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Did you know that there are nearly 17,000 motion backgrounds available for download today? The amazing thing is that number only includes motions that were specifically created to be used in ministry settings. There’s no shortage of selection when you’re shopping for backgrounds to display behind your church’s worship lyrics. However, not all motions are created equal. There are certain qualities that you should look for before spending your ministry’s money on this content.

Here are six qualities that should be non-negotiable when choosing your motion backgrounds:

1. Clean and Modern Design

It seems right to begin this list with the first characteristic that makes or breaks a motion for me. The very purpose of a background is to make slides visually pleasing. Part of looking good is following current design trends. Ditch the doves, hi-tech themes, and waterfalls, then choose motions that fit in with today’s styles.

2. Designed To Work With White Text

I would estimate that around 90% of lyrics being projected in churches on Sundays are using white text. Why? It works best for visibility. White is the brightest color you can get out of projector, it stands out from other colors, and it’s easy to read. The best motions avoid light colors and bright animations that would make white text difficult to see.

3. Animations Are Engaging, Not Distracting

Have you ever seen a motion that seemed like it drank a couple Redbulls before service? While animations provide a great way to create an engaging atmosphere, you must be careful that they aren’t too distracting. The perfect motion’s animations flow with music and add value to the environment without taking away from the moment.

4. Colors Are Rich and Vibrant

My favorite motion backgrounds seem like they come alive when they’re projected. Rich, vibrant colors look amazing when they’re shown on good projectors. Also, when you’re working with cheaper projectors, they are sometimes the only saving grace that allow your lyrics to show up at all.

5. Loop Matches Up Perfectly

All motions should be designed to perfectly loop. The end of the video should flawlessly line up with the beginning to create a seamless animation that could repeat infinitely without your audience ever knowing it looped once. Unfortunately, I’ve seen quite a few backgrounds that haven’t been up to par in this department. This is why it’s so important to get your motions from experienced producers who know what they’re doing.

6. Works Well With Other Media

Great motion backgrounds are designed to work well with other media you may be using on a Sunday morning. It may come in pack with several coordinating backgrounds and countdowns, or it may just have colors that make it play nice with a lot of other content in your media library. In a best case scenario, all of your media used throughout the service will match and carry a common theme.

Do you have any other qualities that you look for when selecting motion backgrounds? Let us know in the comments below or send us a tweet to @CreativePastor!

Kendall Conner

What do you get when you combine production, design, and communications together with a passion for the Church? It turns out, this is the precise formula to make up Kendall Conner. For the past 18 years, this Christ-led creative has been bridging the gap between media and ministry. In addition to serving as the creative pastor in his local church, he is the Chief of Operations for Church Motion Graphics, a ministry-focused design studio that serves thousands of houses of worship around the globe. Kendall specializes in equipping church media leaders and volunteers to utilize creativity in their services to share the hope of Jesus.


  • Daniel Hart says:

    YAY! You’re back! Good stuff. So many times I find an awesome background, but the animation is too fast for the song. Sometimes I can slow it down in an editing program, sometimes it’s just too choppy. I’d like motion backgrounds with a choice of framerate. That’d be cool.

    • Kendall Conner says:

      Thanks so keeping up with us, Daniel! :)

      I hear you on the choppiness. It’s easier to speed up a slow motion than slow than a fast one.

  • Emily says:

    Hello!! Great to hear some tips on motion backgrounds. But how about those too generic motions? Others would comment that it’s too generic it doesn’t enhance worship. I’m stuck :/

    • Kendall Conner says:

      I’ve see those, too! Always have to keep a good balance, you know?

  • Jim Whaley says:

    Kendall, what is your favorite places/sites to download motions?

    • Kendall Conner says:

      I personally use Church Motion Graphics and Centerline more than anything else.

  • David Hart says:

    You can change a non-looping motion background into a looping one quite easily.

    Import your background into a video editing program.
    Split the video into 2 parts – A and B
    Move B before A
    Use a dissolve or fade transition between B and A
    Render in a suitable video format

    • Kendall Conner says:

      While simple, if I’m paying for a motion, the producer should have already done this work.

  • I’ve been working with media for several years between my last two churches. I recently started designing light scenes for my church as well. Except for others choosing backgrounds that are nearly impossible to match or compliment in a way that makes me want to use a scene often, I think you covered all of the issues I’ve seen.
    I try not to use the same backgrounds/scenes for the same songs. Are there any analytics anywhere, I wonder, for how often a background should be rotated in or not? (We average 4 a weekend, each used for three different but identical services.)
    Looking forward to reading more from you!

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