It is something of an overlooked fact that pastors the world over work hard on the sermons that they write.
After all, it is not enough that they write a good sermon, but that they write an excellent sermon that will without fail stick to their congregation’s mind.
As such, they spend hours upon hours upon hours toiling over the contents of their sermons. They research, study, write, and then write and write some more, and then repeat the process all over again after they deliver their sermon.
Yet where do their sermons go after they deliver them? Do they actually make a proper impression to the people they preach to, to the little kid down the block who is only starting to learn about religion, to the old couple who has always been devout believers but has had no physical strength to leave their house lately, to the 20-something office worker who has been feeling more and more drained lately and thinks religion is his or her one solace? How do pastors ensure that their sermons are felt and understood by people? How can they share their sermons to more people in this day and age?
Transcriptions are a great way to spread and influence others for religious or spiritual purposes. As it stands, there are quite a variety of ways of utilizing sermon transcriptions so they can share their sermons to more people. Listed below are some of the most common ways.
- Blog posts
One tried and true tactic when it comes to sharing sermons online is sharing it through the medium of blog posts. This has several advantages to it, with one of the biggest being that it is an extremely easy way to reach a broad audience without digging deep into your wallet. It also allows people who like reading better than listening to see your sermons and get more out of it than they will when they simply listen in.
Blogs let you accumulate and have a regular readership because most, if not all, blog platforms do allow readers to subscribe to content they like. The number of subscribers in your blog can serve as a sort of barometer that will allow you to gauge what kind of sermons people listen to and read, and what kind of lessons they like to hear. This builds your succeeding sermons and get even more people to listen and read through it.
However, sharing sermons through a blog is not as easy as simply taking out a sermon transcript of yours. It requires thinking up an appropriate-sounding title for it, and then uploading everything in your sermon transcript. Blog posts are effective only when it is appropriately short, which therefore necessitates some brainstorming and thinking on your part about what to include in a post, what to cut out, what to focus on, and what to de-emphasize.
Many blogging platforms exist out there, but one of the most popular is WordPress, which is free, easy-to-use, and customizable. Other types of content including images and videos of your sermons can be shared on it as well, which gives you even more options on what to blog.
Another easy way of reaching a broad audience without much effort on your part (aside from the initial financial investment of buying a good quality audio recorder) is through podcasts and the like. Podcasts are perfect for those kinds of people who may or may not like reading but definitely do not have much time to sit back, relax and read, busy people who are always on the move, or people who simply do not want to waste their limited amount of data streaming a video of a sermon that they will only listen to, not watch. Sermon podcasts can also make for surprisingly good workout “music.”
Recording a podcast is as simple as taking a good quality audio recorder and recording your sermons for posting to a website, blog, or the like. Sounds simple enough, yes? Unfortunately, this is where quite a number of people fail miserably. It is important to remember that in podcasts and other kinds of audio content, the quality of your recording is key to success. An audio recording of a sermon where you can barely be heard speaking over the static, background noise, et cetera, is quite frankly worthless. Thus, investing in a good quality audio recorder is a must, as well as doing your podcasts in a room with good acoustics.
Providing a copy of the transcript of your sermon podcast is a good way to reach those people who enjoy listening to your sermons AND want to have a written copy of it for easier digestion. Thus, consider getting good quality transcripts of your sermons and asking people at the end of your podcasts to contact you if they would like a copy or two of the transcripts.
There are quite a number of good platforms for podcasts, and many of them are indeed pretty good, but one platform that cannot be ignored is SoundCloud, which is essentially the Instagram of podcasts in that it is a social media platform built with distributing audio content in mind. It is also free, so no need to worry about shelling out yet more cash.
Another effective way of sharing sermons is through the wonderful medium of videos, which is quite like what butter is to bread – it just fits. Sermons done through videos can be powerful tools to spread your sermons far and wide and to different audiences all across the world. Contrary to what some may expect here, videos of sermons are not too hard to make. After all, you only need a camera (even a smartphone camera may do if you’re really strapped for cash, since smartphone cameras these days are of good quality) a tripod (really important so that you don’t get shaky video, which no one wants to watch in a sermon), and a room with good audio-carrying qualities, and you’re all set to start rolling out the proverbial film.
For even more effectiveness, consider captioning and/or subtitling your sermon videos using a copy of your sermon transcript. This means that your sermon transcript must be as accurate and to the dot as possible, and that means getting a good transcription service to convert your audio to written format which can then be used to do captioning and/or subtitling.
Some platforms for videos include YouTube (free, easy to use, can reach a very big audience because it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, video streaming platform around, and can even make you some advertising money on the side to further fund any of your future endeavors), Vimeo (perfect for those who want even more customization options), or Dailymotion (another popular video streaming site).
- Live-stream Events
Sometimes people just don’t want to, or can’t, make the trip to church and back in order to listen to a sermon. They might be sick and tired, or busy and rather occupied with something, or may simply not have the drive, for whatever reason, to get up and go and would rather laze around at home. Live-stream events are a great way to reach these people.
Live-streaming is also surprisingly easy to do, and all you really need is a camera, a tripod, a reliable and robust data connection, and a platform such as Facebook Live or Google Hangouts to start live-streaming.
Do try to have audio of your live-stream transcribed, for this transcript can then be used to further share your sermons through other mediums.
Another surefire and tried-and-tested way of sharing sermons is through the medium of books. While it is true that the creation of books was once a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, it is now as easy as can be thanks to such tools such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
Writing a book about sermon is as easy as taking a series of related sermons, cutting out the irrelevant or redundant parts on it, and then pasting the whole thing into a document, which can then be converted into a PDF file. Transcripts of your sermons would greatly help in making this part of the book creation easy, as it will allow you to have all the information available and within easy reach, as well as generally being easier to digest than having to listen to hours on end of your sermons.
The resulting PDF file can then be embedded with links to pertinent audio and video which can further expound on your sermons. The finished book can then be shared to people for free in exchange for having to subscribe your sermon content, or even posting it in such websites like, say, Amazon, for you to sell and make a little money of to further fund your future endeavors. The possibilities are quite endless with books.
- Social Media
An extremely cost-effective way to spread your sermons is to get some of your best sermon quotations and post them in social media. Getting pictures from such sites as Creative Commons and Unsplash which features stock photography, and then editing them so that your quote is displayed on the pictures you find, is easy and requires virtually no other software aside from the ancient and venerable Paint tool provided on every Microsoft Windows system. However, there are indeed better editing tools out there such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom if you want more options to play around with.
Presentations are yet another way to share your sermons to people and make it look flashy and awesome at the same time. Presentations are also very customizable, and is perfect for people who like extremely short types of content that is very easily digestible yet can be surprisingly deep.
SlideShare, Google Slides, and Prezi are some of the many presentation sharing tools out there, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. As such, it is important for you to study them to know which one suits you and your needs the best. As these platforms are some of the most widely-used presentation sharing platforms, they are perfect for you to share your sermons across a wide range of people from different parts of the world.