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5 things to know about the ‘He Gets Us’ Jesus ad campaign

Peter Pinedo By Peter Pinedo for CNA

A He Gets Us ad in Washington, D.C. / Credit: He Gets Us

Washington D.C., Feb 12, 2023 / 09:34 am (CNA).

Super Bowl viewers this Sunday may be surprised to see two ads that don’t seem to have anything to do with Christianity until the end when the words “Jesus” and “He Gets Us” flash across the screen.

The He Gets Us ads running during the Super Bowl, the most watched U.S. event of the year, were created by a nondenominational group to share the message of Christ’s love to whole new audiences.

Here are 5 things to know about the He Gets Us ad campaign

What is He Gets Us all about?

The two Super Bowl ads created by the campaign will focus on “the behavior Jesus modeled in relationship and conflict,” He Gets Us spokesman Jason Vanderground told CNA.

“Instead of responding to divisiveness in anger or avoiding conflict altogether, Jesus demonstrated how we can and should show confounding love and respect to one another,” said Vanderground.

More than just Super Bowl commercials, the He Gets Us campaign first surfaced in March 2022 and has been causing waves through TV spots, billboards, and digital ads.

Vanderground told CNA the campaign is “a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness. We believe his words and example offer hope and believe they still have relevance in our lives today.”

The campaign is not about politics, or even a specific church or denomination, say the organizers.

“We simply want everyone to understand the authentic Jesus as he’s depicted in the Bible — the Jesus of radical forgiveness, compassion, and love,” the He Gets Us website says.

According to an official He Gets Us partners website, the campaign has reached 431 million YouTube views, connected 113,923 people to churches, and has 19,501 churches involved.

Those numbers are before this Sunday’s Super Bowl ads aired which are expected to reach an audience of close to 100 million.

Who created He Gets Us?

According to Vanderground, a group called HAVEN, a creative hub and marketing resource, is the lead agency behind He Gets Us.

“What began as a campaign to answer the question, ‘How did history’s greatest love story become known as a hate group?’ has quickly grown into a movement,” said Vanderground.

He Gets Us is also an initiative of the Servant Foundation, which is managed by the Kansas-based foundation and donor-advised fund The Signatry.

Founded in 2000 by Kansas philanthropic adviser Bill High, The Signatry has received over $4 billion in contributions and has helped make more than $3 billion in charitable grants, its website says.

According to its website, The Signatry funds “discipleship and outreach efforts, Bible translations, cultural care, church plants, anti-human-trafficking missions, student ministries, poverty alleviation, clean water initiatives, and so much more.”

Who sponsors the He Gets Us Super Bowl commercial?

The campaign is quiet about its specific donors, saying most of its sponsors “choose to remain anonymous.”

Hobby Lobby co-founder David Greene announced in November that he is one of the campaign’s major donors. Greene was confirmed to be one of the campaign’s major donors by Vanderground.

“We are wanting to say—we being a lot of people—that he gets us,” said Greene. “He understands us. He loves who we hate. I think we have to let the public know and create a movement.”

Is He Gets Us a Catholic campaign?

Though it has seen the involvement and sponsorship of many churches, He Gets Us is not directly associated with any one denomination.

The campaign website says that “throughout our shared history, Jesus has represented the ultimate good that humankind is capable of aspiring to … Our agenda is to rediscover the love story of Jesus. Christians, non-Christians, and everybody in between. All of us.”

How much has He Gets Us cost?

The campaign to spread Jesus is spending about $20 million on its Super Bowl TV spots, according to Vanderground.

Originally announced as a $100 million effort, Vanderground told Christianity Today in February that “the goal is to invest about a billion dollars over the next three years,” adding “and that is just the first phase.”

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  1. Apparently, the advertisements will include some refugee/open borders propaganda. Who needs George Soros when we have Christian conservatives?

    • We need more people in the U.S. If you and the rest of the country knew how short-staffed hospitals and clinics are, you and the rest of the country would panic. In my hospital lab, we went from 8 microbiology technologists to 3–and we were doing not only the workload previously done by 8 people, but also all of the new COVID testing. When we tried to send out the work to a reference lab, ALL 3 huge reference labs told us that they were too short-staffed to take on any more work. The same is true for most hospital departments (except for the administrative staff–not only over-staffed but overpaid). Our decreasing U.S. population due to legal abortion and baby boomers like me and my late husband choosing to only have 2 children has caused a critical decline in our population. Our two options are (1) actively encourage couples to have bigger families (won’t happen unless the government stops asking citizens for more money for junk projects like “climate change” and instead, gives citizens BACK the money they have earned, as well as helping the poor to rise out of poverty and (2) opening the borders to non-criminal immigrants who want to work for a living in the U.S. Yes, we need to turn away the criminals, especially the drug dealers, and those who want to overthrow the U.S. or establish a “country within our country”–but all the rest who want to work should be welcomed and assimilated as quickly as possible into our country so they can work! We desperately need them!!!!

      • I mostly agree Mrs. Sharon. But we need to look at the way Canada & other nations can attract immigrants without relying on drug & trafficking cartels to supply them. The cartels basically run our southern border & determines who & what enters the US.

      • I disagree that we need more people here. Saying we need more people is like supporting a ponzi scheme. People are not working because govt benefits are too generous and its possible to make more money sitting at home than working. See this article:

        The significant influx of immigrants presents many problems. The fentanyl, sex trafficking, numerous terrorists who have been caught. . Adding millions of folks in s a short time means they are using scarce water, pushing up rents and shortening the housing supply. They are filling our hospitals with no means to pay and overburdening our schools. Depressing wages for Americans too . I mean, why would you pay someone $12 an hour if there are people lined up to do it for $7 an hour?? Many of these illegals arrive poorly educated in their own language and may not know english. They become permanent members of the welfare rolls, for life. In NYC, there was a recent near riot of illegals. They had been placed in a luxury hotel where the state paid $500 PER ROOM PER NIGHT for them to be housed there and filled the hotel. The result: fights, garbage in the halls, donated food thrown away, and sexual activity in the staircase. When they were evicted to go to less luxury options, needless to say they were not happy and “activists” arrived to conduct demonstrations. I say there is no reason to expend money in this way to people who do not appreciate it. It is time to close the borders, and evict those who came here illegally. Trump, no matter your personal feelings about the man, knew a national security problem when he saw it. These are not our citizens and we owe them nothing. Further, this soft democrat focus on MILLIONS of illegals has taken scarce resources which should be helping AMERICAN homeless, many of whom are mentally ill veterans.Two more years of DEM ineptitude will destroy the country and it’s economic base. We cannot afford to support the many billions of folks who live in the rest of the world on our dime. The sooner this is shut down, the better.

        What to make of the NEW border crisis of spy balloons flying over the nation??? Just more partisan ineptness by liberals who will not face facts and protect our own people. Suppose a virus was in that first balloon? . Suppose it was a nuclear radioactive payload? Why, of course, just let the Chinese fly the balloon where they wish: maybe over a big city? Maybe over a city where someone you love might live?? If China was wondering about US weakness, they have their answer. Those of you who voted in these clowns, the blood is on your hands.

        • LJ,
          It’s about demographics. Without immigration we will resemble Japan in the not too distant future.
          There are better ways of bringing immigrants to the US than what’s going on now at the border but neither side of the political aisle really wants to find a lasting solution because the situation is too good of a way to score points and drive narratives. Not to mention a never ending source of cheap, exploitable labor.
          The children of immigrants who attend US schools all learn English. They will grow up to enter the workforce and keep Social Security and Medicare afloat.

    • I don’t think they are Christian “conservatives”. To me, nondenominational means non-committal to any specific doctrine.

  2. As usual the modern marketing of Christianity glosses over Jesus’s radical call to repent and sin no more as well as to love Jesus one is called to pick up their cross and follow Him obediently in accordance with God’s definition of sin.

    • We went to a non-denominational church yesterday (we went to Liturgy out of town Saturday for the vigil service). The sermon was on mercy (the church is doing a series on the Beatitudes). It actually was not a bad sermon, but no mention of repentance or justice.
      Funny thing about the Beatitudes. Jesus goes from all this really nice Warm Fuzzy Happy Feelings in Matthew 5:3 to 11 to something similar to “The Rules Matter–and by the way, I am more strict than Moses: by Matthew 5:17 to 37.
      By Matthew 11:20, He is bringing the Hellfire on Chorazin and Bethsaida.

      • Hello Kathryn

        I agree with you. I have heard many Catholic Priests homilies on how Christ’s whole New Testament message is summed up in this warm fuzzy feeling you get when reading Jesus’ Beatitudes. Well Christ’s Beatitudes are the Beatitudes of Armageddon. Yes! The whole world filled with only the meek, humble and pure of heart will be wonderful, once the unrepentant wicked are removed from the earth by Jesus.

        Matthew 5:5 The Beatitudes
        Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land

        Psalms 37:9
        Those who do evil will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth. Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more; look for them and they will not be there. But the poor will inherit the earth,…
        …The wicked perish, enemies of the LORD; They shall be consumed like fattened lambs; like smoke they disappear. The wicked one borrows but does not repay; the righteous one is generous and gives. For those blessed by the Lord will inherit the earth, but those accursed will be cut off….
        …When the unjust are destroyed, and the offspring of the wicked cut off, The righteous will inherit the earth and dwell in it forever….
        …Wait eagerly for the LORD, and keep his way; He will raise you up to inherit the earth; you will see when the wicked are cut off….
        …Sinners will be destroyed together; the future of the wicked will be cut off. The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD, their refuge in a time of distress. The LORD helps and rescues them, rescues and saves them from the wicked, because they take refuge in him.

        Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1146, “Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice.”

        Please everyone, receive Jesus recent, year 2000, gifts of Divine Mercy Sunday this coming April 16th!

  3. Jesus does get us.
    We all need to get Him.
    This frail life we are given, is more than flesh, more than personal fun and pride.
    Love and kindness are the health of ones heart.
    We can choose the future of a loving heart, and maybe we can hangout with Jesus, which will bring eternal happiness to your soul.✝️

  4. Exactly, Jesus would get their attention(drawing a line in the sand) then teach the compassionate lesson, then say “Sin No More.”

  5. Our culture is so conflicted and distanced from God anything that may have some benefit seems justifiable. If the Catholic Church makes murmurs insofar as impact what else is there?
    Addressed numerous times by this writer and others is the deleterious influence of an all power usurping papacy leaving bishops with the proverbial lack of clothes. It’s up to them [their personal responsibility is enormous] to take the manly, faithful initiative and assert their authority to preach the Gospel and admonish, to proclaim the truth, in season and out of season and to challenge any authority that presumes it can silence their Apostolic witness to Christ’s revelation.

  6. People today who are far from Jesus or who have been told he’s irrelevant, or worse, may be attracted by such hooks as these commercials. I praise the effort to draw people in. Who knows how many in Jesus’ time came to him incrementally rather than in a single encounter. The arts, broadly speaking, can do this too, even when not strictly Christian or Catholic.

  7. Dear Brothers in Christ,
    If the following comment is deemed worthy to be published, kindly carry it under the pseudonym of (Paterimon).
    I am a retired (95) Catholic Melkite Priest of the Diocese of Newton.
    I can end you my address if you like to.
    Thank you:

    It seems to me that the campaign is based on “Jesus Seminar”: they first set up a convenient paradigm that renders Jesus an appealing prophet who exclusively teaches love and mercy, unconditionally pardons the adulteress, and sends her home in peace to continue her dissolute life. As for “sin no more”, it’s clearly a posterior interpolation added by the Church to control people!
    Nobody is excluded. “Woe to you…hypocrites: You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter” and the awesome rest is conveniently ignored because it’s simply not in the logic of the Gospel!
    In the long run, Jesus is emptied of all divine attributes so he can fit into the Great Reset.

  8. It is unfortunate, and unfortunately telling, that comments regarding the “He Gets Us” campaign in both America Magazine and here, are majority negative. The article itself was straightforwrd, and for that I give thanks!

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