My Random Thoughts About Church
Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke

My father was a pastor, so I’ve been involved behind the scenes at church as long as I can remember. As an adult, I’ve been privileged to coach and consult hundreds of pastors on how to communicate their message more effectively – particularly when it comes to media. So over the Thanksgiving weekend, I thought I’d just toss out a few thoughts about church today. Feel free to disagree or add some of your own:

Music can be part of worship, but don’t think singing a few songs equals a worship service.

Don’t do what every other church is doing. Do what your specific congregation needs.

Worship leaders: watch the audience, not the sheet music. You can’t minister to people without seeing how they’re responding.

How easy is it for people to plug into your church?

Do your actions mirror your message?

The Word of God never changes, but everything else does. (Styles, people, trends, techniques, ideas, and more.)

Who’s the first person new visitors meet when they walk into the building?

If God is showing up, you don’t need moving lights and a fog machine.

Virtually 100% of potential visitors will check out your church online first. So why is your website so lame?

The day of pastor as “motivational teacher” is over. People are looking for a deeper experience.

Jesus is not your boyfriend. So don’t sing like it.

It’s not a performance.

The church really is the hope of the world.

It’s not about you, it’s about Him.


Phil Cooke is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” Find out more at

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