Best way to distribute sermons to the congregation?

Hello, I dont know if this is the correct forum but figured i’d try here first. Our church is small (12-20 ppl). We do not do live streaming (we just got a website last yr). We have a youtube channel (just got that setup last yr as well). We do not do many sermons on youtube (15-20min videos SEPARATE from anything on a Sunday or a Thurs. bible study), we actually stopped doing videos to youtube due to not having enough time. We record all our sermons using OBS onto a PC.

Recently its been asked of me to get people copies of the sermons. I was thinking the easiest way is to purchase flash drives and hand them out w/a few sermons on them that people can plug into there PC and play.

We used to burn the sermons to CDs but have since gone away from that and we want to be able to hand the sermon to people right after its ended.

The thing is, I don’t want to have people bring there on flash drive and us plug it into the PC for obvious reasons (viruses, etc.) I am not compromising the system so that for me is a no-go unless its my own stuff that I know hasn’t been compromised (my occupation is in IT). I wasn’t fond of emailing people the sermons either because I don’t use the church email for that type of distribution, its strictly used for only church needed accounts (the website if people actually to go the site and want to contact us). The church email also isn’t checked daily, if anything a few times a month but I also didn’t want targeted ads coming up on the email either in a browser on the church PC (i check the church email on my home pc, that has its on church profile on my pc so i literally keep my personal stuff and church stuff separate like no targeted ads etc. not that i look at anything bad but i just like to keep that all separate).

The thing is, I feel like it is a waste to buy 20 or so 2-5gb flash drives when a sermon itself is only KBS or MBS at most. The sermons are about 1.5-3 hours long and don’t even equal a gig of data. You’d probably have to put A TON of sermons together copied over to get a gig.

I also thought about doing a web server to put the sermons on and have people be able to go to a link and grab the ones they want but I do not want to setup/maintain a webserver for people to be able to grab the files from. I am the only IT person so any of that type of work (flyers for church, audio/sound, website, quarterly reviews, music lyric videos for worship, etc.) all falls on me so I don’t mind but I also have a fulltime job so all of this so volunteer (which im fine with) but I don’t want to make more work for myself either. For the website company we use the max upload file size is 400 MB, and our sermons are anywhere from 57,249KB-120,490KB and plus in size. I think we have a total of 50gb server space that were allotted and I don’t want to cloud all that up with mp3/mp4 sermons (nor do i want to manage that or manage a rotation of sermons that get uploaded etc.)

All that being said, what is the best way to distribute sermons at the end of the service to the congregation if desired?

This sounds exactly like what podcasts were meant to solve. There are a number of free or inexpensive hosting options that would give you a simple webpage for people to check and the ability to subscribe to get new sermons automatically on pretty much anything with an Internet connection.

I second Alex’s recommendation of using a podcast channel to distribute the sermons without many “production” resources, which you described not wanting to do.

@codatory Are there any free secure podcast channels that you recommend?

Private podcasts get a little more obscure because then you’re in the business of maintaining credentials and private feed keys and they usually require special accomodations to subscribe. You’ll also lose access from smart speakers and some apps that don’t support private podcasts. That said, there are a few free options including:

I’ve never done anything w/podcasting before. Thank you for the mention of storyboard.

A few things come to mind regarding the podcasts, is there a way to not allow the podcast to be downloaded to a pc if need be?

What copyright issues should I need to look into/be aware of before putting sermons up on a podcast?
(One reason I ask is that I know some of the sermons have music playing in the background, parts of songs for say 30 seconds to a minute or more which I know that in itself is a copyright issue). The way we record the sermon (through OBS on a PC) we cannot cut out the song part because we only record once, using 1 program, so you would lose literal sections of the sermon if i tried to cut it out which would be way too time consuming to try to do.

If you prefer I can pm you instead of replying to the post.

There isn’t DRM or anything of the sort involved with Podcasts so once it’s out there it’s out there. That’s generally true even with DRM if someone cares enough. As far as copyright goes, there’s no automatic enforcement like YouTube and Facebook so if you are publishing infringing material it will go through the traditional DMCA process. I am not a lawyer, but some use of copywritten content is considered fair use. This is a nuance that YouTube does not facilitate for example.

Think of it more like a nice version of a Dropbox folder of mp3s, the podcasting technology itself is quite simple.