Community Discussion: Organizing Volunteers

Churches need volunteers. We all know this. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to delegate responsibilities. You may be responsible for assigning and scheduling tasks for a great many people. Not all of those people will understand Planning Center. How should church communicators approach these responsibilities?


Joshua Chappell presented this question to our Facebook group:

“How does your church handle volunteer communications (i.e., who is serving when)? One thing I’m told is ‘use planning center’ but that seems overly complicated when we just want specific people in specific ministries on specific days. Or is that just me?”


The post earned a lot of engagements, and here are some of our members’ insights:

“Planning Center allows you to assign specific people in specific ministries on specific days. That’s what it’s for.” – Kyler Nixon

“You need to have a get-together and go through a quick training. You cannot expect people to use something they have not been introduced to. It is fairly complicated for someone new. Especially those who don’t work in IT or communication/planning”           – Kristen Leigh Pearson

“Planning Center is made for that. We use it for services throughout the week, not just Sunday. We use it for not just the band and the audio-visual, but also for the coffee shop, security, greeters, nursery, kids, teens, van drivers, outside / special events. It seems complicated. But really, the person managing it would need to learn the back-end stuff, and the persons using it really just have to click a button – accept or decline. It’s so great.” – Cyndie Dahlberg

“We assign people to teams and publish a schedule with the team’s weeks. I believe it’s a 4-week rotation and we publish one year at a time. This rotation is entered into Planning Center and PC takes care of the reminders and RSVP.” – Heidi Tarin

“Planning center just doesn’t seem to work outside our worship team. Volunteers don’t want to use it. So I set up a google doc that has the dates in the first column that I froze and each ministry has a column. That way people can sign up for the ministry & date that works for them, or see who’s on a particular date.” – Sally Andrew

Also, some Planning Center alternatives exist which may be worth a try, like these:

  1. Ministry Scheduler Pro


  1. Time To Sign Up



Organizing volunteers may be stressful, but it is important. If you haven’t already, give Planning Center a try. Also, check out our blog post about church management software. These tools can really help you schedule volunteers efficiently and in a way that is helpful to them. Ultimately, do what works for your ministry teams, but give the software a try!

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