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June 26, 2007

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Jason,

While attending a conference in Indian Wells in August '06, we visited Southwest, learned of Planning Center and have been using it ever since our Dir of Worship Arts got back to the office. It works great, a whole lot better than the Excel spreadsheet system we utilized previously.

Jeff Berg's a guy we need to get into the IT Discussions. I believe he also created a check-in system as well, so he's got a wealth of expertise in database and programming.

Andrew

Jason,
I have no idea how much development work you are prepared to do, but I have been using Jan Tielen's Ajax enabled "Smart Part", which enables you to simplify web part development. Using the SmartPart you can simply develop .Net user controls and import them as web parts, and create nice Ajaxy UIs :)

http://weblogs.asp.net/jan/archive/2007/02/22/smartpart-for-sharepoint-asp-net-ajax-support.aspx

Crossroads is using it. It seems to work quite well. It didn't do everything my wife wanted for our family service, but she's managed to twist it into submission. As far as I know the main-stage people really like it.

Our Service Programming department JUST started using Service Planner. I haven't had much involvement in it up to now because I'm really not on the planning end of things anymore, but I got invited to a couple of the training meetings, so I'll get to have my hands on it before too long.

If I had a dime for every time I've heard something to the effect that "It's all about the weekend" then I'd be a rich man. When it comes to planning for the weekend, a partnership between Planning Center and Fellowship Technologies would be a match made in heaven.

I like the look of this but our church is getting ready to roll out Fellowship One in the fall. Would something like this work against the F1 work flow because it creates another database? I know F1 doesn't have any service planning capabilities but I wonder if using this pushes us back down the road of managing multiple databases which is why we moved to F1 in the fist place. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with using F1 and Planning Center (or another service planning solution)?

Chiming in with Brian. Every Environment right now at Crossroads is using it with much success. Everyone seems to for the most part dig it.

I am a volunteer at Brownsbridge Community Church (a part of Northpoint Community Church). I can vouch that all three of Northpoint's campus' use PlanningCenter to manage the scheduling of hundreds of volunteers and the planning of services across three locations.

As a volunteer I love it, it give the church staff and me a very easy way to communicate and keep up with what is going on.

I LOVE PLANNING CENTER ONLINE!!! Oh wait, that's because I made it. Thanks everyone for chiming in on this and I am so glad and honored that you all like my product! Sorry it took a while to respond but I have been busy at the Saddleback Worship Conference.

Jason: If you, or anyone else, needs any questions answered about getting your church going with Planning Center please feel free to shoot me an e-mail or give me a phone call.

Andrew: I am a part of the CHMS google group and I would love to join any other groups you suggest. Jason, I would even love to be on the Church IT Discussion Podcast you have.

Bryan & Dave: I have many churches using F1 and PCO. Now there is no automated syncing but I would love to look into making something like that but I don't have access to the F1 API, a test F1 account or any contacts at FellowshipTech. We do have an export function that allows you to export all your people from PC into a CSV and soon I will be enabling an import feature that will allow you to import your people and it will update people already in PCO.

Please let me know if I can do anything else for any of you.

Thanks!

Jeff Berg
Owner/Developer
Ministry Centered Technologies

I've been using Planning Center since the fall and love it. Probably my favourite thing about the whole system is how easy it is for my volunteer administrator to put together service outlines and get all of the info to our worship ministry volunteers.

Jason,

I have a web application called 'Church Director' for scheduling your volunteer teams. While not focused specifically toward Worship Team Planning, it is being used by worship teams (main campus and satellite locations), small groups, and media ministries to assign and track assignments. In fact, we have used it to, within hours, fill volunteer positions on weekends when we would have been short handed without knowing it.

I'm currently in a closed beta with Church Director, but if you fill out the sign-up form using the link below, I'll be more than happy to get Jason's readers signed up for an early access account.

Link: http://www.churchdirector.com/signup/beta/jpo

I've been using Planning Center since January and I love it. My team love it. That is what matters. There are some things that take me a little longer to do, such as creating a song database, but I just take it one song at a time. it has been extremely beneficial on getting sheet music and mp3's into the hands of my team to learn from. I tried it out for our tech team, but it didn't really make sense (they don't need charts and mp3's), so i have been using Central Desktop. it has been working great for our tech team.

http://www.centraldesktop.com/

We have been using planning center online since the earlier part of this year and love it at our church! One problem we had was that we couldn't change the keys on our PDF chord charts. Then we found www.worshipready.com They integrate WITH planning center with one click, I have a chart formatted and ready to change keys. They have legal charts as well (not free) so the charts are right and don't need "Fixed"!

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  • Jason Powell is the Information Technology Director at Granger Community Church. The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of GCC ...
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