Advertising to Reach Seekers
“How did the world’s greatest love story come to be known as a hate group?” This question led the Servant Christian Foundation, a nonprofit backed by a Christian donor-advised fund called The Signatry, to conduct market research and ultimately launch a $100 million ad campaign that launched this month.
“Jesus’ message of love has been lost in today’s cultural dialogue,” the campaign promoters explained. This fact is supported by six months of market research conducted by Bill McKendry, founder and chief creative officer at the creative hub Haven.
The research showed that young people are leaving the church, separating themselves from Christianity, and growing hostile toward faith.
“Jesus has become less known, and the church has become less relevant and less welcome in mainstream culture,” said the campaign promoters.
To combat this reality, Servant Christian Foundation has invested $100 million in creating “He Gets Us,” an advertising campaign that will blitz all major U.S. markets with messages about Jesus – his love, understanding, compassion, and welcome – and most important, Jesus’ incarnational understanding of what it is like to face human challenges.
The ads will appear as television commercials, billboards, YouTube videos, internet ads, and more. Each will point people to HeGetsUs.com, where visitors will be encouraged to take one of four actions: they can chat with a live person to ask questions; they can send a text to receive prayers and encouragement; they can sign up for a small group Bible study through Alpha; or they can start a seven-day Bible reading plan.
The hope is that these seekers will then turn to local churches in their area for additional support in their faith journeys.
“The campaign has grown out of significant research that indicates the cultural battles now being fought within the evangelical churches in the U.S. actually reveal a bright spot for mission,” said Zach King, director of Resonate Global Mission.
He noted that while the CRCNA has not funded or been a part of the creation of this campaign, CRC congregations should be ready to welcome seekers when and if they come.
“The bright spot is that people who would consider themselves skeptics of Christianity are actually quite open to reimagine their concept of Jesus when presented with a more biblical and incarnational expression,” he explained.
“The campaign will be happening over the next 18 months, and it is likely that many unchurched and nonbelieving folks will be exposed to these images and messages. The hope is that missional churches will be able to build on these messages and invite people into deeper conversations about Jesus and his importance to them.”
Individuals and churches interested in learning more about how to share the gospel with others can visit resonateglobalmission.org/witness to access a free, self-guided course that includes videos, small group discussion guides, and a personal journal – all designed to equip people for sharing Christ’s love with others.