Jesus, the original hipster?

JESUS-CHRIST-ORIGINAL-HIPSTER

A new ad aimed at making Jesus more culturally relevant has a major church working to re-brand the image of Jesus.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn started a campaign that is gaining national attention. The ad has captured the attention of pop culture with picturing Jesus as the “original” hipster.  Apparently Chuck Taylor All Stars are the key to making Jesus hip:

Apparently Converse’s “Chuck Taylor” sneakers are a favorite choice of footwear of both the Pope and Jesus Christ. And why shouldn’t they be? They are comfortable, colorful, and according to Seth Meyers in his SNL Weekend Update, are why more Catholics are returning to church.

Catholics yearn for a Church they can relate to. That is what Seth Meyers was jokingly referencing, and that is what the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn’s new “All Faces, Everyday Understanding” marketing campaign is trying to achieve.

This isn’t the first time we have seen a hipster Jesus in print. In 2012, Time Magazine featured a modern looking Jesus on its front cover.

Is this ad simply a fun attention getter or a real attempt to bring young people into the pews? According to CNN, the ad has helped the Brooklyn Diocese’s website to see traffic increase by 400%. Certainly, a metric of tracking interest.

Ads like these help generate discussion and interest, but will that translate into more people in churches? Most likely not. Posting an ad on the streets will not solely translate into the masses attending church. Other changes need to be made in order to reach young people. Investment in young people in church ministry requires a coordinated effort.

As for Jesus as the original hipster, he certainly hung out with outcasts and not with popular people. That certainly made Jesus cool to the least of these. Perhaps that means he is attractive to young people today.

Discussion: Is this ad a real way to win young people back to church or is it all hype?

Alan Rudnick

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Alan Rudnick has been featured on television, radio, print, and social media and serves as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. He has quickly established himself as a leader, blogger, and commentator in the areas of faith, Christianity, ministry, and social media. He is the author of, “The Work of the Associate Pastor”, Judson Press. Alan’s writing has been featured with the Albany Times Union, The Christian Century, Associated Baptist Press, and The Fund of Theological Education. http://alanrudnick.org

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