Posted by: Robin Foster | January 20, 2008

New Technology, Inexpensively Done for the Small Church

With new technology seeming to burst on the scene almost on a daily basis, I felt the need to get our church to change from taping sermons to digitally recording the sermon on CD. After looking at the price of conventionally setting ourselves up for doing this ($1000+, and that is for the bare essentials) I had given up hope.

Recently, my friend, Wes Kenney had just purchased a Digital Voice Recorder (DVR) from Wal-Mart for under $35. We used it to record the interviews we conducted at this years BGCO State Convention with Drs. Mohler and Akin. I noticed the DVR had a “mic” input, but didn’t think much of it until we posted the interviews and I started to add things together. After talking with Wes, I realized that I could hook an output from our soundboard at the church to the mic input on the DVR. The issue after that was transferring the file from the DVR to the computer so I could make copies of the sermon on CD.

In comes Wes to the rescue again and tells me of a free program that is downloadable from the internet called Audacity. After exporting the audio recording with the software provided from the DVR, I use Audacity to convert it to a “wav” file that can be played on Windows Media Player that also burns the file to a CD. This CD can now be used to play in someone’s car or home CD player. Audacity will also convert the file to a mp3 format for internet use. After reading this, one might think to convert files is a big hassle, but I am able to do all the converting in less than five minutes. To burn the file to a CD takes another two to five minutes depending on your system.

The cost: less than $35 including batteries. Maybe more if cables are needed. Of course, one will have to purchase CD’s if they want to hand the sermon out for others to listen, but that cost should be cheaper than buying the old tapes which would go bad after some use. It is also lighter to mail and should cut some expense in getting it to the listener. You also have the option converting the file to a mp3 format that can be put on your web sight so people around the world can listen to the sermon the congregation heard. Again, making it more cheaper than mailing it.

One application I will use this for is making a CD that can be handed out to prospects. The CD will explain who we are and the mission we are pursuing at Immanuel. This can be listened to as they are driving to work or doing house chores. It will give people a better picture of who we are so that on visits, questions can be answered effectively.

I plan on giving point by point directions in doing this, but until then, if the Lord leads you as he has led me, buy one and play with it some. If I can figure this out, I am positive you can.




    Robin is you D.Min work so stressful you are into escapism through gadgetry?

    If you will pay me I will write your papers for you and get you through so you won’t have to go on and on about gadgets.

    You friend and fellow politico, Wes is already paying me big money to do his papers. Don’t tell nobody cause its a secret.


  2. robin,

    the church that i’m at records both services on sunday, as well as the sunday school class that meets i the sanctuary. they are recorded on a dvd. one is made for each homebound person. so, i could send some of you copies of my sermon from today! the camera makes me look about ten pounds to heavy. 🙂 but, my deacons then take turns delivering the copies to our homebound members…and some homebound prospects. this has been a huge blessing to the homebound. it has deacons being….well, deacons. and, it has really opened some doors for ministry and outreach to the families of these homebound folks.



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