By now you’ve likely heard that Church United is helping lead a national movement around digital evangelism. Last year we launched phase one of the South Florida expression of the He Gets Us campaign and have seen incredible results of people wanting prayer, exploring faith and connecting with local churches – and we’re only just getting started.
Everyone has an opinion about Jesus. The He Gets Us campaign seeks to spark the conversation. With phase one having launched on November 20th, 2021 and run through February 6th, 2022, the objective of the campaign was to create cultural change by influencing millions to think differently about Jesus and his relevance in our lives. The target audience was people skeptical of the Christian faith – a population representing one-fourth of the U.S. adult population. Running through billboards, commercials and a strong social media presence, this first phase saw over 30 million YouTube views, 95 million outdoor impressions, and 10 million prime time TV ad views nationally. Locally, over 30,000 people clicked through the social media ads and 5,220 connections were made.
Informed by the latest research
Leading up to the launch of the campaign, over 5,000 nationwide quantitative and qualitative responses from skeptics were analyzed. We learned that over 50% of those skeptical to the Christian faith were open to learning more about Jesus – especially those with children still living at home. With many having had bad experiences with churches and Christians, the majority of skeptics viewed Christianity as hypocritical and judgmental. Yet, through the research we learned that they were open to learning more about the person and work of Jesus and how the Christian faith can speak to real, “felt needs” they are experiencing. The name, “He Gets Us” and the design of the ads were created to directly address what was learned through the research and informed by the open opportunities to faith shared by the skeptics interviewed.
A sustained national conversation
With key Christian donor families uniting together from across the country to fuel the campaign, this digital evangelistic effort coupled with TV commercials and outdoor billboards, seek to spark and sustain a national conversation around the person and work of Jesus with the end goal of connecting local Christians to those exploring faith, life and meaning. “We want people to get to know the real Jesus on their terms and via whatever means they feel comfortable exploring and connecting,” said one “He Gets Us” donor family, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Hello, I saw the commercial on WSVN Channel 7 and visited the website [hegetsus.com]. It’s very uplifting and made me feel more hopeful and less alone. I’m in need of prayer. I finally had the courage to leave an abusive relationship, and now I’m sleeping on a family members couch. I’m really lost. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated,” said one local explorer on their digital connect card. Here’s the thing; that prayer request was routed to the closest participating church here in South Florida and an actual, real-life local Christian reached out with prayer.
“Since we jumped onboard a few weeks ago, we have seen four explorers connect with our church. We even saw a local resident get saved over the phone as she prayed with one of our staff members,” said pastor Mike Veitz of New River Fellowship. With over 125 churches participating in South Florida alone, we need to raise that number to 500 by the end of the year just to keep up with the demand of those wanting to connect with a local church. “I had a long chat…[with] our first explorer. She is isolated working from home and has her ill mom living with her. I invited her to our Zoom Adult Bible Study class, and she came and felt welcomed and participated. She and her mom came to our Christmas Eve service, so that was great! She has come back to our Zoom class, and we are connecting over coffee next week,” said a church staff member who is participating in the campaign.
An unprecedented gospel opportunity
God’s people in South Florida and across this nation stand at the crossroads of an unprecedented evangelistic moment. As culture drifts towards an increasingly post-church, post-Christian environment, the means to engage those exploring faith, life and meaning must continue to change and adapt. Just last Sunday I sat next to Samantha who started attending our church after engaging with us through a “He Gets Us” social media ad. She had experienced some difficult brokenness in her life and wanted to talk to someone about it. Eventually she attended our Alpha (evangelistic outreach) Course and started to regularly attend Sunday morning services. She discovered Christ and now brings the children she nanny’s for to church every Sunday. Samantha is not alone. Opportunities and stories like hers are all around us. People want to engage. The question is, how will the Church respond.
Ready to get your church involved? Visit ChurchUnitedFL.com to learn more.
Edwin Copeland serves as the Director of Church United with the National Christian Foundation of South Florida where he works to unify the Church through collaboration and celebration to see faith, hope and love spread throughout South Florida. To learn more about Church United, visit churchunitedfl.com.
Read more articles by Edwin Copeland at: goodnewsfl.org/author/edwincopeland/