How to start you own Internet Ministry for under $500.00

What you should already have:

A relatively new computer

A Windows-Based computer with at least 4 GB of system memory. Video files take up a HUGE chunk of space, so you'll want at least 250 gigabytes of available disk space on the C: drive. Even though our computer has over 200 gigabytes of open space on the C: drive, I found it easier to buy a 500 Gig hard drive and install it as the D: drive. This way, I keep all my video work on a seperate drive.

A functioning Web-Site

Every Church needs a custom web-site so people have some place to go to view your videos. What? No web-site? Talk to one of the teenagers in your congregation. Using programs like Microsofts' Front Page, they can get a web-site up and running in a few days.

A relatively fast internet connection

You might get by with only a dial-up connection. But, a one hour wmv file is almost 100 megabytes in size and it would take all day...maybe a couple of days to upload a file that size over dial-up. Come-on. Spend the few extra bucks and get DSL.

What you will need: (...the under $500.00 part)

A digital camcorder with a external mic input

If you use the microphone on your camcorder you will end-up with the audio quality that shouts: AMATEUR!! You also need a camera that records directly to a memory chip. That way, you won't have to buy expensive analog to digital converstion software and hardware. Go to and buy a Canon FS100 (or equivilant).

A GOOD audio source

For the best audio, use a "line-out" feed from your microphone mixer. This way, your sound technician can provide a good audio signal no matter which microphone or audio source is used during your service.
- OR -
You can do what we do: purchase an Azden wireless microphone system. The minister wears a wireless lapel microphone and the reciever hooks on the video camera with a cable that plugs into the Canon FS100.

A tripod

Self-explanitory. Also, if your camera is set off to one side (not directly dead-center of the pulpit) you will need to angle the camera left or right to get the proper vertical perspective.

File Transfer Protocol software

How do you get your finished work off your computer and onto the internet? With FTP software. There are many free FTP programs available. The easiest to use is WS_FTP lite. It's been discontinued, but there are many places on the internet that still post it for free.

Video Explosion Deluxe 1.5 software

Video Explosion is the easiest to use of all the video editing software. Like WS_FTP, it's been discontinued but, is still available from

Video File Conversion software

The Canon FS100 records it's video files in the .MOV format. Unfortunately, Video Explosion does not support the .MOV format. So, we downloaded a free, .MOV to .MPG file converter.

Bible verse software

Showing the referenced Bible verse makes for a polished presentation (it's called a video overlay). However, typing those verses in by hand would be too time consuming. Download one of the many, free Bible software programs then cut and paste them into your video editing program.