Prior to reaching the main point of our today’s blog article, let’s set you straight on the subject. If your association with the word ‘sermon’ is a serious talk about how someone should behave (as in “Dad gave me a sermon yesterday about doing my homework”), it would be necessary that we make another definition.
What Is a Sermon?
Wikipedia says a sermon is an oration, lecture, or talk by a member of a religious institution that typically addresses a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic. Elements of the sermon often include exposition, exhortation, and practical application.
Why Is It Worth to Do a Transcription of a Sermon?
Most churches aim to spread the gospel as far and wide as possible, from the current congregation to potential new members. Simply put, sermon transcription is the process of converting a recorded sermon (in audio or video format) into text. Transcribing sermons offers a great way to get in front of a larger audience. Here’s why:
Getting a sermon transcribed makes it accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, as well as people who don’t speak English as their first language. They can read along at their own pace, and even copy/paste unknown words into online translators for better comprehension.
Reading a sermon in text format is significantly faster than listening to a recording. Some people also prefer to scan the text and get the highlights rather than listen through the whole sermon. Providing both options (to read and to listen) expands your audience and caters to everyone’s personal preferences.
Sermon transcripts are printable, and there are quite a few reasons why having a hard copy of your sermon might be a plus. You can share these transcripts in Sunday School classes or Bible study groups. The readers can highlight their favorite segments, write notes, etc. People with vision impairments can enlarge the text and print a more readable version for themselves. Finally, some people simply prefer reading from a piece of paper over a screen.
Finally, long sermons are full of useful church marketing content. You can split them into several sections and use this content for your blogs, social media posts, emails, newsletters, and other marketing channels.
The Most Powerful Sermon
We find the speech of Mother Teresa to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, on February 3rd, 1994, a very fine and illustrative example of a powerful sermon. The appearance of the Nobel laureate for Peace in 1979 startled more than a few people. In a setting usually known for its nondenominational feel, Mother Teresa didn’t shy away from offering definite opinions on topics like abortion and wealthy citizens’ responsibilities toward the poor.
How to grasp the essence of the worldwide admired nun’s speech if we don’t have 34 minutes at our disposal? Plus, honestly speaking, sermons – even the most inspirational ones – can hardly be called interesting and engaging to listen to. Thus you will certainly find it very useful and time-efficient to make a visual sweep (read diagonally) of the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s speech transcription, brought to us by priestforlife.org.
Another thing is that as much as we are positive that she has crafted the sermon’s thesis, big idea, and main points, we doubt she has taken the time to put it all down word by word on her own. And this is where our bits of advice derive from.
Be the Author of Your Own Sermon
After you study the text, your work is actually less than half done. Pages of study notes are not a sermon. The data you have collected is the raw material of the sermon, and it is to be clearly communicated. The message should have purpose, unity, and movement. Choose your sermon introduction and conclusion and work through relevant application points.
As you have read helpful points, quotations, or stories from others, use them where suitable. And never build your message around someone else’s work because when you stand behind the desk to preach, you must be a voice, not an echo.
Why Delegate Transcription of a Sermon?
Won’t you be thrilled to have one less thing to manage on your plate? You shouldn’t underestimate the amount of time detailed sermon transcription takes. Our professionals are specialized in sermon transcription, and it takes them about four hours to transcribe, format, and proofread a 40-minute sermon transcript. And that’s with the proper equipment, such as a foot pedal and shorthand software.
Again, keep in mind that people are busy, and many find it easier to read a sermon transcript than to listen to it or watch it online. They can read at their own pace, create notes for later reference, and share parts of it with family and friends.