Periscope's potential for online ministry

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Social Media 101 Blog

There's a new kid on the block that specializes in real-time video streaming from phone to phone. As new platforms go, this could be a great opportunity to start using Periscope for your ministry as the platform is still finding its legs.  

What is Periscope?

Periscope has been around for just over a year now. The platform uses video streaming from mobile devices, where anyone can broadcast from their phone or tablet's video camera. Participants can choose to either host video or to be a spectator. Viewers can participate by typing in messages that post publicly to the stream or tap the video screen to display a heart, showing their appreciation for what they're watching. 

All the live broadcasts show up on a world map. You can scroll across the map and open up a broadcast from anywhere in the world to view it right then and there on your mobile device. Be warned that content is live, and virtually uncensored. You probably don't want your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews on this app.

Why is Periscope important?

We've brainstormed some possible uses for this kind of platform that could be useful to ministry, outreach and church communications. This is by no means a tell-all, but meant to get you started if you're interested in jumping onto a new way to communicate with a different group of people online.

1. Tap into an authentic missional resource

Because Periscope lets you view live video from anywhere in the world, you can get an unfiltered view of another culture before visiting that area. This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about a particular city from someone who has created a channel specifically to talk to the Periscope community. What a great opportunity to research where you're going and get insider info from locals!

2. Hosting Q&As, testimonials, church study groups, etc.

The potential for a live broadcast between phones is fairly open ended. It's a personal way to connect with people. You can host scheduled bible studies or stream testimonials in much the same way as a vlog. The possibilities are endless.

3. Raise awareness for a cause

Some causes need immediate action. Raising money to help for a sudden disaster, rallying the community to search for a lost child, inviting people to the church for a surprise potluck, to name a few. The possibilities are endless.

If your church has been using Periscope or you have ideas for how the platform can be used by a church, please share with everyone in the comments.

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