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

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?

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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

How to Get Your Ideas Noticed in Today’s Distracted World


Every generation lives out their faith and calling within the context of their particular culture. The apostle Paul lived out his ministry in the context of Roman domination; William Wilberforce campaigned in Parliament under the shadow of the British slave trade; Dietrich Bonhoeffer struggled under Nazi occupation. Today, we live in a media-dominated culture and must operate our churches, ministries or nonprofit organizations in that technological context. In a previous age, all a preacher needed to be successful was a good Bible, a calling from God and strong lungs. But in today’s digital culture, where a typical American deals with as many as 5,000 media messages a day, how does the voice of your church, ministry, nonprofit organization – or your great idea rise above the racket? Here’s a few thoughts:

The Evangelical Did It, in the Kitchen, with the Lead Pipe


Check out this commentary by writer Bob Bonebrake, author of King of America on the portrayal of Christians in the media. Well worth reading:

It’s easy to spot the evangelicals in the movies these days. They’re the ones wearing the black hats.  We seem to be well into the era of the Christian bad guy.  Like the killer monk in The Da Vinci Code, more and more conservative Christians are being cast as the villains in popular fiction and political comment these days.  I’ve recently seen a host of television dramas with hypocritical ministers and priests revealed as

Impact Isn’t Always About Numbers


ROI (Return on Investment) is an impressive business sounding term, which means in business, it’s important. If you’re selling widgets then you need to track sales, and knowing how many widgets you sell versus how much you spend on manufacturing, sales, advertising, and marketing is important. But how about nonprofit organizations? In some cases, tracking ROI is very informative. How many water wells did you build based on donations to the project? How many meals did you distribute as a result of the grant? The truth is accountability matters, and particularly when it comes to future fundraising,