With any new endeavor, getting started is one of the most difficult challenges. Creative ministry, whether it be projecting lyrics, designing graphics, or managing social media pages, is no different.
Determining what software you need, finding where to download resources, and figuring out how to make it all happen with a small (or non-existent) budget can be overwhelming.
Here are a few tips and tools that I’d recommend to anyone getting started with media in their church or anyone working with a tight budget:
1. Design Your Graphics With Canva
Canva (canva.com) is an online platform for creating custom graphics right in your browser and is a great alternative to Photoshop. Using their templates or starting from scratch, you can design social media images, business cards, flyers, presentations, and more for your church. You can easily get away with their free version for most of what you need in getting started, but there are a lot of great templates for just $1. To get even more features, nonprofits can upgrade to their Canva For Work plan for free here.
2. Download Great Stock Photos For Free
One of our most popular articles at TCP has been our Ultimate List of Free Stock Photo Resources. Using great photos like you’ll find on these sites is an easy way to make a big impact on your screens, in your designs, and on social media. My personal favorites are Unsplash and Lightstock’s Free Photo of the Week.
3. Schedule Social Posts With Buffer
When I first started using social media in ministry, I remember wondering how some of the larger churches were able to keep their pages updated all the time. When I found Buffer, I was so excited to discover that it’s really simple to schedule a week or month of posts in advance. Even if you’re just looking to post to multiple platforms at once, it’s a great tool. You can manage up to four social pages for free and they have a nonprofit upgrade here.
4. Project Lyrics For Free With Worship Extreme
There’s no doubt that ProPresenter has become the standard for churches for projecting lyrics, scriptures, and videos, but the $399 price tag doesn’t work for every budget. There are several free or low-cost alternatives, but Worship Extreme stands out from the crowd. It will work on your PC or Mac and is a great way to get started using media on Sunday mornings.
5. Download Motion Backgrounds From CMG
Church Motion Graphics is one of my favorite resources to recommend to newbies in creative ministry and anyone working on a budget. Not only can you download two of their backgrounds for free every month (sign up here and here), but they offer a subscription that gives you a whole pack of fresh content for only $10/month. Using their motions, stills, and countdowns is one of the easiest ways to add wow to your services.
What Do You Think?
Have any of these tips worked for you?
Do you have any other resources that you’d add to the list?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Kendall Conner serves as the Creative Pastor at Piedmont Chapel in Greensboro, NC. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek, but above all enjoys seeing lives changed. Together with his beautiful wife, Holly, they strive to use media to spread the message of Christ and equip others for ministry.