Finding media to use or to work with can be a time consuming process. Sometimes we don't know what we're looking for until we see it. Other times we know exactly what we're looking for and can't find it.

From experience we tend to rely on the web sites where we've been the most successful and to refine search techniques so that we can avoid the fatigue of clicking endlessly through cyber space.

This page is a beginning at sharing this experience. You are welcome to add to it with your commments.

Google Images

Google Images in its unfiltered form presents you with a potentially huge selection of images. But much of it will be out of bounds for anyone looking to modify and/or show the images. You can narrow the selection by using the Advanced Search facility link just below the search box.

Second from the bottom of the Advanced Image Search options is a selection of Usage Rights. The four options below the default of not filtered by license may be useful to you. Here's an example of how that might affect your search for images of 'tree':

You will probably want to select the fourth or fifth option (reuse with modification), since options two and three (reuse) imply no modification (even just putting some text over top). Not filtered will of course be mostly images with 'all rights reserved'.

These limits will probably be welcome to anyone who has considered the task of browsing through 137 million images.


Flickr is a mammoth collection of photos (12,670,138 results for 'tree') with pictures being uploaded at the rate of thousands per minute. Like Google, it will seem daunting to many who want a picture quickly.

Fortunately, Flickr has long been encouraging Creative Commons licensing on its site and allows users to specify license parameters in their searches. On their Explore / Creative Commons page you will find six license categories:

The Attribution license is the least restrictive. The second and third options will likely be of little use to you since you may not modify these photos. You can follow the (See more) link on the Flickr Creative Commons page to start searching within any category, or you can click the links in the list above.

Flickr Group: Shared Worship Background Graphics (1,496 items)

Creative Commons

Creative Commons "develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation." Its licensing infrastructure is the one being used by Google and Flickr. It has also been adopted by this web site, Worship aNew.

You can read about the licenses on its website and you can also get an informative overview of Creative Commons as it relates to Flickr on the Skelliewag blog.

There is a Search by Creative Commons page that could also be used to find images.


FreeFoto.com says it "is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet (link back and attribution required)." "FreeFoto.com is made up of 131,843 images with 180 sections organized into 3,619 categories." This is only a fraction of what's available on Flickr, but it's still nothing to sneeze at.

It has a substantial category for church use and a good number of ready-made backgrounds. Non-commercial users may download web size images to use off-line in school projects, church services, cards, leaflets, etc. Each download requires submitting your email address, so you might want to get an email address just for online use to keep spammers at bay (even though the site guarantees they will not divulge your email).

Christian Backgrounds

Christian Backgrounds "specializes in projector optimized backgrounds, graphics and images for use with sermon outlines or as church worship backgrounds."

It offers some 100+ free backgrounds, but it is a commercial site selling collections and individual graphics.


ImageVine - "Christian Projector Media: PowerPoint, Jpeg Backgrounds, Movies & Motions"

Shopping Cart web site offering an initial free background set./p>

ImageVine Stock

ImageVine Stock - "Christian Image Search: Projector, Print & HD Images"

Shopping Cart web site selling projector backgrounds at $3 each and HD backgrounds at $5 each.


MinistryFlix.com - "Short Films, Motion Loops, Countdowns, Seasonals, Still Photos"

Shopping Cart web site selling films(eg. $14.80) and photos (eg. $3.85).

Worship Graphics

Worship Graphics - "1,800 original images in over 225 themes all designed for use in worship"

High quality images, custom designed by Jeremy Harrison (and others) for pastors, made available for $10 each.


CreationSwap - Currently under construction

Sermon Background Images

Sermon Background Images - Supplying "the tools necessary for enhancing every worship experience."

Shopping Cart web site with images and video loops from $0.99.

The text this Week

The text this Week - A virtual study desk for students, teachers and preachers

This is a personal project of Jenee Woodard, featuring "a wide variety of resources for study and liturgy based on the 3-year Revised Common Lectionary cycle." It features an extensive list of links to works of biblically themed works of art on other web sites.

Koinonia: Servico Biblico Latinoamericano

Koinonia: Servico Biblico Latinoamericano - Line drawing clip art

Licensing restrictions are unknown, except perhaps to Spanish speakers.

The Work of the People

The Work of the People - "Visual media for mission and worship"

"The Work Of the People is a community of artists who create visual media for the church to re-orient God's people around Jesus' good news and mission to make all things new."

It offers unlimited downloads subscriptions and package deals for videos. It’s a very good site to search for sermon illustration videos. The Visual Liturgy section in particular is worth checking.

Christian Collages Unlimited

Christian Collages Unlimited - "The Next Generation of Worship Backgrounds"

Offering 1500+ images through lifetime memberships at $99. Some free backgrounds are also available without membership.

Worship House Media

Worship House Media - "Resources for the creative church"

Extremely comprehensive shopping cart web site. Occasionally they have free backgrounds, but most products need to be purchased. At Christmas and Easter they often offer freebies.


Heartlight - Providing positive resources for daily Christian living

"Heartlight Powerpoint Backgrounds are free for use in church projection systems." Offers scriptural art, with a new image featured each week, some free backgrounds and templates, mostly of scripture verses.

Church Powerpoint

Church Powerpoint - Powerpoint images

Free weekly sets, with other available for purchase.