If you have no idea what CCB stands for or PCO, don’t worry I’ve been where you are. It wasn’t until we brought in an outside consultant who introduced us to the idea of a Church Management System. A ChMS is used to communicate, connect, and engage with members of your congregation. Before then we had mostly been tracking members, volunteers, guests, etc. through a very elaborate Excel spreadsheet.
After meeting with our consultant, we decided to give Church Community Builder (CCB) a try. While we enjoyed having all of our info in one central place that anyone could access, we just didn’t feel like it was worth the money, and so we decided to look at other options.
We ultimately decided on Planning Center Online (PCO), and here are a few reasons why.
If you pastor a small town church, you know the pressure money puts on the ministry. You just never feel like you have enough. So, while researching the options, I took note that PCO was 25-30% cheaper than CCB. That’s a significant savings when you consider that most church management systems cost at least a few thousand dollars a year. CCB also makes you sign a yearlong contract, while PCO allows you to pay month to month and cancel at anytime without a penalty.
- Pay for Only What You Use
PCO has the added advantage of allowing you to pay only for what you need. If you need a check-in system for your kids, they have you covered. If you need a contribution management system, they have that too. Groups, volunteers, worship, the list goes on and on, but you can choose what you use. CCB doesn’t give you that option. You pay for everything regardless if you need it or not.
- Planning Center Services
Our worship team was already using Planning Center Services. Services allows you to plan your worship experience, schedule volunteers, transpose chord charts and mp3s, import music from SongSelect and PraiseCharts, and allows your team to listen to the music within the program. It makes a worship pastor’s job so much easier and saves a ton of time.
- They Have an App for That
PCO is so far ahead of CCB in this department it’s not even close. PCO has apps for Services, Music Stand, People, Check-In, and Projector. The apps are free, easy to use, and look great. CCB has an app for Groups.
- Planning Center People is Free
Planning Center People allows you to store contact data, personal information like birthdays and anniversaries, and add pictures and social profiles. It also allows you to create workflows to follow up with guests, new volunteers, and more. Did I mention it’s free to everyone no matter how big or small your church is?
We’re just getting started with Planning Center so I’m sure we’ll discover a lot more reasons why we love it, but this is just a few to get us started.
Do you currently use a Church Management System? If so, which one and how do you like it? Let us know by leaving a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.