Every week pastors spent countless hours preparing sermons. 52 sermons per year is a ton of content. Unfortunately I see most churches throw that content away once Sunday afternoon hits and everyone’s taking their after church nap.
Sure you may put your sermon recording online or in your podcast, but with all the effort that went into researching and preparing for the sermon, it would be great if you could get as much use out of that content as possible.
What if I told you that by transcribing your audio or video sermons you are able to reach even further than you thought possible by posting it on social media and your website and making it available to your entire community, and ultimately to the world?
If that alone isn’t reason enough to start transcribing your sermons then let’s have a look at even more compelling reasons why this should be a definite weapon in your arsenal to advance the kingdom of God.
Simply put, sermon transcription is the process of taking a spoken sermon and converting it to written text. Let’s explore why:
Easy to access
According to the World Health Organization over 5% of the world’s population has disabling hearing loss and approximately one third of the people over the age of 65 are affected by it.
Taking this into account, some members in your church, especially the elderly may have disabling hearing loss and find it difficult to listen and take in your message. Transcribing your sermons enables them to also have access to your content.
Another factor to consider is people who do not speak English as their first language. They may find it hard to keep up with the speed of the sermon or be unable to fully comprehend the spoken language. A transcript will help them to read along at their own pace and will enable them to look up unfamiliar words via an online translator.
You could also take it a step further and transcribe your sermon into different languages. Look at the demographics of your community and who you are trying to reach. Are you providing content in their first language?
Saves on time
Some people prefer reading as it is much faster than listening to an audio or video sermon. A transcript enables them to speed read and scan through the information, highlighting the main points rather than listening to every spoken word.
Having the option to read caters to people’s personal preferences and also welcomes a wider church audience.
Many people may have heard your sermon on Sunday, but will find themselves engaging with it better throughout the week if they can read it.
While I don’t think this will appeal to the masses, it may depend on your demographics. With a transcript of your sermon you can print it out and distribute it to those who want to read it later. Some people are old school and love the feel of paper in their hand. Having a printed version of your sermon enables them to highlight their favorite parts of the text and to make personal notes. Others may have vision disabilities and are then able to enlarge the copy and print out a more viewer-friendly version. We all have a certain number of people in our churches who just don’t do social media, websites, or podcasts.
It may also be useful for those who want to discuss the message at their Bible studies, small groups, or in Sunday school classes. And finally there are those who simply prefer reading content on hard copy rather than on a screen.
Easy to distribute content throughout the week
By using a service like Rev.com to transcribe your sermons you can easily divide it up into blog post content, tweets, social media posts and newsletters.
This ensures your content you worked so hard on is used to its full potential, and that your people have access to consume it in a number of different ways throughout the week. Sometimes it helps to hear the same message multiple times, over multiple different mediums, in order to fully understand it and remember it.
Having written content available makes it easily accessible for people across the world, especially those who do not have the tools to play audio or video files. Translating it into different languages also gives you the ability to reach a wider audience.
Rev can transcribe audio and video files for only $1 per minute, and can translate your messages into different languages for 10 cents a word. If you want to add captions to your videos for social media or for your website, they can do that too!
Improves your website ranking
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of affecting the online visibility or ranking of your website in a search engine’s unpaid results. If someone searches for “sermons” on Google, the more your site is optimized for that specific topic, the more likely you will show up higher in the search results.
Transcribing your sermons and posting that content on your website allows search engines to discover and index the content of your sermons. Whereas just posting the audio or video of your message doesn’t give sites like Google enough to index and make searchable.