Cyprus Update 2024 – Christian Media Outreach in the Muslim World

Cyprus Update 2024 – Christian Media Outreach in the Muslim World

“The place where the Apostle Paul and Barnabas preached 2,000 years ago is becoming a launching pad for reaching the Middle East and North Africa with the gospel.” – Phil Cooke, Co-Founder, The Influence Lab

Influence Lab partners are making a difference in Muslim countries. Phil and Kathleen Cooke traveled to the island country of Cyprus in April, joining Ron Harris and MediAlliance International to meet with proven media leaders working in the Muslim world in a confidential gathering.

Representing countries like Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco, the invitation-only gathering included leaders from SAT-7, a satellite network focused on the Middle East and North Africa, along with program producers, animators, and Christian educators from other nations – all producing Christian programming and resources for Arab and Persian audiences.

Phil reports, “The discussions were intense and fruitful, potentially paving the way for a new era in Christian media’s outreach to the Muslim world.” (Read Phil’s full report below.)

Thank you, Influence Lab partners!
Your financial gifts and prayers towards the mission of The Influence Lab have far-reaching impact in enabling pastors and Christian communicators to share the gospel in the digital age.

Next up, Kathleen will be in the UK in June and then we’re taking a full team to Ghana this August. Ready to partner with us?  Give your generous gift here. 

Cyprus is becoming a launching pad for reaching the Middle East and North Africa with the gospel.

Here’s Phil’s full report on Cyprus:
The place where the Apostle Paul and Barnabas preached 2,000 years ago is becoming a launching pad for reaching the Middle East and North Africa with the gospel…

Over the years, I’ve been invited to numerous conferences and strategy sessions on a variety of subjects, from world evangelism to Bible translation to media.

In most cases, the result of the effort is a printed “report” of the conversations, ideas, and proposals. And, in most cases, those reports get filed away in a vault somewhere, not that different from the Ark of the Covenant being stored in an unknown government warehouse at the end of the movie Indiana Jones.

Needless to say, I don’t go back to those conferences because my personality defaults toward action. Thinking and talking is fine, but at some point, I want to act.

One reason we launched The Influence Lab a number of years ago is to help the global Church understand that in today’s digital age, we need to re-think the definition of “missions.” The idea of global missions isn’t just about geographical boundaries anymore; it’s also about digital boundaries.

And if we don’t develop an effective strategy for including the media in fulfilling the Great Commission, we’ll fall short.

The discussions were intense and fruitful, potentially paving the way for a new era in Christian media’s outreach to the Muslim world.

That’s why Kathleen and I were thrilled to join Ron Harris and Media Alliance this past week in Cyprus. Ron and his team have been working in this part of the world for years, developing relationships and building trust. We invited proven media leaders working in the Muslim world to a confidential gathering, and the discussions were intense and fruitful, potentially paving the way for a new era in Christian media’s outreach to the Muslim world.

This gathering was a small group of about 17 leaders, and they represented countries like Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco. They included leaders from SAT-7, a satellite network focused on the Middle East and North Africa, along with program producers, animators, and Christian educators from other nations- all producing Christian programming and resources for Arab and Persian audiences.

As Americans, we can’t travel to many of these countries right now, but they can come out, so we picked the island country of Cyprus because of its strategic location in relation to the Middle East and North Africa.

The first thing you discover is that each country and culture is different, and a strategy for one doesn’t necessarily work for others.

That’s why our goal was to encourage local indigenous leaders to produce programming for audiences they know and understand.

Obviously, much of what we discussed has to stay confidential because of the high-pressure environment where they are working. I was reminded of a similar session we led in Cairo a number of years ago that included two experienced Iranian filmmakers. After the training, they left behind their study notes because they couldn’t take the chance of Iranian customs officials discovering them in their luggage.

But our hope is that the discussions we had this week will lead to future opportunities for sessions that will include training, strategy, and inspiration and grow to include more Christian program producers, filmmakers, social media experts, church media producers, and others.

And I can tell you this: the stories we heard of Muslims whose lives had been transformed after watching or listening to Christian media programming were incredible. Remember that places in the Muslim world where Christian missionaries cannot go are still accessible by media. And it’s worth mentioning that a younger generation of Muslims is growing dissatisfied with the hypocrisy they see in the lives of their religious leaders and are looking elsewhere for purpose and fulfillment.

That’s why this moment is so important.

It’s your prayers, financial support, and encouragement that are making this happen. I’ll keep you updated in future posts as I receive reports of the ideas and strategies being introduced across the Middle East and North Africa.

There is amazing news to come!

Partner with The Influence Lab here. 

This article first appeared on PhilCooke.com here.

A Dream to Help Pastors and Leaders in Indonesia

A Dream to Help Pastors and Leaders in Indonesia

One of the greatest needs of Indonesia is more mature spiritual leaders1 and a new translation of Phil Cooke’s book, Maximize Your Influence—How to Make Digital Ministry Work for Your Church, Your Ministry, and You, is a catalyst toward that growth. The Indonesian translation project began when Phil and Kathleen were recently in Bangkok conducting media training sessions when Paulus Wiratno, speaker, author, and founder of Mercy Indonesia shared his passion to train pastors and media leaders throughout Indonesia.

“My dream is to help pastors and leaders learn and maximize the media ministry to reach Indonesia,” shared Wiratno. A country that is predominantly Muslim (80.3%) and only 15.9% Christian, the need for the gospel in Indonesia is enormous.

However—the opportunities available through digital media are tremendous. Equipping these Christian ministry leaders with effective digital strategies can have far-reaching effects.

“This translation project is a good example that while we in America and Europe take being ‘savvy’ with social media, video, streaming, and other platforms for granted,” commented Phil Cooke, “there is a significant need in many countries for that kind of training—especially when it comes to sharing the gospel.”

The translation and publishing project is underway and should be available soon, with an initial print run of 2,000 copies. With Phil’s “Maximize Your Influence” book translated, a new opportunity opens…

New Partner Opportunity – Bali Media Training, June 2024
Planning is in the works to conduct media training for Indonesian pastors and Christian communicators in June 2024. Paulus is our local leader for this training session, and we will use Bali as a central point for pastors and media leaders from across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

A partnership venture of MediAlliance International and The Influence Lab, training workshops offer a learning environment for ministry leaders to elevate their media skills. The intense training environment helps them gain a deeper grasp of digital strategies which extend their reach and effectiveness.

Can you help? With the help of generous partners in this important work, we can turn the heart of a nation towards the Lord Jesus Christ. As plans develop for Bali Media Training June 2024, your gifts now will help us confirm that dates and secure the best rates for travel.

Plus—if you give now, you can get your own copy of “Maximize Your Influence” as a special thank-you!*

Let’s turn this nation to God! Give your gift today >>

*Special partner offer! For your generous gift of $35 or more to The Influence Lab, you’ll receive one of Phil or Kathleen’s books as a special thank you! Choose your print or eBook when you give here.

There’s more! Sign up as a monthly partner with a recurring gift of $35 or more and choose two books. We can do so much more when we partner together. Give your recurring gift here.

 

 1Operation World, https://operationworld.org/locations/indonesia/