Periscope is the shiniest new app on the social media landscape for many. Breaking out this Spring in Austin at South by SouthWest, and backed by Twitter, it is still too early to know whether Periscope will mark the next big movement in social media connectedness or just be a momentary blip on our current landscape of cultural over-communication.
This ability to live stream from a handheld device and instantaneously interact with live viewers certainly opens new doors of connectedness. It also allows comedians like Jim Gaffigan to play Jenga with his family before an audience of thousands… Just the break-through this divided nation has been clamoring for!
No longer bound by Twitter’s still images or Vine’s 12-second clips, all are now free to slip the surly bounds of just showing-off what unique and unusual food we are having for dinner, to finally allow a global audience to watch us eat it. And then share a heart emotion with each resonant bite!
Christian thought-leaders across the country have already started to acknowledge the opportunities within this emerging portal of daily life. Will Mancini speaks directly to Pastors and leaders on WHY Periscope should be on your radar in this thoughtful post.
Personally, after observing many ‘scopers inside of both church and cultural spheres, I have three initial Depth-Charges for the somewhat early adopters on effectively raising your Periscope in the ocean of ministry leadership.
Depth-Charge #1: Have a Point. When the ‘scoper is focused on a particular topic or subject matter-at-hand, viewers can gain a sense of what to expect and themselves be an invitational gateway within their circle of friends. Leaders may wield even more influence or cultivate greater impact when the subject matter is a point of passion or expertise. A pastor sharing real-time thoughts from daily personal Bible study, or even techniques they use to dive behind the initial reading of the text, can strengthen a culture of dependance on God. I recently watched a people development guru talk about how he reads a leadership book. Instantly I gained a new approach to a daily habit of mine, as well as shared passion from this leader. Other celebrities inside and outside of the church may just raise their periscope and start talking to build a following, leaders seeking to make an impact will have a point to their Periscope and nurture spiritual growth in their viewers.
Leaders seeking to make an impact will have a point to their Periscope and nurture spiritual growth in their viewers.
Depth-Charge #2: Be Relational. Never before have we had the ability to see the “whole picture” behind the chin-up, hips-swiveled, perfect-framed world of social media. Give your viewers an opportunity to step outside of the frame, and see the context of your work, the people in your life, or the chaos in which you create. You never know what kind of hope or inspiration your existence outside of a headshot can provide. Pastors burrowed in their inner-room study complete with personal toilet and escape-hatch back door can safely invite their congregations to see them in a new, if-not fluorescent light. If I had periscope as a student pastor, you could bank on me “raiding” kids rooms while they were helplessly watching on their phone from Chemistry class, with parents snickering a safe and fulfilling satisfaction in the background. The point is to share more than your brilliant thoughts or ideas, share a bit of your uncurated, real life.
The point is to share more than your brilliant thoughts or ideas, share a bit of your uncurated, real life.
Depth-Charge #3: Interact. This is the real breakthrough of Periscope: real-time interaction. As users jump into the feed, welcome and acknowledge them. As comments and questions come rolling by, answer and respond. What an opportunity for a group of leaders who have the greatest message in the world to engage in thoughtful dialogue as opposed to just blasting messages. What if a pastor flipped on their Periscope every Sunday night to recap the message from that morning and answer questions from congregants that help apply and cement learning? In a multi-site situation, Periscope can bridge the two-dimensional video-venue divide with very little effort. You will likely have to ignore the idiots and skip the sarcastic comments… unbelievers might even view your thread and say rude things. How horrible it would be to have to demonstrate salt and light for your congregants in a gracious and loving way! Periscope may be your avenue to stop talking-at and start talking-to people around you who are far-from, or growing-in, Christ.
Periscope may be your avenue to stop talking-at and start talking-to people around you who are far-from, or growing-in, Christ.
Listen, Periscope may not amount to anything, or it could be the next big thing.
Either way Church leaders have the opportunity to share vision for what matters most in a timely, relevant if not really culturally-chic way.