How did the world’s greatest love story become known as a hate group? An honest and raw question to reflect on for many who identify as Christian, but both necessary and important if we want to reach new people with the Gospel message.
Christians are called to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). To “love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 22:39). And even “look after orphans and widows,” (James 1:27). But why does this seem more difficult than ever before? Why is the church seen as judgmental or hypocritical when Jesus preached a radical message of love and hope?
What People Think of Christians vs. What People Think of Jesus
It turns out there’s a little more to it. An extensive four-month research study in 2021 lead by Haven, uncovered that what people think of Christians is very different from what people think of Jesus.
The things keeping people from the church were tied to their perceptions about Christians: hypocritical, judgmental, anti-science.
However, when asked about their perceptions of Jesus, common ground becomes much more clear:
Jesus . . .
- teaches love
- seeks peace
- offers radical compassion and forgiveness
- sets an example for reconciliation rather than division
- is a worthy example to live by
In fact, 1 in 2 respondents said they would be open to learning more about Jesus’s teachings. Whether they’re cultural Christians, neutral non-believers, or more skeptical, this is an enormous opportunity to give people the space to learn more and ask questions about the person and teachings of Jesus.
He Gets Us Campaign
That’s where He Gets Us comes in. Launched as a nationwide multimedia campaign led by a diverse group of people passionate about the authentic Jesus of the Bible, He Gets Us aims to help people meet the real Jesus—and on their own terms.
The way forward is to meet people where they are. Traditional evangelism tends to jump right into the divinity of Jesus and urges people to join the church. On the other hand, He Gets Us taps into what we have in common with Jesus himself. By leading with a radically compassionate Jesus and emphasizing his humanity, we can cross chasms of misunderstanding, hurt, and doubt by realizing Jesus is more relevant than ever because his human experience is what connects him to all of us.
Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center asked,
“People put up barriers to the truths of the Gospel, seeing Jesus as a distant figure. How do we get past them? This campaign is pushing past preconceived notions that normally allow people to dismiss the Christian message—and maybe instead, know that he understands us.”
He Gets Us leads with Jesus’s core teachings. How to love, be unified, and care for others despite our differences. We are opening up pathways for communication and conversation that have previously felt closed off.
After seeing a He Gets Us ad, one person responded in a chat on the campaign’s website with,
“I hadn’t really thought of Jesus in that way. I need to ignore all the noise and open my heart to learn more about him. I need to emulate his example of love and have a positive impact in today’s divisive and polarized world.”
This is the way ministry, Jesus’s ministry, moves forward. By overcoming divisions and extending a message about what we have in common, rather than where we disagree. See, by tapping into the humanity we share with Jesus, as well as those shared values of love, peace, and understanding, we’re able to reach those who may have been unreceptive to conventional evangelical strategies.
Sign Up for He Gets Us Resources
We follow Jesus’s example by leading with a relevant message. By meeting them with empathy at their level of experience and understanding. And throughout the process, we welcome those who haven’t felt safe to ask questions or share doubts. In the modern church, this is what it will take to reach people who would otherwise keep Christians at an arm’s length.
He Gets Us is creating a lot of buzz with people curious about Jesus. To-date the campaign has drawn 30+ million YouTube views, 10+ million prime-time TV ad views, and 95+ million outdoor impressions. Every day, the campaign generates thousands of conversations with people who are curious about Jesus and want to connect with someone locally.
That’s why churches of all shapes and sizes are invited to join the conversation. By signing up as a church partner, you’ll find everything you need to become He Gets Us Ready and connect to more people.
- Coaching and certifications that empower leaders and volunteers.
- Bible studies and conversation guides that help your laity lean in.
- And…info on how your church can connect with the people who respond.
Sign up to partner with He Gets Us and access resources to become He Gets Us Ready.