Ps Tim Garisto from Lifehouse Church, Melbourne
with Samuel Heins from Faith Christian Church, and Dan Faltas from Millpark Baptist
@timothygaristo @samuel.heins @faltas_
First things first… When it comes to all things design in Youth Ministry, I think it’s always important to always ask yourself the question ‘what’s the goal here?’. We can easily get so caught up with which youth ministry has the best socials, who has the best online ideas, who has the freshest merch – and it can lead to unhealthy competition.
In my opinion, the goal is and always will be these two things:
Jesus and Relevance.
We all want our teenagers to like, comment and share our content but in order for that to happen, we need to make sure we are putting out content that our teenagers are proud of.
Having content that looks and feels relevant is so important in an age where almost everything teenagers do is online. Everything we put out MUST appeal to our youth, not our leaders or young adults. For example, I love seeing youth ministries on TikTok. I understand not everyone has the capacity to create content for a Tiktok account, but I love seeing it because it’s where the teenagers are. Relevance will get the kids in the door and that plays an important part in leading them to Jesus.
Everything you put out, every design, every video, every edit, must always be a pathway for a young person to find Jesus. Remember the goal and what you’re trying to achieve and think big picture. Don’t compete, it’s not a competition, find what works for your youth ministry, evaluate your capacity and nail what you can do well.
The following is some of the resources that we use. By no means is what you’re about to read the ‘right’ or ‘best’ way, it’s just what has worked for us. Give some of these a crack!
PS: It’s important to establish what the capacity of your media team is before putting any pressure on them to produce content that is not sustainable long term. We would all love to be doing more on socials but we also have to be conscious of team and resource.
RESOURCES WE USE
FYI: We use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere as our primary editing software in conjunction with a few of the following apps and programs below
1. UNSPLASH: https://unsplash.com/
Free HD Photos that are royalty free, great for creating posts and not having to go and shoot photos yourself.
2. SAVEE IT: https://savee.it/
Savee it is a great resource to get inspiration. (Similar to Pinterest)
3. PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com.au/
Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration and collaboration. Getting people involved in a project has never been easier then setting up a board and letting people add to it.
4. BEHANCE: https://www.behance.net/
Similar to Pinterest and Savee, Behance is another great resource for inspiration.
5. DAFONT: https://www.dafont.com/
Heaps of free Fonts here.
6. KERN CLUB: https://www.kernclub.com/
Some of the best fonts we’ve seen! Heaps of free content on there too.
7. THE DESIGNERS FOUNDRY: https://thedesignersfoundry.com/
Again some amazing fonts here, all the fonts on here are ones you need to buy but aren’t all that expensive and are really really good quality fonts that can be used over and over. Lots of our fonts come from here.
8. GRADIENTS: For free downloads visit https://products.ls.graphics/mesh-gradients/ and for inspiration visit https://gradientsdaily.com/
They make a great base/Layer1 for designs
9. TEXTURES: https://texturefabrik.com/
@dustincoopergraphics on IG (check his bio) has $7 packs with loads of textures and cool design elements. If you can’t create them yourself, buy these packs! They will come in handy. Also check out Texture Fabrik
10. CANVA: Download from the app store or visit https://www.canva.com/
Designers don’t @ me… haha. Personally I don’t use it but it empowers lots of people who don’t have access to Adobe or other design programs. It’s super solid! and it’s the best ‘non-computer’ way to create. In saying that you can actually use the web browser version too. (Even think about adding Canva Pro in the youth budget*)
13. SPLICE: Download from the app store
Great for quick iPhone edits. The transitions that come with the Pro account are unbelievable for a phone app. If you’re going to use it think about getting the Pro account in the youth budget. (This is of course more for youth ministries who don’t have the gear to film or the people to edit video)
*Sometimes, I feel like we overcomplicate it. If you get a iPhone Gimble, Use a iPhone 11 with the wide camera lens and edit your footage on the splice app. You’ll create some cracker videos without even touching a DSLR or a computer. Perfect for night recaps.
We use slipstream to store our photos from Friday nights, it’s great because it’s a program that you can share media with the leaders as well as give them access to photos taken on Friday nights for them to post on their social media. You can use Slipstream or just something like a google drive or share point – Just somewhere where leaders and teenagers can access all the media for socials.
13. BUFFER: download from app store
Buffer is the social media scheduling app we use. It’s far better than Hootsuite in my opinion. It’s not the cheapest so maybe work in with your main Church social media team and see if you can share an account or jump on whatever they are using. But scheduling is a great idea to get ahead and to ensure that you’re putting out as much content as possible. There are also plenty of other apps you can use, just search for them in the app store. Most have web browser access as well as phone apps.
14. MOCKUPS: https://www.anthonyboyd.graphics/mockups/3/ and https://www.ls.graphics/free-mockups
Mockups are sweet and they are easy to produce. Check these sites for free mockups. (You can also find some cool paper textures and merch mockups here too)
15. PIXABAY: https://pixabay.com/
Heaps of free footage here. Awesome for creating youth videos, openers, special items, hype videos, promos, countdowns etc.
16. FREEPIK: https://www.freepik.com/home (search social media templates)
Plenty of free PSD templates that you can just open up in photoshop. Change out the photos and text for whatever you want. This is a quick and easy way to get good looking socials for the time poor.