Why Sermon Transcription is a Necessity For Any Church

01.04.19 1:19:59 PM Comment(s) By Cindy Aaron

Why Sermon Transcription is a Necessity For Any Church

#SundaySermons: That’s not just a hashtag, but a part of our life. Every Sunday, we assemble in our local churches to listen to sermons. But how often do we realize the amount of research and hard work that is put in throughout the week to prepare a sermon? A sermon is not a mere reading of verses from the bible, but it is interpreting the words of the Lord in a way that strike chords with his followers and resonates with the feelings in their heart. 

In present times when the menace of biblical illiteracy is hovering around churches, and time-constraint is continuously pulling people away from the presence of the Lord towards an expressive individualism, churches need to take that extra step in bringing people closer to the Lord and his teachings. And that’s why churches need to reach the followers outside the walls of the church and spread the message. 

Spreading the messages delivered by the sermon in various forms vis-à-vis newsletters, emails, weekly digests, printed handouts is of high importance. And do you know what the common factor amongst these all is? Sermon Transcription.

What is Sermon Transcription

Sermon Transcription, in simple terms, is the process of converting recordings of a verbal sermon into text thereby enhancing its accessibility, availability, and storage.

Let us understand why Sermon Transcription is so essential.


According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population has a hearing disability, and approximately one-third of the people over the age of 65 are affected by it.

It clearly implies that people with hearing disability and senior citizens with partial hearing loss cannot benefit from the sermons due to their disability. Transcribing sermons provides them access to the teachings that have been discussed in the sermon.

Accessibility is a concern not just for those hard of hearing but also for those who are not able to attend church on Sundays because they’re traveling either for work or for personal reasons. Sermon transcripts delivered to them via email will allow them to go through the message that was preached in the church last Sunday or the week before that.

Not only that, many people prefer reading over listening as it allows them to skip to key points and go through the text of an entire sermon within a few minutes.

Several churches print their weekly sermons into handouts and booklets and get them delivered to the members of the church to ensure full accessibility to the sermon within the comforts of their house.

Easy Maintenance and Record Keeping 

Every church maintains a record of the sermons that were delivered in the past, so that same sermons or verses are not repeated frequently. But record keeping is a tough task, isn’t it? And the easiest and most accessible way to maintaining sermon records would be to transcribe them and keep a record of their transcripts. This is preferred for a couple of reasons:

  1. While storing sermons as a multimedia file requires gigabytes of data storage, a sermon transcript document needs only a few KBs. Practically speaking, 1 GB of storage on a drive could permanently store sermon transcripts for 21000+ sermons. Lesser storage requirement means a lower cost of maintenance and better usability.
  2. A sermon transcript is a searchable document, and it’ll only take a few seconds of scrolling to skim through an entire transcript and figure out which verses were read out on a particular date while the same is not an easy task by going through the recordings and hearing the entire length of the sermon.

Now, if you were to search for instances of a particular verse in your sermons, say 2 Timothy 5, would you go back and listen to all the sermons one by one? Wouldn’t it be easier to search for that verse in the transcripts within a few seconds?

Sermon transcripts are excellent for maintaining records of the sermon and undoubtedly saves a lot of time and storage.

Global Distribution and Extended Outreach

A sermon transcript could be easily converted into a blog post, newsletter, weekly article for the digest or a magazine, an eBook and shared electronically with the members of the church. A blog post, newsletter or an eBook has far greater coverage than what any of the printed materials can achieve, and this greatly helps in building the reputation of a church.

Excerpts from the transcripts could be used to draft Tweets, Facebook posts, pins for Pinterest, Instagram posts and much more. But why is it important? Because a majority of people, be it any age group, are enslaved to these virtual “worlds” of their own and to reach them, churches need to infiltrate those virtual worlds and bring them out of it and into the real world.

Also, unlike sermons that are delivered on Sundays, these posts can be shared throughout the week, and they drive higher engagements round the week as they break the monotonicity of everyday lives.

Increased revenue and donations

While printed handouts or books on a sermon series could be sold over the counter, it has also been observed that transcript sharing leads to increased participation and growth in donations over time as they appreciate the efforts of the church in taking that extra step.

Sermon Transcript is undoubtedly one of the most essential documents for a church, as it presents the preaching and messages of a church to the outside world. It gives such an exposure to the church that people from various communities connect to it. 

Many a time, philanthropists come forward to support a church inspired by the teachings of that church. 

Reference Material for Ministries and Pastor

Sermon transcripts can be used as a reference for teaching in various ministries of the church as well as it can be used to train upcoming Pastors into sermon delivering.

These transcripts can aid small Bible study groups whenever they are stuck in between the verses looking for the correct interpretation. Having a sermon transcript not only supports their study but also safeguards them from the vague interpretations of the legalists in their group.

Pastors are regularly invited over to conferences, university lectures, and religious seminars to present their views. They can actively preach the teachings from their sermon transcript and share their materials with other pastors and speakers.

Preparing Subtitles

 If you publish sermon videos on YouTube, Vimeo, your website or some other video sharing sites, it is imperative for you to prepare subtitles for your content. Subtitles/Captions help get your videos indexed and getting noticed by the right audience. Captions also prove helpful to those with hearing disability or people who are uncomfortable with accents.

Videos with subtitles or captions are more favored by the viewers, and they have substantially higher views than videos without subtitles. 

Search Engine Optimization

Did you know Google does not index multimedia contents? Yes, that’s right. Google’s web crawlers do not understand audio or video content, and that’s why it is important to supplement any multimedia content with a text version of the same, i.e. the transcript to allow indexing of multimedia content in Google’s library.

But why is that important?

Because Google accounts for roughly 72.47% of all global internet traffic. Just saying, if Google can’t see your content, there is a high probability no one else would. And the entire effort of putting up a website to boost your online presence goes in vain.

Moreover, with an ever-increasing consumption of internet traffic globally, it is of utmost importance to focus on building an online presence and ranking high on Google’s search result.

Attaching a transcript or a blog post for a sermon could also answer some curious minds who come to Google asking for answers on a question that needs religious understanding. Google will undoubtedly pick the most suitable answer from one such transcript and feature it in their search material.

Why Choose TextForVoice for Sermon Transcription?

Unlike other services, TextForVoice has a dedicated team for transcribing sermons. Our Sermon Transcription service is trusted by 1000+ missionaries and churches from across the world to deliver fast, accurate and budget-friendly transcription experience.

TextForVoice has a sermon transcription team consisting of retired lecturers and professors of theology, active staffs from various churches, students from bible study groups and various ministries. 

At TextForVoice, we offer the lowest prices for our transcription services starting at $0.64/min for Manual Transcription and $0.08/min for Automated Transcription Service

We also provide time-synced captions and subtitles accurately for sermon videos.

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