One of our core values in Saddleback Worship is “Implement New Processes With Joy.” We know that with growth, comes change. Different seasons in the life of our church and of our team will require us to try new ideas to accomplish our goals. Planning Center Online has been one of the greatest tools in helping us roll out new systems and have a spirit of joy when implementing new processes.

Planning Center Online is an amazing tool for churches to plan their services and communicate with their teams. Over the years, we have expanded to multi-site locations and extended Planning Center’s utilization to all ministry teams beyond just our Weekend planning for our main service. As a result, we’ve learned some things along the way to build the strongest ministry tool possible for our church.

Here are some of the ways that our team has found Planning Center most helpful.

Create standards for your church

We landed on utilizing the Tags feature over the Teams feature across the board. We do this because Teams only applies to a particular service plan type, whereas Tags can be used globally across all service plan types.

Also, we created three required tags that every profile minimally has on their profile. For us, this was the campus they serve at (we’re multi-site), the ministry leader’s name (a leader who knows this person directly), and the ministry team they serve on (worship, production, students, etc.).

In some cases, a person’s profile may have multiple tags for each of these categories over time. They may serve in multiple ministries, have several leaders they are attached to and may be involved in ministry at more than one of our locations.

Provide training for your church

Implementing change, particularly a policy change that provides standardization, isn’t always easy. People get comfortable with how they’ve always done it and they often don’t understand why you’re asking them to change. By providing training, we empower our leaders with the knowledge they need and give them simple tools for success. It takes time and energy for training. But the end result—having a team that is on board and savvy with processes—is worth it!

Provide consistent methods for support

We created an email address that forwards a copy of all emails sent to that address to everyone that is equipped to know the in’s and out’s of Planning Center and help provide support.

Planning Center, in general, offers great resources and tools to look up answers to your questions and reach out to their support team. However, there is something special about allowing our team to be the face of what support looks like at our church.

At the heart of any plan or process that we use or create is a desire for team health and growth. I love being a part of a team that champions joy and love and a spirit of unity both from the platform and in the behind the scenes details. Planning Center Online helps us to keep our logistics and our hearts in order in ways that honor God and bless our team.



Campus Technical Director

Nathan leads the Technical Production Team at Saddleback at our Lake Forest campus.e: | vCard: /nathanwells
@nathanwells | facebook: @wellsnathan | instagram: @nathanwells


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