Can an ad campaign help Jesus’ image – John 3:22-36, Preview

Have you seen the advertising campaign with the slogan “He Gets Us”?  The campaign has been on television, online and on billboards for most of the past year.  It’s a catchy slogan with high quality black and white images, and compelling stories.  Do you know what company it is advertising?

It’s not Nike…as their slogan is “Just Do It.”  It’s not Bounty, “The Quicker Picker Upper.”  It’s not Maybelline, “Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Maybelline.”  It’s not State Farm, “Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There.”

What kind of company might come up with the slogan “He Gets Us” to advertise their product?

In fact, “He Gets Us” isn’t advertising any company.  It’s advertising Jesus.  “He Gets Us” is a catchy, sharp ad campaign for Jesus.  It’s also funded with $100 million dollars, and has plans for a Super Bowl ad.  As you likely well know, Super Bowl ads are the mecca of ads, and that means they are super expensive.  One source reports that 30-second ads for the 2023 Super Bowl are going for $7 million, and as of Sept. 7, 2022, Fox had already sold 95% of their ad space for the big game.

Who is behind “He Gets Us”?  It is Signatry, aka The Servant Foundation, a foundation that is seeking to improve Jesus’ image, which they believe has been tarnished, not by Jesus, of course, but by his followers.  I agree that we followers of Jesus have often made choices that have not been faithful to Jesus, thus keeping many people from seeing Jesus as he really is.

But let me ask you this: No matter how excellent (and it seems to me that “He Gets Us” is very creative, thoughtful and appealing), what are the chances an ad campaign will improve Jesus’ image?  As of an October 12, 2022 report, 100 million people have visited the campaign website and 30,000 have signed up for Bible reading plans.  That sounds very good, doesn’t it?  Maybe “He Gets Us” will accomplish something amazing for God.

I must admit that I’m iffy.  The “He Gets Us” people have also created a fan website where you can purchase “He Gets Us” merch to spread the news to people.  Is there a false motive lurking here?  Even if so, consider what Paul once wrote in Philippians 1:15-18, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.

So hear me on this.  I believe God can use a $100 million ad campaign, even if it might be misguided. I don’t know that “He Gets Us” is operating under false pretenses, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume it is not. Even still, I happen to think that an ad campaign, in the long run, will not lead to many people becoming maturing followers of Jesus.  As the excellent discussion on this episode of The Holy Post pointed out, Jesus doesn’t have an image problem, he has a discipleship problem.

Think about it this way: If you had $100 million to spend, how might you use it to make an impact for the Kingdom of God?  Would you start an ad campaign?  Think of all the other ways that money could have been used in tangible expressions of good news?  Think about how Jesus himself taught people to use their money.  I wonder what really would improve Jesus’ image in the world today?

I ask these questions because our next passage in our study of the Gospel of John relates to how we think about Jesus, about his image in the world.  We’re going to study John 3:22-36, and I encourage you to read it ahead of time.  Then join us on the blog next week as we talk about it further.

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

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