If you don't have a soundboard or church member who can record your sermons, there are fast and inexpensive ways for pastors to get started recording your sermons for podcasting.
Record with Your Cell Phone
Almost everyone has a recording device in their pocket: a smartphone. While it won't make the most polished recording, just placing it on the pulpit or somewhere nearby should get the job done to communicate your sermon. You need to make sure that your recording app will record in the MP3 format. If it doesn't, you have two options:
- Find an app that will convert your recording to an MP3 (see Editing Your Sermon below), or
- Use a different recording app to record as an MP3 in the first place. There are many, many audio recording apps out there for both Android and iPhone. One that should work for you is Voice Record Pro, available for free on Apple and Google Play.
Or Use a Digital Audio Recorder
A digital audio recorder (sorry, analog tape recorders will not work for this) can be an inexpensive way to record your sermon; you might already have one available in your home or church. There are many to choose, and you do not need to buy the most expensive one. Be sure that the recorder has a USB interface for downloading your sermon to your personal computer, and most digital recorders these days can record an MP3. If yours does not, it may be able to be converted using Audacity (see Editing Your Sermon).
- Bonus Suggestion: research a digital audio recorder with lavalier microphone. The clip-on microphone would ensure better sound quality, especially if the pastor usually moves away from the pulpit during the sermon.
Editing Your Sermon
Ideally, if you start recording right before you begin preaching and end recording right at the end, you won't need to edit your recording. However, if you record too much and need to trim the beginning or ending, Audacity is a free program for all platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) that we've used for years. And if you want to add a spoken or musical intro or outro around the sermon, Audacity is the place you can do this. Additionally, if your recording device doesn't record in MP3 format, Audacity should be able to convert (export) it for you.
Geting Set Up
Be sure to test your set up with plenty of time before Sunday. Go through every step of the process, especially the part about retrieving the recording and doing a test upload to make sure it all works as expected. Listen to your test recording to make sure it's understandable and experiment with placement of your recording device (or even if you're using a lavalier microphone).
And, as a voice of experience here, make a reminder on your sermon notes to start recording when the preaching begins (and stop recording when it ends)!