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7 Interesting Tips on Video Recording Church Services for Online Viewing

Matthew Patel
Matthew Patel
Posted in Zoom Sep 7 · 7 Sep, 2022
7 Interesting Tips on Video Recording Church Services for Online Viewing

Even before the pandemic, many churches have been video recording church services, sermons, and worship events. Before, people would capture the service onto a VHS tape or CD. This way, the material will be available to people who weren’t physically present in the church.

However, because of the lockdown restrictions, several churches have embraced live streaming and video recording church services. For many pastors, this can be the last resort for sharing God’s word. However, most leaders decided to continue the practice even after things went back to normal.

Thanks to technology, there are plenty of ways to record and view church services. People can go to their church website and download the recording as an MP3 file. They can even subscribe to sermon podcasts or watch the videos on Facebook or YouTube.

In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can record church services for online viewing. We’ll also share useful tips on making the process easier for your tech team.

The Importance of Video Recording Church Services

It’s only natural for preachers to wonder if they should consider video recording church services. If they have great attendance, they might not see the value of branching into this practice.

The benefits of video recording church services to reach both the church leaders and the congregation. Here are some of the reasons why your church should start doing it too:

  • Reach more people – There are many reasons why people cannot attend church. Perhaps, they have physical impairments, illnesses, or issues with transportation. When you record your services, you can make them accessible to more people.
  • Polish the program – When you have a live audience, there’s a lot of pressure on your tech team, the pastor, moderator, and the worship team. Now, if you’re video recording church services, you can stop any portion of the program and reshoot it to correct mistakes.
  • Have a Service Archive – If you’re running a message series, recording the services will make it easier for the congregation to follow the sermons. The recordings can be helpful for those who want to review the message points.

1. What Cameras Should You Use for Video Recording Church Services?

When choosing the camera to use for recording church services, you need to consider your budget. If you want the free option, you can use any available smartphone. However, if you’re aiming for higher quality, you can expect to spend up to thousands of dollars. Here are some options for video recording church services:

  • Smartphones – These days, most people carry a smartphone with high camera quality. With the right skills, an Android phone or iPhone can do the job of video recording your church sermons. Just remember to mount the device on a tripod to keep the graphics stable.
  • Webcams – It’s not difficult to find HD webcams that are also inexpensive. So, they can be a great option for video recording church services. What’s more, they are portable which makes them easier to set up. The recording gets automatically stored on your laptop, which is also convenient.
  • Camcorders – If you have room in your budget, invest in an entry-level camcorder. This device has several advantages over webcams and smartphones. For one, it offers smoother zooming capabilities. Most camcorders these days allow you to store recordings in a memory card which you can transfer to your computer.
  • PTZ cameras – PTZ stands for pan, tilt, and zoom. This type of camera is quite popular in live events because they are easily adjustable using a remote control. People can capture everything that’s happening without getting in the way.

2. How Do You Record Church Service Audio?

People often overlook the importance of capturing the audio of a church service in high quality. No matter how great your video is, the recording will be wasted if they can’t hear what the preacher is saying. 

Most of the time, the built-in microphone of a camera can catch ambient noise. So, your options include attaching an external microphone, using a separate field recorder, or using a mixing board to capture an audio signal.

  • External microphones – You can improve the audio quality of your recording by attaching an external mic to your camcorder or smartphone. For instance, you can use a clip-on lavalier that the speaker can wear. Small ‘shotgun’ microphones are also efficient in capturing audio even from a distance.
  • A separate field recorder – You can also capture high-quality audio by using a separate field recorder. There are various options that are compatible with external and built-in microphones. However, during the editing process, you’ll need to sync the audio with the video.
  • Mixing boards – Your church likely has a mixing board for operating in-house amplifiers, microphones, and speakers. So, all you need to do is add a cable between the input of your recording device and the output of the mixing board.

3. How Do You Edit Church Service Video Recordings?

Before you share your church service recording online, you need to edit the video first. Some issues may affect the quality of the entire recording. For instance, there could be a crying baby that is overpowering the speaker’s voice. Perhaps, at one point, the natural light in the church washed out the preacher. So, don’t assume that you can share the video as-is.

The process can be as simple as trimming the start and end of the recording. You can also remove unnecessary footage to ensure that the program flows smoothly. 

Meanwhile, the editing process can also become complex, especially if you have a multiple-camera setup. After all, you’ll have to sync the audio with multiple clips from different devices. Also, the process can be as complicated as the features of your editing software.

4. What Video Editing Tools Should You Use?

Now, if all you need to do is trim the video’s beginning and end, then the built-in editing software on your computer would suffice. The Photos app is the default movie editor on Windows. Now, if you’re a Mac user, you can access the free iMovie tool.

If you need to go through a more complex editing process, then consider editing tools like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. These programs are powerful enough but still uncomplicated that even the average user can navigate them.

5. What Other Improvements Can You Add to Your Recording? 

Aside from simple trimming, you can also do a wide range of enhancements to make your worship service recording sound and look more professional. For example, if you used an external device to record the audio, remember to sync the sound to the image. In most cases, Final Cut and Premiere can do that automatically. You can also add titles and transitions to improve the overall look of the video. 

6. Should You Use Closed Captions When You Video Record Church Services?

If you have hard-of-hearing members in the congregation, having closed captions in the recordings can be helpful. During in-person services, the elderly usually have trouble understanding what the speaker is saying. Even if you stream the video online, they’ll still struggle to comprehend the message if there are no closed captions.

Subtitles Are Useful for Different Situations

With closed captions, people can understand the service without racking up their TV or computer’s volume. If the person is watching the recording in a location with a lot of background noise, they can still get the message by reading the closed captions. Besides, there are several situations wherein someone may prefer to play the video with the audio on mute.

Foreign Subtitles Can Help You Reach Other Nations

By adding foreign subtitles, your church can gain the opportunity to reach communities from around the world. Your messages can be understood by people whose primary language is not English. With GoTranscript’s foreign subtitling services, the entire process will be easier for your team. The captions and transcript are 100% done by humans. So, you can expect almost 100% accuracy.

Subtitles Can Make the Video Searchable Online

When you have subtitles or transcripts of your church service recordings, it will be easier for people to find them online. Once you upload the video online, Google will index the text and make the media file searchable. 

7. How to Share Your Church Service Video Recording Online

These days, there are plenty of online platforms that allow you to share church service recordings. Some examples are YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. However, before you upload the video, make sure you know the recommended settings according to the platform. Here are some things to remember:


  • Audio codec – AAC 
  • Video codec – H.264
  • Format – MP4
  • Resolution: At least 720p
  • Frame rate – Same as the original recording
  • Audio Sample Rate – 48kHz or 96kHz


  • Audio codec – AAC
  • Video codec – H.264 
  • Format – MP4 or MOV
  • Resolution – At least 720p
  • Frame rate – 30fps or less
  • Audio Sample Rate – 48kHz or 96kHz


  • Audio codec – AAC
  • Video codec – H.264 
  • Format – MP4
  • Resolution – At least 720p
  • Frame rate – 29.97fps
  • Audio Sample Rate – 48kHz

You can adjust the features according to the recommended settings of the online video sharing platform you choose. Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro should have options for configuring these settings.

Have a Dry Run

When the actual recording day comes, some things can still go wrong. So, to ensure that you’re prepared for issues, we recommend having a dry run at least once before the event.

Make sure that the microphones are working and clearly picking up audio. You should also review the best positions and angles for the cameras. The lighting should also be rehearsed to ensure that it is consistent throughout the recording.

Remember to give yourself enough time to set up the entire audio and video system. This way, you can fix issues that may affect the recording.