Branding Faith

Lessons from Phil Cooke

Recently, I was at a conference in which Phil Cooke spoke. I had heard of Phil before, but I didn’t know a lot about him. He’s actually a writer, producer, media consultant, and perhaps the Christian media’s biggest critic. Although, he’s quick to point out, he criticizes because he loves.

PhilCooke

On the first night of the conference, Phil shared a wealth of knowledge on media, culture, and how churches can make the most of both. Check out the list below.

  1. In a media driven culture visibility is just as important as ability.

People today are spending more hours viewing media than they are sleeping each day. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. What advertisers have learned is that the more they put their product in front of your face, the more likely you are to purchase it. Churches must have the same mindset.

  1. In today’s culture, everything communicates.

Research has been done to show that people make decisions faster than ever. Church guests will make a decision whether to come back or not before they ever hear the band or preacher. This means your parking lot and foyer are just as important as what’s happening inside the sanctuary.

  1. The digital universe is unforgiving.

One hundred years ago it would take days, weeks, or even months for a major news story to make its way to most people. Now, it happens in seconds, and it doesn’t have to be major news, it can be as simple as you falling off the stage or having a slip of the tongue.

  1. Understand the power of a name.

Names are more important than we realize. If your denomination is in your church name, just know you’ve eliminated a large segment of people from ever visiting your church. Your church may be awesome, but if someone has had a bad experience at another church of the same denomination, they will lump you together.

  1. Speak the language of design.

Design is important, just ask Apple, Nike, or Starbucks. If you want to reach new people, you have to keep your design fresh. This means many churches need to do away with the pictures of doves, flames, and flags.

  1. It’s time to get serious about social media.

If Facebook were a country, it would have the largest population in the world. Yes, there’s a lot of junk on there, but the opportunity to reach people with the message of Jesus is unlike any we’ve ever had before.

  1. Know the story you need to tell.

In order to maximize your church’s voice, everyone needs to be telling the same story. You don’t need your Sunday School Director saying one thing and your Children’s Director saying another, everyone should be on the same page.

  1. Answer the question, why should I care.

Gone are the days when people felt guilt and shame for not going to church. Most just don’t think it’s important anymore. Before they’re willing to listen to your message, they want to know why they should care.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this list and how your engaging the culture around you. Let us know in the comments below, and if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered straight to your inbox.

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