Sermon transcriptions represent a unique opportunity because you’re not only producing a product; you are also providing a welcome service. Most people who go online seeking guidance aren’t looking for a half hour of video or audio presentation to sit through. They can turn on a television and view a wide range of religious programming for that. Most online seekers are readers—given a choice of watching lengthy presentations or downloading a transcript to read on their own time, and refer back to later, they will choose the sermon transcription versus the audio or video version.
Transcribed sermons offer valuable benefits to those looking for inspiration or counsel in difficult times. First of all, it’s much faster to read and absorb a written transcript than a video. Readers may easily keep it on a laptop or tablet for repeated review, or print it out as a hard copy that can be highlighted and annotated. A transcription is a better vehicle for study, too, as it is keyword searchable. As not all Internet videos feature closed captioning, the hearing-impaired are obviously better served by a transcript. And visually challenged individuals can enlarge the font of a transcript for easier reading.
Pastors benefit as well from engaging the services of sermon transcription. Most pastors today maintain blogs online at the church website. Excerpting text portions on their sermons in their blogs is a quick cut-and-paste operation with a transcript. Pastors often commonly wish to post a full sermon archive online for members of the congregation and others. Maintaining an archive of sermons preached is much easier in text transcript versus trying to save mp3 audio files. And the text of sermons posted in archives can be indexed by search engines and searched for by keywords—audio files and videos are not. Statistics from some large churches show that transcripts of sermons are downloaded over 10,000 times a month. So yes, sermon transcription is a big deal.
Transcribed sermons can make the whole world a congregation for pastors and churches seeking to spread the word to new believers. They also represent a world of opportunity for those who offer sermon transcription services.