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“He Gets Us” Super Bowl Ads

If you watched the 2024 Super Bowl a week ago hopefully you saw several ads "for Jesus." A number of Christian bloggers were negative including one on the "The Christian Post" entitled "He Gets Us Super Bowl ad doesn't get Jesus." As a result I've received a number of emails and calls asking what I think of these ads. So here goes.

Bill McKendry, the ad's creator is a friend of mine and lives in Grand Rapids. He is a serious follower of Jesus and uses his ad agency Hanon McKendry to help many Christian ministries get their message out. Bill was the creator of the Taco Bell chihuahua and other major ads for national accounts. Bill and his team spent almost a year researching the need to reach non-Christians and the best way to meet that need creatively and biblically. He asked my thoughts as he did many others during the creative process but I contributed nothing to the final product. As I remember it, here was their premise:

Whether we like to hear it or not, in survey after survey even by Christian pollsters, non-Christians believe Christians are against more things than they are for. We are perceived as anti-gay, anti-science, anti-vaccination, anti-education, ant-immigration and we want to shut down every library that offers books that are contrary to the Bible. I'm sure you don't agree with those observations but it doesn't matter. Many in the public do so we have a problem

Here's the good news! Jesus still has a far better reputation than his followers! So, McKendry's idea was to remind people that Jesus was a revolutionary. His #1 command was to love God. But #2 was "love your neighbor as yourself." And in our current political and cultural climate loving your neighbor appears to be in short supply. So let's remind people that Jesus himself was for more things than he was against! And he wasn't just for "things" he was for people. And in particular he was for "the least of these." So the He Gets Us ad campaign hopes people will look past what they believe about Christians and investigate Jesus himself. Jesus loved Samaritans, Romans and he even loved his enemies. That is a Jesus people almost anyone can embrace.

Critics complain that the Jesus in the ads never talks about sin, the cross, or repentance. But these ads are not meant to be evangelistic. They are pre-evangelistic- which is having discussions that prepare people to hear the gospel. We do the same thing in real life. We have a neighbor over for dinner to begin building a relationship. We might not get around to talking about Jesus until two or three social events. Then we share the story of how we came to faith and how that decision to invite Christ into our life changed everything. By then hopefully our neighbors begin making a connection that the people they find enjoyable to be with are that way they are because they believe in this Jesus. No mention of sin, the cross, or the resurrection yet. Pre-evangelism.

But the He Gets Us campaign does not want you to simply have warm, admiration for Jesus. If you go to their website it will direct you to Bible reading programs and Bible study groups in your area. They want everyone to know "the rest of the story." Which includes why Jesus came to save sinners. So, kudos to them!

Another complaint is that they spent an estimated $17,000,000 on those ads which could have been put to better use actually helping the poor people in the ads. But that's how the donors to He Gets Us felt led to give. The same could be said about any of our giving. "Why did Harry donate money for a new Christian School cafeteria? That money could have been given to starving people." Because the only person "Harry" or any Christian ever has to answer to is Jesus.

Unfortunatly so many Christian movies and ads tend to be truly "cringeworthy." So my attitude is that whenever serious followers of Jesus do something with excellence to make Jesus look good to a skeptical world even if it's "Christianity lite" I'm all in. "Well done good and faithful servant."

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Loving the discussions the ads have stirred up! Love your commentary!

He not only Gets Us, He Loves Us!

Jesus Te Ama!


Thank you again, Clare! Well done, good and faithful servant.

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