Periscope: What it is and How to use it at your Church


As of May 2015, Andriod users can choose between 1.5 million apps. Apple’s App Store contained over 1.4 million apps ( We certainly can’t get excited about every one. But it looks like Periscope is here to stay.

What is Periscope?
Periscope is a live video streaming platform, which means you can transmit a live recording of yourself to your Periscope and Twitter followers. It lets you “discover the world through someone else’s eyes”. Whoever is watching your broadcast can comment and ask questions. These show up on your screen while you’re broadcasting.
You can answer and interact – they can see and hear you, and you can see their comments. This platform is owned by Twitter and when you’re broadcasting, the transmission appears on your Twitter newsfeed letting your followers know when you’re live.

How do I use it?


1. Download the app.
The Periscope app is available for your Android or iOS device. It’s free.
Be sure to allow notifications so you know when your friends or followers are broadcasting.


2. Sign Up using your Twitter account.
Periscope is owned by Twitter so you must have a Twitter account to use it. Here’s a snapshot of my iPhone when I first signed up:




3. View other broadcasts.
Periscope will give you an opportunity to discover the world the way you never could on your own. You can view broadcasts from other people’s phones all over the world. You can even interact with the broadcaster, asking questions, commenting, or encourage them by tapping the screen to send hearts (Periscope “measures” popularity by the number of ‘hearts’ or likes any given Periscope user has).




4. Broadcast!
Periscope lets you broadcast live to anyone in the world who wants to watch. Once you start a broadcast, Periscope lets all your followers know you’re live.  Be sure to create a good title. It needs to be short, descriptive and something that would entice viewers to watch.



What kinds of videos would I find on Periscope?


-You can find someone broadcasting their life like a self-made movie, a la “The Truman Show”.

This may sound uninteresting at first, but think about celebrities, reporters, movie & television producers, policemen, and other professions where you could see someone else’s work up close and personal.

-You can find people sightseeing in places you may never get to go.


-You can find musicians, politicians, actors, artists and all kinds of people in ways you never could. For instance, Jimmy Fallon tests his monologue material, Ellen Degeneres broadcasts idea meetings with her staff, musicians talk about their latest album, bystanders broadcast breaking news.

What significance does Periscope have on the Church?


I think this app could be a game changer in the way we share the Gospel with the world.


-Imagine a missionary that your church sponsors broadcasting live to your congregation inside a worship service showing their living conditions, sharing updates, and meeting the people that have been changed because of your church’s mission dollars.


-Imagine broadcasting a sermon, Bible study, Vacation Bible School, or Youth Camp live to parents, shut-ins, missionaries, and partners all over the world. (In the app, you can make your broadcasts private and select only the people you want to see your broadcast.)


-Imagine people using Periscope to minister to each other or their community. You could broadcast Birthday messages, hospital visits, mission trip updates, encouraging messages, and more.

Want some ideas for using Periscope at your Church? Check out this article:

“15 Ways to Use Periscope at your Church”

Let’s not shy away from using technological advances to share the Gospel and love one another.


What do you think about this new app? Leave a comment below.

About the Author_02

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Creative Director / Owner
[twelve:thirty]media | Columbia, SC

Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he produced media content for four campuses, as well as led volunteer teams.

He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. Newspring has 10 campuses across the state with a weekly attendance of over 35,000. At one campus alone, the number of consistent volunteers serving in media production tripled, under his leadership.

He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of [twelve:thirty]media, a company that serves churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.

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