‘He Gets Us’ Campaign Aims to Spark Conversations About Jesus
By Adam MacInnis
He Gets Us

Have you ever been bullied?
Have you ever felt betrayed?
Have you ever felt unfairly judged?
So was Jesus.
He gets us.

It’s messages like this, that a group of anonymous business leaders hope will spark fresh conversations about Jesus and ultimately serve as an evangelistic tool for an increasingly secularized America.

After a pilot program in test sites, a national campaign called “He Gets Us” was launched this March and is expected to roll out nationwide in an effort to get people talking about Jesus. With close to $150 million committed already, it is the largest faith-based campaign in history.

Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center, has been helping to share information about the initiative with Christian leaders and faith-based organizations across the U.S.

With the social and political unrest that has occurred in recent years, Stetzer believes, the campaign comes at a crucial time. Just as revival has followed times of struggle in the past, he believes it can happen today.

“There’s room for anyone who loves the gospel and wants to join the mission.”  – Ed Stetzer.

“It’s an unprecedented time that we’re walking through, and yet in the midst of some of those [earlier] unprecedented times, we see that gospel opportunity follows,” he said.

As a missiologist, Stetzer believes it’s important for Christians to find bridges to communicate with the unsaved — as the Apostle Paul did by referencing the altar to the unknown god — to tell the Athenians about Christ.

The bridge he believes is best to reach skeptics in America today is Jesus himself. Research conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the “He Gets Us” campaign shows that, while many people view Christians in a negative light, 51% of those who identify as skeptics and 77% of those who identify as cultural Christians indicated that they would be willing to learn more about Jesus. 

Skeptics, for the sake of the research, were defined as those who say they believe Jesus existed, but do not have a relationship with him; cultural Christians are those who indicate they have a relationship with Jesus, but do not share their faith with others.

“One of the things I think is a fascinating reality, in American cultural context in 2022, is one of the best bridges appears  actually people’s affinity for Jesus,” Stetzer said in a recent webinar.

The ads that have been created for the new campaign aim to tap into the skeptics’ willingness to learn more about Christ, by showing how Jesus understands what people are going through in today’s world. Some ads to come will include statements such as: “Jesus was homeless,” “Jesus supported women’s rights,” and “Jesus was born to a teen mom.”

“It might be provocative, and that’s OK,” Stetzer said of the ads. “If you’re going to have conversations about Jesus, can I just let you know, it was kind of provocative 2,000 years ago as well.” 

What separates this campaign from others, such as the Campus Crusade for Christ “I Found It” campaign of the 1970s, is that, thanks to modern technology, the ads can direct people to a website where they can continue the conversation, Stetzer said. At hegetsus.com, people can chat with someone about faith-related issues, submit a prayer request, or download a Bible reading plan.

The campaign had a pilot run in 10 test markets over a 60-day period and showed promising results. 

Over the course of the pilot, there were 30 million YouTube views and more than 10 million prime-time TV ad views. The result was 3,000 live chat conversations and approximately 1,000 prayer requests made at hegetsus.com. There were also 10,000 Bible reading plans downloaded. “People are responding to this,” Stetzer said.

Thanks to donors who have given anonymously through The Servant Foundation, all the costs associated with the campaign are already covered. The ads will be appearing throughout the year on TV, billboards, and other media, such as a Times Square takeover where all the screens in the square will display the campaign.

But, while much of the upfront work is already taken care of, Stetzer said the hope is that other networks, denominations, and individual churches will take advantage of the opportunities this campaign is creating to engage people they might not have had the chance to talk with before. 

“What an opportunity for us to be like Jesus, who leaves the 99 and goes for the one,” he said.

Already numerous denominations and churches have come on as partners.

“There’s room for anyone who loves the gospel and wants to join the mission,” Stetzer said.

Those who are interested in learning more about how they or their church can get involved can visit hegetsuspartners.com for more information.

“It’s going to be everywhere,” Stetzer said of the campaign. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us, particularly when it seems that evangelism has fallen on hard times. At a time when everybody seems to want to talk about everything but evangelism, this is going to be a tool that can help us.”

Photo by Greg Keelen on Unsplash.

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