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.

Global Opportunities Expand as MEDIAlliance International and The Influence Lab Announce New Partnership

Global Opportunities Expand as MEDIAlliance International and The Influence Lab Announce New Partnership

A new alliance between MEDIAlliance International and The Influence Lab offers expanded opportunities to strengthen and train Christian pastors and media leaders in global settings. 

Los Angeles, CA (May 23, 2023)— The power of partnership is being realized as MEDIAlliance International and The Influence Lab announce a new partnership committed to training and strengthening Christian pastors and media leaders on a global scale. The alliance expands upon a long-term friendship and like-minded ministry between MEDIAlliance president, Dr. Ron Harris and The Influence Lab founder, Dr. Phil Cooke.

With regional offices in Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Brazil, MEDIAlliance leads Christian leadership forums to help key media leaders increase their impact in sharing the gospel. Similarly, The Influence Lab offers training and equipping for pastors and Christian communicators in areas of the world where access to media training is not readily available. Although Phil Cooke has spoken at many MEDIAlliance forums, the strategic partnership offers opportunities for the two ministries to work more closely together for greater effect.

Harris expressed excitement at the expanded role that the partnership brings. “Phil Cooke is amazing at helping people think beyond the norm in communicating God’s truth,” said Harris. “His challenging insights take people to a different level in leadership and ministry.”

Cooke responded, “Ron Harris has done a remarkable job building offices in strategic countries. With that foundation, we have an amazing opportunity to engage with Christian media leaders around the world.”

The Influence Lab and Cooke Media Group, both founded by Phil Cooke, have influenced Christian media for many years. Cooke has worked with many of the most respected churches and ministries around the world and his books have become texts for leadership development and media training.

MEDIAlliance International began in 2013 as an extension of Ron Harris’s over fifty years in media, church leadership and broadcast ministry, as well as his service as a communication professor at university and seminary levels. MEDIAlliance currently works with Christian media leaders in over forty countries.

MEDIAlliance and The Influence Lab Prayer are seeking prayer and financial partners to join them in their united mission of training pastors and media leaders globally. As 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, gifts are tax-deductible.

Find out more at https://medialliance.cc and https://influencelab.com. Ron Harris and Phil Cooke will be at NRB 2023. To request an interview with Ron contact kyle@medialliance.cc  To request an interview with Phil, contact laura@cookemediagroup.com

About Ron Harris – President and Founder, MEDIAlliance
Dr. Ronald L. Harris has been around broadcasting for most of his life, beginning in radio almost 55 years ago. After serving two years as Assistant Professor of Communications and Special Assistant to the President at Dallas Baptist University, Ron Harris is the president of MEDIAlliance International. In that role, he links Christian broadcasters in the United States with those in various places worldwide to grow the impact of Christian broadcasting and the Gospel of Christ. Find out more at https://medialliance.cc

About Phil Cooke—Media Producer / Writer / Speaker / Coach
Helping creative leaders influence the world.
Phil Cooke, Ph.D., is co-founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles and the nonprofit The Influence Lab. Phil has produced media programming in nearly 70 countries and created many of the most influential inspirational TV programs in history with a client list that includes Hollywood studios, major nonprofit organizations, and many of the world’s most respected churches and ministries. He’s been called “one of the most innovative communicators of our generation.”  Find out more at philcooke.com.

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