How to Prepare Sermons Files for Upload to the Internet

God ordained preaching to declare the Gospel and Bible Truth.  Learn how to prepare your sermons for upload to the internet where they can keep helping people long after the church service is over.

A preacher spends hours preparing a message to preach.  Often a message is preached once and then put in a file.  How many people could have been helped, taught, encouraged, and changed if only they had heard the message?

What if you could make your sermons available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?  You can!  It’s easier than you think.  A church member could volunteer to process and upload the sermons.  This is an effective ministry that can be done from home and help people for years to come.

1. Choose your Editing Software.

Audacity is a free and powerful program for digital sound editing.  We used this program for years.  It is more clunky than expensive programs but will do what you need it to do.

If your church is doing its own graphics and media design or production, you may have access to Adobe Creative Cloud programs.  Audition is Adobe’s program for sound editing.  It is the industry standard and much more powerful than you need to merely edit sermons.  Yet, it is a smooth and powerful program if you have access to it.

There are other programs available, but these are the ones in which I have experience.  There is a learning curve for any specialized software.  Both of these programs have free tutorials available.  If you are just beginning, I recommend that you start with Audacity.  Here are some Audacity tutorials on YouTube.com.

2. Cut unnecessary information and silence from the beginning and end.

People that listen to sermons usually want to get to the meat of the Word.  Remove any dead space so that the message starts right away.  Cut out any announcements, instructions, etc. that are irrelevant to the person listening.  In many cases, you are not allowed to distribute musical performances of copyrighted music without permission.  Do your research and remove special music as necessary.  Decide where you want the sermon to end for the listener.  You can add promotional/informational bumpers to the beginning and end of the sermon as well.  We will discuss that in a future post.

3. Remove silences over 5 seconds.

Dead space while someone is listening to a sermon is an opportunity for them to lose interest or be distracted.  For example, taking 10 seconds turning to a Bible passage is expected during a live message, but feels unnatural and distracting while you are listening to a sermon later.  Leave silences that were used for effect as part of the message.  Learn the power of planned silence, but remove any silent portions that distract from the recorded message.

4. Add desired effects.

Effects would include noise removal, amplification, normalization, limits, equalization, etc. You can set up these effects in your editing program to be applied with one click to save time.  Read my article about the voice effects settings I apply to sermons here.  These effects upgrade the sound quality substantially.

5. Add Metadata.

  • Title – Sermon Title, Service & Scripture
  • Artist – Preacher’s Name
  • Genre – Preaching

6. Save as a .mp3.

This format is small and good for sermon storage space.  If you save sermons as a .wav or some other large format, you will soon run out of storage.

Here are some tips for how to save your sermon files:

  • Choose a useful file structure.  Include the service, the name of the sermon and the Bible reference.
    • Here is an example of our file structure.  The date first allows for easy sorting.
      •  2017-02-26 sun am – Entrusted with the Gospel – 1 Thessalonians 2_1-4.mp3
  • Save as at least 64 kbps.
    • The quality you choose here greatly affects the file size and quality of playback. This setting allows high-quality playback while keeping the file size manageable.
  • Save to a backed up location.  We use Dropbox.

I currently save sermons at – .mp3 – 48000 Hz mono, 24 bit – 64 kbps. This setting creates a file size of approximately 19 MB for a 41-minute sermon.

7. Upload to the destination of your choice.

We currently use SermonAudio.com for sermon hosting and distribution.  We upload a sermon once to Sermon Audio, and they push it to Apple Podcast and our website widget on CurtisCornerBaptist.com.  Our sermons are available on the Sermon Audio website also.

 

I hope this helps.  Decide to make the messages God gives you available online.

If you already share your sermons, what process do you use?  Do you have any tips or tools to share?

 

Have a blessed day!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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