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7 Free Media Resources for November

It’s free resource time again! And we at the Church Media Blog have rounded up some of our favorites! This month you have more than ever to be thankful for – there’s a Thanksgiving feast of resources! There are two inspiration videos, a Chris Tomlin song chart (including orchestration), a stock video clip, a mini-collection with a countdown and a motion background, a full-sized collection with 1 countdown, 7 motion backgrounds, and 7 still backgrounds, and an audio track to get you in the holiday spirit (if you’re a no-Christmas-music-before-Thanksgiving person, you can download it after Thanksgiving). So, as you’re sipping on those new Starbucks holiday drinks, be sure to download these new resources for your ministry and share them with your media-loving acquaintances and friends!

Oil And Water by Eric Samuel Timm – Mini-Movie

Download the free Mini-Movie at WorshipHouseMedia.com. (Available through November 30)

 

The Chains by Oneness Videos – Mini-MovieDownload the free Mini-Movie at Sermonspice.com. (Available through November 30)

 

Graph Paper Mini-Collection by Graceway Media – Motion & CountdownDownload the free mini-collection at WorshipHouseKids.com. (Available through November 30)

 

Grunge Circle Pack by Wubbleyou Media Group - Countdown, Motion Backgrounds, & Still BackgroundsDownload the free collection at videosforyouth.com. (Available through November 30)

 

Shout For Joy/Joy To The World by Paul Baloche - Audio Worship TrackDownload the free audio track at christiansongtracks.com. (Available through November 30)

 

Greater by Chris Tomlin – Song ChartDownload the free song chart at christiansongcharts.com. (Available through November 30)

 

Stock Video by Pearl – Video ClipDownload the free video clip at lightstock.com. (Available through November 30)

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Before You Use Papyrus

The next time you’re tempted to use the all-so-popular Papyrus font… when your mouse just can’t resist selecting it for your document… STOP.

You may have seen James Cameron’s Avatar, the movie with big blue aliens. You may have loved it or even hated it for a variety of reasons, but very few of you have probably thought twice about the movie poster title or even more so the font used in the subtitles. But… there are those select few that cringed every time those blue people opened their mouth and we were forced to read what they were saying. What’s the big problem you wonder? In a word: Papyrus. It’s the font that every designer loves to hate, battling neck and neck with Comic Sans.

So what’s the problem with Papyrus? Is it really that bad? Or are designers just being font snobs?

The papyrus font was created back in the ‘80’s to simulate how words might have been written on a sheet of papyrus paper, thousands of years ago. It was never intended to be used for the name of a pizza company located in the mountains of California (though I’m still forced to use it every time I design something for that client). Somehow this font made its way into the font library of every computer platform created on earth. And because it was unique and eye catching, everybody with a copy of Microsoft Word and a printer made flyers, posters, postcards, brochures, signs, bulletins, announcements… You get the picture. The font became overused and since most of the people using it misused and abused it in situations for which it was never intended, it started to become associated with every amateurish piece of design work out there. If you really don’t believe me on how much it is (mis-)used check out this website.

You probably wouldn’t wear sandals and a bath robe when preaching in front of a congregation or wear your suit to a family get away at the beach. In the same way, you don’t want to use any font just because its eye catching on any design. Much like different articles of clothing are suited for different events in life, every font has a specific place and time it should be used, or more importantly, NOT used. It should help to convey what you are trying to say, to enhance the look and feel of your communication… not distract from it. Are you really wanting to say that the church bake sale next week has an Egyptian theme? Just because its eye catching doesn’t mean it fits.

Next time you’re putting together that flyer for the church and you don’t anyone to miss the event and you’re just itching to use papyrus because your trying to look edgy and stay hip… STOP. There are alternatives.  There are plenty of sites on the web that have free or inexpensive fonts, and they are well worth the investment.  Here are 5 alternatives to using papyrus.

  1. Use anything that isn’t papyrus. No seriously. ANYTHING that isn’t papyrus. There are hundreds of thousands of fonts out there, many of them free, why limit yourself to one. Try FontSquirrel, DaFont, 1001FreeFonts, or FontSpace. If its for a website check out Google Fonts.
  1. Try identifont.com. Type in the name of the font you want and it’ll give you a list of fonts similar in style.
  1. Papyrus is in the calligraphy font family, try looking at other calligraphy fonts.
  1. Instead of using a font to catch the eye and convey what you want to say, trying using a color. Colors can convey a message and catch the eye much better than a font style, and different colors make a person feel different when reading an ad. Color theory is a whole other subject but a quick search on the web can give you the basics and help you convey your message appropriately.
  1. If, and only if, you think you really need that papyrus look for your next sermon is on the baby Moses, and papyrus just feels right, and your insistent that there is no substitute, try Smooth Papyrus.

What are some of your favorite alternatives to Papyrus?

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The Ideal Length of Everything [Infographic]

Too short? Too long? How do you know if your headline, blog post, hashtag, or social update is too long… and how can you get maximum engagement? The awesome people over at Buffer have created an infographic to help you out as you create content for your church’s social accounts!

social-media-length-infographic

If your Facebook post is 40 characters you could see 86% more engagement than a post with more than 40 characters. Want to increase the open rate of your emails? According to Buffer, if your subject line contains between 28 and 39 characters, you could have an average open rate around 12.2%.

Check it all out here and get started creating better social updates now!

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Worshiping in the Booth

worshipbooth

Image from Lightstock.com

I love being on the graphics team at my church. I love being able to help people worship with easy to read lyrics that transition right when they need them to. I love choosing beautiful backgrounds that enhance worship and don’t distract. I love getting better at my role. One thing I didn’t really think I would love is my own worship on those Sundays.

I thought of it as a sacrifice. I’m so busy and focused on making sure the display is right for the churchgoers that I don’t really get to relax and worship myself. Sometimes I try to sing myself, but if I get too carried away worshiping with everyone, I will get lost and forget to transition at the right time. So I try not to do that. ​But it’s okay, I’m really glad I am able to serve in this way.

This past Sunday though I picked up on something, I think that I’ve felt before but never really stopped to consider. We were playing a new (to me) song called Good Good Father by Housefires. (Watch here, it’s really good!)

So I am adjusting the lyrics in ProPresenter in the morning, and running through the song with the band a bit later, and then running it again three more times during the services. I get to look at all the lyrics at once, over and over again, and these were sticking out to me:

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are

And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I became overwhelmed with emotion. I love worshiping on Sundays, but the lyrics just come and go and if I’m not really in the right place mentally or emotionally the lyrics don’t sink in like I think they should. But this Sunday they were just sitting there staring at me and they didn’t go away. Even when I had moved on to other slides for the church to sing the rest of the song, I was still seeing these and it was like it was being pressed into me whether I liked it or not, and these particular words meant a lot for me to hear at this particular time.

I think this has actually happened to me a lot on the Sundays I’ve run graphics. One or two verses in a song, or the chorus, will just stand out to me, and I see it over and over again and it just sits there on the computer screen no matter which lyrics are up on display. It’s really pretty awesome. I end up worshiping in a completely different way.

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Refresh The Christmas Season!

Today, we’re excited to talk about a great way to refresh your Christmas season and services with some great products from the Skit guys over at WorshipHouse and SermonSpice!

Christmas, regrettably, can be a source of great stress for churches as they work hard every year to provide meaningful worship services for the holiday. The tension rests between making sure to hit all the traditional notes while creating a fresh experience each year.

One approach to add meaning to your Christmas worship services is to utilize visual media, specifically the First Christmas and Gifts of Christmas collections from The Skit Guys.

First Christmas is a 6-part video series that depicts biblical characters such as Joseph, Mary, and the Innkeeper telling the Christmas story from their own perspectives. Gifts of Christmas is a five-part series designed to “…help your congregation enter the Christmas season with hearts overflowing with the love of God.”

Utilize Gifts of Christmas during the Christmas season to help teach your congregation and to shepherd them through Advent. It’s also a great tool to promote your Christmas Eve services. Next, use First Christmas during your Christmas Eve Service.

Our friends at SermonSpice And WorshipHouse have created a sample order of service for Christmas Eve that can help you see how you could do this to create a different, but wonderful, service that truly celebrates Jesus entering our world.  Note that the service template does not include specific songs, but rather has a good suggestion of where you could place them in your service. 

Christmas Eve Service
“First Christmas”

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:5-17
First Christmas: Elizabeth
(Song #1)

Scripture Reading: Luke 1: 26-33
First Christmas: Mary
(Song #2)

Scripture: Matthew 1:18-22
First Christmas: Joseph
(Song #3)

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-7
First Christmas: Innkeeper
(Song #4)

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-14
First Christmas: Shepherd
(Song #5)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
First Christmas: Wise Man
(Song #6)

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