Leader Access to Add Members

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In Groups, there are two ways for your leaders to add new members to their group.

  • By invitation only (recommended): Leaders can email potential members, who 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.

  • Add anyone in your church database directly to their group, giving them instant access to their name, email address, physical address, phone number, membership status, and whether or not they are an adult or child.

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

Enable or Disable Leader Access

Leader access can be controlled from 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 Leader Access section in the group Settings tab.

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To apply settings to all leaders in newly created groups for a specific Group Type, go to the Leaders can add new members section in the group type defaults.

leaders add new members.png


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 leader access settings affect how two leaders of different groups can add members to the group and take attendance .

  • Centerville Young Adults, led by Elizabeth, is set to allow leaders to add new members by invitation only.

  • The Blackwell Life Group, led by Tim, is set to allow leaders to search the entire database.

Adding Members to a Group

For Centerville Young Adults, Elizabeth can 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

For the Blackwell Life Group, Tim can search the church database to find members to add to the group, and he can also create a new profile if he can't find a person in the database.

add member_search.png
Taking Attendance

For Centerville Young adults, Elizabeth can only take attendance from the list of group members.

For the Blackwell Life Group, Tim can search the church database to find visitors or members to add to the attendance form.

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