All posts tagged powerpoint

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.05.46 PM

2. Death To The Stock Photo

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.09.07 PM

3. Lightstock’s Free Photo of the Week

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.10.20 PM


Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.12.05 PM

5. Gratisography

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.14.16 PM

6. Freely Photos

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.19.06 PM

7. Life of Pix

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.25.36 PM

8. No More Clip Art

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.28.10 PM

9. Snapwire Snaps

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.31.36 PM

10. Picjumbo

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.33.51 PM

11. Jay Mantri

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.35.35 PM

12. New Old Stock

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.38.26 PM

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

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 01/15/2015

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 01/15/2015

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!

Too small of a worship lyric font can lead to less community participation. Choose a size that is easy to read from every seat of the room. 1200 x 1200 pixels at 72dpi is the perfect size for social images to be used on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It's clear, yet lean.
A genuine connection to the original Creator should be the most valuable asset in your creative ministry. Keep an organized, up-to-date library of photos taken at your church. You shouldn't have to hunt down pictures every time you make a flyer. Set goals for your creative team just high enough that you must get outsiders involved to accomplish them. Creativity is best in numbers.

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

Six Great Mini-Movies For Thanksgiving Sunday

Six Great Mini-Movies For Thanksgiving Sunday

Thanksgiving Sunday is almost here and these mini-movies will work perfect in your services. Because of all the busyness, cooking, and shopping, it’s easy for this holiday to pass right by without us really taking time to thank God for our many blessings. I’ve found that showing mini-movies like these is the perfect way to inspire your congregation to pause and reflect on the subject.

These are my personal favorites from the large collection over at WorshipHouse. Check them out and tell us in the comments below which is your favorite! Or, if you have another that you’d recommend, let us know!

You can purchase “Give Thanks Worship Intro” here.

You can purchase “Thankful People” here.

You can purchase “A Prayer of Thanksgiving” here.

You can purchase “Messy Blessings” here.

You can purchase “The Cure” here.

You can purchase “Give Thanks” here.

8 Tweaks For The Ultimate Projection Computer – 8 Tweaks For The Ultimate Projection Computer

Live media has changed a lot in the past 20 years for churches. Overhead transparencies have been replaced with presentation software. Keyboards have been replaced with MIDI controllers and laptops. And while computers have brought a new world of convenience into the worship environment, they are not perfect machines: apps crash, batteries die, and hard drives fail.  

As it turns out, many of the convenient features about owning a personal computer become inconvenient when that computer is used in a live production environment. What if I told you that by eliminating some of these features you could prevent most of the blunders that cause distractions in your services?

Here are eight tweaks that I’d recommend making on your church’s projection computer immediately:

1. Disable Instant Messaging Apps (Including FaceTime)

We’ve all been there…the pastor is in the middle of a powerful message when suddenly, an innocent but obtrusive chime comes over the PA.  Someone is receiving a message during service…and now the entire crowd knows it.  Make sure to disable – nay, uninstall – all instant messaging apps, including FaceTime.  The last thing you need is someone trying to video chat with you in the middle of worship.

2. Close Your Web Browser

Web browsers can cause computers to crawl sometimes. Many websites have popups that include audio – be it a minor chime or a full musical track. Most web-based e-mail services (i.e. Gmail) have a chat feature that, if left open, will play a sound as soon as you receive any chat-related alerts. With all of this being said, it’s best just to leave your browser closed during services.

3. Turn Off Wi-Fi

Yes, I said it.  If a computer is being used for media in your environment, it should be disconnected from the internet during your services.  In addition to solving the problems in tweaks 1 and 2, this will also prevent any alerts in the event that your computer loses wi-fi signal temporarily. (Tip: To continue using apps such as the ProPresenter remote without internet, try using the “Create Network” feature on your Mac.)

4. Disable Mouse Shortcuts (Including Hot Corners)

When using computers on a daily basis, a mouse shortcut to reveal your desktop is great. In a worship environment, it’s a nightmare. No one should be seeing your “Hang In There Kitty” desktop in the middle of worship.  I’ve also found that when training a volunteer that is not as familiar with computers, their first response to accidentally activating the desktop shortcut is to raise their hands away from the computer in panic. Your life will be easier if you just disable all mouse buttons/shortcuts except left and right click.

5. Disable Screen Saver & Display Sleep

This may seem like an obvious one, but when setting up a new computer, it can be easy to forget. Make sure to disable your screen saver, as well as display sleep, to prevent them from coming on mid-service. I’ve seen this happen too many times right in the middle of a Pastor’s message.

6. Disable Bluetooth

Again, this is a feature designed for convenience: If any bluetooth accessories that come into signal range of your computer, they’ll automatically connect.  Unfortunately, since many people are carrying around bluetooth-enabled devices, this can cause some issues.  To prevent accidentally connecting to a phone or wireless mouse that someone in the crowd has, just disable bluetooth.

7. Set Your Wallpaper To Solid Black

As convenient as presentation software is, it’s not bulletproof.  Every once in a while, it crashes.  Having a black background on your screens will ensure that, in the event of a crash, it will be less of a distraction (maybe even unnoticeable).  Having the default desktop background appear on screen is a sign to everyone that something is wrong in the booth. 

Update: Thanks to Jon Sheperd for the suggestion: As an alternative to a black background, you could use your church’s default slide or your current sermon series graphic as a background in case of a software crash.

8. Use A Wired Keyboard and Mouse

Nothing is worse than having your mouse batteries die in the middle of a fast worship song.  By using wired mice and keyboards on all your production computers, you’ll never have to think about batteries again. 


A good friend once told me that production is more about covering mistakes that happen than running everything perfectly.  While there’s no such thing as a perfect Sunday, using these tips will hopefully help you to prevent some of the failures that can be a distraction in your services.

Do you have any other tips that you’d add to the list?

Free Motion of the Month – September ’14


This month, we’ve partnered with our good friends from Centerline New Media to bring you a motion that’s going to look great in your Fall services. They are one of my favorite Church Media producers and I’ve been a long-time fan of their subscription. Find out more about them here.

This freebie is only available for the month of September 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.

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter