication: planning center allows me to organize and communicate with over 150+ volunteers and staff. Its absolutely essential for my job and for serving my team as effectively as possible.

Cons

The GUI is a tad bit intimidating at first, as is with most planning center modules. However in a few hours or days, you are up and running in no time, and there is also a vast FAQ and help section on their support page.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Theres simply no comparison. Planning Center is the best church organization software out there. Nothing comes close to the functionality or amount of features.

April 2019

Kati from Rochester Assembly Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2019

Planning Center has stream-lined our whole church volunteer base.

We love Planning Center and it has revolutionized our church's organization.

Pros

We can literally keep all our church info under one umbrella. We schedule all of our volunteers for worship, coffee ministry, early childhood, sound, kid's wing... everything with Planning Center. We would be lost without Planning Center. We are able to see when our volunteers are scheduled in other departments. We use the kid's check-in app. We have even recently used the "Registrations" app for some of our sign-ups, it's a little pricey but pretty efficient. We run so much of our church with Planning Center.

Cons

It definitely sometimes has weird glitches where some volunteers will not receive emails sent to them all time, or worship team members getting unscheduled. We are not entirely sure if it's Planning Center's fault or some weird planning center fairy messing with us.

Response from Planning Center

Replied April 2019

Hi Kati! Thanks for sharing the love. We are are so happy it has helped you and your ministry. We did notice you mentioned some volunteers will not receive emails sent to them. If you notice this happening we'd recommend writing in to our support at support@planning.center and we'd be happy to look into any issues you are having. We want our software to help you and your ministry be the best it can be. So if you have any hiccups, don't hesitate to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you!

February 2018

Micah from Whitewater

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

3.0

February 2018

Great at discrete tasks... not yet ready for primetime as a whole-church DB replacement

Planning Center is hard to review because it's not one product, it's actually six different products. That's both a strength and a weakness. Most people using Planning Center are used to its core functionality: Planning Center Services. This is the tool used for actually planning a worship service (complete with tech sheet, ProPresenter integration, etc) and scheduling people to be there. It also has a Check-In component, a Groups component, a Resources (room scheduling) component, and a Giving component. Supposedly, if you add them all together you get a viable whole-church database solution. It's hard to see that being the case, since a lot of the functionality you'd want to see for a whole-church database (especially around reporting, metrics, dashboards, etc) are missing. But the parts that are there mostly work well. It's impossible to overstate how far ahead Planning Center Services is from everything else in the field. Everyone I'm in contact uses Services for service planning. Their other modules, though, are all missing important features. Work is clearly being done to improve those components, but mostly it seems more like rearranging existing features than adding the ability to solve new problems. We'll keep using Planning Center Services, but have transitioned away from Planning Center Groups and anticipate moving away from Planning Center Resources. Luckily our new system integrates well with PCO, so we'll be able to keep our contact databases in sync. This is an underappreciated feature for PCO: a full API to develop and integrate against!

Pros

Great ease of use. Excellent for planning services and scheduling volunteers. Makes it easy for volunteers to respond to schedules without having to remember account details. Solid people management.

Cons

Everything outside of the core (service planning & scheduling) functionality seems half-baked. Very difficult to pull reports, group scheduling & attendance don't work well.

March 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

March 2018

Planning Center is very effective in scheduling volunteers for events, services, and volunteering

We are able to let mass amounts of volunteers know what they'll be doing, when they'll be serving, and where they'll be serving over the weekend services we have. It's a great tool for churches who have volunteers willing to jump in and be a part of a team.

Pros

I like that we can send our team members invites for weekend services and they can respond via the downloadable app. We continually use this software to see who will be showing up to services/events by who's accepted and who has declined the invites we send out. We enjoy using the service flow capability that allows us to communicate how the services will be run for each weekend. This not only allows us to communicate with those who volunteer on our teams, but they have great features like music stand to help communicate which songs will be played that need to be practiced. Every feature created is to the benefit of the participants and the administrators using it.

Cons

I think the only thing I really don't like about this software is the time it takes to get used to where all the functionality is and what can be used for different situations. It's sometimes a challenge to get newer users on their feet when jumping into this program. Particularly in understanding the structure of how data is recorded within the program.

December 2019

Brian from Emmanuel Enid

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

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

December 2019

Best Software Available on the Market for Worship Planning, Volunteer Communication and Scheduling

When I arrived at my first full-time church 10.5 years ago, I decided in my second month I was going to do a 30 day trial of a worship planning website called planningcenteronline.com that I had seen advertised and had heard some friends discuss. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made as a worship leader. The ease with which Planning Center allows me to plan worship, communicate with volunteers and do all I need to lead a powerful worship ministry is unheard of in the industry. Planning Center is one of the best tools out there!

Pros

Ease of use for both volunteers and staff. Clean, concise user interface. Easily customizable to fit your own needs.

Cons

The ONLY con I can think of is that sometimes their Music Stand app for sheet music use can be a little clunky and not load sheet music easily on a tablet or iPad.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Ease of use. Word of mouth from friends and people I know.

July 2019

DON from DRUMRIGHT UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2019

COMPREHENSIVE AND EASY TO USE

Overall, we are very pleased. However, they could be more responsive to our concerns about customization.

Pros

We like the ability to choose the modules we need and that they are all integrated. As soon as you select a new module, data from the others is available at once. Each module is versatile and somewhat customizable.

Cons

The developers used language that does not fit with what we are used to. That is, some of their terminologies fit better in a secular business environment instead of a church. Most of these instances are not customizable. For example, the People module has no way to designate Head of Household or to distinguish dependent children from adult children. We found a number of instances where we had to reorient our thinking to fit their use of terms.

Response from Planning Center

Replied July 2019

Hey Don, Thanks for taking the time to write an honest review for our software. It sounds like you have written in a time or two and that those were turned into feature requests. Please know that each and every request is seen and reviewed by our teams that make our apps. Unfortunately there are so many great ideas that we can't implement them all, at least not quickly. A lack of movement on any feature request doesn't mean that we think it's a bad idea, it just means that it hasn't made it to the top of the priority list yet. Thanks again for the review and if you have any other ideas be sure to send them our way!

March 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

3.0

March 2019

Fantastic church service management software

Being able to access my sheet music on the fly with annotations I have written in is a huge game player for playing on a worship team. I used to have a huge physical folder of sheet music, and now I have everything in this app. This app eliminates the need for paper sheet music. I also like that if a team leader changes a key in a song, the new sheet music will be available (although I wish this gave you a notification that the key changed).

Pros

+ I like that I can listen to the songs through the app (YouTube player) + I love being able to make annotations on a song, and then accessing those later (provided they are in the same key) + I like that I can block out my unavailability on a calendar

Cons

- For Music Stand, Annotations on sheet music in previous keys are rarely available. This makes transposing very frustrating and time consuming - Cannot access annotations on songs in different keys from the PC online version (have to use the mobile version) - Custom zoom options are very difficult to manage (if you want to zoom in on Music Stand, it is finicky) - I should be able to access songs/annotations/sheet music from prior services I have played, but as of now I cannot - It would be really nice to have a transpose feature (A key is in A but the sheet music is in G - this technology is readily available on other websites, but Planning Center does not currently have this) - I should be able to share my annotations with other members - Should get notifications in app if the leader changes the key of a song

Response from Planning Center

Replied March 2019

Thanks for your review! Our support team is happy to help you with getting those annotations available. Transposing is also available and we can assist with that as well at support@planning.center Thank you!

October 2019

Josh from Brookings Church of the Nazarene

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

Great overall Church Management Software

Overall, Planning Center has provided a powerful central hub for communicating and organizing our church activity across the board. We just recently fully migrated over to all of the planning center features and look forward to digging deeper as we fully integrate into every ministry in our church.

Pros

Planning Center offers a vast array of tools for managing our church, from check-ins to worship planning and everything in between. It has streamlined communication and cut back on overall administrative time so that we can actually do the work of the pastor.

Cons

While the versatility is great, there is so much to learn across the several different planning center tools and can be a bit overwhelming. Some significant initial learning/setup is required to fully utilize every tool to its full capacity.

November 2016

Kevin from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

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

November 2016

Don't Do Church Music Without This Tool!

I've been a church music director for 13+ years. I've looked into a lot of online products over the years. Most of them looked like something that worked for someone, but I would have to change how I did things to make it work. Enter Planning Center. As soon as I started poking around, I starting thinking, "Who has been spying on me and conspiring to make my life easier..." Not only is this product incredibly well-made, their customer support is second-to-none. Planning Center makes service planning and volunteer scheduling a breeze. I also use it to handle all of my music stand & chord chart needs. They also have products available for Event Registration, Giving, Volunteer Check-In, Church Management and more! Their products are designed to serve the local church because that's how they started. They designed products that they themselves needed in their own churches. All of their stuff is web-based, so it's accessible anywhere from any device. Seriously, do yourself a favor and start using PCO.

Pros

It's incredibly easy to use, not only for me but my volunteers. It is designed to target the needs & issues I face in service planning and volunteer management in a local church. It integrates with a host of other products I use to help my teams prepare every Sunday.

Cons

Because it's web-based, Internet access is required for most functionality. That doesn't hinder me because I know it's a requirement, so I plan for it.

October 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2018

Planning Center: Excellent Church Database

After the learning curve, you will find that Planning Center helps meet your church needs and will significantly increase your productivity within the church!

Pros

Planning Center is the perfect business software for our church's needs. We have now implemented the Resources tab into our church and its excellent for reserving rooms/vans. We have one mass calendar that allows us to never overlap. Our ministry leaders love using the service portion to update our schedule and worship services. Members have the chance to approve or decline their volunteer positions which allows our leaders to know if our Sunday's are properly staffed. Sending emails through the database are extremely simple. We are also a very diverse church and I love the demographics and people status feature.

Cons

It was a significant learning curve to understand how to implement the software. I can't even say this is a true con though because with any encompassing software, it will take time to learn all the ins and outs. The only true con is that we are only allowed so many check-in's in one day until the price increases. Since we are a church, we only use check in on Wednesdays and Sundays which leaves 5 days for us to not check anyone in. Even though we are not touching the weekly check-in quota, we would still have to pay more for the two days that we do.

Response from Planning Center

Replied November 2018

Thanks for your review! Check-In's limit is a daily limit, and the unused check-ins don't roll over to the next day. So there's not a "weekly check-in quota." Planning Center Support

October 2019

Deborah from Parkcrest Christian Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

BEST web-based software for worship planning

We've been using Planning Center for about seven years. I don't think we've ever had an issue with the product. I've never had a need to contact customer service. It does what it is supposed to do, and it makes this aspect of my job as the administrative assistant of a worship department of a large church much easier.

Pros

Planning Center is extremely easy to use. I can very easily do everything I need to do. When I train new people on Planning Center, it is one of the easiest products to train someone on. It is very intuitive and easy to figure out what to do even if you don't know how to do something.

Cons

My only issue is sometimes the app is a bit finicky. For whatever reason there always seem to be a bunch of extra roles that need filling on the app only. I try and delete them, but I can't. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app, but still have issues

Response from Planning Center

Replied October 2019

Hey Deborah, Thanks for writing an honest review for us! I noticed that you mentioned having some issues with the mobile apps. You may have already done this, but if you haven't, would you mind sending in a support ticket to support@planning.center. If there is an issue with the app we want to make sure that we can get that fixed for you! Thanks!

February 2020

Gabriel from Calvary Chapel Longview

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2020

This is the gold standard for church management.

We mostly use the Services product so my experience with their other products is pretty limited. It has become absolutely indispensable to us however. We use it to schedule team members for our music and production teams, map out service structure ahead of time, Store, practice and schedule song files, and more. Without PCO we would have a disaster on our hands.

Pros

- lots of great features. Ive been using Planning Center for years and I still learn something new every week. - So. Many. Integrations. PCO will integrate with literally hundreds if not thousands of other faith-based platforms making it super easy to connect it all together. - modular pricing. You pay for what you use and leave the rest. Great for smaller churches because of this. - overall value for your dollar. These products are awesome and well worth the cost per month. You can even choose to not pay a dime and use limited versions of each product to test out.

Cons

- learning curve. There is a LOT here, and it can take a while to learn the ropes. On-boarding new members can take time and patience. Its gotten much better over the years though! - no more cons that I can think of! Why are you looking at cons! Go buy Planning Center!

January 2019

Elena from Creekside Church

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

4.0

January 2019

Great Way to Organize Services

I really like the accessibility of this app! Simple to use and I can create my own profile. I can see who else I am serving with and what dates I still need to respond to. I can also print out documents on the specific services. Thanks for a great app!

Pros

- Schedules are clear. - I can blockout dates and times - All schedules and materials for services are easily found within the app. - I can easily print items from the app. - Team members are visible and all statuses (confirmed, declined, etc.). - Personalized to my liking and functionality.

Cons

- Cannot change my choice on confirmations or declining. - Not super smooth in blocking out dates or finding services. - Sometimes when I go into messages or a specific service date, I cannot easily go back to the main list of my WHOLE schedule. - Could get better at recommending to Administrators to fill everything out and keep it up to date for users.

Response from Planning Center

Replied January 2019

Hi Elena! Thanks for you kind words and honest criticism! If you'd like to walk through any of the issues or hurdles you are seeing in the app, make sure to email our support team, here: support@planning.center. Or through the helpdesk of the app. We take feature requests very seriously and we'd love to hear what you'd like to see change! Have a great day!

December 2019

Paul from Orange County Public Schools

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Industry: Information Technology and Services

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

December 2019

Hands Down Best Planning tool for volunteer worship team members

Like I said I can't image how churches planned and scheduled services before this application was out. Its so easy to see my schedule, and hear and prepare for the songs I am scheduled to play. As a volunteer it has made my service a breeze and I know what to expect. If you have an organized leader I believe this software would be the best thing that leader could invest in for themself and their volunteers. I have never had an issue with this software, I just wish it was around sooner!

Pros

I love that I can see when I scheduled to play, I can block off dates very easily, and I have the opportunity to decline or accept when I am scheduled. The app for the phone/tablet is awesome and I mainly use that. Sometimes when I am on my work computer the website also works great. Its super helpful to see the services in order and easy to access the mp3's and chord charts for the music I am playing to better prepare me for the service I am scheduled for. I do not know how churches did this before planning center. I also Like that I can see other members of the teams info incase I need to reach out to them and talk about splitting parts. I love the music stand addition as well. Using my iPad as a music stand has been the best!

Cons

Sometimes on the phone app I will play the mp3's of a particular service week and when that song is done it starts playing songs from a completely different service and has that services songs pulled up, even though I was not even looking at that service. It is annoying, but that is the only flaw I have found with the application.

February 2020

Walter from Lake Superior Christian Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2020

Must have for church teams

We couldn't operate as smoothly as we do with the help of Planning Center. It's a vital part keeping our team informed and involved.

Pros

While service planning and resource management (sheet music, audio files etc) are wonderful, I like the volunteer scheduling the most. The main thing being the ability for volunteers to add their own "block out" dates. This almost eliminates the seemingly endless "I can't make it that week" conversations.

Cons

When adding a resource to an item on a playlist, it doesn't attach to the "song" itself. This can make it difficult to track down resources or reference material is someone places it there instead.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Other products have great features (some have better practicing or transposing tools) but the benefits of being extremely organized and having great communication tools built in far outweight any negative aspects.

Response from Planning Center

Replied February 2020

Hey Walter! So glad to hear that Planning Center has helped you schedule your Teams on a new level. We noticed you had a pain point with attachments. We'd be happy to look into this with you. Would you be up for writing into our support at support@planning.center? This way we can definitely look into this with you.

December 2018

Ginger from The Priceless Journey

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

3.0

December 2018

First year using and Learning curve

We are able to keep everything in real time and schedules are all the same and able to be adjusted easily. Staff and volunteers can respond quickly to requests and resources are used better.

Pros

I love that the functionality is well integrated with other aspects of the programs needed in our church. I love that we can schedule all departments and needs for the entire church. The ability to auto schedule is a huge plus. I love that there's a phone app so I'm able to see everything needed on the go or make changes.

Cons

I do not like that there are not more specific perimeters for schedules. Such as choosing how often people serve in specific roles vs. how many times a month as an over all blanket. I also would have liked a more personal introduction and hands on help when learning the software. A call desk for immediate help would be wonderful. I wish there was better integrated systems for audio files included with membership. Finding the right song, key etc. is tedious and time consuming and really other less expensive programs offer this service so I feel that should be included. So when you add a song from CCLI the audio file should be included.

Response from Planning Center

Replied December 2018

Hi Ginger! We'd love to talk to you about some of your feedback. First, thank you for taking time to type this up - it's appreciated! Our scheduling app, Services, allows for quite specific serving preferences. We'd be happy to help you with this. Also, in regards to finding music, it sounds like some of our searching filters will help ease your searching woes a great deal. We can help with that too! Lastly, CCLI is a separate company from Planning Center. We have no control over the files they do or do not allow to be integrated. While we certainly think it would be great to be able to auto-import audio files, that's not something CCLI allows, so it's not something we can do. We can auto import audio files from PraiseCharts and RehearsalMix. Contacting our support staff will allow us to help you with all this and more!

November 2019

Jayme from Grace Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2019

Planning Center for the win

Pros

I have used Planning Center in 2 different churches and it has worked wonderfully in both organizations! It's such a great program for organizing/scheduling volunteers.

Cons

The service app can be a bit funky at times, but overall it's a good app. There is definitely a learning curve to understanding how to use all of the different scheduling/template/team building tools, but the help feature is very well laid out.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Was able to use it across various ministries.

January 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

January 2019

Not sure why ANY church wouldn't be using Planning Center!

Our church staff team has felt the weight of me asking us to go all-in with the Planning Center platform. We currently use "services", "people", "groups", "check-ins", and "giving" every single week - often every single day. PCO has streamlined many of our previous workflows (or, to be honest - helped us CREATE workflows that didn't exist!). Having access on computers and mobile devices is SUCH a blessing. We couldn't be more pleased with our PCO experiences!

Pros

My favorite part of Planning Center is that it is ALWAYS evolving. From brand new big-ticket module roll-outs to smaller upgrades within the software - the always advancing nature of Planning Center is a huge plus for us. I also love the "umbrella" that Planning Center brought to our ministry situation. Bringing many weekly-use bits of software under one umbrella has helped in so many ways.

Cons

The only negative experience we've had with Planning Center centers around a drop in our Internet speeds on a Sunday morning while checking in children to our children's ministry. Without adequate internet access, we couldn't adequately accomplish what this software provides.

October 2019

Adam from South Mountain Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 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

4.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

It's the standard for church software for a reason

We are fully invested into the Planning Center software as an organization and we couldn't be happier with it.

Pros

Planning Center is incredible for churches to manage people, services, groups, registrations, giving, etc. We use the full suite of Planning Center software and love all of it. It's not always perfect, but their customer service is usually quick to respond and takes product feedback well.

Cons

It is a bit pricey, but it's worth the cost. Really that's the only downside.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Better overall product and more software offerings that integrate with each other natively.

March 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2019

Planning Center is the Best Practice for church management tools!

Without fail, no matter how many other options we research, Planning Center is the only software that truly enables our church to grow and it will scale with us! It's become a tool that allows our multi-site church to truly take care of our span of care well.

Pros

I love Planning Center's customer support and how they've helped us to customize/better utilize Services and People for our volunteer teams.

Cons

Planning Center Services seems to change the user interface a little bit too frequently. They change the layout and navigation just enough and, when a change occurs, the walkthroughs tend to be insufficient because each team uses it in a somewhat different capacity. Also, we happen to have a very large database of individual records for our attendees and volunteers, so for users who download the Services app and accidentally open the "people" tab, the app tends to crash or freeze.

Response from Planning Center

Replied March 2019

We're happy to help you with that app-crashing issue! This should not be happening, regardless of how many people are in your database. Please contact our team at support@planning.center and we'll work with you to get this fixed.

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