Jolt! by Phil Cooke. Make Change Work For You

Jolt! Get the Jump On a World That's Constantly ChangingChange is guaranteed to be consistent. Our personal growth is not.

I first met Phil Cooke at a conference at Prestonwood Baptist Church a few years ago where he signed a copy of another of his books for me – Branding Faith. Listening to Phil speak to our breakout session about media and branding fed my hunger to know how to communicate more effectively. Phil has a knack for such tough subjects.

In his latest work, Jolt!: Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing, Phil spends a chapter detailing with a barrage of data the alarming rate of change going on around us. If the reader stops at the end of chapter one, things will get rather tough emotionally as our heads continue to spin, bewildered by the sheer momentum of the changing of our culture, which spirals out of control continually. But Phil doesn’t stop there. In fact, the data is just the introduction.

Jolt! is a manual for navigating the turbulent waters of change as well as a challenge to embrace change and grow through it. Phil talks about his own experience of “hitting a wall” and being forced into pursuing his big dream. Had sudden and abrupt change not entered the equation (in the form of losing his steady job), Phil never would have stepped out in faith and chased the bigger goal God had for him.

The same is true of many of us. Fear of change (or fear of the unknown future) paralyzes us and causes our growth to stunt – unless we fight that freezing tendency and run straight into the change, using it to our advantage at every possible turn.

This is not just a book for leaders or even believers – it’s a book for everyone who lives in our hectic, high-priced, recession-challenged climate of unending change. It’s a book for everyone who wants to get a positive grip on change once and for all!

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Phil Cooke On the Biggest Mistakes Christians Make in the Media

This is an article that Pastors and anyone in the field of Church Communications needs to read and bookmark for later research. It’s the short version of a talk that Phil gave at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. Phil was instrumental in sparking a huge interest in me in the realm of media and communications when I met him at a conference at Prestonwood Church in Plano a few years ago.

Here are Phil’s main points, but you need to click through and read his comments…

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I Agree With Phil Cooke – Design Is the Language of This Generation


Yes! Amen! Preach it, brother Phil!! Design is the language of this generation whether we’re ready for it or not. There’s a reason why I’m very passionate about the communication strategies adopted by the church and it is that we have the best content possible – the gospel, but often the worst framing for it!

Listen to what Phil Cooke says…

…today, we live in a design culture, and form has become a critical key to connecting with the public. So while Biblical literacy can never been taken for granted, we now face a new challenge: presenting a message of hope to a generation that’s more visually sophisticated than any generation in history.


Pastors certainly ought to spend time preparing themselves to preach on Sunday. Why then, do we give so little time and energy to the preparation and presentation of our timeless message through other mediums? Why is it that we spit out a list of announcements and call it a bulletin and give no thought to how that piece of communication represents the message of our church to every first-time visitor? Why is it that we throw up cruddy, poorly-planned websites that merely repeat the list of announcements we printed on Sunday (if they’re updated at all)? And why is it that we don’t consider how it all needs to mesh together in a comprehensive, ubiquitous fashion in the lives of the people whom we’re trying to reach and disciple?

I’ll never forget preaching in Russia. There was a moment when I tried to say something to the congregation that didn’t translate. My translator and I spent several moments trying to work out the best way to convey my thinking. Meanwhile, the congregation was left in confusion.

We have a perfect, life-changing gospel. We have the message of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world! Let’s refuse to allow bad translation (poorly-planned and poorly-designed communication) to stop us from getting our message across.

Read Phil’s article and tell him just how smart he is!!

Phil Cooke

Moleskine-Worthy Inspirational Quotes – #3

Here’s the third installment. I’ve now moved to doing 2 pages from my moleskine instead of 1, so as not to overwhelm my subscribers.

The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority. ~ Ken Blanchard

Let us count that it is evermore our highest honor and our greatest glory, to lay aside all honor and all glory, and to win honor and glory out of shame and humiliation for Christ Jesus’ sake. ~ C. H. Spurgeon

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Moleskine-Worthy Inspirational Quotes – #2

I didn’t think I’d fill up another page so quickly, but I’m preserving these highly inspirational quotes for posterity. Someday my grandkids might be reading this blog thinking 2 things… 1.) So that’s what motivated Grandpa and 2.) What in the world was a moleskine?

The highest compliment to a leader: other leaders follow. ~ John Maxwell

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Phil Cooke’s Talk on Branding and Open Media

On the final day of Engage 08, I sat in on a breakout session with Phil Cooke. I was highly inspired to continue encouraging leaders to explore how we’re going to be sharing the gospel as our culture continues to become more of an online culture. The internet was once a web. We could connect, get information, and disconnect. Kids today are growing up in a culture that remains connection continually. I don’t want to share too much of what Phil said since he may share this elsewhere, but I did want to give my own reflections on the talk.

Branding is not a logo or a styleguide, it’s a story. It’s a story that follows a product, person, or organization. People will have perceptions of us no matter what, and branding allows us to coach people in their perceptions.

Visibility and findability are everything. Phil said, “If you can’t be found in a simple Google search, you don’t exist to this culture.” That’s true in many regards, at least in respect to the digital generation. About one out of five people who visit Bethel found us using Google. We spend more money advertising on Google Adwords than we do in our local paper.

And my strongest reflection of all (may become another post soon)… the open media revolution is the modern equivalent of the invention of the printing press. That’s right. It’s been said that whatever the world can do, Christianity can do it 10 years later and 90% as well! I think we ought to be leading out in the “early adopters” mentality when it comes to new media. The church should be blogging, connecting, engaging.

People who live in the cloud of our open media culture are still empty, lost, and destined for hell without Jesus. In fact, emptiness may be at an all-time high in the midst of world crises and the often counterfeit connectedness of modern technology. So let’s be there with the gospel.

One last reflection… face-to-face relationships are still far more important. I’m a huge advocate of embracing new media for missions, but I also believe that one-on-one relationships that can take place across a dinner table are the most important relationships of all.