How you can use the live streaming app, Periscope, in your church to engage members and visitors, along with a video tutorial on how to start your first live stream.

We often talk to churches about the importance of capitalizing on social media trends. One of the simplest and most effective ways to engage with your congregation is to take advantage of the up and coming social media platforms they are interacting with on a daily basis. 

One of the newest trends that many seem to be gravitating toward is a "live video streaming platform" called Periscope. This app was created to be a window into a more personal world. People are now live streaming special events, breaking news and the simplest everyday tasks. 

So, we thought we'd show you how you can use this live streaming app in your church to engage members and visitors like never before. 

What is Periscope exactly? 

  • Periscope is a live video streaming app that operates in connection with Twitter. 
  • Streaming videos can be found by opening the Periscope app or clicking on the link in a Twitter post. 
  • The video stays on Periscope for 24 hours and can be rewatched only during that period of time.

How can Periscope be used in a church setting? 

Now that you know what Periscope is, we want to take a minute and give you some ideas of how you can use it to engage with your congregation and connect to potential visitors. 

  1. Monday Morning Recap: Have the pastor, or whoever spoke over the weekend, do a short video recap of the sermon along with tips of how to apply the message during the upcoming week.
  2. A Moment with a Ministry: Highlight one of your main ministries (youth, women, outreach etc.) and have them take a moment to share a tip of the day (or week) that's related to their ministry focus, upcoming events or a general inspiration.
  3. Youth Interview: Once a week, during a youth ministry meeting, chat with a student. This can be very casual or you can choose specific interview questions to ask.
  4. Special Event Coverage: Give your congregation the opportunity to connect with special events even when they can't attend. Live stream guest speakers, youth gatherings and other exciting events that your members don't want to miss.
  5. Live Tours: Check out your analytics and look for spikes in "Visitor Page" activity. Based off those numbers, choose a day and time to live stream a tour of your facility in order to engage with possible newcomers.
  6. Looking into Outreach: Let people see what serving looks like at your church. Live stream community outreach, church work days and weekend ministries. 
  7. Small Group Gathering: Have small group leaders let visitors and members "come into their home" by choosing one leader each month to live stream part, or all, of a small group meeting. This allows potential group members to get a sneak peek at what they'd be joining. 
  8. Remember to keep it casual: Periscope is designed to let others see the world through your eyes. Always remember to keep your videos personable. Think of it as a casual conversation, not an informative commercial. 

How to start your first live stream:

So far, we've covered what Periscope is and how you can use it in your church ... all that's left is to show you how to start streaming! 

Periscope is just one of the many great new things we've learned about this year! We talked about all of our favorite trends and resources from 2015 at The Table in September. Check out the recap here!