Senior Pastor at Messiah CRC in Hudsonville, MI
Crain points out some valid points, but I think she makes some assumptions about the goal of the campaign. Carey Nieuwhof interviewed Bill McKendry, one of the people behind the campaign, who explains their thought process. Basically, he points out that there is only so much that a 30 second ad can convey. They are trying to meet people where they are and inspire curiosity about Jesus. When a pastor asked him when the He Gets Us campaign is going to address Jesus' divinity and our need of Him as the only Savior, McKendry responded, "We aren't. You are."
He also pointed out that while the cost may be astronomical in our minds, it is actually a good investment.
You can hear it all here:
I agree that the bait and switch game seems to be at play. If they are saying that they don't have a goal of people going to church, but actually they have a goal of people exploring who Jesus is by reading the Bible and asking questions of pastors, that is being less than fully honest and counterproductive.
I do know that my brother, who is in their target audience of religiously skeptic, appreciated the ads and wants to know more.
Posted in: Why Are Young People Leaving the Church?
Thanks for this fantastic article! I especially appreciate the three questions at the end as guidelines. These are extremely practical for those who are away to school as well. The idea to simply and genuinely take interest in people seems like a Christlike attribute that I often forget.
Messiah CRC in Hudsonville, MI has a service we call "Light in the Wilderness" which is more reflective on why exactly Jesus came into the world in the first place. Not because everything was merry and bright, but because "Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth." We used to call it a Blue Christmas service, but that got too many people thinking of Elvis and distracted them from the focus of the service. Every year that we've done the service, different people find it meaningful. This will be our fourth year having the service and it will be at 5:30 this Sunday night.