The Jesus Gets Me campaign “targets millennials and GenZ with a carefully crafted, exhaustively researched, and market-tested message about Jesus Christ: He gets us.” During the Super Bowl, one such ad reminded me of the division of culture where people shouted at one another often causing serious harm, sometimes in the name of Jesus.
The rebuttals quickly flooded social media, and one article stood out to me as a wayward critique. Basically, the argument is that the marketing campaign waters down the person and identity of Christ. On its face, I “get” that argument. We don’t want to deny His deity and power, but underneath, the campaign is speaking to an audience who feel that the institution of religion, the church, doesn’t get them. The ads are not intended to replace a Christian with skin on listening to a fellow human being, complete with all the warts they may have on the surface, and helping them see their value as image bearers of the living God. If we critique the movement for trying to begin a conversation, perhaps we’re a bit sensitive over not being ready to have that conversation, the important one where we ourselves proclaim the name of Christ and love our neighbors as ourselves.
We were once a “them.” Remember the Pharisee who prayed openly that he was so thankful he was not like “them”? We point our fingers at him and rightly criticize his hypocrisy, but we find it harder to look in the mirror and recognize our own. Jesus died for THEM as much as He did for me.
The marketing tool simply opens the door for me to have those conversations, but it was never designed to replace them. If seeing the ads stings a bit, maybe I should take this time to ask God to move my heart with compassion and ready myself to begin that conversation. One spiritual conversation leads to another spiritual conversation, and the ads may just be the catalyst to something great. When I humble myself before another bearer of the image of God, I remember that Jesus gets me, too.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.
$100M Ad Campaign Aims to Make Jesus the ‘Biggest Brand in Your City’. (2022). Retrieved 13 February 2023, from https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/march/he-gets-us-ad-campaign-branding-jesus-church-marketing.html