Creatives: Perception Happens Faster Than Ever

As a speaker and writer, I’m becoming more and more fascinated with the concept of “perception.” After all, in today’s distracted and disrupted world, our perception of everything happens faster and faster. In fact, one study indicates that when we meet someone for the first time, we actually decide within the first 4-8 seconds what we think of that person. Now, scientists are looking at how quickly we make decisions, and a particular project focused on


The 7 Most Common Ways Pastors Shoot Themselves in the Foot

I love pastors. I work with them regularly and have the greatest admiration for what they do.  But when it comes to outside criticism, bad PR, or being attacked in the media, a significant number of instances are caused by pastors themselves – and I’ve discovered a number of common threads those pastors share. Nothing here is a theological or doctrinal issue, but they’re all red flags when it comes to outside media’s perceptions. And in today’s instant message, social media world, those perceptions matter. You may not care today, but I can name you many pastors and leaders down the ministry road who wished they had. Here’s the most common ways pastors and ministry leaders shoot themselves in the foot:


How To Turn The Tables On Your Critics

If you’re a leader in politics, ministry, business, or in the media here’s something important you need to know: In today’s digital culture, you can’t hide anymore. In the old days, politicians could hide a mistress, TV evangelists could hide their jets or mansions, and anyone could hide a DUI conviction, an old arrest, and more. But today, the river of information that flows into Google is just too vast. That’s why I strongly recommend that if you’re in the public eye, you need to


The Robert Tilton Farting Video and Christian Cultural Influence

You probably remember the (what else can I call it?) legendary farting video edited from clips from Robert Tilton’s former TV program. It was made a long time ago (who created it I have no idea), and while there are a multitude of variations now, at least one has racked up more than two million views. I bring it up because that notorious video popped up in a surprising place recently. The Hollywood Reporter featured a roundtable discussion with the producers of


What Could Christians Do To Change Their Perception?

What you believe matters, but branding and marketing experts tell us that it all starts with “perception.” No matter how great a product may be, I’ll never try it until I have a favorable perception. Once that happens, I’ll consider giving it a shot. In a similar way, for centuries, Christians have tried to share their faith with the culture, but today are losing enormous ground when it comes to perception.

Society is experiencing one of the most dramatic shifts in history on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, religious freedom, personal privacy, sexuality, and more. Many of those issues bump up against historic positions of the Church, which in a media driven world, generates enormous (and usually negative) publicity. Because of those negative perceptions, many people turn away without even considering the positive aspects of faith.

That’s why I’m wondering if it’s time to re-think how the Christian community engages the world.  So here’s the question:

Without the Christian community altering historic principles, or tossing them out altogether, what do you think are the 5 most important things Christians could do today that would start to change the secular culture’s perception? In other words, what changes or actions could Christians do publicly that would be so compelling, they would cause nonbelievers to give another look at what it means to follow the teachings of Jesus?

Seriously, what would you list?

Comments (14) |

Facebook Facelifts: Yes, It’s Really Happening.

The next time you hear someone say that social media doesn’t make a difference in people’s lives, send them this post.  Over the last year, numerous news organizations have been reporting that in India (and other places) people are having elective plastic surgery just to improve their appearance on Facebook. Think for a minute how much pressure they’re putting on their social media presence, that to make it better, they’re willing to go under the knife.  In India, the pressure comes from the fact that Facebook is being used to find suitable partners for marriage.  And honestly,


Telling Your Story: Are You Seeing the Big Picture?

When it comes to sharing your message with the culture, most of us are just thinking in pieces.  If you’re a company, nonprofit, church or whatever – you need to understand the bigger picture of engaging the culture with your message.  For instance, some organizations have a great video, others have a terrific website, and still others have great instincts for social media.   But unless ALL these platforms are working together, you’re only


How to Change the Perception of Christianity in the Culture

Our team at Cooke Pictures recently spent a few days in San Jose working with Grace Hill Media shooting a promo for NFL great Kurt Warner’s new show “The Moment” for the USA Network. It’s a program that gives people a second chance at achieving their dream. Whatever it was that derailed their plans, Kurt and his team will help them get a second chance at making it happen. We shot the segments at Cathedral of Faith Church in San Jose because it’s a church that’s become synonymous with