Free Media You Should Know About
This article is a bit older. Check out our updated list of free visual media resources here!
Start your engines and get ready to download, peeps! We’re hitting the free media resource piñata hard and sharing a ton of sites full of free media for churches. Clear space on your hard drive and check out the goodies below:
Creation Swap is one of the better-known free (and for purchase) media resource sites. Here you can find vector art, photos, slides, bulletins, invite cards, and more. You can also see what kind of files are included in any given artwork, as well as fonts used (in case you want to alter a title for a sermon series or event). You can also search artwork for different ministries. If your church staff doesn’t include a full time graphics person, Creation Swap will help you out.
If you’re looking for some background music for a video you are producing, check out FMA. All music is high quality and legal for public use. You can search within genres to find the song that works well for the feel of your video. Plus, music on FMA has been hand picked by established audio curators.
3. Worship VJ Vimeo Group
The Worship VJ Vimeo Group has great motion backgrounds for your worship experience. With over 150 videos (and growing) available for download, you’ll find some great content here. It took me a few clicks to figure out how to actually download a video from the group, but you’ll find the link on the page that explains how to get in on the action. Beware PC/Windows users, most of the videos are in QuickTime format and don’t work especially well on presentation software such as MediaShout and EasyWorship.
Brad at Churchmediadesign.tv has hit it out of the park. You’ll find tons of free stuff in his freebies section including audio, backgrounds, games, mini movies, series art, and even some texture packs available for download. But what’s most impressive (for me) is that I can point my graphics/video staff to this site to find articles, tutorials, and inspiration for their creative needs/education.
A veteran graphic designer was looking to give something back a new generation of designers. So he curates this site filled with great textures that you can use. If you’re looking for some patterns and textures to tile on your blog or website, it’s all right there.
This is another great music resource for those of you creating your own loops and click tracks. The navigation of the website can be a little daunting, as there is a lot of text and categories to scour. But you’ll find plenty of free downloads for whatever your loop needs might be. One thing to note is that the loops and samples come in a .zip file and need to be extracted before you can use them.
This is yet another site that has an exhaustive list of free resources. As with a couple of other websites mentioned here, navigation and web layout can pose a bit of a threat to those who are new to looking for new media. Also, the quality of content on some of the free videos available for download could be a little better. However, there is so much content at Muddy River, you’re sure to find more than a few things that will work for your church.
Stock.xchng is a great resource for anyone looking for some free stock photos for whatever needs you might have. Recently being acquired from Getty Images, they have a commitment to providing quality safe, and reliable images that you can use with confidence. Another noteworthy feature is their open forum where you can go straight to the pros with any questions you might have about using photos from their vast library.
Vecteezy offers free vector art for any of you designers that can’t get enough of Adobe Illustrator. While you can join for 14 dollars a month for unlimited downloads, you can still find anything you might need for free. To be careful, make sure you read the licenses on what you download so you know what you can and cannot do with certain pieces of art. For all of you Photoshop users, be sure to check out Brusheezy.com for a free resource of great brushes you can use in your Photoshop projects.
Free Media Resources from Churches
Church on the Move, located in Tulsa, OK has a wonderful free resource site. Taken from sermon series, artwork, dramas, videos, and even mistakes that they’ve made in the past, Seeds is a great place to get some great free media and ideas that you can make work in your context.
Created by Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, stufficanuse.com is packaged media created primarily for their student and young adults ministries. Packaged in “boxes,” most of the resources you’ll find are title and message slides based around a particular series. There are also Mp3‘s available to download of the sermons within a series. So, if you are looking for a new sermon series based around media that is already created you’ll find content that you can use.
One of the frontrunners of open-source media for churches, open.lifechurch.tv provides everything you might need to launch a sermon series. Search by topic or ministry. Sermons, artwork, worship sets, promo videos…it’s all there and free for your use.
As one of the fastest growing churches in America, Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC provides some great sermon series content available for free. In the same vein as other churches in this article, their open-sourcing is packaged around media content already completed. So it’s wonderful should you choose to form a sermon series around the title that is provided. The only thing that I don’t like about it is that one must sign up before viewing any of the extra content in the package.
The folks at New Life Church in Arkansas offer a clean and simple site layout that makes finding what you need easy. They offer series art, motion backgrounds, and logos. Though it’s not as extensive as some other sites mentioned in this article, there is no sign up necessary for any of the downloads. Just click and in few minutes you’ll have some new media.
From South Carolina, NewSpring is another church that provides sermon series packages for your use. Included in the package is layered .psd files, logos in Illustrator format and various .jpg files for your benefit. As well, they include a pre-service countdown timer, motion background, and an opener/bumper video to play before each sermon.