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Phil Cooke Podcast

Feb 18, 2020

In today’s digital age, church communications need to be a priority for pastors. Phil Cooke offers help on leading teams, best church websites, research and development labs and more to help you get your message out to a greater audience.


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Do you have a message or story the world needs to hear? As a Hollywood producer and media consultant, I offer advice for leaders and creatives each week on filmmaking, digital media, publishing, strategy, communication, leadership, culture and faith – to help you get from where you are to where you want to be in your career.


More about this episode: My 5 Communication Priorities If I Were a Pastor

Pastors have many responsibilities, but one of the most important priorities for church leaders should be communication. After all, “preaching the gospel” is a primary task, and if your message isn’t being heard or making an impact, then what’s the point?


With that in mind, here are five key decisions that if I were a pastor, would be on my priority list:


  1. Learn how to lead creative people.You may be leading a very small church, but as you grow, you need to surround yourself with creative people. In a world where capturing people’s attention is incredibly important, a great creative team will help you grow.


  1. Your church website should be primarily focused on potential visitors.From my experience, virtually 100% of new visitors will check you out online before they visit. Make it incredibly easy on your site for a new visitor to find out who you are, where you are, what time your services begin, and why they should visit.


  1. Understand that your Sunday message is the point of the spear for everything you communicate all week.One of the biggest challenges I find in churches is that the pastor preaches a message in the pulpit, but then the church’s social media tells a different message, the website tells another message, and the email blasts or print pieces tell still another message. 


Never forget this: Whatever theme the pastor is preaching on should be reflected in every communication platform of the church. Redundancy builds trust and drives the message in deep. When you aim all your communication guns in one direction it makes a huge impact, so get everyone on the same team, and get them following the lead of the pastor.


  1. Create a research and development lab in your church.An R&D lab is about trying new ideas, experimenting, failing, and learning from failure. If we’re going to make an impact in today’s changing, disruptive culture, we need the courage and support to push the envelope. Fail fast, so you can get back on the right track.


You never know what will create a breakthrough until you give it a shot so start encouraging your team to worry less about failure and more about creative thinking.


  1. Be ruthless in positioning a team around you.I can’t express how much a creative team can amplify your message and ministry. The problem is, most churches put very little effort into selecting the members of that team. Hire slow and fire fast. 


Remember that the stakes are high, and to maximize your calling and ministry, you need the best people in the right positions. Stop trying to scrimp and save a few bucks, and stretch to find the right people. You won’t regret it.


None of this is meant to minimize the importance of preaching the gospel message, service to the community, or discipling believers. However, none of that will happen if you can’t communicate your message. I’d love to know your reaction to my priorities…



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