How Your Church Can Offer Online Sermons With WordPress

SkyStra
Jan 18, 2021

Recording and uploading sermons to your church website is a perfect way to stay in touch with your existing members and attract new members as well. 

Your church probably already has a website that provides essential information such as the location, contact info, service hours, staff information, etc. If you expand it with audio/video sermons, you can reach members who couldn’t attend the live service and gain more website traffic as websites that publish new content rank higher in search results.

That way, if a Church member is sick, missed a part of the service, or couldn’t attend at all – they can listen to the sermon online and keep up. Additionally, people may want to do a repeat listen of sermons. 

Adding online sermons doesn’t have to break the bank in terms of money and volunteer hours. 

If you already have a church website – it’s a good idea to get online sermons setup. 

In this article, we’ll teach you how to record your audio or video sermons, upload them to your website and have your church members subscribe to receive new updates.

Audio Recording Equipment

You don’t need expensive and fancy equipment when you’re just starting to record your sermons, but your microphone needs to be reliable. It’s best not to use your computer’s built-in microphone as it tends to produce lower recording quality and not engage your community when they tune into your online sermons.

Here are our recommendations for starter microphones:

Blue Yeti – USB connection, exceptionally versatile and inexpensive

Samson C01UCW – USB connection, highly reliable, and cheap

Rode Podcaster – USB connection, superior sound quality

Additionally, you’ll need to purchase a shock mount, pop filter, microphone arm, and a pair of decent headphones. We recommend getting Sony MDR7506 as it’s the best bang for the buck in its category.

If you want to record live sermons and have a laptop and soundboard, all you need to purchase is a 3.5mm to XLR cable and connect your computer with the soundboard. If you don’t have this equipment, we recommend purchasing a portable recorder such as Tascam DR-07X. It’s inexpensive, and you can set it up on your podium, so you don’t have to hold it the entire time.

Video Recording Equipment

To record a video – you need a camera, and there are tons of options available depending on your budget. If you want a high-quality video, you’ll have to purchase a camcorder, DSLR, or a mirrorless camera ($500+), but if you’re on a tight budget – you can use your mobile phone with a tripod. 

We recommend getting a GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO tripod as it has a premium quality, adjustable legs (so you can attach it to any surface), and it’s compatible with any smartphone out there.

Suppose you want to use multiple cameras/angles. In that case, you can purchase SlingStudio’s HD Video Production Unit as it allows you to switch video feeds in real-time and supports DSLRs, camcorders, smartphones, etc.

Recording The Sermon

To record and edit audio files, you’ll need computer audio recording software. We recommend using Audacity, the open-source, free software most podcasters use. Audacity is very straightforward, and once you install it: 

1. Open the program

2. Create a new project from the File menu

3. Click the record button

Audacity allows you to edit your audio files to remove any pauses, coughs, accidental sneezes, etc. You can also insert audio tracks such as background music, music effects via the File > Import function if needed. Feel free to check out Audacity tutorials here.

Once you’ve recorded your sermon, make sure to export in the .mp3 format as it exports smaller files with excellent quality.

Uploading Your Sermon

In general, you don’t want to upload audio and video files to your website as they can be quite large, take up all the available hosting space, and slow down your website. For audio files, we recommend checking out Podbean, while for video files, we recommend using Youtube. They’re both super-fast and easy to use.

Once you’ve uploaded your sermons online, we can go ahead and add them to your WordPress website. In this article, we’ll use the free Sermon Manager plugin:

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard, head to Plugins > Add New, fill in Sermon Manager in the search field in the top-right corner. Click Install Now to install the plugin:

Once the plugin is installed, click Activate to activate it on your site:

Head to Sermons > Add New to add your first sermon:

Fill in the sermon name and description, and below the editor, fill in the Sermon Details (date preached, service type, main bible passage, etc.).

Scroll down and find Sermon Files, upload or enter the URL of your MP3 file, and fill in the other vital details:

Make sure to fill out the meta fields on the right such as the preacher’s name, sermon series, bible books, etc. When ready, click Publish to publish your first sermon. 

It’s that easy!

If your website is configured to use pretty permalinks, your sermons are available under the https://yourdomain.com/sermons/ URL.

Adding Your Sermon To Apple iTunes and Google Play

Sermon Manager also allows you to submit your feed to podcasts, which is an excellent feature. It makes it very easy for your members to subscribe and receive updates on their smartphones each time you publish a new sermon. 

Head to Sermons > Settings > Podcast, and fill in the required fields. Each field has a recommended value in gray text, and it’s straightforward to set up. 

Click Save changes to save settings when ready.

Next, copy the feed URL:

and validate it here to ensure it’s ready to be published to iTunes and Google Play.

Live stream

In addition to recording your sermons, it’s a good idea to also live stream them. Today’s most popular streaming services are Youtube, and Facebook Live, especially Facebook, since most of the members are already registered there. If you want to stream to multiple platforms, you can consider Restream as it allows you to broadcast your video on your website, Facebook page, Youtube, Facebook group, etc. – all at the same time.

Another method is to record your sermons in advance and then schedule them to go live at a specific time using scheduling software such as HootSuite or others. It’s always best to be prepared when sharing content online.