$100 Million ‘He Gets Us’ Campaign Aims to Repair Jesus’ Mark Against Christian Damage


A $100 million effort launched this year spans cities and the web, aimed at redeeming the mark of Jesus from the damage done by some of his followers.

Billboards with messages like “Jesus let his hair down too” and “Jesus did everything too” were posted in major markets like New York and Las Vegas. And ads featuring black-and-white online videos of Jesus as a rebel, activist or dinner party host have been viewed more than 300 million times, organizers say.

The He Gets Us campaign, funded by Signatry, a Kansas-based Christian foundation, will expand in the coming months, with an updated website, an online store where people can get free materials if they forgive someone or welcome a stranger, and an outreach program for churches, all leading up to a Super Bowl ad.

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Jon Lee, one of the main architects of the campaign, said organizers hoped to start a movement of people who want to tell a better story about Jesus and act like him.

“Our goal is to give voice to the pent-up energy of like-minded followers of Jesus, those in the pews and those who aren’t, who are ready to claim the name of Jesus from those who abuse it. to judge, harm and divide people,” said Lee, director of Lerma, a Dallas-based cross-cultural advertising agency.

Jason Vanderground, president of Haven, a branding company based in Grand Haven, Michigan, said the movement hopes to bridge the gap between the story of Jesus and the public perception of his followers. The campaign did extensive market research and found that while many Americans love Jesus, they are skeptical of his followers.

Market research divided Americans into four categories: non-Christians (16% of the sample), “spiritually open” people (20%), “followers of Jesus” (34%) and committed Christians” (30%). It showed a wide gap between the first three groups and the last category.

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Most people in the first three categories said that the behavior of Christians is an obstacle to faith. More than two-thirds agreed with the following statement: “The disciples of Jesus say one thing, but do not practice it.” Only 5% of committed Christians agreed. Most people in the first three categories also agreed that Christians only care about stopping abortions, rather than caring for mothers and their children. Only 6% of committed Christians agreed.

The recent scandal involving Herschel Walker, the former football star turned outspoken anti-abortion Senate candidate who allegedly paid and pressured a former girlfriend to have an abortion, seems to match the number of people outside the church who see Christians, especially after many of its supporters rallied. around Walker, despite the scandal.

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Ironically, ideas that Jesus loved everyone and warned against religious hypocrisy were considered very important to committed Christians and followers of Jesus in search, but were not considered very important to non-Christians. -Christian or spiritually open.

Vanderground said Christians see their faith as the greatest love affair, but those who are not believers see Christians as a group of hate.

“Jesus said, ‘People are going to know my followers by the way they love each other and the way they interact with each other,” Vanderground said. “I think when we look at American Christianity today , we don’t see that many – and that affects a lot of people.”

Lee said past faith-based campaigns, like the famous “family that prays together, stays together” TV commercial series, have been aimed at getting people back to church. This campaign takes a more spiritual but not religious approach. Lee said organizers hope the ads will at least inspire people to consider Jesus might be relevant to their lives.

Those who see the ads can contact the campaign and connect with Bible study resources to experience the story of Jesus for themselves, he said.

So far, Vanderground said, 100 million people have been exposed to the campaigns and about 30,000 have signed up for Bible reading plans. Of these, more than half have completed the reading plans. These reading plans can help people get in touch with the real message of Jesus, he said.

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“Our research shows that many people’s only exposure to Jesus is through Christians who imperfectly reflect him, and too often in ways that create a distorted or incomplete picture of his radical compassion and love for others. “, said Vanderground. “We believe it is more important than ever that the real, authentic Jesus be represented in the public market as he is in the Bible.”

Vanderground hopes the ideals of Jesus, as depicted in the ads, could help change American culture if they are more widely accepted. He also hopes that more Christians will begin to live the teachings of Jesus.

“We believe that investing in efforts to ensure that more people view his life and movement as an inspiration to their own will in turn helps improve the lives of those who listen – and begin to create the kind of waterfall of love that Jesus himself sought to generate,” he said. said.


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