All posts tagged budget

The Ultimate List of Free Stock Photo Resources – The Ultimate List of Free Stock Photo Resources

Photos are some of the most valuable resources for creative ministry. While I’m a huge fan of using pictures that are actually taken in your church, I’ve learned that’s not always possible. That’s where stock photos come in. A great stock photo can provide professionalism, beauty, and quality that you may not have access to in your ministry.

A Google search for these valuable resources will generate an infinite number of websites with stock images ranging from a few bucks per photo to thousands of dollars per photo. (I literally think my Executive Pastor would pass out if I asked for a $1000 stock image.)

What if I told you that you could get absolutely beautiful stock photos for free? You’re not dreaming, my friend. Below are my favorite resources to download some of the best photos on the web for $0/photo. Some are even Christian-based, so they’re perfect for use inside your church.

1. Unsplash

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2. Death To The Stock Photo

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3. Lightstock’s Free Photo of the Week

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5. Gratisography

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6. Freely Photos

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7. Life of Pix

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8. No More Clip Art

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9. Snapwire Snaps

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10. Picjumbo

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11. Jay Mantri

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12. New Old Stock

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Do you have any other resources for free stock photos? Let us know in the comments below!

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 01/08/2015 – Five Creative Ministry Tips: 01/08/2015

Every week, we’re excited to share a five-pack of useful tips for those serving in creative ministry! Each Thursday, we post practical advice on topics such as media, social networking, design, and marketing. While these tips may be simple, they have the potential to radically improve your church. These images are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ready, so help us spread the word by sharing them with your followers!

Organization inspires excellence. Be committed to keeping your tech booth, computer desktops, and media libraries tidy. One recent stat showed that $1 spent towards a mass mailer will reach 19 people, while $1 spent on boosted Facebook posts will reach 353 people.
Great ideas are simply mashups or remixes of one or more previous ideas. Your next big AHA may result from the inspiration you take in today. Avoid an awkward transition from your countdown video by timing its music to end right at 0:00.  It can be tempting to buy cheap gear in the name of stewardship, but a wise steward treats every purchase as an investment in the Kingdom.

Like these photos? Get them here: Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5

12 Gifts For Every Church Creative’s Wishlist – 12 Gifts For Every Church Creative's Wishlist

1. Space Bar (Monitor stand + 6-port USB hub) – $99.99

Space Bar: Monitor stand + 6-port USB hub

2. Created For More (By Jonathan Malm) – $9.01

Created For More (By Jonathan Malm)

 3. Decoded (13″ Leather Slim Cover for MacBook Air) – $99.99

Decoded 13" Leather Slim Cover for MacBook Air

4. MOS Spring Cables (Lightning & Micro USB) – $30.00

MOS Spring Cables (Lightning & Micro USB)

5. Sennheiser CX 215 (Earphones) – $39.99

Sennheiser Headphones

6. Olloclip (Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens For iPhone 5) – $99.99

Olloclip (Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens For iPhone 5)

7. Tile (App-based Location Device) – $20.00


 8. Cordito (Leather Cord Organizer) – $40.00

 Cordito (Leather Cord Organizer)

9. PowerCurl (MacBook Power Cord Wrap) – $9.99

PowerCurl (MacBook power cord wrap)

10. The GaffGun (Genius Gaff Tape Applicator) – $199.99

You can find the GaffGun here.

11. Converge (4-port USB Charging Station) – $69.99

Converge (4-port USB charging station)

12. Mophie Space Pack (iPhone 5S Case, Battery, + Storage) – $149.95

Mophie Space Pack (iPhone 5S Case With Battery + Storage)

What’s on your wish list? Let us know in the comments below!

Small Improvements, Big Results – Small Improvements, Big Results

One of the biggest traps that we can fall into is believing that progress can only be accomplished through huge projects or complete overhauls. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, I would argue that one of the best ways to move your organization forward is with small, consistent improvements.

I serve in a brand new church plant that’s only six weeks old at the time of this being written. Although we are only a few services in, this is a principle that I’ve had to remind myself of constantly.

Whether your church is a few weeks old or has been around for a hundred years, there is always room to improve your Sunday services.

It can be easy to get discouraged that any change to make things better is out of reach due to lack of time, money, or other resources. But we’re better than that. God has equipped us for the exact season that we’re in. We simply have to embrace where we are and make the improvements that we can make.

Last week, rather than wallowing in my pile of can’ts, I sought to make small improvements in areas all around our church that would make a noticeable impact on Sunday. Some were technical. Some were practical. All were creative.

  • We created what I call “Pinterest-y” themed centerpieces in our coffee area.
  • We used pumpkin spice air freshener all around our building rather than our traditional scent.
  • We changed our lobby/pre-service playlist to a more spirited, hipster vibe. Listen to it here.
  • We updated the design of our announcement slides.
  • We changed up our stage lighting to include more colors.
  • We started using a new set of motion backgrounds for our songs.
  • We changed our order of service to include a fun, warm opening from one of our pastors.
  • We took more photos on Sunday morning of real people in our church for social media.

Announcement Slide

All of these were relatively easy to accomplish, but made a huge impact on Sunday. People really took notice of the changes and I can honestly say that it was our best service yet.

You’ll also notice that I said we changed, we used, we started…

That’s because I got other people involved on these small projects. Even when it was in the smallest capacity you can imagine. But do you know what happened when these projects turned out to be a success? We celebrated our victory.

Getting people involved in small, tangible improvements is the easiest way to keep your church progressing and your volunteers smiling.

It’s a win-win.

So, what can you do this week to make your church better? Who can you get involved to help you do this? Creative Ministry is more than what happens in the tech booth. Don’t be afraid to use your creativity all around your church.

Small improvements make a big difference.

Free Motion of the Month – October ’14 – Free Motion of the Month - October '14

This month, we’ve partnered with our good friends from Shift Worship to bring you a motion that’s going to look great in your Fall services. I’m excited for you to get to use it! We choose this motion because of its rich color and blend between futuristic and natural themes.

This freebie is only available for the month of October 2014.

This download includes HD, SD, and still versions.
This motion is free to download, but please do not redistribute. (Please link back to this page.)

To get this free motion, simply subscribe to receive our weekly email newsletter. You’ll receive your download link via email within the hour.

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