What is Planning Center Online?
Planning Center Online (PCO) is Church Management Software (ChMS) designed specifically to help churches manage members, visitors, giving, event registration, room reservation, volunteer scheduling, event/group/children check-in and much more!
How will PCO benefit us?
PCO allows New Life to become more connected to members, leaders, and volunteers, by using services that all connect together in 1 system for an improved, and more managed church system.
How will this change effect us?
For leaders, and volunteers: There will be several changes over the next coming months in policies, and procedures but it will all be with the goal to make things easier and more streamlined than the way things have been in the past. For instance, in the past each ministry had to figure out a scheduling method that may have worked, but the overall experience has been broken in many areas. PCO will allow all ministry leaders to have a single location to go to manage volunteer scheduling with email/text serving requests, and even reminders.
For members: In the past, only members who gave online would receive and be able to manage their giving information. With PCO as members give (even via envelope) will receive and have the ability to view their contributions online via Planning Center.
What if we need help?
One of the things we enjoy about Planning Center is the number of videos, and help articles that they have available to help navigate you through the software. Here are some links that will be helpful with this transition:
YouTube Channel *They regularly post new videos with updates and changes to the software.
Along with introducing Planning Center Support videos and documentation we will also be introducing a new service called Slack that will allow all ministry leaders to have a single location to connect share ideas, ask questions, and ask for help. Also, our own tech support personnel will be there to help guide you through this new process.
If you’re interested in joining our Slack Channel, click the link: Join our Slack Channel
What will we need in order use this service?
Giving: All members can access the features that are available to everyone in the New Life App under the Church Center button. This will allow users to Give using Planning Center’s Giving Platform. (users can still use our current mobile giving solution as well, as giving payment info is not shared between the 2 systems) Giving information name, donor, how much was given will all be available in Church Center.
Groups: Join and access info from our small groups, i.e. New Life Academy, Before & After You Say “I Do”, S.A.L.T. etc.
Registrations: View and register for upcoming events.
Leaders & Workers
Services: We expect most ministries with 10 people or more to use Planning Center Services for Scheduling.
Schedulers: I recommend a tablet or computer to get the best results.
Viewers: A device with internet access, there is an app available fo users with iOS or Android devices.
Here is a link to sign-up for access to 1 or more PCO services:
Understanding Planning Center
PCO is a single program broken up into different apps based on needs and usage.
Below is some information on the most popular apps and how they should be used.
- Services– The Services app is used to schedule volunteers and remind them when they’re supposed to serve. It makes things easier because you no longer have to look at old emails with spreadsheets to find out who’s serving and when. Once you complete a 1 time setup for your ministry scheduling in the future is a lot easier. Services Video
- Groups- Groups is used to manage and communicate with small groups or teams all at once. Whether you’re the over a class with several members, or a leader over a ministry and need to share general information with your team. Groups allow you to handle both of those areas with ease. Groups Video
- Resources- Have a small group that meets regularly and need a room to hold your class, or a ministry that has something going on and need a room to host your event. That’s what resources is for. Schedule a room, and select any additional equipment/furniture needed and all necessary parties will receive an email to approve, or decline your room request. Resources Video
- Check-ins- Check-ins will be primarily used by the Children’s Ministry to check children in for service, but it also handles check-in for classes and special events to take attendance or verify registration. Check-ins Video
- People- People acts as the main hub for all members, including staff and leaders that is primarily designed to manage profiles, contact information, and other information. People Video
- Registrations- Registrations is the program that handles event registration. This allows us to handle registrations for all events and have a single location to make things a bit easier for staff, leaders, and members. Registrations Video
*Based on your ministry needs access may vary.