5 Reasons Churches Should Transcribe Their Sermons
The goal of most churches is to spread the gospel to as many as people as possible. This can include people within their current congregation, potential new church members, and people in other parts of the world that can’t physically be present at the place of worship. A great way to get in front of a bigger audience is for churches to have the audio of their sermons transcribed.
For the uninitiated, sermon transcription is simply the process of turning a spoken sermon into written text. There are a number of reasons churches should be doing this on a weekly basis:
1. Accessibility for the hearing impaired and non-native English speakers
One of the most important reasons to have the audio from your sermons transcribed is to enable hearing-impaired individuals to access your content. According to the World Health Organization, more than 360 million people, 5% of the world’s population, have disabling hearing loss. Of adults over the age of 65, nearly one-third have disabling hearing loss.
Individuals that don’t speak English as a first language may struggle to follow audio sermons due to the speed at which they’re spoken. They may also have an imperfect comprehension of the spoken language. Having a transcript of the sermon allows them to read along at their own pace and also gives them the ability to copy and paste unfamiliar words or phrases into online translators.
2. Reading is faster than listening
For most people, reading a sermon is much faster than listening to one. Some prefer to scan information and pull out the main points rather than listening to every spoken word. Giving people the option to read or listen to your sermons caters to their personal preferences and exposes your church to a wider audience.
3. Transcripts are printable
There are a variety of reasons someone may prefer to have a hard copy of your sermon. They can be handed out in Bible study groups or in Sunday School classes. People can highlight their favorite parts and write notes on key learnings. Those with vision disabilities can enlarge the text and print a more viewer-friendly version. And finally, some people simply prefer reading physical copies rather than reading on a screen.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Without getting into all the technical details, search engine optimization, or SEO, is all of the activity that improves your website’s ranking in search engines like Google and Bing. For example, if someone searches for “Christian sermons” on Google, the more optimized your site is for that topic, the more likely you’ll show up higher in the search results. Having your sermons transcribed and posting that content on your website allows search engines to discover and index the content of your sermons.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, I recommend starting with Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
5. Turn sermon transcripts into marketing content
An hour long sermon is a goldmine of church marketing material. You can break it up into multiple pieces and repurpose it as content for your blog, emails, social media posts and newsletters.
Has your church transcribed sermons for any of the reasons above or for a reason not listed? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!