First U has a new way for members to interact with the church online and through your mobile phone. We are using an application called Church Center from a church software company called Planning Center.

One of the characteristics underlying the popularity of Church Center is that…

you do not need to create or remember a password to log in!

The first time you log in to make a donation or update your personal information, Church Center will send you a code. You can choose to have the code sent to your cell phone or email.

We recommend using a cell phone if you have one handy. The only troubles we have had reported with using these codes is from people who send the code to their email and try to check their email on the same device. This can work fine as long as you don’t close the Church Center website or app when you go to check your email. If you do close the site, it will start over, send a new code, and you will be stuck in a loop as long as you keep closing the website rather than returning to it.

Once you log into Church Center on a particular browser on a particular device, you will not be prompted for another code until you have been inactive on that browser/device combination for 14 days. If you have not visited the site for 14 days, you will be prompted again to send a code to your phone or email address. Most people find the cell phone option a little faster because the code usually pops up as a notification, so you don’t have to go open your email.

At a minimum, a new account requires first name, last name, and an email, so if you authenticate a new account with a mobile phone number, Church Center will still ask for an email. Yes, it is possible to use Church Center without a cell phone number.

Here is what it looks like to log in:

Note that you can have the code sent to your email instead of your phone by clicking on the “Use email address instead” link. If you choose that option the screen looks like this instead:

If you entered a phone number, Church Center will also ask you for an email. The system has to have an email to send certain kinds of notices like receipts:

If you entered an email to start with, Church Center will also ask you for a phone number. Most people find it a little faster to get notifications on their phone because the pop up right on the screen. It also helps the church to have both an email and a phone number for you, but you can choose to skip entering a phone number:

When you have the code via email or phone, click next and enter it on the following form:

Click next again and, if you have never logged in before, you will be asked for first and last name:

Now you have an account in Church Center. You can make a donation by clicking on the “Give” link. The first time you make a donation, you will be prompted for payment information. Note that is is also possible to make a donation without logging in, but we recommend choosing the option to create and account so you don’t have to keep entering your payment details.