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Use Groups for Connection

Planning Center Groups is best for when adults or teens need to communicate with one another outside of physical or virtual meetings. Groups includes a tool for small groups to share curriculum, organize events together, stay in connection through messaging, and take attendance with Church Center. Church Center allows group members to keep up with one another in meaningful ways when they're not together, which creates strong bonds and more community.

However, you may have groups of people in your church that aren't meant for connection, but rather information or management. See the sections below for ideas on how to handle some of those types of groups in Planning Center.

Organize a Group of People

If you want to see a group of people in one place, you can find them in Planning Center People. You can create lists of people based on certain criteria from their profile, and even see them from the mobile Planning Center People app.


Not sure where to start with lists? Check out our Common Groups Lists article for ideas!

Lists can be made from basic demographics, like parents of first graders or people in a specific zip code, or custom fields, like everyone who asked to be sent a monthly newsletter or prayer list.

Here's how to create a list with that information:

  1. Determine the common ground that groups these people together.

  2. On a person's profile, locate the field that encompasses the common ground.


    If needed, create a custom field and apply it to each person who needs it.

  3. Create a list of these people, using the common item as a rule.

Once you have a list of people, you can star the list to get to it quickly when you need to revisit it.

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If you want an individual, confidential way to track mentorship, use the Follow Up Process. Groups is often not the best tool for mentorship or coaching because of its public nature. Group members will always know when they are in a group and can see the others in it.

Email People

If you want to get information to a group of people, you can email them from Planning Center People.


If you want to send people an email from a template you've created, you can do that with bulk actions.

Follow the steps to create a list of people that you can email.

Once you have a list of people, you can email them from the Results tab.


Check In People

If your church has regular classes, like Sunday School, or classes explicitly for learning a subject, you can use Planning Center Check-Ins to track attendance. A roster station might be the most familiar view. You can remove the labels if you prefer not to print any name tags.

Check-Ins has great reports for you to see attendance trends.

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Check-Ins is also what you should use for any groups of children under 13 years old. The tools for locations by grade/age are all available in Check-ins.

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