In July 2022, Influence Lab co-founders Phil and Kathleen Cooke were invited to Rome, Italy, to speak at a much-anticipated global conference for church and marketplace leaders.
The conference, privately hosted in a different city each year, keeps the name and invitation-only membership anonymous—a layer of protection set in place for good reason. Throughout the meetings, Phil and Kathleen were particularly moved by the unity between attending Russian and Ukrainian pastors, discussing ways to bring relief to their people amid the ongoing conflict
“Christians are working together to solve these problems,” Kathleen commented. “And we saw that even in the suffering, there is such joy.”
Other remarkable moments of the conference included reports from fellow members sharing their missions’ work as they rescue children from war-torn nations, build homes in the Middle East, and strategize to overcome food shortages.
“Being a part of this global organization of pastors, ministers, non-profits, and marketplace business leaders was inspiring,” Kathleen said.
They weren’t home for long when Phil was the featured speaker for an online event hosted by Christian Media & Arts Australia. The organization of Christian communication and media professionals across that country asked Phil to speak on his new book “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking.”
He’s also been on a speaking tour with Christian media conferences in Memphis and Atlanta this past week, discussing his new book and how creativity can transform our effectiveness with the gospel.
Your partnership matters! Your gifts to The Influence Lab help us train Christian leaders worldwide to share the gospel in today’s digital age effectively. The gospel message never changes, but how we share it does. Give here.
As a thank-you for your gift of $35.00 or more, we’re offering partners their choice of several books by Phil and Kathleen Cooke. Find out more here (and consider becoming a monthly partner!)
When the pandemic began in March 2020, one of the nations it struck hardest was Italy. Phil and I were booked to speak in Milan that year, but with the country on lockdown, our trip was cancelled. We were pleased to finally reschedule for late October this year and experience first-hand that God is alive and well in His Church in Italy.
Under the leadership of Pastor Roselem Boerner Faccio, Sabaoth Church is thriving in Milan. The city is known as one of the top global fashion and design cities in the world and Sabaoth’s congregation is infused with an abundance of creativity. They have tapped into the Source of all creativity, our Creator God, and the church has been blessed to an overflowing community of talented artists.
Phil and I were honored to speak to these artists, designers and leaders (mostly 20-40 year-olds) who are passionate to personally know God more fully and tell others of His love and redemptive life. This thriving young church understands that to reach this next generation it must include the use of effective media.
Phil spoke to their Bible training school, Hanger28, and then both he and I spoke at multiple sessions of Sabaoth’s annual gathering called Conference One. While the 1000 seat auditorium was still under governmental restrictive use, 300 people were able to attend in person with over 1500 viewing online.
Phil spoke on leadership and the practical use of media, messaging and branding, as well as on how to effectively connect with people in the digital age. I brought insights on understanding and communicating to multi-generations: the boomers, millennials and iGens who now use media 24/7. If we want to reach the culture with the love and gospel of Jesus we must understand what they see and hear and have a firm grasp on what will resonate with their thinking.
It was then off to Istanbul, Turkey for five days as we toured the city’s rich historical and religious sites. While there, we connected with a group working with business leaders and students and shared at their gathering. We gave them tips on the best use of digital media while letting the light and love of God shine forth when asked questions. It was an interesting social climate as those working in this underground grass roots ministry constantly reminded us that the group was being watched and listened to and that their class could be shut down at any moment.
For Phil and I, it was a good reminder of how blessed we are to live in a country that still allows for freedom of faith and thought, while people in other nations live in fear. One of the only ways to reach out to those seeking the truth of God in these religiously restrained countries is through media. It’s why training and encouraging those working in these restricted countries is so vital.
Traveling globally with the ongoing pandemic was a challenge. Yet, the joy of sharing and teaching on the frontlines in other countries was joyous and rewarding. The need to teach and train leaders with the effective use of media continues to be great and never ending as we are constantly asked, “When can you come?”
Phil and I and the entire Influence Lab team are always blessed when we hear from you and are encouraged by your prayers and support for us. We are so very grateful. Our pray for you this New Year, 2022, is that God will bring you joy and continue to bless your coming and going as we all seek to see Jesus lifted high and His Kingdom flourish. -Kathleen Cooke
Your partnership makes a difference! Consider a year-end gift to The Influence Lab and help us continue to meet the need for training leaders to use digital media effectively to share the gospel. The gospel message never changes, but in this digital age, how we share it does. Give here.
Special offer! As a thank you for your generous partnership of $25.00 or more to The Influence Lab, you’ll have your choice of these books by Phil and Kathleen Cooke:
Maximize Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry, and You
Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted Culture (New paperback edition!)
Unique: The Ultimate Planner for Creative Professionals
Give your gift today!