Today we're launching Planning Center Groups - the newest member of the Planning Center family. Groups is an application for streamlining the way you organize, manage, and support all the groups within your church.
Last month we showed a sneak peek but today the wrapping comes off.
Built for small groups. And big groups. Or any group.
When we first started dreaming of this application, we had small groups in mind. Most churches, large or small, have some sort of small group ministry and a specific way they like to do small groups. Whether you call them "Small Groups" or "Home Groups" or "Growth Groups," our goal was to design a system that is flexible for your church.
In fact, as we started building Groups, we realized that all types of groups within a church have the same basic needs: show people what's available, enfold visitors, help group members collaborate, and help group leaders cultivate healthy groups.
An elegant group directory
There are two sides to Planning Center Groups. This is the public side where people can find out what kinds of groups exist, when they meet, where they meet, and which ones they can join. Privacy controls give you the ability to share as much or as little information with the public as is appropriate for the group's type. Group leaders, members, location, calendar — they're all governed by clear preferences. Groups can go completely unlisted if you wish.
A place for groups to collaborate
The group's page also becomes the place to collaborate. Group leaders can log in, post events to the group's calendar, manage information about the group, and respond to new applicants. They can take attendance at group events and make sure new visitors are being enfolded into their groups.
A place for administrators to stay in the know
The other side of Groups is a powerful administrative console. Here, system admins can manage groups and communicate with members or leaders. Each group type gets its own set of preferences and defaults — each of which can be overridden at the individual group level. This makes it easy to add new groups, open them at once, or close them down when needed.
We're just getting started with Groups
This release represents, to many customers, the last piece of the puzzle for a full PCO church management system. As such, we wanted to get it into your hands as early as possible.
This initial version focuses on:
- Making the groups discoverable online.
- Onboarding applicants and group visitors.
- Basic event management, attendance, and resource sharing.
- Bulk managing and emailing groups.
Once this launch version settles a bit, we'll start working on:
- Facilitating inner-group communication (beyond emailing).
- Tighter integration with PCO People (lists & workflows).
- Repeating events and event RSVP tools.
We're very excited to get this new work into your hands, get your feedback, and continue to make this application great.
Dma, Kevin, Dan, Mo, Dustin, Shane, and Jeremy