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8 Ways Church Leaders Can Use Periscope to Aid Your Mission

Today’s guest post on Periscope is by Rich Birch of Unseminary.com and the Unseminary Podcast.  Rich was also a guest on Episode 8 of my podcast. Scroll down the bottom to learn more about Rich and get a free ministry magazine with some of Rich’s best content. 


Periscope is a live video-streaming app for iOS and Android smartphones.

Twitter purchased the startup behind the app for a reported $100 million in March 2015.

The app empowers users on Twitter to instantly and easily start broadcasting live video from their phone to their followers and the world!

So, how could you use Periscope at your church? Here are 8 ways.

Weekend Warm-Up

Typically you arrive at church before some of your people have even decided if they are going to attend. Use Periscope in the morning to invite them to join you. Reveal some of the behind-the-scenes effort that goes into make the morning great for them. Do quick interviews with team members who are getting ready for the day. Walk through the facility and show teams praying for them. Ask your people to invite others to join you!

Message Prep

Content creation should be a team sport. Ask for help when preparing your message. Give people a sneak peek at what you are talking about and then ask them to help with some key points. Maybe you’re choosing from two different bottom lines for your message … ask for help with choosing which is This will draw in your community, build anticipation for the weekend and give you some great ideas.

For Fun

You do have fun every once and a while … right? Let other people in on it! Is your team doing some goofy? Open up Periscope and laugh along with them. Did you just do something dumb and you’re laughing at yourself? Invite your community to laugh along with you! Humor has a way of drawing in people like nothing else — plus it humanizes you.

Ask for Prayer

Pastoral care starts with showing your needs and weaknesses. As you open up and become transparent with people, they will reciprocate and open up to What if you took some time to ask for prayer for whatever you’re facing as a leader. Let your church community into your world and see where you are trusting God to move. Ask for “hearts” if people are going to pray.

Morning Devotionals

How about leading your church in a devotional through Periscope every morning this week? As you read scripture and pray, just open up your phone and talk them through it. Model a healthy interior life that your people can Imagine dozens of people commuting to work … or at the gym … or at home listening to what God is saying.

Leadership Development

Are you working through some leadership concepts that you think could apply to your broader community? Get in front of a whiteboard and talk through them. Leading a volunteer-driven organization takes passion and clarity. Many of your people would love to tap into that and apply the lessons to their everyday lives.

Get Personal

Do you remember when you were a kid and you saw your teacher at the mall? That sensation of seeing him or her in the normal world was a paradigm shift, right? There was a time that church leaders lived in a similar bubble. We only saw them in “holy places” doing “holy things.” That kind of distance makes it almost impossible for your church community to relate to you. Flip on Periscope when you’re cutting the grass at home and see what people are up to. Or turn it on when you’re making dinner and ask others what they are eating that evening. Trust me, people love that stuff. I know it may seem trivial, but it’s the social part of social media.

Interviews with Leaders

You probably come into the orbit of some amazing leaders. Maybe they’re community leaders in your town or business leaders from your church. Ask them if you could take a few minutes and record a quick video of them. You could take questions from your audience and help them learn. This shows you as a thoughtful leader in your community and helps pass along the lessons you are learning from others!

8 Leaders You Should Follow on Periscope

Mac Lake (@maclake) // Visionary Architect for The , a church-planting network based out of West Ridge Church in the greater Atlanta area. Mac provides some serious leadership development value with great “whiteboard talks.”

Casey Graham (@caseygraham) // Founder of The Rocket Company, which provides great how-to help for church leaders. Casey offers great insights into how The Rocket Company reaches new people and builds the organization.

Miles McPherson (@milesmcpherson) // Pastor at Rock Church in San Diego. Miles shares some great behind-the-scenes footage that other church leaders could also provide through this medium.

Jonathan Pearson (@jonathanpearson) // Pastor at Cornerstone Church in South Carolina as well as blogger and thought leader. Jonathan provides some great insights for using technology within the faith community.

Jon Acuff (@jonacuff) // Blogger, author, interview giver, humorist … Jon does it all. Jon is a gifted communicator who uses Periscope to build his online community. Watch and follow his lead!

Chris Rivers (@chrisrivers) // Chris is founder of CultureBus and navigator with Auxano. He is always on the road helping churches and provides huge value (and fun!) for people who follow him.

Scott Williams (@scottwilliams) // Scott is an author, blogger and church consultant who was a key leader and campus pastor at LifeChurch.tv. Scott is a heavy content producer on Periscope and provides great insights into his learnings and leadership.

Tim Parsons (@_TimParsons_) // Tim is executive pastor at First Assembly in Indiana and founder of The Sunday Punch Team. Tim consistently provides great content and you should be following him!

We’d love to hear from you in the comments about who else is providing great value on Periscope!

About Rich //

Rich Birch is a pastor at Liquid Church which serves the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey.

He blogs & podcasts at unSeminary. [Friends of Carey’s can download a FREE 23 page Digital Magazine about reaching people who aren’t connected to your church yet by clicking here.]

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  • holly

    Just found your blog/podcast this week- Love it and have been telling my coworkers about how helpful these are. Can you tell us some women we might want to follow on Periscope? And do you ever have any women on your podcast?

  • Nicky Robyn

    Thanks Carey! I just downloaded this app and was looking for some ideas of how it could be useful in leading. Great thoughts.

  • Pingback: Discovering #Periscope | MicahFoster.netDiscovering #Periscope - MicahFoster.net()

  • zach zink

    Wow! I was at a camp last week with students and this was the first time I had heard about it. While catching up on what I missed on your blog, I come across this post. Thank you Carey!!

  • I love this post and I love Periscope! Thanks for the creative ideas for ministry, Carey. I’ve really enjoyed the times you have Scoped your behind the scenes blog process. I think this platform is going to explode in the near future.

  • Diggs

    my only hesitation is this: I installed Periscope to watch a band, while showing my wife the app, we scrolled around to different cameras accessible to anyone anywhere in the world… and explicit live content can easily be viewed. I trashed the app. With the preponderance of illicit material already available, I’m not sure I’m comfortable recommending this app to our church at large. Thoughts?

    • Great question Diggs. I think we run into this every time we introduce new technology. There are great books and terrible books, and yet we continue to read books. Facebook, Twitter and even blogs are mixed platforms, yet they continue to be used for good as well. I think that will be the case with Periscope. People who want good will find the good…people who want the bad will find the bad.

  • Ben Atkinson

    Like what I have seen so far about Periscope. However, was watching a live video from Thom Rainer (Lifeway) the other day and several very vulgar profanities came through in the comments. Is that just one of the challenges that will go along with using this form of media or is there a way to guard your audience from that?

  • Periscope Marketing

    Of course one of the biggest challenges is to get YOUR audience to download and install the app!

  • Love Periscope. Total game changer.

  • rich birch

    Of course … you should follow Carey as well! He’s got some great stuff going on Periscope!