You’ve probably heard the expression, “Never judge a book by its cover.” But that’s precisely what we do! We live in an image-driven culture. Every day, we make hundreds of observations and judgments based on what we can see with our eyes.
Maybe you think we ought to be fighting against this tendency—to see beyond what our eyes can see. After all, we worship a Savior who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2).
As followers of Jesus, we ought to look at people and circumstances through heaven’s eyes, but as we make every effort to seek out the lost and the hurting, we should remember that people will judge our message by what they see long before they take time to listen.
That’s why it’s so critical that we create a beautiful, welcoming environment—and it’s one of the reasons Tithe.ly is excited to offer world-class media for churches absolutely FREE. It’s called Tithe.ly Media, and it’s available to everyone, Tithe.ly customer or not!
Here are a few ways to use Tithe.ly Media in your church’s ministry:
1) Reinforce your brand
You might not be comfortable thinking about your church as having a “brand.” Brands are for ketchup bottles, clothing stores, and car insurance, right? But actually, your church’s brand communicates your identity. It’s what you’re about, what makes you special, and what you have to offer your community.
Is yours the church that’s intent on reaching college students? Your brand will reflect a young vibe.
Is yours the church for young families? Your brand will make parents of small children feel right at home.
Is yours the church that wants to change the world, one life at a time? Your brand will focus on inspiring life change.
Your brand is more than imagery, but the imagery you choose will reinforce it.
2) Create an atmosphere of worship
Worship is how we respond to God and what He’s done for us. It’s intimate and enormous all at the same time. And it’s serious business. Coming before the throne of heaven always is.
Use graphic design and photography to create an atmosphere that invites people to enter into God’s presence. Whatever you choose, it should serve as a reminder that the Lord is always good, always true, and always beautiful.
In these days of online worship, be sure to include your worship imagery both on screen in your sanctuary for those who attend physically but also in your livestream event. The goal with an integrated service is for everyone—whether they’re in the church building or home on the couch—to be one local body present together and with the Lord in worship.
One thing to note: Sometimes churches see all of the images and moving graphics available through sites like Tithe.ly Media, and they get carried away. Without meaning to do so, they create a distracting environment rather than a calm and reverent one.
3) Make your sermon series seamless
Whether you’re preaching through a book of the Bible or an important topic, you want your sermon series to feel cohesive. Choosing the right media is one way to do that.
Unfortunately, a lot of pastors stop after they create a single image to be used as a background while they deliver their message. That’s one place for a good, strong image, but your sermon series should live beyond the walls of your church.
Be sure to include the same, or complementary, imagery on your website, on social media posts, in corresponding blog posts or devotionals, and on any printed materials. By keeping your sermon series looking the same across all platforms, you’ll be giving your congregation a visual cue that what they’re seeing fits with what they’ve been hearing in church. It’s also a great way to invite newcomers into your teaching series.
4) Engage people through compelling images
Research shows that people retain far more information if they have an image to associate with what they’ve heard. So, when you’re preaching, be sure to keep things visual. Engage your audience with as many senses as possible.
Online, be sure that your social media posts are more than ads to let new people know your church exists. Encourage them, teach them, or inspire them—but do so with a graphic or short motion gif that will help them remember the truth.
Ninety percent of the information a person’s brain processes is visual. That means that if what you’re saying is important—and the truth of the gospel is certainly that!—you’d do well to pair your message with a meaningful image or video.
Over to you
There are numerous, specific ways you can incorporate media into your ministry. To help you get started, we’ve got lots of great graphics and photos to choose from at Tithe.ly Media. Everything on the site was created with churches in mind—and it’s all 100% FREE!