What are the "He Gets Us" Super Bowl commercials about?

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Site Search

Biblical living

What are the “He gets us” Super Bowl commercials about? A conversation with Director of Generosity Phil Boone

February 9, 2023 -

The Denison Forum Podcast discusses timely news and relevant topics with biblical insight. Hosted by Dr. Mark Turman and featuring Dr. Jim Denison, plus guests on occasion, this weekly, discussion-oriented podcast will help Christians further develop a biblical worldview on current events, equipping them to be salt and light for Christ.

The Denison Forum Podcast discusses timely news and relevant topics with biblical insight. Hosted by Dr. Mark Turman and featuring Dr. Jim Denison, plus guests on occasion, this weekly, discussion-oriented podcast will help Christians further develop a biblical worldview on current events, equipping them to be salt and light for Christ.

The Denison Forum Podcast discusses timely news and relevant topics with biblical insight. Hosted by Dr. Mark Turman and featuring Dr. Jim Denison, plus guests on occasion, this weekly, discussion-oriented podcast will help Christians further develop a biblical worldview on current events, equipping them to be salt and light for Christ.

Phil Boone, Director of Generosity for the He Gets Us campaign, discusses their research of America’s modern culture and their strategy to showcase Jesus’ humanity, love, and story to get spiritual explorers interested in Jesus and connect seekers to local churches to become deeply rooted disciples.

Powered by RedCircle

Show notes: What are the “He gets us” Super Bowl commercials about?

Phil Boone begins by talking about how He Gets Us started, why he became passionate about its mission, and their in-depth research behind the media strategies of He Gets Us (2:49).

He describes the way local churches and ministries get involved and make connections with spiritual “explorers” that He Gets Us hopes to make curious and eventually win over to Christ (17:33).

They talk about why Jesus used stories and met us as a human incarnate and how their ministry showcases Jesus’ relatability and love to get deeper into theology and right living (31:43).

Boone closes by explaining their unique strategy to make disciples and deep connections through mass media and how you can get involved (39:57).

Resources and further reading on He Gets Us

About the hosts

Mark Turman, DMin, is the executive director of Denison Forum. He received his DMin from Truett at Baylor and previously served as lead pastor of Crosspoint Church.

About the guest

Phil Boone is the Director of Generosity for He Gets Us. He has experience in sales, consulting, executive leadership, and capital fundraising. He sits on several widely-ranging boards of directors. He graduated from Abilene Christian University.


Transcribed by Otter.ai

Mark Turman  00:10

You’re listening to the Denison Forum Podcast. I’m Dr. Mark Turman, Executive Director at Denison Forum. Thank you for joining us for another conversation about culture and faith and hope. And today we’re talking about something that many of you have probably already experienced, on some level. If you’ve seen a very compelling and interesting commercial on television, particularly in recent days, during the NFL playoffs, if you’ve seen a commercial that ended with a statement, he gets us and a reference to Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We’re talking today with one of the folks that is instrumental in this effort. We’re talking with Phil Boone. And Phil is gonna say hello in just a second. But let me give you his resume, and he’ll tell you a little bit more about him. But Phil is Senior Director of generosity, which already is one of the greatest titles that I’ve ever heard of all right, Phil, Senior Director of generosity for the signatory, and the effort called he gets us. He has experience across his career in direct sales, insurance, managing and consulting, sales, executive leadership, and gift and capital fundraising, including things like visual content, branding, and church planting, which is way more than any one person can really do in a lifetime. I can tell you. Phil is also on the board of directors for several things, including a bank here in Texas, the restoration outreach of Dallas, and chairman of pro at GE mission, serving Christian church communities in Western Kenya, as well as in Costa Rica, and international refugee children in Abilene. He is originally from Abilene and a graduate of Abilene Christian University, where not only did he go to school, but he’s also helped to raise millions of dollars for the university to continue their mission. He has a bachelor’s degree from ACU and finance. And most importantly, I don’t know why we always list these things last Phil, but he has been married to 30 for 39 years to Patsy his wife. And they have three grown children and most importantly, nine grandchildren. Right?


Phil Boone  02:29

Yes, sir. Number nine was born on February 1.


Mark Turman  02:41

Tell, tell us the tell us the part that we don’t have in the official resume, tell us the rest of the story about who you are.


Phil Boone  02:49

Well, thank you, Mark, for this opportunity. You know, I was raised in a family that lifted up Jesus and from an early age was modeled by by grandparents and my parents, the desire to honor God and to serve others. But like all of us, we have journeys of, in our lives, where we, we mature, and we make mistakes and hopefully mature again, but I’m blessed in that way to have had that in my my life, as long as I can remember. You know, I’ll mention one thing, you’ve reminded me that bio, I had thought about it a while, but when we we moved the company to Austin in 1996. And thought that’s why we were going there. But it turned out we helped to plan a church called the Freedom church that was primarily for men and women transitioning from the prison system back to society. And that’s, that’s the church planning part of that piece. And it changed my children’s lives forever. And we’re just very, very grateful for for that kind of experience. And that’s, that’s what we’re hoping he gets us does in some way is helps people to connect to the unconditional, life saving love of Jesus.


Mark Turman  04:09

Wow, yeah, that that is a unique form of church planting. I I’ve been involved in the suburban form, but that’s a that’s an even more unique form of church planting. But tell us about this current endeavor. I was talking with you a minute ago. I think I first caught up to this. This thing called he gets us probably close to two years ago seems like yesterday, but about two years ago, I heard one of the large voices in in church life and ministry, a guy by the name of Ed Stetzer. Talked about this effort even before I’d seen any kind of a graphic or anything even remotely close to a to actual ad or commercial. He said he was just kind of talking in a training seminar said hey, this is coming We’ll be watching for it, I think it’s gonna be a really healthy and helpful thing. But where did you intersect the story of he gets us in? What is the kind of the origin story and the vision of what this effort is all about?


Phil Boone  05:15

Yeah, so you’re you’re not, you’re pretty close to the exact time that it was that it started hadn’t quite been two years ago, in March of 2021, a handful of families got together, multigenerational families got together and started discussing the rapid decline in the American culture, and came up with what they call the problem question, which is, how did the greatest love story in the history of mankind become known or described in way too many people’s minds as a hate group? And that was the question, how did the greatest love story in history become known as a hate group. And so from that, literally, in March of 21, a phone call was made to one of our major partners, it’s called Haven ha V in Haven is a marketing and advertising company that’s focused on Kingdom business. And from that point forward, the first thing that was done where several, a few million dollars were spent on some significant research of our culture, we surveyed 1000s of Americans from different ethnicities, different backgrounds, different parts of the country, different ages, and started asking them questions around, ultimately, would you like to learn more about Jesus. So that’s really how it got started, Mark. And I got involved in it because I was fundraising and taking people to the signatory to get financial services advice, and through that I to her for the first time, but it was just this last day about he gets us in the movement and what the goals were. And I was just so touched that I felt like God really called me to be a part of it.


Mark Turman  07:21

So tell us a little bit about the goals in the strategy. It can be easy to look at this. And just people may have seen one or two ads at this point that, that he gets us his put out there. But it really is much more than just simply putting a nice, warm message in the middle of, of a sporting event. It’s it’s going to have significance, because, you know, as I was talking to my family, after the playoffs a week or so ago, I said, Well, you know, the Super Bowl is coming. What’s going to be your favorite part? Is it going to be the chiefs, the Eagles, the halftime show, or the commercials, and lots of different opinions about that. But those are the four big, you know, I guess if there’s one more big part of the Super Bowl, it’s the food, right? But there are going to be a couple of significant ads that are run from he gets us in the midst of the Super Bowl, which is a very intriguing thing. We all know that that’s not an easy thing to do financially. But what is the what’s the kind of the overall view of the strategy because in doing some of my research for this conversation, it’s way more than just running some ads to try to get people to feel better about Jesus. Right.


Phil Boone  08:39

Exactly. Well, that’s thank you for the question. And I’m going to try to I’ll give you the big 60,000 foot view. And it’s really quite simple. In fact, I’d like to start by saying that we’re learning as we’re going, we have a good strategy it’s working. But this has never been done before. And so the beauty of technology of being able to use this is we can kind of hit pause and redirect and change some things but the overall strategy we believe is a sound one and working well. So let me describe it this way is the media that you and everyone are witnessing this media we’re calling that the air game. And we want people to take two actions when they see the videos is one first action is to go to he gets us.com and then when they go to he gets us.com They can watch other videos and these videos are about the characteristics of Jesus, and about a life experiences that all of us go through or most of us and then of some kind or another and then that Jesus went through those experiences as well. Things like betrayal, and family conflict and fear and anxiety and disappointment, and happiness and joy and the good parts of family but all those Things are on the website. And we hope that those, those videos, drive people to step number two, action number two, and that is what we call raise their hand digitally. And they can do that. First of all, by 24/7 chat, we have teams of people that are on 24/7 and return a chat within 15 seconds. And so many of the conversations begin in a chat, and then they sometimes switch to text messaging, we have a text platform, people seem to be many times more comfortable texting from their phone, then that can go to an email conversation, we’ve been able to thank God to connect one of our major partners, you mentioned Ed Stetzer. And you didn’t say the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, but they’re a major partner, the YouVersion Bible app is a major partner. So we’ve been able to connect 55,000 people in that first conversation when they raise their hand to a seven day Bible reading plan. And we can immediately with the technology to send that right to their phone where they can begin a reading plan on fear or on disappointment. And so that’s been so exciting. But the goal of that second step, then, so this is the error game media, to the website to beginning a communication. And then with a little bit of trust building, we ask the question, may we connect you to a ministry or church partner in your zip code. And if that happened, that’s, yeah, it’s a big step. When that happens, we call these people explorers, that’s just our version. We call them explorers, and then they go into the inbox of a system that, uh, our church and ministry partners, and that begins the ground game. So think about it, again, it’s really pretty simple the air game, to the ground game and the within 12 hours is our, what we want our partners to do is to try to reach back out within 12 hours to that explore, and then begin the process of making a connection. And, and what we like to say is and then become connected to the unlimited resources of the Body of Christ. And that’s when we that ground game begins. And that’s the point at which, you know, that’s where churches do what they do best, and ministries do what they do best, where they begin to build relationship, and make friends and then go from there and building a greater relationship to have to earn the right to either share the gospel and and more of the story of Jesus, but then also get to that point of becoming master Savior, Christ in people’s lives. And then to begin the journey of maturing discipleship making.


Mark Turman  13:03

So it’s really intended to be a very up to date, technology in formed effort at fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus right to go and make disciples of all the nations, I just listening to you talk about the strategy, it just kind of occurred to me that maybe a bunch of this kind of combination between digital and actual interaction that you know, leads like, like you said, from the air game of mass media, and events, the scale of the Superbowl, and other things like that, from you know, we’re all very screen driven, whether that is on a television screen, or a computer screen or a phone. We’re consuming so much through those kinds of media. But but then ultimately tying it to a local reality if that person wants to have that actual experience of being face to face with other human beings and, and investigating the claims of Christianity at a deeper level. And then like said, if, if they continue to move in that direction, actually having real relationships with people. I’m just wondering, does it does it seem to you that a lot of this was informed and possibly even inspired by what we were all required to experience through the pandemic, when, when there was a whole lot of we can’t go anywhere, but we can talk in a digital environment. So is this maybe one of the positive outcomes of that really hard season of the COVID 19 pandemic going back three years ago that now we’re like, well, maybe we could do this technology in a unique way. Is that some of what’s going on?


Phil Boone  14:51

Absolutely. Yes. You know, when that that handful of families got together the you know the reality the reality will The facts were that if you’re in this country declining for decades, you know, you could argue and say all along, but it’s just been such a more rapid decline in the last, say 10 years. And that’s because primarily social media. And so the question became through the pandemic. And the question became, can we is there a way to use social media to reverse this decline? What are the how can we use social media in a positive way. So these ads that you and I are seeing on television and on billboards, and in print that he gets us is on Facebook, and he gets us his on Instagram, and he gets us as on Tik Tok. And all of those platforms because we’re trying to reach we’re trying to reach everyone that has a desire to know more about Jesus, but but many of the ads, though, are also written to the 35 and younger, say, 18 to 35 category, a lot of the ads are written that way, because the facts are Barna is another of our major partners and BARDA does research about that particular subset of the culture. And it’s almost like learning a new language, it’s it’s really learning. Well, here’s the way we put it, both of my sons have served in the mission field and a couple of daughter in laws and you, you learn about the culture you’re moving into. And what we’re learning now in 2023, and he gets us campaign is we’re really learning about a culture within our own borders. And so you can’t take the same strategies, the same techniques into a culture is not the old America that we want to do. And so yes, you you have made a great connection. I think the pandemic, I don’t think it accelerated. What we’re doing now with he gets us.


Mark Turman  17:12

So Phil, in the in the early, what would seem to be still early season of this ministry. Are there some early results that y’all are seeing that are encouraging to you is that is the strategy in some way working in a way that you can actually see at this point?


Phil Boone  17:33

Yes. So again, another great part of technology is we collect a lot of amazing data. And just to give us some today, we have been able in in literally months, and it’s actually not quite a full 10 months. So nine, nine and a little more months, we’ve been able to connect 115,423 explorers, to church partners. Yeah, yeah. And so then that begs to ask, Well, where are those connections today, and so we are beginning to build that on that. Another words, we’re trying to get our church partners and ministry partners, a part of the profile and the technology that they sign up with. The technology behind the campaign is led by a company, a Christian company called glue. And that’s spelled G L O. And glue provides the technology and the platform that we do all this communicating with and all this connecting with. And part of that is to that we can very easily reach back out to our partners and say, okay, these partners that you were connected to in March, April, May, June of 22. I mean, yeah, so 22 Where are they now, and we’ve got some pre, what’s the right word, but just some buttons that they can click and stay, you know, say, you know, never connected, or we can say they remain connected. And then as time moves on, we’re going to dig down further and say, Okay, well, how are they connected? Are they now a part of your ministry, a part of your church or those types of questions going deeper, so So we’re very excited at the number of connections, we’ve got over 6500 church and ministry partners. I’m telling you all the good news first, and then we’ll talk about the child. So 6500 receiving explorers and we got more than a real close to receiving explorers. We got quite a few that are actually what we call turning on the spigot starting this Friday. You know, trying to be ready for the Superbowl. But the joy in this moment, there’s all kinds of things to be joyful about. But one of the ones we’re most excited about is that what grabbed my heart partly what grabbed my heart in the beginning was the church staffs are not going to be able to handle this are lay people, people in the pews are going to have to raise their hand and say, Hey, maybe for the first time, or usually for the first time, hey, I want to help my church receive explorers. But I need a little bit more training, I need a little I need to build my confidence to know that I’m, you know that once it gets a little bit beyond friendship, and connection, what do I do next. And so again, we’ve partnered with several great people, you’ve probably some of you will have heard, some of the listeners will have heard of alpha. Alpha is a fantastic video series that really, it makes it pretty easy to help you lead a small group lead friends lead explorers to, at least to the point of needing to make a decision of what they’re going to do with Jesus. And so we also partner with a group called one hope, which is a curriculum designed mostly for, you know, like 20 Somethings down to upper teens. And so the idea is back to the ground game is Mark, we want to provide our partners with all the resources that they could ever desire in training, in equipping in resources to make sure that their their congregation, their people are ready to help receive explorers.


Mark Turman  21:43

So it’s so great to see the combination between like said technology and personal, the local congregations being engaged around this want to get to that in just a moment about how a believer or a congregation can actually become a part of it. But you know, I would just echo absolutely affirm what you were saying, particularly about people that you know, are 1518 to 35, we’ve done some research in that area that we’re providing through our website that our listeners can follow as well. It’s, you know, this Gen Z group and some of the millennials that are a little bit older than them. You know, lots have been said and written about both the positive and challenging aspects of what it means to be in those age groups these days. They have a lot of spiritual questions, some of the some of the research indicates they’re very eager to have spiritual conversations, even if, you know, they, they say, by self identity, that in many ways, they don’t consider themselves to be Christian, or in many ways to be anything right now. But they’re very curious, and they’re very willing to have conversations. And so we should be encouraged by that. The other thing that I think we found certainly over the last three years is that there are some aspects of ministry that we can do really well, through a digital platform and idea, you know, our ministry is now 14 years old, we’ve certainly experienced that over 14 years, and especially over the last three to five years, you know, through the pandemic, and otherwise. And then there’s a lot you can do, I remember when we were a few months into the COVID pandemic, I said to my staff, hey, if you don’t like your job, go start training for what it means to do digital ministry, because there’s going to be a lot of it available. And and this is one aspect of that, you know, that that there’s a lot, there’s some things you can’t do. I think we’re learning some lessons that maybe we don’t do, you know, corporate worship as well as we might want to in a digital platform. But you can do a lot of things like answering initial questions and explaining, you know, some of the core foundational truths of what Christianity is all about. And that particularly, the younger generation is very comfortable engaging in a digital way, either through text or other types of connections, they’re very willing to do that. They’re very comfortable in doing that, because they do it in a lot of different ways with other people anyway. And this is a way of, you know, we talked about some of the evils of, of technology and social media, this is certainly a way to redeem that. And to use it to express this, like you said, the love story of who Jesus is and what we’re all about, and how people can I love the term explorer. That’s a great way of saying, you know, what, hey, I’ve got questions, and there are people that are eager to answer them, but talk a little bit about okay, if somebody’s listening to us, and they’re just kind of catching up to this story. And to what he gets us is all about how does a believer How does a church actually become I’m affiliated and become one of these churches where explorers will get referred to how does all that happen?


Phil Boone  25:07

Yeah, so we’ve got church teams and city teams all over the country, but that are working and calling on churches and people. But here’s the easiest way, I hope all the listeners will grab a pen, or pick up their phone and go to he gets us partners.com. Just like it sounds, P AR T n ers, he gets us partners.com. And on that site, take your time, of course, you can come back and forth to it. But you can dig down as deep as you want to about resources and about partners and about all the things that are there. But most important or not, most importantly, but to your point, your question, there is a place there where you can say, hey, I want to sign up now. And you do have to fill out a profile, we ask everyone to agree to the loose sawn statement of faith. And you guys can Google that to just go to it. But I would just in summary, say that it is a very traditional church history, values of biblical theology. And so kind of the one that the values that have been around for 2000 years, and so go to that, feel free to read it, I think everyone will be satisfied in that regard. But we do ask that to make sure that we’re sending explorers to ministry and church partners. And by the way, one of the things we’re excited about is that community groups, small groups, house churches, we’ve got them signing up. And so you don’t have to be an official part. Now. The the, the actuality is, is that some like take, for example, my home church, they begin receiving explorers over in Tarrant County starting on Friday. And one of the avenues when when explorers come into the inbox is going to be we’re going to have different community groups that agreed receive and explore. Because you can imagine I mean, you don’t have to imagine very hard, but there are some people that yes, they’re willing, they’re searching, but they’re not ready to go to traditional Washington muse, that word but they’re just not ready to go to church on Sunday morning. But they’re comfortable going to fill in Patsy billings home on a Tuesday night. And so, right. So I want to encourage everybody listening that, that the the challenge, though, is you gotta be ready. So the good news is, it’s, it’s very easy to sign up. And we have what we call both directions he gets us can hit the pause button, or or ministry partner can hit the pause button. And what we mean by that literally is if for whatever reason, you’re not able to respond within 48 hours. And that happens a couple of times, then we literally he gets us we’ll hit the pause button. And then we we have we have signed what’s called a church champion to every church and group that signs up and they’ll call or email and say, okay, Phil, twice in a row, we’ve sent you explorers and you haven’t responded within the allotted time period. What do we need to do to help? How, what kind of training can we get you? are we sending you too many? And so it’s very, it’s very helpful in that regard. I wanted to mention one other thing while we’re on this topic is that that’s so exciting about you’re talking about Gen Z and Millennial and, and basically, we call it it’s 58% of America, we have classified into two of that 58% Literally we call skeptics and cultural Christians, and that’s based on research and I’m gonna give you a little bit of that here in a second. But that’s a that’s about 150 million adults 18 And above that are either classified as skeptic or cultural Christians and skeptic is not a negative. It’s a it’s just, they’re just not sure about all this, but they want to know more. They want help in raising their children. They want help in having a healthier emotional condition. They want help in providing for their family and and then there’s the cultural Christians that have a lot of those same desires. But that’s folks that know enough about Jesus but either negative experiences in their life, or they just never were surrendered enough to that it changed their life change the way they live. And so that’s 150 million people that we’re really writing these ads for. And one of our major partners, this is where I was heading, one of our major partners is called McQueen analytics. And every week, I know your listeners are gonna find that hard to believe I do, too. But, but it’s the truth every week we can the Queen Adelaide analytics communicates with 800 people, many of them have seen the ads, there’s still a few that have not. But we dig down into questions about what the ads are meaning to them, what they like about them, what they don’t like about them. And then we ask them, what is it that appeals to you about knowing more about Jesus? And you can imagine that there’s a couple of dozen answers. But the four most often you ready for this? The four most often reasons given number one, Jesus was peaceful, or is peaceful, a man of peace? He’s approachable, He’s forgiving. And he loves everyone. How about that for simplicity of the gospel, in the love of Jesus? So those are the top four and so. So that’s, that’s what we’re trying to. We’re trying to appeal to folks to get them to take these action steps. And then back to your original last question, it’s pretty simple to get signed up, but you got to be ready.


Mark Turman  31:43

Yeah, gotta be gotta be ready to engage and to receive those who are who are exploring, right? And, man, how exciting can that be? When when you get involved in that kind of partnership with the Holy Spirit and, and get to have those kinds of conversations with people right and know that, you know, the response is not up to you. You’re just you just get to be there as someone who helps and somebody who, who testifies, and someone who shares what their own journey with Christ is. And you’ll just be amazed how God can use that in the lives of other people. So it’s not about no pressure here to create some kind of result. We know, we talked about at Denison forum all the time. We can’t change anybody’s heart. That’s, that’s not our job. Our job is simply to share and encourage and to explain to the extent that we can with our own relationship with Christ and let God do whatever he wants to do with that. Right. Exactly. That’s great. So So you mentioned some of the some of the positive things, what have been some of the challenges that y’all are working on at this point? What’s I would imagine that there’s probably, you know, at least a few critics who would say Jesus wouldn’t do ministry this way. If he were walking the earth, as he did 2000 years ago, I’m sure that that’s at least part of the challenge. But what are some of the challenges that y’all have been confronted with?


Phil Boone  33:10

Yeah, so one, that’s not necessarily criticism, but one related to our timing with the Super Bowl is, our goal is to have 30,000 Church partners. And that doesn’t include our, you know, Christian addiction centers and the American Association of Christian counselors that we already have, that we can connect people to immediately and but we really have a goal to end up with 30,000 Church partners, and we’re at about 6500. So obviously, that’s just so that we can be prepared. It’s it does seem to be working that well, that we’re going to have the opportunity and the need that kind of reception team. So that’s yes. In the beginning, and there are articles that are still written and it’s it’s just a part of the A part of the process, but there are, you know, parts of the body of Christ that think that we’re only sharing, you know, the man of Jesus and not the full deity of Jesus. And the truth is, that is correct. That is the strategy to begin with the air game. Again, I want to remind everybody, the air game is to get people to learn about a man that walked the same earth we did that experienced the same things we experienced, that suffered. That was and I’ll need to go into all of it but just brutally beaten and crucified for unjust reasons, and even asked God to forgive his executioners and so We in the beginning, the strategy is the air game is to connect people to that amazing man whose life and his followers still impact our world today. You could argue and justify in the history books more than any other person has ever impacted the world. And so we are connecting people to that Jesus. But then when we get them connected to the ground game, that’s the job of the Body of Christ. That’s where we are relying, that’s where a relationship really happens. That’s where you then get to follow up on story. You know, one of the greatest things I think it was it’s still true that said that, and just part of the research is that Jesus was the best at this. And I love the way you said it a minute ago, Jesus wouldn’t do it this way. Well, you know, what Jesus did was he led with story he led with his life and another person’s life and the overlap and what was missing. And that’s how he led and then at some point, he would bring in hay, and by the way, Creator as a better way to live, here’s some moral things that you need to consider beginning to work on in your life. And then thirdly, theology. And unfortunately, so many times in our church efforts, we’ve reversed that. And we begin either with theology or morality. And it’s like we forget about story. And the truth is, that’s how Jesus got people to become willing to listen to him or to be with him. And they hung out with people that were related to his story. And so that’s what we’re trying to do. And so, yeah, we were still taking a little heat from articles. Another one came out, yes, just yesterday, or over the weekend, actually, about this idea that we’re not presenting the full Jesus, and they will be correct. In the beginning,


Mark Turman  37:12

in the beginning, yeah, at least at least as it relates to a, you know, a brief ad that you would see on television, right, which is, which is intended to start a conversation, but it’s not the whole of the conversation, right? That is correct. And, and we some and we sometimes forget that, even when we’re reading the story of Jesus in the gospels, right, is that there were people who came to listen for a long time and to consider what he was saying and who he was, it was, in many cases, not a one time engagement. And if I, if I understand you correctly, he gets us is trying to say that same thing, look, we’re not, we’re not trying to say that this is all going to just work out in, you know, 30 seconds or two minutes. This is what we what we are trying to get people to consider Jesus, in a way and at a level that maybe they haven’t ever before. And coming to some clarity around. There are a lot of people in our part of the world and even around the world everywhere that know little to nothing about Jesus, there are those people. And then there are also a bunch of people who have a very warped understanding because of various things that have happened in their life or people that they have encountered. They, they don’t have a real clear view of the person of Jesus that we meet in the Scripture, right. And I know that, you know, I know when I was a teenager, when I was 17 years old, I had had some exposure to Jesus in the church as a child, and then my family dropped out of participating in church. And then, when I was 1417 years old, I didn’t know really anything. I thought God was real, but I didn’t really have any concept of what Jesus was about who he was. What I saw in stained glass and in other pictures from my childhood didn’t inspire me. But then, you know, I had a friend that just walked in one day where I worked and handed me a Bible said start reading here at Matthew chapter one, let me know if you have questions. And the person of Jesus started to come alive at that point, right. And this is just a, this is just a technologically informed way of trying to get to conversations like that is is the way I read it. And certainly you can’t tell everything that needs to be said about Jesus and about faith and about what it means to have a relationship with Christ. You can’t do that in a 62nd Superbowl commercial, but hopefully you can inspire the start of that conversation, right?


Phil Boone  39:57

Yes, sir. Well, and that’s that’s what We’ve learned in doing all this research is that that mentality what you just said, it’s people’s expectations to have the whole thing presented and wrapped up in a nice package. And that’s the problem. That’s a lot of the problem that we’re having about any subject in the American culture today, that you can’t just have a conversation, begin to make a connection and have a conversation about how you perceive things or reconsider things. And we’re asking people to reconsider Jesus in this way. And but yet, people because we sit down, and we want to sit down and want to tell somebody, the whole version of whatever my belief system is, and then immediately you’re you’re beginning with conflict. Immediately, you’re beginning with the you see this the way I see this. And so then I really appreciate the way you just unpack that. That’s very, very helpful. I hope your listeners were keyed in while you were unpacking that. Because that is that’s really what we’re what we’re trying to do. And begin a conversation, make a connection and make a friend. I’ll even tell you this, not not to not over summarize, but but one of the key founders in this, I was with him about a late last year, and he looked at me and he said, Phil, this can sound complicated it can be, it can kind of be overwhelming if you think about the whole country at the same time. And so what we’re trying to do, and I’ll tell you what he said, or we’re trying to do is we’re saying, Hey, how can you get excited and help your church, and then maybe your city, or your area, and then the state of Texas, and then the country, but you got to start where you feel like you can see progress. And that’s why we’re trying to get people to get involved immediately, either at their home or at their church. And here’s what he said, he looked at me, he said, Phil, here, here’s the campaign in full the full circle is he gets us. He gets me. He has a family. He wants you in it.


Mark Turman  42:28

Yeah. Yeah. And yes. You know, trying to Trent. Yeah, trying to remind everybody you know that. Yes. Yeah. I mean, we are to we are to think and to pray in some ways on a global generational level, you know, that, yeah, God loves everybody is astounding is that is, but to bring that back down to a personal kind of micro level, right is to say, okay, where does? Where does that start with me? And where can I be involved? You know, as it relates to the way that God wants me to love my family and my neighbors and my friends, and, and my church and my community? You know, at some point, it has to come down to Okay, what about my relationship with God, and how am I involved in what he’s doing? And that, that becomes very personal to every one of us. And if we will do that, then, you know, God will do what he what He alone can do, which is to change hearts, and we pray as we we talked a lot about this at Denison forum, we’re praying that God would bring spiritual awakening to our part of the world to our generation, God seems to be doing amazing things in places like China, and even in the, the predominantly Muslim world, that God is reaching 1000s of people below the equator. But you know, particularly here in the West, in the in the United States, and in Western Europe, there’s, there’s a great, great need. I don’t know if we’re necessarily desperate and hunger hungry yet. But there’s a great need for spiritual awakening, there may be 100,000 people a day coming to Christ. But all the indications right now our that’s happening in other places, it’s not happening in our part of the world where things like the Super Bowl are so big. And so, you know, hopefully, this strategy will be one that God can use in a massive way to maybe trigger because we’re wondering, in some of the work that we’re doing, that may be the next great awakening in our part of the world will be a significantly digital driven awakening. Because why wouldn’t God use the tools that are available to him? Why wouldn’t you know, in the same way that he used other technologies in the past, why wouldn’t we use the technology that we have in front of us today to fuel and implement and execute some aspects of the the awakening that he wants to bring into our world and to bring more people into his family, right? Why wouldn’t he do that? So? Well, Phil, thank you, thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for what he gets us is all about. And we hope people will pay attention, we hope that they’ll become a part of it, especially their churches, and their small groups that they’ll go to he gets us slash partners, find out what that’s all about, and sign up, get trained and be ready to receive those explorers. They might be really surprised, who would walk into their life and into their door right and, and what I tried to tell people at my church was, you know, it’d be open to everybody, the next person you meet could be your next best lifelong or even eternal friend. So be open to that, be ready for that. And that’s a little bit about what he gets us is all about. Phil, thank you. Any last word you want to share? Before we go?


Phil Boone  45:54

I just hope that people will keep an open mind and go and ask the question, What can I do to be helpful and go to he gets us partners.com? And their answers are there, don’t hesitate to reach out. But thank you so much, Mark.


Mark Turman  46:26

Absolutely. Absolutely. And thank you to our listeners for being a part of today’s conversation. We hope it’s been helpful in clarifying to you if you’re watching the Superbowl be watching for those ads. And maybe it’ll spark a conversation in the in the in the group that you’re in for the game and in other places as well. If today’s conversation has been helpful to you, please rate and review us on your podcast platform and share this with others so that they’ll understand what he gets us is all about. And we’ll look forward to seeing you next time on the Denison Forum Podcast. Thank you and God bless you


What did you think of this article?

If what you’ve just read inspired, challenged, or encouraged you today, or if you have further questions or general feedback, please share your thoughts with us.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Denison Forum
17304 Preston Rd, Suite 1060
Dallas, TX 75252-5618
[email protected]

To donate by check, mail to:

Denison Ministries
PO Box 226903
Dallas, TX 75222-6903