Periscope

The Ps to Pastoring People More Productively Online

The world is changing fast around us and as pastors we must lead our congregation differently than we might have even a few years ago.  With the connectivity of social media we can shift from pastoring our congregation 1-2 hours a week to speaking into their lives on a daily basis.  Here are 4 P's to help you maximize social media to pastor people more productively online:

  • Pre-Record Videos - use your smart phone and record 5 short videos to schedule out on Facebook or other social networks throughout the week.  These can be simple 30-90 second videos where you can either follow up from your sermon the weekend before, prepare your congregation for the sermon to come or simply offer a message completely independent of your current messages.
  • Periscope Often - you can interact live with anyone anywhere through Periscope with 1 click on your smartphone.  You can share messages and interact with live Q & A through the chat interaction.  Don't miss this incredible ministry opportunity that didn't even exist a couple of months ago!  By often I mean 2-3 times each week, don't feel that you need to live stream your life 24/7.
  • Post Consistently - while videos and images are taking over social media, words of wisdom still have great power.  Use Twitter, Facebook and other networks to post scripture passages, sermon quotes, or any other inspirational messages online.
  • Pray through your News Feed - it might sound silly, but using your news feed as a prayer guide can be a powerful experience.  Whether you see posts from your congregants or just take a peak at trending topics to pray over.  I believe God can use the News Feed to draw your attention to the things He desires to put on your heart.  Don't hesitate to leave individuals messages letting them know that they've been prayed for as well.  It will mean more than you know!

I hope these are beneficial to you and something you will give a try this week!  What can it hurt?

Okay, I know what you're thinking... it will cost me time!  Let me challenge you to make room in your calendar this week and review the impact at the end of the week.  I am willing to bet that you will find the investment well worth the cost of the time.  Here's the bet: since your giving up your time, I'll give up mine.  I'm offering a FREE 15 minute consultation to anyone who takes the bet and feels it wasn't worth the time committed.  Simply send me a message and we'll setup the call.  What do you say?  Will you take me up on this bet?

Are You Periscoping... Yet?

Periscope

People are always asking me the question: "What's the next big thing?"

Normally, I don't have a definitive answer, but for the past 2 weeks the answer has been easy: PERISCOPE!  

What is Periscope you ask?  Well, it's a new live streaming social network released by Twitter.  It's pretty simple actually.  You simply login with your Twitter credentials and can watch hundreds of live streams sent out through iPhones or begin live streaming through your iPhone and hundreds of people could potentially watch.  Not only can they watch it though, they can interact with you through live commenting that will be displayed on your app while you stream.  

Make sense?  Of course not.  Most social networks don't and the best way to understand it is to use it.  Here's how you can get started in about 15 minutes.

  1. Download the Periscope app from the App Store (only available on iPhones and iPads right now)
  2. Watch 3-5 Live Streams and see how it works and what people are streaming and how others interact with them.
  3. Hit the camera button on the bottom, write "Test" on the Title area that says "What are you seeing now?" and hit Start Broadcast.
  4. Have fun and connect with people all over the world!

You're probably asking why should I Periscope?  The bottom line is that thousands if not millions of people are engaging on this app at any given time.  From a ministry perspective you have an opportunity to engage people in conversations instantly from anywhere at any time.  You don't have to send an invite and hope people show up.  You don't have to setup a bunch of equipment or do anything very technical either.  You just have to push a button and Periscope will send people directly to you.  Not just a couple people, but literally hundreds of people.  Instantly!

Now you're probably asking: what should I video that people would be interested in?  To be honest people are live streaming pretty uninteresting things and getting large audiences.  From a ministry perspective though, my encouragement is to have conversations.  Start a topic and be available to answer people's questions.  Try some of these Titles and see what happens:

  • Debriefing Easter 
  • Talking about Jesus
  • My Take on Jesus
  • Why I Read the Bible
  • My Favorite Verse

I think you will get great engagement right away with these titles, but feel free to not be super spiritual as well and just show a little bit about life.  You can try some of these titles as well:

  • My office setup
  • My favorite view
  • Talking Baseball

Just like any other social network, get started and be social.  Have fun and let me know what you think!  The platform is so new and will change fast.  Get ready and enjoy the ride!

Before I end this post I do want to share a few warnings/opinions:

  • Haters - there are lots of haters and porn seekers on the site.  They are annoying.  They need Jesus.  Understand that they are there, but if you can press through there is a great ministry opportunity.
  • Porn - there are porn producers using this platform like every other platform on the internet.  Honestly, I think they will kill it if Persiscope can't get a handle on it.  Let this be a warning and I encourage you to keep solid accountability in all of your internet use.  
  • Fad - I believe Periscope is a fad.  I think it will come and go pretty quickly.  The reality is that it is here now with a great opportunity.  The opportunity will fade and if you don't get it now I think you will miss the fad.  This is just an opinion though and I could be wrong.