About Planning Center


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

Planning Center provides a “Resources” module that allows leaders to reserve rooms and publish event calendars to manage church resources. The events, rooms and resources have their own calendar feed that syncs with calendar programs, including Outlook, iCal and Google Calendar, to remove scheduling conflicts. Calendar feeds can also be set up to display on kiosks, so church members can see upcoming events displayed on tablets, touchscreens and televisions in common areas.

Planning Center offers multiple packages and price levels to fit faith-based organizations of different sizes.



Read More

Supported Operating System(s):

Web browser (OS agnostic)

650 Reviews of Planning Center

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.66 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.5

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(456)

4 stars

(170)

3 stars

(23)

2 stars

(1)

1 stars

(0)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

Filter reviews by:

Sort by: Most Helpful | Most Recent

Showing 1-20 of 650 reviews

Do you use this product?Write a review

February 2019

David from Rolling Hills Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

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

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

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

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

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

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

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

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

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.

April 2019

Matt from NGO/Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

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

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

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.

April 2019

Kati from Rochester Assembly Church