Introduction to Groups for Leaders

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Planning Center Groups is an online application that will help you manage your members, plan events, take attendance, and share resources. As a Group Leader, you can do most of your group management from Church Center, but there are some leader tasks that you’ll need to do from the Admin side of Groups.

Check out this clip from Planning Center University.

Note

To manage your group from Church Center, you'll need to be logged in to the Church Center web or app.

Add Members to a Group

You can add members to your group from the Members tab.

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When the group member requests to join, review the request to add them as a member.

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Create and Manage Events

To create an event in Church Center web or app, log into Church Center, go to the group's Events tab, and select the Actions button in the app or the New button on the web.

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Select an event to edit it.

Take Attendance

You can take attendance for a group event from Church Center web or app starting from 10 minutes before the event begins.

Tip

If attendance isn’t something you’re interested in tracking, an Administrator can disable the reminders on the Settings tab.

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If you want to add visitors to the attendance list, you can do that from Groups Admin if your group is set up to allow leaders to add members.

Message Members

You can communicate with your group members using Group Messaging in the Church Center web or app.

First, make sure that messaging is enabled for your group and decide whether members can create new messages or only leaders.

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Note

If you don't see the Group Messaging section in Settings, you can ask your Admin to give you permissions to enable messaging for your group.

You can then start discussions or post announcements for your group members Church Center.

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Administrative Tasks

From the Admin side of Groups, you can do most of the same things that you can do from Church Center, in addition to adding resources, managing settings, and viewing reports.

Note

To manage your group from Groups Admin, you'll need to log in. The first time you log in to Groups Admin, you might need to set a password, depending on if you have previously set a password for one of the other Planning Center products.

Log in to Groups

The first time you log in to Groups , you may or may not need to set a password, depending on if you have previously created a password for one of our other products.

On the login page, select the Need a password? link below the email and password fields.

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Enter the email address your Administrator used to set up your profile, and Planning Center will send a verification code to that email address. After entering the code, you will be able to create a password and then log in.

Notice

Once logged in, you will stay logged in until you log out or after two weeks of inactivity.

Log In Issues

No Access

If you are taken to this page, you don't have access to that specific product.

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When you click the name of one of the Administrators listed, you will be taken to your email client. Let the person know what you were trying to access.

Reset Your Password

Go to the password reset page or log out of Planning Center on all of your devices and then click Need a password on the login page.

Enter your email address or phone number when prompted, and then click Send Code. If you're linking multiple accounts, use the email or phone number they have in common.

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You will receive an email or text with a verification code. Manually enter the code or click the link in the email or text to go to the verification page, where the code will already be entered.

Make sure that the verification code is entered correctly, and then click Continue.

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If your email or phone number is used for multiple profiles and organizations, you'll see those listed.

  • Check the boxes next to the organizations you want to reset your password for.

Caution

If your email address or phone number is shared with other people, only check the boxes with your own name. Checking someone else’s name will reset their password. If you do reset someone else’s password by accident, they’ll receive an email letting them know it’s been changed and how to fix it.

  • Enter a strong password, confirm it, and then click Reset my Password

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Congratulations, your password is reset!

Choosing a Strong Password

Planning Center stores a lot of sensitive, personal information, such as donation records, background checks, medical notes, prayer requests, and information on children. Protecting this data is vital to your church, so strong passwords are a big piece of that overall security picture.

Many people use a password manager to store their passwords in a secure place, some paid (1Password, Dashlane) and some free (LastPass).

Tip

Password requirements help ensure data remains secure.

Our password strength meter doesn't require a specific number of special symbols or numbers; instead, it tests the overall strength of your password. So, while randomly generated characters usually work, long, memorable phrases can be used as well.

Table 3. Strong password examples

Password

Why it’s strong

LargeGoofyHats

A simple, memorable phrase

SixFeetApart!!

Anything memorable works

89#%&62A4x

Short, but complex and non-patterned

llamas and chimps

Use any characters - even spaces!


Table 4. Weak password examples

Password

Why it’s weak

Password

The world’s most awful password

Dogsdogsdogs

Repetitive, too easily cracked

zxcvbnm,

The bottom row of the keyboard

Abraham Lincoln

Names are easy to guess


Troubleshooting: Reset Password

If you get an error while resetting your password, use one of the steps below to fix it.

  1. Delete old verification code emails.

    For security, verification codes will expire after a short time period.

  2. Clear your browser's cookies.

  3. Use this link to reset the password.

  4. Click the new link in the new email.

. Additional tips:

  • Manually enter information.

    Don't copy and paste!

    Sometimes a space will slip in before or after your login information, so re-enter your login and password.

  • Try a secondary email or phone number.

    An administrator or adult in your household may have made changes to your profile on your behalf, including the contact info you use for logging in. If you have a secondary email or phone number in your profile, try logging in with that instead.

Tip

Still no luck? Contact your church to make sure your profile is still active.

Link Accounts

When you log in, you can see all the accounts your login information is associated with. Accounts with the same first and last name, password, and the email address or phone number you entered are in a box, which means they're eligible to be linked.

If they're not linked already, you'll see a button to Link these accounts.

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Tip

Accounts listed separately have a first or last name that is spelled differently and cannot be linked. To link them, log in and change the names to match in your profile.

Notice

If you recently joined a new church and you don't see it listed in your available church accounts, contact your church to request a new welcome email and make sure they used the correct names and email/phone number when creating your profile. Use the link in the new welcome email to reset your password to match your other accounts and log in again.

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When you click Link these accounts, the linking option will disappear.

Choose one and log into it to complete the process.

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Now you'll be able to toggle accounts from the profile dropdown in the upper right. Click the dropdown to choose a linked account.

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Tip

Click the “unlink” option to instantly unlink your accounts and remain logged in to the one you’re currently using. If you change your mind, you can re-link them when you log in again.

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The table below shows a list of the administrative tasks that you can do from the Admin side of Groups. Click the link on a task for more information.

Task

Description

Add or invite a member to a group

From the Members tab, you can add or invite new members to a group and also respond to requests to join a group.

Manage and email group members

From the Members tab, you can email or print a list of members, remove or promote a member, and reset the date they joined the group.

Create an event

From the Events tab, you can create and edit an event.

Take attendance

From the Events tab tab, take attendance and add new members or visitors (depending on group settings).

Add resources

From the Resources tab, you can view and add resources for your group members.

Manage group settings

From the Settings tab, group leaders can modify group information such as name, description, and group image, as well as the meeting location and contact information. Leaders can also add tags to help filter groups on Church Center.

View reports

The Overview report will give you a bird's eye view of how your group is doing as a whole.

The Attendance report will give you a closer look at the individuals in your group. As you take attendance during your events, this report will begin to populate.

Notification Bell

Administrators will be able to see any notifications related to them in the Admin Notifications Inbox. You can find this inbox at the top right corner of any page by clicking the bell icon.

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If you have login permissions to Planning Center, you will be able to see both read and unread notifications and customize your notification settings.

If you used to find the notifications on the Notification page, you can now see them in this bell.

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