We live in a visual culture. In our fast-moving world, people’s brains have been trained to size up an event, product, or experience with a quick scan. In the business world, it’s why product packaging and advertising is so important. In the influence economy, it’s why Instagram is so vital to messaging—even if that messaging is predominately image-based.
As Christians who long to reach the lost and welcome brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be concerned about what people see. Our imagery and branding communicates so much about who we are as Jesus followers.
The good news is there are lots of free resources out there offering more royalty-free images, graphics, and videos, many of which cater specifically to the needs of churches. That’s what we’ve focused on in our list: sites that offer free media AND cater to local churches.
Here’s a roundup of the best of the best.
That’s right. Even though Tithe.ly is best known for offering an amazing giving app, plus a whole suite of church tech, we also offer an extensive library of church media. And the best part is, it’s 100% FREE!
We offer sermon series kits, social media images, motion graphics, and more. It’s all of the highest quality, and there are thousands upon thousands of designs to choose from. It used to be that Tithe.ly Media was available exclusively to Tithe.ly Giving customers, but recently that has changed. It is now free to any church, anywhere.
It’s just one small way we can partner with local churches for the sake of the kingdom.
From the folks who created the popular YouVersion app comes Life.Church Open, a catalog of 35,000 resources, including sermons, lessons for kids, worship songs, videos, leadership training, and, of course, graphics.
The offerings here go far beyond media, so it may take some time to sort through and discover exactly what your church needs. But with a track record of excellence in content and design, it’s worth the effort.
Everything in Life.Church Open is free, but you do need to sign up. The creators say that is to ensure that nothing on the site is used for commercial purposes. Even so, there are plenty of large-church resources that can now be used by every church, everywhere, no matter how small.
Pixel Preacher is a design shop specifically for churches. Most of the items available have a price tag, but they do have a “Freebies” section that contains many basic (but fun) graphics—motion loops, countdowns, social media, and overlays included.
Pixel Preacher is definitely worth having in your church’s media arsenal.
Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma, created Seeds as a repository of free graphics, videos (including sketches), artwork, songs, etc. We love this option because it’s great to see larger churches sharing their resources with the larger body of Christ. ]Seeds has been around for a while, there is quite an extensive library available. It’s free to browse and download, but downloading does require a login.
Seeds has been around for a while, there is quite an extensive library available. It’s free to browse and download, but downloading does require a login.
Believing that every church should have access to the highest-quality graphics and photos, CreationSwap was created to connect professional graphic designers and photographers with local churches.
CreationSwap offers premium, for sale, and free sections. As expected, the free section is much more limited in scope than the other two areas, but everything on the site is top-notch. These images won’t look like your standard cookie-cutter backgrounds.
Church Media Spot offers videos, graphics, photos, music, fonts, and more. While most of the resources on the site cost money, there are thousands of graphics available. Catering more to the in-person service, you’ll find screen images, countdowns, and worship slides. Plus every month, there’s a free motion background.
In addition to these sites, there are also a slew of pages offering free images and videos. Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and Stock Up are the most popular. Just know these resources are not specifically intended for churches.
Over to you
Only you know the unique style and feel of your church community. So, as you choose imagery for your worship services, social media pages, and your website, focus on what communicates your church’s heart.