2023 Report: The Influence Lab – Influence Women

2023 Report: The Influence Lab – Influence Women

2023 was a year of IMPACT for The Influence Lab and its women’s initiative, Influence Women.

Thank you to the many generous friends who partnered with us to provide media and digital strategy training and support to ministry leaders in multiple nations including:

 

 

  • Brazil
  • India
  • Russia
  • Canada
  • Amsterdam
  • South Africa
  • Thailand

The breadth of the impact literally numbers into the millions with speaking and training events attended by influential pastors and ministry leaders as well as Christian communicators and businessmen.

Here are a few highlights…

  • Pastor Paulo Mazoni leads the 20,000 member church in Belo Horizonte.

    One event in Brazil was attended by 150 pastors from across the nation responsible for nearly four million church members, while another event was attended by 7,000 pastors, church and small group leaders. Yet another was attended by 20,000 church leaders and members at one of the largest church in Brazil.

  • In just this year alone, Phil’s “Maximize Your Influence” book has been translated into Portuguese, Russian, Tamil (India), and Indonesian, training pastors with effective digital strategies for their churches and ministries.
  • What began as a simple Russian translation of Phil Cooke’s “Maximize Your Influence – How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry, and You” has evolved into a bi-annual training program for evangelical pastors and ministry leaders across Russia.
  • Participants in the Thailand meetings included leaders from the Christian TV station in Seoul, South Korea, independent producers from across the nation, and pastors and church media leaders from churches throughout Asia.

Influence Women exploded with growth in 2023.

  • Focused on raising a new generation of professional female leaders in media, entertainment and the arts, its mentorship and leadership programs provide a powerful platform for women to be a force for change in the entertainment industry.

    Influence Women gathered at NRB 2023.

  • First launched in Hollywood, Influence Women has grown to include chapters in production hubs across the country, including Orange County, California; Atlanta and Nashville with a new chapter launching in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2024!
  • The Influence Women podcast released its first episode November 2024. Hosted by Kathleen Cooke and featuring film and television industry professionals, this new platform presents another way to inspire women in the arts in their faith and careers.
  • Influence Women are developing and creating projects – films, books, podcasts and other creative works – that influence our culture in positive ways.

For more, read the year’s The Influence Lab news reports here.

Thank you, Influence Lab partners, for making this year a year of impact. Your generosity is making a difference as the gospel is being shared in effective and creative ways at home and abroad.

We are grateful for considering us a trusted organization whose heart is to fulfill the greatest commission given – to tell of God’s great love and redemption. 

Phil and Kathleen Cooke
Founders
The Influence Lab/Influence Women

2024 promises to be another busy year. Kathleen’s keeping her suitcase packed and her running shoes on!

Traveling North! Equipping Pastors and Christian Business Leaders in Canada

Traveling North! Equipping Pastors and Christian Business Leaders in Canada

This week, Phil and Kathleen Cooke have their bags packed for Canada! They’ll be speaking at two conferences in Winnipeg, organized by the Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization (ELO). The first conference is tailored towards Christian business leaders and entrepreneurs, while the second is geared towards local pastors in Winnipeg and the surrounding area.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital world, one of the most critical skills in business and ministry is the ability to lead creative people. “It’s the designers, filmmakers, video producers, writers, composers, and other creative professionals that will drive an organization’s message, awareness, and marketing,” Phil Cooke commented.

“It’s the designers, filmmakers, video producers, writers, composers, and other creative professionals that will drive an organization’s message, awareness, and marketing,” —Phil Cooke

He will be teaching the business leaders the art of leading creative teams, and during the pastor’s conference, he will conduct an interactive Q&A session to address and offer strategic solutions as they incorporate digital media in their outreach efforts. He added, “ELO is an incredibly effective network raising a generation of visionary Christian leaders. I’m honored to be asked to share techniques to inspire and motivate these amazing teams.”

“Sex Trafficking, Starving Children, and World Peace: Three Reasons Why You Should Care About Women Working in Media” is Kathleen’s topic for the business leadership conference as she advocates for women. “As we face major global disruptions to our society, we need women in the media and arts industries with a biblical worldview,” she shared. “We need them empowered, trained, and ignited to create artistic projects and stories that resonate and affect the culture. I am thrilled to be that voice for women at this conference.”

The training sessions this week, and in November as Phil and Kathleen travel to Vancouver for more ELO-sponsored events, offer a broader picture of how The Influence Lab is elevating the message of pastors, leaders and Christian communicators worldwide.

Want to make a difference? Give your gift today and support the work of The Influence Lab and Influence Women. Plus, you’ll receive a special “thank you” for your gift of $35 or more!
Give your gift and check out this special offer here.

Thank you, Influence Lab partners!
Because of you, we can impact Christian communicators in Canada this week. The media and digital training that Phil and Kathleen bring to these leaders will elevate their strategies and increase their impact in promoting Christian values and worldviews through their organizations.

India Report: Digital Media Strategies Strengthen the Church

India Report: Digital Media Strategies Strengthen the Church

Phil and Kathleen Cooke spent eleven days in India this September, teaching and training Christian media professionals from across the nation. The trip was timely and the training well-received. Here’s an update on the trip, with special thanks to our generous Influence Lab partners who helped make it possible.

Phil reports:
Around the world, digital missions and the strategic use of media are more critical than ever before! This was our seventh trip to India where we have long-standing relationships with pastors, church media professionals, and independent filmmakers, who are creating remarkable media projects for sharing the gospel in a country that is only 2.4% Christian. Through multiple meetings, we were able to equip them with practical strategies and inspire them in their efforts.

Also, alongside Ron Harris (MedaAlliance International), we were featured speakers at a media conference held at Madras Christian College—recognized as one of Asia’s oldest educational institutions. While there, we explored the university’s Innovation Center where students study video production, graphic design, art, and computer technology. It’s a great testament to their desire to learn and grow in the skills that will enable them to share the gospel effectively in today’s digital culture.

Media professionals and church leaders gathered for the training.

We also spoke to media and drama students at The Women’s Christian College, a campus with 4,000 students in Chennai. Our overall goal throughout the trip and with every interaction was to encourage this generation of filmmakers, television producers, social media creators, and church communication professionals, helping them access digital strategies for greater success in their endeavors.

Kathleen reports:
It’s a long way to India from the U.S., and at times my human body gets weary, but I’m energized when I see how God is building His global Kingdom.

Many Christian organizations face challenges daily as they share the gospel, yet their joy and enthusiasm to learn and grow in media skills never wavers. Seeing their faith in action reminds me of the power of God to overcome and bring miraculous provision, protection, and joy.

I was re-energized when I received this WhatsApp message from one of the female participants:

“Thank you for coming to India… I’m very grateful that you were willing to come halfway around the world and bless us with your experience, observations, and wisdom. Your words were impactful, and the Lord has certainly used them to speak to me. I know it spoke to others as well.”

The colorful heritage of India brings a rich element to all forms of media and art.

Thank you for supporting The Influence Lab and Influence Women and allowing us to bring words of relief and God’s creative infusion to his “boots on the ground” in India. We are the Church, and united we stand.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40)

Partner with The Influence Lab!
Your support is needed more than ever as The Influence Lab continues teaching and training Christian media professionals in the most remote and challenging places on the earth. With more international trips planned for 2023 and 2024, your generous partnership paves the way to bring strategic media and digital training to the nations. 

Join us in making a lasting impact! Give your gift here.
Check out the special offers when you give a generous gift of $35.00 or more!

Do Not Travel: The Increasing Importance of the Russian Translation Project

Do Not Travel: The Increasing Importance of the Russian Translation Project

You Can Still Make a Difference
On February 12, 2023, the U.S. Embassy issued a travel advisory for Russia: Do not travel.1 They’ve also told U.S. citizens to leave Russia immediately. “U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately,” the U.S. embassy in Moscow said, and also warned, “Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.”2

Russian pastors are working hard to bring the gospel truth to people.

Russian pastors gather. They’re working hard to bring the gospel truth to their country.

These travel restrictions place an increasing importance on The Influence Lab’s Russian Translation Project. At this point, over 7,000 evangelical pastors are waiting for printed and digital copies of Phil Cooke’s “Maximize Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry and You.” Already translated into Russian, we have not yet met the need for these books to go to print.

And, because of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the travel restrictions, we must be extremely careful in getting the funds into the hands of our inside people for this project to continue. In the interest of protecting our inside sources from possible persecution, we cannot share names, but these are trusted people who—if we can get the funds physically into their hands—will oversee the printing and distribution of this much-needed book.

“We can’t release names or photos,” said Phil Cooke, “but this is our chance to help make things happen from the inside. These pastors desperately need the tools that will help them share the gospel in today’s digital age and counteract propaganda with truth.”

“Maximize Your Influence” will equip Russian pastors with digital strategies to share the gospel.

Endorsed by YouVersion’s founder Bobby Gruenewald, OneHope president Rob Hoskins and Avail leadership consultant Sam Chand,Maximize Your Influence” helps pastors navigate the digital age. The book equips ministry leaders in the mindset and messaging that will engage audiences in today’s digital generation. In countries like Russia where access to training in digital media strategies is limited, it’s a critical resource.

Because of the political climate and the challenge of going under the radar, the total needed for this project is now estimated at $25,000.

Can you help? We’re seeking partners to consider generous gifts of $10,000, $5,000 $500 or even $50.

You can still make a difference. Let’s support these Russian pastors and help them know they are not alone. Give here.

 

 

The Influence Lab is a Guidestar participant, demonstrating its commitment to transparency. View our 2023 2023 Candid Seal of Transparency on Guidestar here.

1https://ru.usembassy.gov/travel-advisory-russia-do-not-travel-february-12-2023/

2https://www.reuters.com/world/us/united-states-tells-citizens-depart-russia-immediately-2023-02-13/

Italy and Turkey – A Long Awaited Trip During the Pandemic

Italy and Turkey – A Long Awaited Trip During the Pandemic

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!