The goal of any ministry is to get the Word out. A great way to do that is to offer recordings of services to the congregation. If some members of the congregation are unable to attend services, a recording allows them to still hear the message. It also allows you to review services later or revisit them for further study.
Now that you’ve recorded your services or worship performances, what’s the best way to distribute those recordings? Well, you can offer downloadable sound files from your church’s website. But many shut-ins and older congregation members may not know how (or be equipped) to download and play audio files. For this reason, many churches offer recordings of services on compact disc.
The good news is that CD duplicators have dropped in price and are easier to use than ever. There are two basic types: standalone and computer-based. A standalone duplicator doesn’t require a computer or anything else (other than blank CDs) to operate. Generally, you drop a CD containing your recording of the service into the duplicator, load in blank CDs, and the duplicator takes it from there. You can get models that make one CD copy at a time, or if you need to duplicate a large run of CDs, you can get models that will dupe 10 or more CD copies at once.
The second type of duplicator hooks up to your Mac or Windows PC computer. The computer loads up the disc that you want to copy then manages the duplicator to make as many copies as you want. Typically, you place a stack of blank CDs in the duplicator and the machine auto-feeds them through to make copies. This means you don’t have to manually load in CDs for copying, so the duplicator can be set up to run overnight, unattended — that way, your computer isn’t tied up during the day when you need to use it for other tasks.
No matter which type of duplicator you choose, a CD printer is also a great investment. You can get standalone CD printers — they work in the same way as any inkjet printer connected to a computer. Or you can choose a more convenient solution by getting an all-in-one “disc publishing” duplicator that can print right on the CD as it is making copies. Either way, your CDs will look completely professional with a printed label. You can also get duplicators that support DVD copying. If your church is capturing services on video, this can be a great way to really deliver the message to the congregation; a DVD increases the “just like being there” feeling of a shut-in or a congregation member who wasn’t able to attend a service.
Here’s one final note: in the age of Facebook, YouTube and other web-based social interaction sites, bouncing out your audio or video files to QuickTime or other easily shared web-based digital formats is a great way to share the message, especially when you want to reach the younger members of the congregation.