Planning Center Matrix

Planning Center Matrix will save you hours every month, but you have to know how to use it.

If you use it correctly, you can quickly plan services and schedule volunteers over several weeks.

This video will show you all the features of Planning Center Matrix and how to save hours of time each month by batching your service planning and volunteer scheduling.


As a worship leader, one of our responsibilities is to learn how to get better at our jobs, and one of those ways we can get better is with the systems that we use.

I’m a huge fan of Planning Center. If you’ve watched any of our other videos, you know that. Planning Center Services is an incredible application you can use to plan your services, schedule volunteers and communicate with your team.

In this video, I’m gonna show you how you can save a few hours every month just by using the matrix view of Planning Center Services.

Okay, here we go.

Hey everybody! I’m Joshua, I’m the creator of, we help you discover and learn how to use quality resources that will make your church better.

Hey, if you haven’t yet, will you like this video and subscribe to our channel? That way, you don’t miss any of the new content we produce.

And I’d love to invite you to join a brand new Facebook group called Planning Center training. It’s just We want to build a community of like-minded leaders who want to use Planning Center to its fullest potential, so I hope you’ll join us over on Facebook.

Okay, let’s dive into Planning Center Matrix. So I’m here in the top level folder of our Planning Center account.

Now, before I go on, you may be using folders, you may not be… It’s not a huge deal if you’re not.

I just wanna let you know that there are multiple places you can access the matrix from. Basically each of our ministries has its own folder, and then within that folder are the service types for that ministry.

In the top right corner, you can see Matrix, beside every matrix button, there’s a little drop down where you can choose previous plans and next plans, how many plans do you want to load into your matrix?

I typically load one previous plan and four next plans. Notice that this has load from Bethany church. So I’m gonna click matrix and let’s see what happens.

Well, nothing is showing up, and that’s because we don’t have any service types in our main folder. All of our service types are in the sub-folders.

So I’m gonna go back and I’m gonna try this again. I’m gonna click Load from adult worship and Matrix.

And there we go. Now we’ve got the matrix going on.

Before we move forward, I’m gonna show you quickly how you can access the matrix, a couple of other ways.

I’m gonna click on Bethany Adults, and right here in the top, I can see Matrix.

Now, this matrix will load from the entire Bethany adult plan, this matrix will load from this service type.

So I click the drop down arrow, one previous four next – click matrix, and here’s my matrix.

And one other way you can access the Matrix – if you’re in the plan, page, of course we’re in the new plans page. Right here at the top – matrix – and as I mouse over, you can see “load previous plans” and four plans, and I’m gonna click matrix.

Okay, so right away, we can see that this looks a little bit differently. If you never used matrix before, it might seem overwhelming, but it’s really intuitive.

In the top, you can see the series title and the plan title. And if you want to, you can click and add or change.

So I’m going to add our series title, click enter and it automatically saves the series title. On October 4th, we’re gonna stay in the series, so I’m gonna add the plan title, it’s gonna be week 11, and Standing Firm.

If you remember, when I clicked on Matrix, I said I wanted to load one previous plan and four next plans. So I have the previous plan here, but I only have three next plans. The reason is because I have not yet created another plan after October 4.

So I’m gonna go back to my plans page, I’m gonna click add a plan, and then I’m going to go ahead and create the rest of October, October 11th, 18th and 25th by choosing three.

I’m gonna copy the times from October 4th and the services are gonna start on October the 11th, and I’m gonna choose my template, COVID team… Isn’t that sad, COVID team?

You can set up templates. You’ll have to watch another video to see how you set up all the templates.

Okay. And now I’m gonna click Add three, and it automatically sends me to the October 11th plan.

Okay, so now I have all my plans already created through October. So I’m gonna go back to Matrix and click matrix, and now I’ve got October 4th and October 11th – the 13th has already happened – so I’m gonna actually take that out.

And I want to go ahead and add the 18th and the 25th. So the way to do that is to click Load a plan and then choose the service type, ours is called Adult Worship.

And then you can click on the ones that are in bold and it will automatically add them to the matrix.

So now you can go through and add the titles, week 12, week 13, etcetera.

So over here, I have Order of Service, I’m gonna drop this down and it reveals all the orders of service coming up. So I’ve got the 20th, 27th, 40th, 11th, 18th and 25th.

The great thing about matrix is that you can drag and drop between services and automatically create those items in the new service.

So for instance, we’re gonna have Baptism coming up on October the 18th. So I’m gonna click on Baptism header and I’m gonna drag that in, and I’m gonna click on the Baptism element and drag it in – and now I have Baptism scheduled October the 18th.

I used the template, if you remember, so that’s why these items already loaded, but I still need to add the songs. So there’s a couple of ways to do it.

I can choose a song from a previous plan, for instance, Christ Be Magnified. I know we’re gonna do that song again, and I want it to be after the sermon. So I’m gonna click on it and drag and automatically it copied the key and the arrangement and all the details… right into October 11,

I’m gonna go ahead and get rid of this response song, we don’t need that. And then I wanna add some more songs.

So I’m gonna come over here to the top left, click on songs. I like to sort by last used, so I know what songs we’ve recently sang. So once they’re sorted, I’m gonna scroll down and find the song that I want to sing in the service.

Stand In Your Love. Then it pulls up an Add an item. I can add an item description here, I c an add in my notes if I need to report any CCLI, and I can use the key, change the key and the arrangement.

I’m gonna click accept and now Stand In Your Love is scheduled for October 11th.

Okay, so one of the things I wanna do is make the transitions smooth between songs, and so I wanna choose another song that starts in the key of B flat.

So I can do that by using the filter. So if I click add a filter and the n key, then I can choose the key of B flat and th en search.

So now this list of songs, are all the songs that have the available key o f B flat. So I can scroll down and find the song that I want. Graves Into Gardens. Yes, that’s it.

So I’m gonna click and drag it in and I’m gonna choose B flat as my key, make any changes I want to, and then click accept.

Okay, so let’s say you make a mistake, I’m gonna drag build my life, and actually we don’t need to sing that song on the 11th, you can just mouse over it and remove it.

Okay, you can click the music note to go straight to the song page, or you can click the pencil to edit the information.

I’m gonna click on songs to collapse that back down, and I want you to notice on the top right, this little edit item descriptions.

If you use item descriptions, this is a great way to edit all of them at the same time. This could be specifics for the praise team or notes about camera positions or any other note or a description that you wanna put under each item.

So for instance, Baptism, I know that Baptism is going to be Walter Reed and Mary Brown. So I’m gonna put that in the description under Baptism. Then, when I’m finished editing all my descriptions, I click finish editing.

And then if I go back and look under Baptism, here’s Baptism from September the 27th, if I look – there’s the description I just put in.

Okay, I’m gonna collapse the orders of service, and then I’m gonna look at plan notes. If you use Plan notes, this is where you can edit those, you can add your plan notes.

And then you have your teams that are serving, so I’ve got my audio visual team. I can see who has confirmed with the green check marks. I can see who hasn’t confirmed yet. I can also see who hasn’t been notified yet because of the little envelope, and I can see my needed positions.

Now, this is so cool because you can schedule all your volunteers just by dragging and dropping.

So I’m gonna choose my camera people, I need it to be Clint and Cooper an d Shammane.

Oh, wait a minute.

Now I see that there’s a block out. She’s declined this for the 11th and there’s a block out. She’s blocked out her dates.

So I’m gonna cancel that because I know that she’s not available, and then I’m gonna come over here to people and I’m gonna add a filter. I’m gonna choose audio visual and choose camera, and then search.

And these are they available people that can serve. So I know Lee White is good, so I’m gonna click on him, and then I schedule Lee White as a camera operator.

So you can drag and drop and fill up all of your slots, just like that. You can even add someone to the team when there’s not a needed position available.

So for instance, on October the 11th, I know we actually need four camera operators. And so I’m going to come over here to Mark. I’m gonna drag him on top of this section and automatically, it schedules Mark as a camera operator.

Okay, that’s all my audio visual team. Now I’m gonna look at the band.

These are all my band members, and again, I can drag and drop between services and quickly schedule them. I can see my vocalist, can see who’s scheduled and who needs to be scheduled.

I can come up here to people and remove this filter, I can search by name and then click and drag and add her to the schedule.

And then I’ll look at staff, and this is my staff, and I can see that Shammane has blocked out. So I know I need to fill this position.

Okay, once you have planned all your services and you’ve scheduled all your volunteers, now it’s time to communicate with those volunteers to let them know they’ve been scheduled to serve.

One of the great things about the matrix view is that instead of sending one email every week, you can send an entire month or even two months worth of schedules in just one email.

Now, if you do this, I encourage you to be sure to set reminders to go out to your team. So I’m gonna quickly show you how to do that.

I’m gonna get out of the matrix view. I’m gonna come to October the 4th.

Okay, so here’s the schedule for October the 4th. I’m gonna click on times and rehearsal times, and all teams, Sunday rehearsal. And I wanna make sure that the audio visual team is reminded two days before the service starts on Friday, that they need to show up.

So now I click save, and that will create a reminder email to automatically go out at 10AM on Friday before they’re scheduled to serve.

So I’m gonna go back to Matrix and I’m just gonna load October, so I’m gonna get rid of the 27th.

And now I’m gonna email all of my team. Click email these people at the top right. You can choose which teams you want to email. If you wanna take one out, just click remove.

I want them to receive all four plans for October, and I want everybody who’s pending and anybody who has a prepared notification. I can see that it’s 23 people. I click next, and then I can update the subject and update the Email, and then click send.

Okay, so that is the Planning Center matrix view. As you see, if you can learn how to use matrix, you will save so much time. It’s kind of a way to zoom out and see the big picture.

All of us as Worship Leaders have things that we have to do every week, and if you can figure out how to batch those things together and do them all at the same time, you will save so much time in the long run.

Planning Center Matrix to the rescue.

Hey, thanks so much for watching this video. Again, if you haven’t yet, be sure to like and subscribe, and I’d love for you to join us over on Facebook at our new Facebook group called Planning Center Training. I’ll put a link in the description below.

I’d love to connect with you over on Facebook and help you in any way I can. If you have questions about Planning Center, just shoot me an email, [email protected]. Have a great day, guys.