In a recent interview on the Philippines-based television network Light TV, Phil Cooke offered encouragement and inspiration for young Filipinos with aspirations towards media careers. The interview was a follow-up to a series of sessions Phil conducted for communication and media leaders from churches across Manila in 2018. At the time, Phil and his wife Kathleen were in Manila teaching at the 60,000 member Christ’s Commission Church with Pastor Peter Tan Chi.
Light TV offers motivational and inspirational programming that communicates hope and is one of the fastest-growing channels on Free TV in the Philippines. Light TV Host Tomi Shane Ng was influenced to use the medium of television to share the gospel after reading Phil’s book, co-written by Jonathan Bock, “The Way Back.” Blessed by Phil’s teaching, the recent interview was prompted by Ng’s desire for young Filipinos to hear Phil’s life story.
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April 29th at 5pm PT – 7pm CT – 8pm ET | ZOOM.US
Develop a personal social media strategy that brings healing and hope! It’s not uncommon to have a clearly defined social media strategy for our businesses or ministries, but how many of us have fully developed our reason “why” for our own social platforms?
In this free online Influence Lab Women’s event, you’ll find purpose and practical application to share your faith in life-giving ways on social media. Plus, you’ll gain an awareness of the forces behind censorship and how to protect yourself online. Hosted by media executive and co-founder of The Influence Lab, Kathleen Cooke and joined by social media expert Meghan Speer and development executive Laura Woodworth, you’ll be inspired and empowered to be an influential voice in the online social sphere.
Free event – RSVP today! CLICK HERE (And please share. Invite a friend!)
Leadership in a digital world is the new challenge for pastors and churches worldwide in the aftermath of COVID. In a recent interview by AVAIL Leadership magazine, Phil Cooke shares important information for pastors maneuvering the digital age with tips on leading virtually, maximizing your online church experience, and making sure your message is communicated in a way that audiences will understand and respond to.
“This is the moment for people of faith,” Cooke shares. “The need to share our message never changes, but how we share it does.” The article outlines Phil’s background and his journey from a pastor kid mowing the grass in the church cemetery to becoming a sought-after producer and media consultant for major ministries.
“Seminary does a good job of teaching how to preach, counsel and manage a church,” he notes within the interview. “But church leaders are often unprepared for how to use communication and media to expand their influence.”
Co-founder of the nonprofit The Influence Lab with wife Kathleen, and CEO of Cooke Media Group, Phil has encouraged pastors for years to use streaming technology to extend their reach. “Since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020, his efforts have increased exponentially, including teaching classes about online ministry for pastors in Russia, Europe, South America and Africa. Recently, he trained 50 pastors from a US-based network who are planting churches that will be 100 percent online,” cites Matt Green, the writer of the article and editorial director for AVAIL journal.
Co-founded by Sam Chand and Martijn Van Tilborgh, AVAIL reaches around the world with their quarterly journal. Past issues feature interviews by top church leaders such as John and Lisa Bevere, Christine Caine and Eric Petree. Phil’s interview can be found in the Winter 2021 issue.
Read “Behind the Lens: Media guru Phil Cooke on online church, virtual leadership and making your message stick in a digital world” here.
Find out how you can get a free year subscription to AVAIL here.
Influence Lab co-founder Phil Cooke was a featured teacher this month to more than 300 Russian pastors and church leaders. Coordinated by pastor and media leader Sergey Martyunichev, the pastor’s conference was sponsored by Word of Life Church in Moscow, with a request for Phil to teach best practices for live-streaming church services during the COVID lockdown across Russia.
With Coronavirus restrictions still in place in the nation, the Zoom event was very well received. The Russian pastors had more questions than time allowed in the online seminar.
Two years ago, Phil and Kathleen Cooke led an in-person multi-day session for Russian church communicators at Word of Life, Moscow, so The Influence Lab has an established work in the country. Phil’s book “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media” has already been published in the Russian language and his new book “Maximize Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry, and You” is currently being translated.
Can you help? Your partnership with The Influence Lab helps train pastors and communicators around the globe to effectively share the gospel in the digital age. For your generous gift of $25 or more, you’ll receive a copy of Phil’s new book “Maximize Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry, and You.” Click here to donate.
Although the pandemic has limited travel, it has also opened opportunity to reach more people through online events. Phil Cooke recently spoke at the Envision 2021: Online Pastors and Leaders Conference, January 25-28th hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). With daily events live from Jerusalem and more than 20 online sessions with key international figures, the event connected pastors, political and marketplace leaders from around the world.
The line-up of speakers included award winning author Kay Arthur, U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, South African author-evangelist Angus Buchan and more international leaders helping equip pastors to become “lighthouse leaders” in the world. Phil’s topic was especially relevant during the ongoing pandemic: Leadership in Times of Crisis.
With sessions interpreted into five languages, the Envision event is a sampling of what Phil and Kathleen Cooke are able to do through the generous donations of those who support the vision of The Influence Lab. With a digital missions mindset, we are equipping global leaders throughout the world!
We’d like to say we were shocked, but the truth is, we were expecting the criticism. My friend and marketing expert Jonathan Bock and I were asking people on the street what they thought about “Christians.” The response? Hypocritical, judgmental, harsh, phony, insensitive, bigoted, and exclusive. Not exactly the “Fruit of the Spirit” the Bible describes as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
That disconnect – the difference between what the Bible says we should be known for, and how those outside the Christian community actually describe us launched our new book project, “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility And How We Get It Back.”
We began the book thinking it was a marketing problem. After all, we’re media and marketing experts and know the power of a great marketing campaign. But when we examined the research from major organizations like Gallup, Barna, Pew, Lifeway, and others it didn’t take long to realize that we’re not living the kind of lives that would make anyone want to become like us.
To put it simply, we don’t have a marketing problem, we have a salesforce problem. Study after study reveals American Christians simply don’t believe in our product anymore. Can we turn it around? We believe we can, but not until we get serious about living the kind of life that astonishes the surrounding world. Remember in the gospels how people were “astonished” at the message of Jesus? But 2,000 years later, how many people are astonished at our message or our lives today?
If you’re serious about changing the direction of the culture, here are 8 good places to start:
1) Deepen Your Prayer Life – Research indicates that 37% of Christians don’t even think prayer is essential. That’s more than a third of American Christians! Our connection with God is rapidly being snuffed out, and we wonder why we’re losing our momentum.
2) Start Showing Up – The Hartford Institute of Religion found on a typical Sunday, only 20% of Christians show up at a church at all – which means 80% of American Christians aren’t. Over and over the New Testament calls us into a fellowship of believers. You can’t do that in your bedroom, so let’s get up and experience the power of joining together in worship.
3) Read Your Bible – LifeWay Research found that 40% of churchgoing Christians read the Bible “once a month, rarely or never.” That means when it comes to the primary book informing us about the God of the universe, His remarkable and unfolding plan for our lives, and our eternal destiny, Christians think so little of it that we read it only when it’s convenient. Maybe it’s time we rediscovered the power of God’s Word.
4) Get Serious about Giving – Only 10% of churchgoers give 10% or more of their income. Think of all the Christian work that never happens because we refuse to support it financially.
5) Become a better neighbor – Our friend and evangelist J John says, “You want to be a missionary? Great. Go next-door.” Who’s life could you impact on your own street or at your office? Don’t worry about changing the world until you change your neighborhood.
6) Be careful with politics – Vote, join a party, run for office. But keep the Church above the process. Think about it – the country is pretty evenly divided between parties, so when we drag the gospel into party politics, we’ve immediately alienated half of the country. How does that help the cause of Christ?
7) Be an example with your own family – Right now, the greatest hot-button issues in culture are about sex, gender, and marriage. What kind of impact could we make if Christians became known as the one group who are willing to go the distance to have amazing families? Being a powerful example would have far more impact than criticizing other people’s choices.
8) Do it all with joy – The greatest key to reflecting the fruit of the Spirit is that you never actually have to “witness” to people. Trust us, when you’re exhibiting traits like joy, love, and peace, people will come up to you and start asking about it! Living a joyous Christian life astonishes people and makes them curious about where your joy comes from.
All of our research for the book showed us that as a Christian community, we’re simply not living the kind of life that astonishes or amazes unbelievers. Can we turn it around? The first believers certainly did. During the first few generations of the Church, those believers had no money, no political power, no influence, and no plan. But they had one thing the 21st Century Church has forgotten about:
They believed so much in the reality of the gospel, they were willing to give up their possessions, their status, their reputations, and their lives. And because of the commitment, within a remarkably short time, their example turned the world upside down.
The question today is – is it easier to throw stones and blame others for Christianity’s disappearing impact, or take a hard look at ourselves and start showing the world a new way to live.
Maybe it’s time to try something “new.” Something that 2,000 years ago transformed the world.