Video Recording sermons for smaller churches!

Have you noticed that you can easily embed video to sermons in the Church Admin plugin?
We’ve just started doing at The Gateway Church and it is already increasing reach!

It doesn’t need to be expensive

Big churches can afford high end video cameras and edit suites costing thousands – but did you know you can get great results with your iphone?! I downloaded James Wedmore’s Iphone buyers guide where he claims you can “Transform your iPhone into a $2,000-Quality Camera…for less than $80!” For recording sermons it cost us less than a tenner!

If you want to use an iphone to record your church’s preaching in HD, then you will need three things…
1) An iphone (we use an iphone 4!)
2) A tripod
3) An iphone tripod adapter
Available for £0.93 from Amazon.co.uk*
And an optional 4th if you want full control yourself!
 Topwell®Wireless Camera Bluetooth V3.0 Self-timer Remote Shutter Controller for iPhone £2.54 from Amazon.co.uk*

Video Recording with the Iphone

The iphone comes with a great camera app built in. Mount your iphone on the tripod holder and tripod. Click on the camera icon, slide it over to video and push the red button when you are ready to go. We have our iphone mounted on the front row of seating and the inbuilt microphone picks up preaching really well!
You’ll need about 3.5GB spare capacity for a 40min sermon.

Editing

It’s pretty easy to record iphone video upside down! Don’t despair – there’s a great free Windows 7 app to rotate it back from http://movierotator.com/.

If you buy Movie Pro at £2.99 you can also edit on your phone.

We run our video through Roxio Creator NXT 2 (PC) to tidy up the start and end.

Hosting the video

You have a couple of options here Vimeo or Youtube. The advantage of youtube is that it is the world’s second largest search engine after Google, so your hits will increase naturally.

We use youtube – you’ll need a google account to upload.

Youtube accounts normally have a 15min limit per video, so you will need to increase your limit (which is still free).

Once the limits is lifted, go to www.youtube.com then click “upload” having logged in
upload

You’ll be presented with a fairly familiar looking upload screen.
upload-screen

You’ll need a good broadband connection to upload the videos which will be a couple of gigabytes in size. What you end up with is a church sermon videos every week for less than a tenner!

While it is uploading, fill in title, description and give it some tags.
tags and stuff

It’ll take a while to upload and process, so leave the browser open!

You can always edit the title and tags later in the video manager section…

video-manager

Adding Video to the church Admin Plugin

Firstly you will need to update your sermon file template with [VIDEO_URL] by editing in the Sermon Mp3 podcasting section and the link “iTunes Compatible RSS Settings”.

Here’s my file template
mp3-file-template

<div class="ca_podcast_file">
<h3><a href="[FILE_URI]">[FILE_TITLE] </a> </h3>
[VIDEO_URL]
<p>By [SPEAKER_NAME] on [FILE_DATE] as part of the [SERIES_NAME] series. [FILE_PLAYS]>br/>
[FILE_DESCRIPTION] </p>
[TRANSCRIPT]
<p><audio class="sermonmp3" id="[FILE_ID]" src="[FILE_NAME]" preload=”none”></audio></p>
<hr/>
</div>

Then you can add video embedding to your sermons very easily…

add-a-file

The plugin will then embed your video nicely on your sermons page…

[church_admin type=”podcast” file_id=”1″]

Hope Team

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou may have noticed a “Hope Team” section has been added to the main admin screen.

We have just started a practical helps ministry called “Hope Team” in our church. We’ve added some functionality into the WordPress Church Admin plugin. You can create jobs like babysitting, hospitality, visiting, DIY etc and then add people to the team and select jobs.

At the moment you can just print a pdf and sync it to Mailchimp. Soon I’ll be adding bulk sms and email functionality so you can communicate needs to hope team members.

Hope it helps

Address List Changes for v0.5943

I’ve made a few improvements for the Address List section of the plugin over the last few weeks.

Firstly display is valid HTML5 with microdata – it looks the same, just works better!

There’s now an edit link next to each entry.

If a site user is logged in and they click their edit entry icon, they will be able to edit their household.

For that to work, admins need to make sure that directory households have a site wordpress username and password setup by the plugin – that can be done from the Display Household page and by editing each member of a household.

Household Maps

Ugly dummy imageWe bumped through our Google Static Maps courtesy limit, so I have put the requirement for an api key if you want to use the little maps.
You can sign up for an api key here, then just add api_key=# to the shortcode or you will get the ugly dummy image!

American English

Version 0.5941 of the Church Admin will contain an American English translation of the plugin – so Rota becomes Schedule! If there are any other ways you’d like the Queens English mangled, please do let me know Old Chaps!

If you use UK English – make sure define(‘WPLANG’,’en_GB’); is set in your wp-config.php file.
If US English – make sure define(‘WPLANG’,’en_US’); is set in your wp-config.php file.

How to translate my Church Admin Plugin

I love the fact that Church admin is being used in so many nations now – why not help by translating it?

It’s easier than you think. Firstly you need a free program call Poedit from www.poeditor.net – it works on Mac and Windows

Once installed open it up and click on “Create a new translation” if you are starting a new translation or open existing if updating one.
screen1

Then select a “po” file from the languages folder to translate from default.po is the UK English file
screen2

For a new translation – you’ll have the option to set the translation language at this point. then click on each source text in turn and type in the translation in the bottom “Translation box”
screen3

When you have finished click “Validate” to make sure it’s valid, which will hopefully bring up the following alert box

no problems
Click okay and then save.

Poedit will have started the filename with the correct language and country code you have chosen earlier – in this case American English (with all it’s butchering of the Queen’s English 😉 )

save-as1

WordPress has a naming convention where you need to prepend that with the plugin name and a hyphen – so the filename becomes church-admin-en_US.po

Then click save. You can then upload for your own use. Please email me the file to “clients AT themoyles DOT co DOT uk”, so I can add it to the WordPress repository for use by others too.

Thanks

Last step! You need to internationalise your installation, if you haven’t already!
In wp-config.php add the line

define(‘WPLANG’, ‘en_US’);

where you use the right language and country code for your nation and language

Adding people to ministries

I wanted to make it easier to add people to a specific ministry in the church – which helps with communicating by email and rotas. So as of v0.580 when you click on a specific ministry within the Ministry List, you will be able to see who is in that ministry and delete them or add new ones.

The add field is autocomplete so you can add more than one at a time with commas.

For privacy, only partial names are shown!
For privacy, only partial names are shown!

Hope it helps!

What other features would you like to see?

Small Group Maps

The latest version 0.557 of the WordPress Church Admin plugin has gone international and maptastic!

1) Addresses are now entered in a one line format to be more international friendly. On the output pages a comma will trigger a new line.

2) People can have a prefix before their surname like “van der” – but the directories will still be sorted by alphabetic surname

3) You can store a meeting venue for small groups and geocode the address for a map
[church_admin type=”small-groups-list” map=1] will give the map format if you have geocoded addresses and defaults back to the old format if not.

[church_admin type=”small-groups-list” map=1]

Improvements to Church Admin Plugin

I’ve made some improvements to the Church Admin Plugin in v0.52

Main menu – vastly improved with drag and drop and close

Rota management – the rota now uses autocomplete to store people in their job! You can also email the rota out to participants

Sermons – can now be uploaded and podcasted – mosts hosts have an upload limit of 8MB, so there is a facility to add already uploaded files that perhaps you have ftp’d.

The cache of emails is now stored in a subdirectory the uploads directory – with a redirect in the old directory.

Photos You can upload photos for people, but not much use is made of them yet

Fixes

  • Activation errors
  • Tied up code and initialise all variables more correctly
  • Functions that require people to be in the directory first only show when directory is populated.

Coming Soon

  1. Shortcodes page in the menu to list all the shortcode options
  2. Photos in the directory as an option
  3. Bible passages in the sermon uploader
  4. Rewrite of the calendar module – with ical support
  5. Instruction Manual

Writing and updating the plugin is pretty time consuming but fun and largely fuelled by coffee, so if you like, please thank me with a brew!…


What would you like to see added to the plugin?