Security Settings

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Leaders can invite new members through a QR code or by sending them an email or text. However, they can add new members to their group on the Admin side, depending on the security settings.

  • By invitation only: Leaders will email potential members from the Admin side and then the group member can accept the invitation and join the group.

  • By searching the database: Leaders can access your entire Planning Center database and add people directly to the group.

These settings also affect how leaders can take attendance.


Allowing leaders to search the church database has privacy implications.

  • Searching the database will reveal names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers, and whether they are an adult or child. Without this, leaders will still be able to add new members to their group via Church Center by sending their members a special join link or by having their members scan a QR code.

  • Create new profiles in your database, which could lead to potential duplicate entries or incorrect data.

Enable Leader Access

Leader access can be controlled by a specific group or the group type.


The default setting for a newly created group is By invitation only unless the group is assigned to a group type that has the By searching the entire church database default selected.

To apply the setting to all leaders in a specific group, go to the Security section in the group Settings tab.



Group Type defaults only apply to newly created groups. The defaults can be overridden by the settings in a specific group.

Leader Access Examples

The following examples show how security settings affect adding members and taking attendance.

By Invitation Only

Email the new potential members to invite them to the group. After a person accepts the invitation, they are added to the group.

modal_invite a new member.png


A group leader can only take attendance from the list of group members.

Search the Database

Search the church database to find members to add to the group. Create a new profile if you can't find a person in the database.

add member_search.png


When taking attendance, a leader can search the database to find visitors or members.

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