5 Reasons We Made the Switch from CCB to PCO

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.

  1. Cost

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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12 thoughts on “5 Reasons We Made the Switch from CCB to PCO

  1. Steve Klein

    We moved from another ChMS (Fellowship One) to CCB about three years ago. We’re generally pretty happy with it, but these are great points in favor of PCO. The one thing I love about CCB – it makes it very easy for team (and group) leaders to take attendance and then subsequently we can provide reporting to our campus leaders identifying for them who is coming on or off of a team. Team leaders then use this data to follow up with our dream teamers (volunteers). Does anyone have experience doing this with PCO?

    We do also use PCO for service programming and for scheduling our worship/media teams for the reasons given, but every team takes attendance in CCB.

    1. tds0249

      Hey Steve,
      Thanks for the comment. We actually have our volunteers check-in through Planning Center on Sunday morning to let us know they showed up to serve. We can then run a report to see who’s not been showing up, and reach out to find out why.

  2. Amy

    We’re looking at options. We’ve been with CCB for 7 years but also use PCO for service planning & for the worship team. Has there been anything you’ve missed from CCB that PCO doesn’t offer? We use CCB heavily on the admin side with reporting, etc.

    1. tds0249

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for the comment. The reporting in CCB I believe gives you more options and abilities to really customize what you’re wanting, but we still haven’t really missed it.

      1. Amy

        Thanks for the response. I hadn’t realized that PCO has developed as much as it has over recent years, so I’m very intrigued now about whether or not it’s time for us to make the switch. For one thing, PCO scheduling makes so much more sense than CCB’s, IMO. 🙂 If you don’t mind my picking your brain a little… Do all of the PCO apps/sections integrate nicely with one another? For example, if I create an event in Services, will it appear in Check-In, or do you have to do double work to set things up in multiple places? Thanks again.

        1. tds0249

          Amy, I believe it does but I’m not positive. Our campus pastor works with PCO a lot more than I do. Send me an email and I can get you in touch with him.

  3. Ramona

    Hello, Travis. Our church is considering a move from CCB to PCO. Would you be willing to share your process for making the migration? Did you do it yourselves, or did you hire a consultant to help? Thanks!


      We did it ourselves. It was a few years ago now, so I’m not exactly sure of the process but I think it was just downloading a .csv file then uploading in to PCO. I know one small issue is that families become disconnected in the process, so you’ll have to go into PCO and put your families back together again. Feel free to send me a message when you decide to do it and I’ll try to get more info.

  4. Neesa

    We’re also contemplating the switch from CCB to PCO. Generally, we’ve been very happy with CCB and were looking forward to their release of a congregant app so we could move away from the very expensive PushPay. Well now that PushPay has acquired CCB, there’s no chance of the separation for us. Our worship leader is wanting to move her team into PC Services and that prompted me to evaluate the entire package. From my first look, it appears that we’d save a tremendous amount of money moving to PCO. Though it’s hard to tell what we may be missing from CCB and then what extra costs we might incur with PCO which would drive the cost back to what we already pay. Any thoughts, advice, other sites to help me sort through the details would be much appreciated

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