Live Streaming Apps and Ministry

meerkat-periscope

There have been many times that I have wanted to live stream something as part of a student ministry service.  There are so many great games that I’d love to start in another part of the church and finish in our student area.  Many interviews I’d love to conduct that would involve another location.  However, live streaming a couple of years ago was a huge hassle.  Now it’s just an app and iPhone (sorry droids) away!

Meerkat – This was the first app that allowed live streaming.  It works through Twitter.  You can do a live feed open to all of our followers.  It sends a message to your followers when you are doing a live feed.

Periscope – Twitter just released this app that also does live streaming.  Because it is a competitor, Twitter is blocking some of Meerkat’s usage.  The thing that Periscope does that Meerkat doesn’t is you can replay the video at a later time.  It also doesn’t have the 6 second or 15 second time limit that Vine and Instagram have.  However, Meerkhat has all of the momentum and key celebrities are already promoting the Meerkhat brand.

3 quick thoughts:

1.  The bad – uncensored, live streaming will have some negative impact.  Teenagers and young adults will use this in ways that are inappropriate.  Plus it is a new app platform that parents probably won’t even know about for 6 months.  A good write up in a parent newsletter or blog might help parents as they try to figure out tech boundaries.

2.  Relationships – Instead of having a teacher/volunteer training where they have to get in their car and meet at the church, you could use this tech.  It would help some of your folks to better understanding the tech that students will be using.  Also, they can interact with you through Twitter.  If your adults aren’t ready, use this for a 20 minute lesson during the week with students.  You can make it fun, on location in your city, and get a valuable connection with them.

3.  Programming – As I mentioned earlier, there are a ton of ways to use this on Wednesday nights.  You could have someone on location in another part of the church or even the city.  You could live feed a mission trip event into your service.  Students could tweet with the person doing the live feed.

I would encourage you to read up on these 2 apps, download them, and think how they can benefit your ministry.

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