Why should your church post your sermons online?
There are many reasons to post your sermons online but let’s focus on three:
1. Members no longer go to church every week.
This isn’t an earth-shattering revelation. In fact, I wrote about it at some length in my series on technology and pastoral care. Our members are more mobile and immobile than ever. This means on any given Sunday a large percentage of our congregation is not in worship.
A recording of the sermon gives people an opportunity to stay connected to the life of the church by hearing the primary Sunday teaching.
2. People’s first visit to the church is now usually online.
It is now a reality that most people will visit our church’s website before visiting our physical meeting location. While visiting our website, guests are deciding whether or not they will attend in person. An opportunity to hear the church’s preaching may go a long way towards helping someone make a decision.
3. Podcasting (the sharing of downloadable or streaming audio) is in a season of rapid growth. Once seen as somewhat of a fringe medium recent research shows that 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast. According to Apple, there are 525,000 active shows, with more than 18.5 million episodes.
Some might see podcasting as different from sharing a Sunday sermon online. However, podcasting is an incredibly eclectic medium. If you were to take a random sampling of podcasts on a platform such as Apple or Google, you would hear just about everything. From beautifully produced documentary series to a couple of people talking about random things into an iPhone. Topics range from sports, arts, religion, history, dating, health, television, movies, music, and just about anything else you can think of. So, a 20-30 minute sermon recording would be just as normal as anything else.
Post Your Sermons Online with Anchor.fm
Now, thanks to a somewhat newcomer to the podcasting space, Anchor.fm, the barriers to entry have been lowered like never before.
Here are some of the high points of Anchor’s offerings.
It is free for unlimited episodes, and unlimited listens.
I have done a lot of research into almost all the other audio hosting platforms out there, and no one else offers this much for free. With other options, you need to pay attention to the limitations of their free plans. If they don’t provide enough, it takes some more research to understand your needs and purchase the right plan.
It automatically syndicates your episodes to all the major podcasts hosts.
If you are going to the effort of recording Sunday sermons, you might as well make them available everywhere people go to listen to and download podcasts. The sermons will be on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and others.
It has built-in recording, editing, and conversion software.
For some churches, one of the barriers to recording and sharing Sunday sermons has been the technical requirements of recording, editing, and converting the sermon before uploading it to a host. Anchor makes this process incredibly easy, and no extra software is required. One can record, edit, and upload the audio right from Anchor’s app which is available for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and PCs and Macs (via their browser-based application.)
What do you need to do to start sermon podcasting and post your sermons online?
Head over to Anchor.fm and sign up for a free account.
While you are there, take a look around and see all the help they offer.
Decide how you will record the audio.
How you do this starts with a question: Does your church have an audio mixer that you can plug your recorder into? If so, you will want to read my post Recording Sermon Audio.
If not, read Recording Church Sermon Audio without a Mixer.
The short version of those posts is this: If you have a mixer at your church, you should be able to plug directly into it and record the audio into a computer, or stand-alone recorder.
If you don’t have a mixer, you can still record the audio into a computer or stand-alone recorder, but you will need to make sure you can plug in a microphone or use the one built into your device. You will also need to make sure you can get the recorder close enough to the preacher. This can be a little tricky if your preacher tends to wander around. However, there are inexpensive solutions for that as well.
3. Import the audio to Anchor, follow their easy process for editing and launch your first online sermon!