Common Service Planning Center Mistakes
Service Planning Center is used by churches to plan and communicate about church activities, such as serving the poor or gathering together for worship. It has brought churches into the modern world of technology! It can connect people who otherwise would possibly be left out. I have personally seen the benefits of this tool in helping the church thrive and I want to help you avoid making the mistakes I have made. When you know the best way to use this service, you will get way more out of it!
So, what are the most common mistakes people make with Service Planning Center? Some of the most common Planning Center mistakes include:
- Not having the right admin access.
- Failing to properly set up the team calendar.
- Not assigning tasks to other team members.
- Forgetting to send out reminders about upcoming events.
- Leaving out important links, dates, etc.
- Not having a backup plan when things go wrong.
These are just some of the most common mistakes people make, myself included! But of course, I have learned from my mistakes and now hopefully I can help you avoid them in the first place. However, if you have found yourself already doing a few of these, it’s okay! Let’s talk more about how to fix them.
Have the Right Admin Access
I have seen quite a few pastors who are in charge of the Planning Center for their church, but they are not properly set up as an administrator. Yes, seeing your pastor or someone else you know in charge is nice! However, if they aren’t set up as an administrator it means that they don’t have complete access to all of the functions within the Service Planning Center.
This means that if they accidentally delete an important notice or post, it can’t be recovered! Or worse, you lose some valuable history and statistics about your service efforts. If this is the case, just go into the settings where you add/remove administrators and update the person holding this role.
Set Up the Team Calendar
A common mistake that people make is to think of Service Planning Center as just a way to share information, such as phone numbers and schedules. However, you can also use it as a tool for scheduling and communicating around the work your team does together. Setting up the calendar will enable your team to see each other’s availability and then plan out the work that needs to be done. Keep this organized and updated at all times!
There are two major ways to do this, depending on how you like to share information with your team.
- The first way is clicking ‘create new event’ under the calendar tab at the top of the page. This will allow you to name an event and also set up a specific date/time/location for when this event will take place.
- However, it’s best used in conjunction with the second way. This is using the ‘schedule’ tool in the top-right corner of the page. This is an easy way to assign tasks or events that you would like for your team to do together, then see who has availability.
Assign Tasks to Other Team Members
In addition to setting up a calendar for your team, you can also add tasks to the schedule. You can assign different tasks to different people on your team or have everyone assigned when they are needed by just scheduling them at that time.
Service Planning Center makes it easy for you to add tasks, deadlines, and assignees. To add a task click ‘add new’ under the tasks tab at the top of the page, then add in your due date and give it a description.
Once you’ve added that task into the schedule you can select who is assigned to this task, or change that setting if needed. Skipping this means that you will have a lot of tasks piling up and no one assigned to do them. To avoid any confusion, make sure to do this step!
Remember to Send Out Reminders
It’s frustrating for those putting in the work when people forget about the event they were planning!
Nobody wants to be left out, which is why I recommend sending out reminders as early as possible. Also, make sure to set up personalized reminders for yourself as well!
However, you don’t want to send your reminders too early because people are busy and might not see them right away. Plus, the earlier you set up the event (with a date/time/location), the more time for unforeseen circumstances to come up.
I recommend sending out your first reminder about 3-5 days before the service, and then a reminder about a day beforehand.
Don’t Rush and Forget Important Details
Seeing that everything is organized and scheduled is great! However, you don’t want to rush yourself into forgetting the important details of the service. Always double-check the time, place, and phone number of the service before you share to Service Planning Center.
Make sure to include important details like the address, dress code, and supplies needed. If you’re not sure about something, always better to include too much information rather than not enough.
Taking the extra time to not forget any details will save you time later. This will help you avoid people showing up to the wrong service, or someone forgetting anything that you said was needed. This will also help the team in their planning and hopefully save them some stress as well! It will also keep you from getting multiple messages asking for clarifications.
Always Have a Backup Plan
No matter how organized you are, things will always come up or change. Whether it’s a family emergency or a team member forgetting to schedule themselves into the schedule, there is always going to be something that comes up.
This is why I recommend also setting up a backup plan so you have something else in place for when this happens. Have a backup location set up, time buffers, and a list of contacts always handy in case you need more help.
Unfortunately, technology and church computer networks do have issues from time to time. So having a secondary way to share information and event details is a great way to make sure everything still runs smoothly. I recommend an email list for easy and quick sharing if necessary!
What Are Some Unique Features of Service Planning Center?
One of my favorite features of Service Planning Center is that you can add contacts from your roster directly into the schedule.
This means that when you’re creating events, you also have people’s contact information with you. It saves a lot of time instead of having to copy and paste all the contacts into every event.
Another great feature that I enjoy using is the reminder alerts! This way, nobody misses out and we can get everything done on time.
I also love that it is an easy user-friendly interface, which makes it easy to take care of tasks quickly and efficiently. This allows you to spend more time on planning and less time organizing!
Another awesome feature is that it can be used on desktops, phones, or tablets! This is great because everyone has their preferred way of using devices. This also means you can easily plan from anywhere and get real-time updates.
Why Should I Use Service Planning Center?
Service Planning Center is a free and easy way to organize your church’s schedules and events. It has everything you need to keep track of the entire team, as well as help them stay organized. The platform makes it easy for everyone to communicate with each other through different chat rooms.
Another great thing about Service Planning Center is how it integrates with different types of media. You can keep track of the different types of social media that you are posting on, as well as have a donations section for members to give tithes and offerings online. Planning is a great way to include people of all ages in your worship services.
Service Planning Center also makes it easy to plan events with multiple people! This is great if your service requires volunteers or if you have different teams working together on an event or activity.
Is Service Planning Center Good For Any Church?
Yes! Service Planning Center is great for any church or ministry, especially if you have a large team. However, it is most commonly used by worship pastors when planning the worship service.
It makes it easier to organize and keep everyone in the loop with last-minute changes, such as time and location. It doesn’t matter which faith sect you are a part of, since it is compatible with most religions.
So whether you’re non-profit or for-profit, large or small, Service Planning Center has what you need to run your event successfully!
If your church is needing an easier way to plan and organize services, this is the tool for you. Or if your church is just looking for ways to adapt and keep up with technology, Service Planning Center is great for that too.
In conclusion, Service Planning Center is great once you get the hang of it. If you can avoid these common mistakes and take time to train your team members, it will make such a difference. It makes everything faster and more efficient, which everyone loves! If you haven’t already tried it out or want to learn more about it, I highly recommend you look into it and give it a try.
Learn more about how to thrive as a Church creative here!