Do We Get Us?

By Mary C. Frances, Senior Associate Consultant

While the overtime win for the Kansas City Chiefs may have filled the Facebook feed for many folks on Sunday night, my Facebook feed was filled with posts of folks sharing their outrage over the He Gets Us ads run during the evening. In case you missed it, there were two such ads. One was a sixty second ad showing foot washing happening in all kinds of scenarios with a diverse group of people. The other was a ten second ad suggesting that we love our neighbor.

While I know a few non-church people who were actually intrigued by these ads (my atheist brother-in-law wondered why he didn’t know Jesus washed feet!), most people were upset either because there is some suggestion that these ads were funded by anti-LGBTQ organizations or just the idea that the millions of dollars spent on the ads could have been better used in other ways such as feeding the poor or housing the unhoused. I couldn’t help but think of the story from John 12:3-6 “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”  He did not say this because he cared about the poor…”  Who are we to say the best use of someone else’s money? To be clear, I am not here to litigate this debate however, I did some research and if you feel triggered by this then I invite you to do so as well

I would like us to focus on the important part of the messages:  Jesus washed feet; we are asked to do the same. Jesus said love your neighbor – and that everyone is our neighbor! I’d like to show you the tale of two neighborhoods while you ponder who is your neighbor and how well you know your community.  This story starts with one Neighborhood Insight Report with two drive times: 5 minutes from the church and 15 minutes from the church. Most people from the congregation lived further away than 15 minutes from the church and drove through the 15-minute zone to get to worship each week.

This is the median income and net worth for the 5-minute drive time:



This graphic is for the 15-minute drive time: 

Pretty drastic difference, isn’t it?


And the more we dug into the report, the more disparity we found just a few minutes away from the church.

 Here are some key data points within the 5-minute drive time:

And here are the same data points for the 15-minute drive time:

One community, two vastly different worlds!

But one thing remained similar for both areas:

More than 60% of people considered themselves to be unaffiliated with a church or community of faith. This report, as you might imagine, caused the leaders at the church to pause and reconsider some of their missional efforts. Everything changed once they understood who was their neighbor.

It doesn’t matter to me how much money He Gets Us spent on their Superbowl ads.

They get to choose how to live into Jesus’ command to love your neighbor….and so do we. That is what matters to me. How can we help you understand your community so that you may better love ALL of your neighbors?  Want to know more about this power report?

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