Abstract motion backgrounds for worship

For the past few months, I’ve been using worship backgrounds from Church Motion Graphics. In this article, I want to explain why this is my favorite resource for abstract motion backgrounds and walk you through my workflow for downloading and using the backgrounds in ProPresenter. 

The question of the day: What do you use for motion backgrounds at your church? Include links so everyone can check them out.

In most worship gatherings, the congregation spends a lot of time looking at the projection screens so they can read along with the lyrics of the song. At my church, we project on a wide screen at the back and center of the stage. Not only does it project lyrics but it also plays a significant role in the aesthetic of our stage. Motion backgrounds are kind of a big deal.

When searching for visuals to add to our screen, my criteria is pretty simple. They must look amazing, but not be distracting. Most importantly they cannot be cheesy. For so many years, the realm of worship backgrounds has been plagued with cheesy graphics.

Sometimes I enjoy making my own motion backgrounds by capturing footage here around Colorado. But that takes a lot of time to shoot and edit. That is why I’ve been grateful for the resource Church Motion Graphics has been for me over the past few months at Mission Lakewood. In a matter of seconds, I can download high quality, non-cheesy, abstract motion backgrounds into ProPresenter. They always look great and complement our stage design.

Here’s a look at my workflow. It’s effortless. On the Church Motion Graphics website, I log in to my account. I have the premium account which gives me unlimited access to their creative assets.

Next, I find their latest pack of backgrounds. Every month they come out with a new one. With my premium account, I can also browse through their previous packs. They make it really easy to either download the complete bundle or save it to Dropbox. We store all of our backgrounds in Dropbox. I have a master folder for all of our motion backgrounds and then subfolders for the different packs.

In ProPresenter, I create playlists within my video/image bin to match the selection of packs. I drag and drop the appropriate packs in the playlists and then I have a large collection of backgrounds to choose from.

I use Ableton Live to automate everything in ProPresenter. Each week I work through my setlist in Ableton and cue up the right background at the right time. Sometimes I will use one pack of motions for the whole service to keep the look consistent, and other times I’ll mix it up. Sometimes I use one background per song, and other times I use multiple backgrounds throughout a song. I’m also intentional about keeping colors coordinated between by motion backgrounds and lighting design.

A quick note about font. We use all caps ontserrat. Since we project on the screen at the back of the stage, we also align our text to the top of the slide, so it’s easy to read. I’ve never had anyone in the congregation complain about our visuals in worship. They look good, and they are functional.

Even if you don’t sign up for a membership with Church Motion Graphics, you can download their free still backgrounds. They took a still frame from each of their motion backgrounds and made them available for everyone to download. It’s super generous of them.

For most churches, their membership plans are a no-brainer. Think about how often you need high-quality graphics for worship. Church Motion Graphics creates new content every month, and their user interface makes it simple to download what you need in a few moments.

I’ve included a link to their website below, so go have a look. Download some free graphics and try them out at your church. When you’re ready, sign up for a membership plan so you can get their latest and greatest content.

A big thank you to Jeff McIntosh and his team for creating this resource that is helping thousands of worship ministries around the globe. If you haven’t already, request to join their Facebook group called CMG | Visual Church Media. It’s a well-curated group where you can learn from others and stay up to date with the latest resources from Church Motion Graphics.

I mentioned earlier how I use Ableton Live to automate lyrics and background video changes in worship. If you are interested in this wizardry, make sure you sign up for my free training, Lead Worship with Ableton, click the button below to enroll.

Thanks for watching. If you found this article helpful, hit the like button and share it with your friends in ministry. Let me know in the comments where you find worship backgrounds for your ministry.