All posts tagged budget

Free Motion of the Month – July ’14

Free Motion of the Month - July '14

This month, we’ve partnered with our friends over at Playback Media and they’re hooking you up with an awesome motion that is going to look great in your services. Be sure to check out their memberships for more motions like these at an affordable price!

This freebie is only available for the month of July 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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Free Motion of the Month – June ’14

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This month, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Igniter Media and they’re hooking you up with an awesome motion that is going to look killer in your services. I first saw this motion in a live worship experience and it immediately stood out to me. I really love how it blends modern shapes with nature. Be sure to check out their website for more motions, stills, and mini-movies.

This freebie is only available for the month of June 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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My “Secret Sauce” For Great Environments

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As we work in the creative areas of ministry, we can get so wrapped up behind our computers that we ignore the atmosphere that we’re setting for our congregation. For both Sunday services and events throughout the week, environment plays a huge part in connecting with people. With some intentionality, you can create a space that takes guests’ minds off of the outside world, promotes focus on what’s important, and leaves them excited for what’s next. Here are a few secret tips that can make all the difference when creating engaging environments for your ministry:

1. Create Critical Mass

pipe-and-drapeNo environment screams boring louder than a half-empty room. If you want to create a “something big is happening here” buzz, allow just enough space in your room for a slightly crowded feel. The term for this has been coined as critical mass as your space always has just the right amount of crowd for a successful event. “Standing room only” is always a better experience than feeling like nobody else showed up. A great tool for creating small spaces in larger venues is simple pipe and drape.

2. Big or Small – Never Medium

For events, services, and everything in between, you should always avoid medium. When you go big, you pull out all the stops. The music is loud, you’re prepared for a large crowd, and you focus on the lights-camera-action side of things. Big communicates excitement. When you go small, you scale back the production to a minimum. The music is acoustic, you focus on one-on-one relationships, and scrap as much technology as possible. Small communicates intimacy. People love both big and small environments because they seem intentional. But, medium leaves people wondering if you’ve properly planned, are capable of doing either correctly, and generally communicates mediocrity.

3. Draw Eyes Away From Imperfections

Piedmont Chapel - Interest Hangout EventEven in the nicest spaces, there will always be spots that would go better unseen. Since it’s often outside of your budget to correct every imperfection, you can go a lot further by distracting from them. For example, we recently hosted a series of social events in a high school library. (You read that correctly.) Half of the room was filled with book cases that we were unable to cover. To draw eyes away from these, we intentionally placed a lot of eye-catching items within just enough distance to steal their show. This is also really easy to accomplish by projecting visually-compelling imagery on your screens or by strategically positioning stage lighting.

4. Avoid Awkward Silence

Whether big or small, every environment benefits from at least some light background music. This one simple step has the power to make or break your guest experience. For Sunday morning services, make sure you’re ready to go for pre and post service with a great playlist. (Here are some great playlists from Brady Shearer for Sundays.) I also recommend having music in your lobby, for outreach events, during the social times of your small groups, and in any other space filled with silence. (Here is a fun playlist we use for social gatherings at our church.)

5. Define Your Best Case Scenario For Guests

Elevation Church LobbyStart with the end in mind by compiling a list of what you want guests to walk away with from your environment. You may decide you want people to leave feeling excited, connected to new friends, and further committed to your church. To accomplish these goals, your environment might include bright colors and fun music to generate excitement. You could serve coffee and other refreshments that bring people together and strategically place outgoing hosts to spark conversations. Your environment might include booths that showcase photos or videos of what it looks like to get further involved and allow guests to sign up. By starting with the end in mind, you’re able to build your environment to foster those results.

Do you have any other tips that you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Three Essential Tips For Worship/Media Leaders

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Today’s post is from my good friend, Josh White. He is a worship leader, creative thinker, and ministry blogger based out of Las Vegas, NV. For more great posts by him, check out his website here.

In today’s church, a large portion of the Sunday morning experience is made possible by the collaboration of two teams – the worship team and media team. While their jobs have similar goals, the relationship between these two groups can often be shaky. It doesn’t help that most churches these days are no longer looking for just a Worship Pastor. Instead, they are looking for a Worship Pastor who can do video, graphic design, audio mixing, production, and everything in between. Because these two teams can be so different, leading them both can be really challenging.

Here are 3 things that have helped me in my journey of leading both of these ministries at my church:

1. Create A Family, Not A Group of Volunteers

One of the biggest mistakes any ministry can make is keeping their volunteers just that – volunteers. I have pretty high standards for people who want to get involved in our music and media ministry. First, they have to understand how much time they’re going to have to put in. They’ll have to be at church an extra night and come two hours early on Sunday mornings. Second, I need to feel like they can become part of our family…and usually those people who want to put in the time have no problem fitting in with our team. My music and media teams are all friends. We hang out together at least 30 minutes after every practice. We laugh together, we eat together, we pray together, and we cry together. This has created such a strong relationship that our chemistry from the production booth to the on-stage musicians is incredibly strong. So much so that they have told me they can sense where I’m about to take the worship service next when I’m leading. Get rid of your volunteers – create a family.

2. You Cannot Make Your Job Your Hobby

This is a big issue with new worship and media leaders coming up today – and I’m one of them. We’ve made our passions our hobbies, and then made them into a paid position. I’m not saying this is bad (it’s exactly what I did), but being fully engaged every minute of your life with one or two particular subjects is a call for total destruction. When you go home, keep your laptop closed. Turn on that nifty “Do Not Disturb” button on your phone, go get a workout in, read a book (that’s not about your job), or spend some time with your family. Having an even balance is only going to help you produce better worship sets and media presentations.

3. Start With The Basics, Then Grow

I can remember when I first arrived to the church where I currently lead the worship and media teams. For the first month, I asked my pastor if I could simply observe practices and worship sets. I quickly realized that things in the music and in the media booth were scattered, tense, and not put together. I sat down with each volunteer and let them know that we were going back to the basics  – we stripped everything down and worked from the ground up. At the same time, I let them all know that there was no end goal and that we would always be growing. A year later, our team is now playing with clicks, growing strong in musical talent, and now planning our visual worship ahead of services. Our rehearsal times are even more enjoyable and uplifting. When starting out, consistency is everything, but always, always, always grow with your church culture and your team.

While leading both of these teams can be challenging, these three tips have been huge for us. I’m confident that they will help you produce a bigger, more effective, and spiritual team within your worship and media ministry.

What are some things you have done to help your teams grow? Let us know in the comments below!

My Personal Vendor List For Printing

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While we may live in a digital age full of screens, physical printing is still a huge part of Creative Ministry. Just as we pour our energy into making our video look great, it’s super important that our printed materials are done in excellence as well. It speaks volumes when people can hold a well-designed printed piece in their hands and take it home with them.

While there are some cases where printing materials in-house will suffice, your best bet for great looking prints will come through using a professional printshop.

Here are the companies I use for all of my print work:

Paper Materials:

hym-bulletin-mockupNextDayFlyers.com – These guys are my #1 online vendor for printing. I’ve had over 100 orders with them and they’ve never let me down. I recommend their business cards, postcards, brochures, and posters. (Tip: Use their 2-4 day option for big savings.) Check them out here.

OvernightPrints.com – While I haven’t used them quite as much as Next Day Flyers, they’ve been good to us in the times we have used them. I recommend their booklets, mini-business cards, and postcards. (Tip: They offer Spot UV for free!) Check them out here.

PSPrint.com – These guys are awesome for custom orders. I’ve ordered custom sized visitor cards from them and everything I’ve ever done with perforated edges. (Tip: It’s easiest to give them a call for custom printing.) Check them out here.

The Printery – This is a local printer that is located less that 10 minutes from my house. We use them quite a bit at our church because it’s easy to drop by and dream up creative projects with their designers. I highly recommend developing a relationship with a printer that’s local to you. While they might cost a little more than online printers, there is great value in having someone close (especially for rush jobs).

Banners/Signs:

sign_drNextDayFlyers.com – These guys have some of the cheapest banners that you’ll find online, while maintaining great quality. I recommend their large vinyl banners and their retractable banner stands. (Tip: You can get a 10×5 banner for only $137.95!) Check them out here.

Displays2Go.com – We’ve been using this company for all of our signs and flags for our church plant. They have the best selection online and their prices are really great. They are also really good for general sign supplies. (Tip: Order in bulk for best prices.) Check them out here.

VistaPrint.com – While they haven’t always had the best reputation, we’ve recently placed two orders of their yard signs and they’ve had great customer service. We use these signs for directional arrows at our events. They have the best price that I could find online and the quality is great. (Tip: Opt out of their cumbersome fiberglass stakes and order a set of these for the same price.) Check them out here.

Apparel:

nsdribbbleRealthread.com – This company is new to me, but they’ve been really great in my first few orders. These are A+ quality t-shirts with top of the line printing, so expect to pay a little more. But, you can be confident that you’re getting a shirt that will become one of your favorites. Check them out here.

CentralScreenPrinting.com – I’ve ordered t-shirts from these guys almost 30 times. If you are looking for a super-affordable option for screen printing, this is the company for you. They are really great folks, but keep in mind that these are cheaper shirts. I always say this is my B+ option. They are perfect for large events and youth groups. (Tip: Give them a call for the best prices and ask for their church discount.) Check them out here.

Promotional Products:

bulletin1_drQualityLogoProducts.com – I’ve used this company several times for items such as pens, Sharpies, tote bags, and mini-frisbees. They have some of the best prices online and have always given me great customer service. Check them out here.

24HourWristbands.com – This is a new company to me, but they have already gone out of their way to take care of our needs and given us excellent customer service. They have some of the cheapest wristbands that you’ll find online and will accept custom artwork when ordering over the phone. Check them out here.

For all of these vendors, always be sure to look online for discount codes or simply ask them for a discount. Out of all of these, we’ve only paid full price with Real Thread.

Need inspiration for printed materials at your church? Check out Church Print Ideas.

Who do you use for your printing? Let us know in the comments below!