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Episode 3- The Role of Women Communicators in the Church with Kathleen Cooke

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In today’s episode, Katie Allred speaks with Kathleen Cooke regarding the role of women communicators in the church. Tune in today!

Transcript:

Welcome to the Church Communications Podcast. We want to help you become a church communications expert. We understand it can be a challenging and ever-changing role because we’ve worked in the church too, which is why we built a community with over 25,000 church leaders that are ready to support and cheer you on.

Your hosts for the show are Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng, who want to help equip you to reach more of your congregation and community. This is the place where we’ll talk shop with fellow practitioners and professionals. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Katie Allred:

Hey everybody. My name is Katie Allred from ChurchCommunications.com. I am so excited today to have Kathleen Cooke join us. Kathleen is an author, a speaker, a producer. She has done so much and I’m so excited to learn more. Kathleen, before we begin, we just met. So can you tell us, tell me, a little bit more about yourself?

Kathleen Cooke:

Sure, I’d love to. Thanks, Katie, for having me. I love what you’re doing. I love all the work that you’re doing online. That’s kind of my passion. So, my husband and I own a production company in Hollywood, in Burbank, California actually. Started it in 1991, so it’s been going a while. We help Christians use media more effectively, and created, actually, a non-profit as well called The Influence Lab. Our for-profit business, Cooke Media Group, and Cooke has an E on the end of it. I’m Cook-E. A lot of people try to find me after interviews and they can’t find me because they forget the E. So I put E on the end of my name.

Katie Allred:

Right, yeah. Very important.

Kathleen Cooke:

So Cook-E. So we have a production company in Los Angeles there, and we have done everything from Super Bowl spots to feature films, to documentaries. We just won four Telly awards for documentaries produced, which is pretty impressible.

Katie Allred:

What was the documentary? I want to know.

Kathleen Cooke:

It’s called Inexplicable: How Christianity Spread to the Ends of the Earth.

Katie Allred:

Oh wow.

Kathleen Cooke:

Our focus was a six part series with six different producers. We did part five on Asia and it was called Asia: The Great Wall and Beyond.

Katie Allred:

Oh wow.

Kathleen Cooke:

We just finished shooting right before COVID. It came out and so we just won four Telly’s for that. Then we have the non-profit, the Influence Lab, and InfluenceLab.com is always where they can find us. I edit a weekly journal for those of us who work in media and team and are professionals in that. But if you own a cell phone, your immediate [crosstalk 00:02:21].

Katie Allred:

Yeah. 100%. I completely agree.

Kathleen Cooke:

So I invite anyone to come along. I do some great interviews called I-N-N-E-R-V-I-E-W, an inner view, that is associated with men and women working in the industry, specifically mainly in Hollywood and in leadership. Then I [inaudible 00:02:39] a weekly blog at KathleenCooke.com.

Kathleen Cooke:

I come from a theatrical background. I was an actress in Hollywood for a number of years, and again, produced films and documentaries and all sorts of stuff.

Katie Allred:

Oh man. Okay. I always hate to, when people ask, how do you do all that? Because I know. I’m like, “I don’t know. I just do it.” I think God just gives you the capacity to do whatever he dreams of. Right?

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s exactly right.

Katie Allred:

I always hate it when people are like, “How do you live such a crazy life? How do you keep it?” I feel like that’s such a woman question. Such a question they ask about. I’m like, “I don’t know. God gives you the capacity, right?”

Kathleen Cooke:

He just does. He opens those doors and you step into them. I love that there are 1500 references in the Bible to the word go. God is a forward-going guy and we need to get our tennis shoes on and keep them tied. Even during COVID. Everything was shut down, kept us home.

Katie Allred:

It did.

Kathleen Cooke:

Which was interesting, but it didn’t keep us from not going anywhere. We were online doing stuff. I produced webinars for Influence Lab that I normally would have had in-person, which was great. We started pulling in international audiences and as in our travels globally, that we had been doing, which was awesome.

Kathleen Cooke:

So yeah. We were at home. How do we do it all? We just do it.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. One step after the other.

Kathleen Cooke:

We just turn around and it’s done.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, exactly. I don’t know. God has a funny way of doing that. Okay. So you were talking about you’ve been in television, so you’ve had the opportunity to work in realms that the Church hasn’t, like in Hollywood. From your perspective, what’s the biggest opportunity for the Church today to reach more people?

Kathleen Cooke:

Well, great question, Katie. We all have cell phones, let’s go back to that.

Katie Allred:

Right? We all have this.

Kathleen Cooke:

We all have that.

Katie Allred:

With an amazing camera on it.

Kathleen Cooke:

There are multiple film festivals now and have just being producing movies [crosstalk 00:04:30].

Katie Allred:

I know, which is wild. It is mind-boggling to think that that is a thing.

Kathleen Cooke:

No excuse. There is no excuse.

Katie Allred:

There really isn’t.

Kathleen Cooke:

To not pick up a camera. Most of the time, people that are producing it, they started out in junior high because they had one of those in junior high, right? They’re pretty adaptable. They know how to run them. We learned during COVID how to create. [crosstalk 00:04:53] we’ve all learned from people who’ve never done it before.

Kathleen Cooke:

So there’s just no excuse and the opportunities are huge. It doesn’t matter that you’re not in Hollywood. The level of quality even that we’re used to viewing has declined to the fact where it doesn’t matter-

Katie Allred:

It doesn’t matter. Honestly, the more authentic it is, the better it does. The more it’s just like a selfie, the better it does longterm, which is so opposite of-

Kathleen Cooke:

It’s so radical. So radical.

Katie Allred:

Churches are still wanting to perfect their live stream. I’m like, don’t do that. Look at Jimmy Fallon and what he did during COVID, with his kids crawling all over him, and he’s on the street with his wife and you can hear the wind hitting the camera. That’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful.

Kathleen Cooke:

Well, and here’s what I really do instruct people, though Katie, more than anything is learn how to tell the story. Learn how to create a story and create those compelling stories. I’m getting ready to do a workshop here at the [NRV 00:05:52] in a few days on that compelling story.

Kathleen Cooke:

When you look at the what Jesus did, he told stories. We hear that all the time, but actually Jesus told parables. Parables are thinking stories. He told the stories and walked away, and those stories came out of the question. So what’s the question that’s being asked right now? What’s the answer that isn’t being told from that question? Think about what does that answer that we need to clarify? That’s another part of it.

Kathleen Cooke:

So often when we are media producers and content creators, writers, producers, we want to just put it all in a pretty little box and put a bow on it. No.

Katie Allred:

That’s the easiest thing to do.

Kathleen Cooke:

The culture says no, we don’t want that.

Katie Allred:

Right. Yeah. I think, especially, that next gen. I’m a professor. In my regular day job, I’m a professor here. That’s why I said when people say, “How do you have the capacity?” I’m like, “I don’t know. Jesus just gives it to me.” So I’m a professor normally. Just talking to college students, they don’t want polish. They just want you to be honest. They just want you to be real with them. They want to see behind the scenes as much as they want to see the polished of it. They want to see the after cut. They want the director’s stuff.

Kathleen Cooke:

Well, and futures are telling us that the more we can clarify for people, not bring certainty. They don’t want certainty. They want clarity. I work a lot with the Middle East, specifically a lot of women. I try to work with the Middle Eastern culture, the Islamic culture. They are used to being led to who Jesus is and then allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us. That’s what a parable was about. Jesus just opened the story up and walked away because he knew the Holy Spirit was going to be there working in it.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s the kind of stories that we need to be having. That’s the clarity that we need to be bringing to our audience today.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Just to start the conversation, right?

Kathleen Cooke:

Just start the conversation.

Katie Allred:

Exactly. How can we start more gospel conversations in general? I was actually, talking about Asia, I was in India in January of 2020 when the pandemic wasn’t out. It was very… And I’d never been overseas before.

Kathleen Cooke:

We were there in November 2020. So two months [crosstalk 00:08:10].

Katie Allred:

Okay, so you were right at the bad time for any of it. I feel you. I love the Indian people. They left such a mark on me. We had to teach, we went through with a ministry of podcasting and launched this podcasts in the first two different Indian languages, which is really cool. But digital can reach everyone.

Kathleen Cooke:

Everyone.

Katie Allred:

It doesn’t matter where. I think that’s why I was so passionate about the Middle East, too, about how people can reach more people. I don’t know. There’s so much more that the Church can do, right?

Kathleen Cooke:

So much more.

Katie Allred:

That we just haven’t even dreamed of yet.

Kathleen Cooke:

Yeah. Well, Facebook is the largest country in the world.

Katie Allred:

Right. Yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

So who’s producing shows in that country? Who’s telling their stories? Who’s planting churches? Hello? Let’s look at it not from a geographical point, I think, but from a cultural point.

Katie Allred:

Right, right.

Kathleen Cooke:

But there are eyeballs there. Let’s get there.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, and let’s figure out how to use it the best way that we can. I know a lot of people will be afraid. Don’t be afraid.

Kathleen Cooke:

No.

Katie Allred:

Like Jesus said, something’s going to happen. Trolls are trolls, no matter what, but the trolls are who you’re trying to reach.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s right.

Katie Allred:

How can we at least get in front of their eyes and into their ears more? Right?

Kathleen Cooke:

Exactly. Exactly. Yep, yep. So it’s Hollywood and it doesn’t matter.

Katie Allred:

I know. I feel like I can just chat all day. It’s fine. I’m like, who cares what my questions are.

Kathleen Cooke:

I know. [crosstalk 00:09:34] because it’s nice.

Katie Allred:

But yeah, no, it does.

Kathleen Cooke:

You don’t have to be there.

Katie Allred:

No, yeah. Right? Hollywood is where it began. That sounds silly.

Kathleen Cooke:

It’s a generality these days.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can be creative anywhere.

Kathleen Cooke:

There was a reasoning for it. There are the big studio films. Eventually, at a certain level, you are going to have to have a Hollywood expertise in the [crosstalk 00:09:57].

Katie Allred:

For sure.

Kathleen Cooke:

But you don’t have to start there.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. You can start where you are. Okay. So some of your work is around global media missions, which is what we talked a little bit about. I believe many church leaders have not ever thought of media mission work. I was just telling you, I went to India to work about a podcast. That’s foreign to some people. Can you share more about that work? What is it and how can church leaders be paying attention?

Kathleen Cooke:

So, Katie, that really is the reason we started the Influence Lab. We started traveling. We started being asked to come over and speak and teach and work. I’ve taught acting classes in India and Asia, in Singapore, in Europe. I’ve gone all over teaching theatrical acting from my point of view. We’ve taught producing and directing.

Kathleen Cooke:

But there’s cultural aspects to it. Specifically, you talked about India. Well, they have Bollywood. They have a lot of over-acting. A different kind of acting.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, they really do. I saw a YouTube Channel from a ministry there that was wild.

Kathleen Cooke:

Right? Hello? They produce like 2000 movies a year in studios in Hollywood, and these studios produce about 200. In fact, my devotional help for today begins with a story from India.

Katie Allred:

Oh yes, which we’ll talk about now.

Kathleen Cooke:

It begins with a story about acting or being. Are you acting a Christian or are you being a Christian?

Katie Allred:

That’s good.

Kathleen Cooke:

From that point of view, it’s important. The Influence Lab is all about helping Christians use media effectively, where they are. With the culture they’re speaking, the cultural things that are happening to them, the cultural things around them.

Kathleen Cooke:

So often, for years and years, we tried to introduce media in America and make it work in India, and Asia, and Africa and places like that. But they didn’t resonate with the cultural places there. What’s wonderful about the culture we’re in today, is that we have the ability to train the people there.

Kathleen Cooke:

So the Influence Lab is all about bringing those professionals and to teach them how to do it. To teach them how to speak the language to produce in their own style and their own things. It’s going to resonate with those cultures where they are. So many.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Okay. So how can a church get involved? Is there a way for churches to get involved with Influence Labs?

Kathleen Cooke:

Absolutely. What we’ve done in the past, is our home church for instance, Bel Air in Los Angeles, had us go over to Cairo one year. This was about 2018 before COVID and everything hit. So we were over there in Cairo for a week, teaching. We brought in a lighting producer because they specifically had outdoor events and they needed help with their lighting. I taught acting, we brought in a producer, we brought in a director, we brought in a social media person, we brought in a writer.

Kathleen Cooke:

We brought in a team of six because those were the areas which that church, and there was several ministers that came in. We even had an underground church come in from Iran. Because they can’t come to Cairo. We were able to train them on how to shoot things a little bit better, how to light things a little bit better. I taught acting classes on how to be a real person, other than an acting person. We taught directing aspects. All of those things. We put that team together for a week to train those professionals, and then they were able to use those skills to improve what they were doing there [inaudible 00:13:29]. So that’s one aspect of Influence Lab.

Kathleen Cooke:

I produce webinars now online, I’ve done in-person gatherings as well to try to encourage, to connect those who are working in the industry. So we’ve had books written because of the connections we’ve had. I’ve gotten projects that have been put together and written and produced because the events and the gatherings we’ve had in-person in the past.

Kathleen Cooke:

Now, because of COVID of course, we’ve put a lot of things online. So they can go there and see the events that we put together, encouragement. But a way of training them, again, on how you use those tools to tell a great story. Because if the story isn’t good, we’re turning it off. The culture in the world today will cut you off in two to three seconds. Right?

Katie Allred:

Oh yeah. 100%.

Kathleen Cooke:

We’ve got the remote control, we’re scrolling through our phones. We’re gone. Even in person, Katie. It’s called the eight second rule. I’m going to size you up in eight seconds and decide whether or not I’m going to stay with you or if I want to watch you or not. In-person. We’re a fast looking crowd these days, and we’re a fast clicking off crowd these days.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, I know. I completely believe that.

Kathleen Cooke:

So we need to be ready. We need to be ready.

Katie Allred:

You kind of have to have a shtick sometimes when you meet people. Instead of just saying, oh, what do you do? You have to think of a little something more.

Kathleen Cooke:

Well, a catch. That’s what we’re looking for. That unique thing. And I challenge people that we work with to find that unique something that God has instilled in you. You are not the same as your sister or your brother that you were raised in the same house and ate every meal with growing up. You are a different person and a different personality. Turn in that. What makes you special? What makes you unique? Then those are the skills and the things that you can work from.

Kathleen Cooke:

But then also ask your question saying, I’ve got these skills and tools, but what is it that I hate that I need to fix? What’s the problem that’s out there that needs to be solved? That question that hasn’t been answered? Go after those things.

Kathleen Cooke:

So often what we want to produce, we want to produce something of passion. I love this thing. So when I’ve spoken at universities to writers in places like that, I say, “Maybe it’s maybe that you are a writer but you hate the way romantic movies are portrayed on screen. So write it a different way. Go a different way.” Those are just tools. But that is the thing that God then propels you to fix and to change, and to find something unique and different that’s going to set you apart.

Katie Allred:

I love that. Man. There’s so many things to bring to my story, too. I love that. I feel like that probably leads a little into your book. So let’s go ahead and talk about your book. Can you tell the wonderful people about this book?

Kathleen Cooke:

Yeah. Let me tell you a story.

Katie Allred:

Okay. Tell me a story.

Kathleen Cooke:

This book came about just because we had been shooting a project in London in 2005 for two… Oh gosh. One, my brain is dead right now. I think it’s 2002, sorry. It was London’s 9/11, basically. We were there to shoot a documentary and William [Wilburs 00:16:43].

Katie Allred:

Oh wow.

Kathleen Cooke:

We were heading to the British Library that morning, in a van, which we would have been in the tube, in the underground subway, had we not had all our film equipment and our crew with us. We were out on the street approaching the British Library, and the tunnel exploded [inaudible 00:17:04]. Lots of people died. On the street next to us, the bomb went off in a bus, down the street from us. Consequently, we didn’t make it to the British Library that day. It was the first time in 100 years that theaters closed down.

Katie Allred:

Oh, wow. Yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

So it was a very traumatic. Interesting time to be there. So we walked in with the curate. We had laid out several things we wanted to film that day and talk to her about for the film for the documentary we were working on. She walked in first and she said, “Because of the events that happened yesterday, I thought you might like to look at this.” She handed me Anne Boleyn’s Bible. Anne had scratched her name, Amy, on the end of it.

Katie Allred:

Oh, that’s so fun. Yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

It was like God physically spoke to me at that moment and said, “This is why I brought you here. I want you to remember this. I want you to see the importance of the word of God.” When you look at Anne Boleyn’s story, we don’t know all of it of course. It was written down. Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII’s second wife, if you remember.

Katie Allred:

Right. I remember that.

Kathleen Cooke:

Kathryn of Aragon he had to divorce, and they’d been married for like 20 some years if I remember. Close to 27 years or something like that. Anne was his only wife who she refused to sleep with him before they were married. She would not get married to him until he had been physically divorced.

Kathleen Cooke:

There was a time when William Tyndale had just been able to print the Bible in English so that [crosstalk 00:18:39] person could start reading it. She had been reading it, I’m quite sure. But this-

Katie Allred:

And it seems like in a very personal way, right?

Kathleen Cooke:

Very personal way. All of those things, there’s a lot in the story, but the bottom line is this was the Bible she held before they cut her head off. The last thing she had. It was the most precious thing she had. It was like the Lord said, “We need to re-examine in our lives how precious the word of God is.” It may not be with us. It may not happen. Are you memorizing it? Are you doing it? Really find what you’re passionate about.

Kathleen Cooke:

Fast forward another year or two. We started working with The Center for Lively Engagement. They did a million dollar study, an eight year study, on the habits of today’s Christians. What we do that actually changes the direction of our lives. So they studied how often we went to church, prayed, [inaudible 00:19:32] preachers, all of those kinds of things.

Kathleen Cooke:

One thing that came out was Bible engagement was the single most important thing that positively made changes in someone’s lives, and it needed to be done four or more times a week. If you’re only engaging, personally, one to three times a week, you really statistically make no different changes in something you never can supply sewing. Physical train trainers tell us we have to work out four times a week. What’s happening to our inside soul that’s going to live for eternity? We know it will. Are you working it out four times a week? What are you doing to engage with God four times, personally?

Kathleen Cooke:

So that’s where the four comes for Hope 4 Today. It’s based on a four day a week format.

Katie Allred:

Okay, so there’s weeks.

Kathleen Cooke:

At the end of each week is a journaling aspect. I had argued with my publisher about that, because normally you have a journal and then you have your devotion, right?

Katie Allred:

Right. They want the sale, too, right?

Kathleen Cooke:

Wrong. [crosstalk 00:20:30]

Katie Allred:

You’re probably, “No, this is what I wanted.”

Kathleen Cooke:

We’ve really blown it. We have really blown it in not passing on our engagement that we personally have with the next generation. Because many of the questions that they are asking, we’ve been asking, and our ancestors in the future have been asking. Why are we here? Where are we going? What’s it all about? Right?

Katie Allred:

Yep.

Kathleen Cooke:

So this gives an opportunity for the reader and the engager. It’s like a [crosstalk 00:20:57]-

Katie Allred:

No, I love that you can pass it on, which is what I think you’re trying to say.

Kathleen Cooke:

Pass it on, yeah. Yes.

Katie Allred:

What I love, too, is my great grandmother, Susie [Mayville 00:21:04], my great grandmother, Susie, she wrote her prayers. I have journals and journals of my great-grandmother’s prayers.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s awesome.

Katie Allred:

I don’t think she graduated high school, from rural Alabama, was a farmer’s wife. I have journals and journals of my great-grandmother’s prayers, where she was praying for me and she didn’t know me yet, her great grandchildren. Her answering those same questions, of what is life for? I can just remember her saying in one of them, “Try your best whenever possible to make peace with people.” I was like, that’s a great lesson.

Kathleen Cooke:

And you’re listening to that.

Katie Allred:

Right.

Kathleen Cooke:

Hello? This is what we’re talking about.

Katie Allred:

So to be handed that as a product of the prayers of giants, to me, is something that is irreplaceable.

Kathleen Cooke:

Exactly.

Katie Allred:

More people should do it. To be handed a legacy of rare is wild.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s what I want to do with this.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, I love it.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s why it’s so important. We need to have [crosstalk 00:22:09] pass family Bibles on.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Especially because a lot of people aren’t used to doing this.

Kathleen Cooke:

Yet the family Bible used to be passed down. Can we pass our phone on now? Does that work every day?

Katie Allred:

Yeah. I can’t do that.

Kathleen Cooke:

I didn’t think so. Yeah. I know my parents died, they left us estate things and stuff. But what did my brother and I fight over? We fought over their Bibles. We wanted their Bibles. We wanted those little notes that they’d written inside those Bibles in those spots. So important.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s what Help Four Today is about. Katie, the reason people are not engaging in the Bible four or more times a week is because they’re too busy and too distracted with media. They don’t know where to begin and they think it’s an historical poem that’s [crosstalk 00:22:48] poetry.

Katie Allred:

Right. Sure. Sure. It’s not a living document to them.

Kathleen Cooke:

It’s not a living document to them. So, Hope 4 Today is based on the stories. A lot of fun stories of my past travels and Hollywood. All of those kind of things. Things that God said to me that I’m passing that onto you as the reader, so you can now continue to think about it. Ask the question at the end of each day so that you can then write that engagement right in the book.

Katie Allred:

Okay. I love that.

Kathleen Cooke:

And then pass it on.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s fantastic. Okay. I know that you love to empower women in leadership. That’s something we’ve been doing at Church of Communications, through She Leads Church. She Leads Church, last year we had 7000 people involved, which is just wild. It doubled. We had 3000 the first year, and to have 7000 this past year just tells me that God’s at work and that he’s doing something. I really do believe revitalization. That’s why Jesus came to women, right?

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s right.

Katie Allred:

When he was like, “We’re going to get the good news out. I’m going to come to these women and they’re going to help me get this good news delivered.” So I would love to know if you could share some thoughts about women in leadership.

Kathleen Cooke:

Yeah. Well, let me tell you a hidden story. I don’t know whether you have ever read or paid attention to the story of Huldah.

Katie Allred:

Okay?

Kathleen Cooke:

She’s in Second Kings and Second Chronicles. I have a wonderful book that I love called Bible Women: What They Said and Why It Matters. It’s done by a whole group of Episcopal women and priests who went in the Bible and counted the number of words that women speak in the Bible. We’ve always heard about Esther and Ruth.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Of course.

Kathleen Cooke:

And Mother Mary of Jesus and Mary of Bethany. We all have our hero, right? Hidden stories. Do you know that some of those women speak the least in the Bible? They speak the least amount of words, and words matter. You’re paying attention to the words that are matter. You’re going to find some hidden gems in the Bible based on the number of words she said. Hold up. Number three in the Bible. Most people have never heard that.

Katie Allred:

That’s crazy.

Kathleen Cooke:

She was, during the time of the King Josiah, now King Josiah was that child’s king. He became a king at the age of nine. By the time he was 18, he had been schooled by priests, he’d been raised by the priests and the people around him, and he loved God and wanted to change the culture, and wanted to be a historic king. He wanted to be a leader of a godly kingdom. God’s leader of kings.

Kathleen Cooke:

So he said, “Let’s rebuild the temple.” So they start rebuilding the temple and they find the book of meaning, the book of loss, the Torah. It’d been hidden in the rubble. The assistant to the high priest, Hilkiah, comes to him and reads him, starts reading him the Torah. He rents his clothes and he says to the high priest assistant, not even to the high priest, “Go find me one. Got to do, because we’re going, this kingdom, is going to Hell in a handbag, so to speak.”

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

“We’re all doomed.” So who does he go to? Well, he goes to the wife of the dresser of the high priest. Now, you tell me-

Katie Allred:

Wife of the dresser?

Kathleen Cooke:

The dresser of the high priest. How did the high priest know about Huldah, who is this little bitty woman, sewing his clothes together. She couldn’t even go dress the high priest.

Kathleen Cooke:

So she had to have some kind of influence on the high priest, so that when the high priest was told by the king, “You better go find it, or your life’s on the line.” The Bible said he went directly to Huldah. To Huldah. This little lady in the background.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Sounds like she was known for maybe changing culture, even though… Yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

Nobody wanted. Here we are. So often in what we do as women, first of all, we’re just behind the scenes. We’re just so-and-so’s wife. We’re just that mom. We’re Katie’s mother or grandmother or whatever. We are just those women and we feel that way. God says, “I see you.”

Kathleen Cooke:

I love the fact that in the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, Hagar was tossed, ran away. She’s the only woman in the Bible who gets to name God. She names God, herself, El Roi the God Who Sees. God sees us.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s definitely one of my favorite names of God. Yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

God sees us. So go back to my story of Huldah. Here, the priest goes to Huldah and says, “What are we going to do? The king’s going to kill me if I don’t have the right information.” He doesn’t go to his other high priest. He doesn’t go to himself. He doesn’t… He goes to Huldah. Huldah says, “Okay. This is what God says.” She says three times, God’s a perfect number. Three times. “Thus sayeth the Lord.” Not me. The Lord’s saying this.

Kathleen Cooke:

So that’s our first lesson we can learn as women leaders. Make sure your message is coming from Him. Not your own desires, not your own… Well, and what I love about the story is Huldah didn’t even say to the high priest, no, you take me to the king and I’ll tell him because it’s me who’s the star here. I’m the one that really knows this stuff. You have no idea.

Kathleen Cooke:

That’s not what Huldah does. She says to Hilkiah, the high priest, “Here’s what’s going to happen.” It’s God talking and everything historically that she said, go back and read the story, every single thing. She said, “Yes, your kingdom is going to fall, but it’s not going to fall now because you have engaged with God and because you are recognizing me. But it’s going to fall, so be ready for that.” Everything she says, this is what’s going to say, thus sayeth the Lord. I love the fact that she was able then to say, “I’m good with that. I have done what I am called to do. I’m going to go back and be the wife of the dresser of the high priest and be ready for what God has for me next.” It’s a fabulous leadership story that’s never taught. I think it’s not taught-

Katie Allred:

Right. Yeah. I haven’t heard that on a Sunday morning.

Kathleen Cooke:

No. That’s what I was just going to say. I think a lot of times we haven’t heard that story because we’ve been led by a lot of male preachers over the years. A lot of male preachers don’t want to highlight a woman being in a leadership position, which is sad. We’re changing that in today’s culture and world, and I think that’s happening. But that’s our history.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, 100%.

Kathleen Cooke:

We can either be negative about it, we can either resent that, or we can just learn from that and say we’re going to be a new generation that’s going to listen to women and to the fact that they have a place in God’s world.

Katie Allred:

Right, yeah. If anything, Jesus celebrated women so many times. So, places of leadership in Romans 16 there’s a list of women who were serving in the New Testament Church. Anyway, [crosstalk 00:30:10].

Kathleen Cooke:

Huldah speaks over 400 words in the Bible. Mary mother of Jesus speaks about 200.

Katie Allred:

That’s crazy.

Kathleen Cooke:

The only other person above her is Esther, which is a whole book, and maybe it might be Ruth. Those are the only two. Huldah. Nobody knows about her.

Katie Allred:

Right. True. I love it.

Kathleen Cooke:

So I teach women, it doesn’t matter where you are. It Doesn’t matter that you don’t think you’re being seen or heard or cared about.

Katie Allred:

Because God does. Yeah.

Kathleen Cooke:

God sees you.

Katie Allred:

Exactly.

Kathleen Cooke:

He’s your El Roi.

Katie Allred:

Right.

Kathleen Cooke:

Even the story about Hagar, she goes back and she follows and she’s obedient. I love the scripture in the Bible that says, “Even though Jesus was God’s son, he learned obedience through his suffering.” We don’t learn enough obedience. We’re not willing to go through that suffering, are we? In order to learn obedience, we need to learn obedience through our suffering. We’re going to have it in our culture and world. So how are you going to be obedient to that? Love that.

Katie Allred:

Okay. We’re going to wrap up, but I would love to know is there ways that we can connect with you online?

Kathleen Cooke:

Yeah. [inaudible 00:31:24] Yes, of course. I’m on InfluenceLab.com of course, InfluenceLabWomen.com. I’m at Kathleen Cooke Official and Kathleen Cooke Twitter is Kathleen Cooke LA. Our general handles, Instagram, I’m on Kathleen Cooke Official again. On Instagram, Influence Lab Official. I have a weekly blog, again, on my website kathleenCooke.com. Cooke has an E on the end.

Katie Allred:

Right, right.

Kathleen Cooke:

Yeah. Then the weekly journal. It’s free. It’s all free, just sign up. I’d love for you to talk, I’d love for you to hear back from you from this interview. Conversation is what we’re all about. I think that’s the most important thing. We need to be in relationship with each other. You can still do that online, isn’t it? It’s great.

Katie Allred:

Right. I know. Yeah. That’s how I made all my friends, really.

Kathleen Cooke:

Yes. Absolutely.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Kathleen. I really do appreciate it. Again, I just want to say, go pick up a copy of Hope 4 Today. It’s come out on paperback now and we’re really excited to have it.

Kathleen Cooke:

Thanks.

Katie Allred:

Thank you guys.

Recording:

Thanks for listening to the Church Communications Podcast with Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng. If you liked our show today and want to learn more, you can join our Facebook group with over 25,000 church leaders. Simply search for Church Communications on Facebook. If you liked today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving us a review. It’s the most impactful way you can help us reach more church leaders and equip them to become better communicators for the church. Finally, don’t forget to check out our website at ChurchCommunications.com. Thanks for listening.

 

 

 

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