Here in the Silicon Valley first time visitors to a church will almost always visit the website first.  It is rare for someone not to.  Nationally something like 70% of first time visitors spend time on a churches website before walking through the doors.  In urban centers it is higher, and in tech centers it is higher still.  A church’s website is the first impression a prospective member gets. It is not a substitute for a personal invitation to come to church, but it is important.  Adding sermons to a website requires two steps.  The first is recording the sermon.  The second is placing it on the website.  In this post I’m presenting an inexpensive and simple solution for recording the sermon.  Professor Joel West provided the solution for me.  He uses a similar set up to record interviews and lectures.

At St. James we use a more elaborate setup.  We take a feed off of our sound board and feed it into GarageBand on a Mac Book Pro.  We then export the audio to an mp3 file and upload it to the website.  Pretty simple, but it requires a sound system and a laptop.  A smaller portable church might not have either.  In some respects this solution is even simpler.

Our solution begins with a 1.7 ounce Sony recorder that will record straight to mp3 format.  It is cmpatible with both Mac & PC. It also has built in USB to make transfer to a computer very simple.  This recorder has good battery life, simple controls, and will record over 17 hours of audio at 128kbps.  This is total overkill for speech recording. I would dial this back to 64kbps which is still a very fine recording but produces a smaller file for the listener.

In addition to the recorder we recommend a high quality lavaliere mic.  The Sony ECM-DS70P is the mic of choice.  It works well with this recorder.  Not all mics work with all recorders.  Shop carefully.  This set up works.  Capturing audio for a website simply does not get easier than this.

Adding the sermon to the website is also fairly simple these days.  After an initial setup, it is usually as easy as uploading it via ftp or in some cases email! Ask your webmaster.