He Gets Us: Kyle Isabelli on Reaching Out to Non-Christians with Gloo

Thanks for tuning in for this week’s unSeminary podcast. We’re chatting with Kyle Isabelli, the lead pastor of Avenue Christian Church in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wondering how to connect with hurting people in your community who might not venture through your church’s doors? In today’s episode Kyle and I have a fantastic conversation about the church’s community outreach efforts using the He Gets Us campaign and the Gloo platform. Listen in to hear how you can use these free digital tools to connect with and care for your community.

  • Gloo and He Gets Us. // Since COVID, Avenue Christian Church has utilized resources that Gloo and Barna offer to churches. In addition to church health and spiritual health assessments, Kyle and his team began to explore the He Gets Us campaign and the connection that Gloo provides to it. The He Gets Us campaign invites people to get to know the real Jesus. It communicates that Jesus understands them and that whatever people are experiencing, Jesus faced it too. He Gets Us became more widely known after two of their ads aired during the Super Bowl in 2023. In addition to being on TV, their ads are also online and on billboards.
  • The local church partnership. // The He Gets Us campaign messaging engages people in areas where they are struggling and invites them to reach out for help via text. When someone reaches out with a question or a need, the Gloo platform then forwards the messages to local partnering churches. As a partner in the campaign, Avenue Christian Church receives messages from people in their area code seeking help or encouragement so they can respond with practical care.
  • The response. // As a He Gets Us partner, Avenue gets an average of two to three messages per week forwarded to them. They then respond to the person, letting them know who they are, the church they are from, and that they are available to talk. When they reach out, they have a 50% response rate, with about half of those interactions leading to phone conversations or connecting individuals to the church through attending a service or coming to a small group. 
  • Behind the scenes platform. // Gloo has an online platform that your church can sign up for where all of the contact data is stored. You can send a text message or make a phone call through Gloo and track when you were last in touch with your contacts. If the contacts have opted in to receive communications from your church, you can also export the data to Excel and use it in your church management software. In addition, Gloo offers a host of other high quality resources including prayer prompts, sermon tools, reading plans, discussion guides and more.
  • Less promotion, more care. // Working with Gloo has helped remind Avenue Christian Church that their digital strategy has to be less about self-promotion and more about how to provide care for people in the community, listen to what their going through, and meet their needs while sharing the gospel.

You can find out more about Gloo at and how to partner with the He Gets Us campaign at To learn more about Avenue Christian Church visit and connect with Kyle at

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: CDF Capital

Since 1953 CDF Capital has helped church leaders and individuals bring light to the world through the thoughtful stewardship of their capital. The Church, including your church, requires more than just financial capital, it also needs spiritual and leadership capital. While separate in purpose, these three forms of capital are intertwined and inseparable for the cause of kingdom growth. Together, when we partner with the Lord to bring spiritual, leadership, and financial capital to a church, the results are transformational. At CDF Capital our ministry is simple: we lend money to churches.

CDF Capital, in partnership with Barna Group, conducted a research study to better understand what happens in churches after a new leader comes in. Barna Group interviewed 111 pastors online who have experienced a leadership transition within the last 12 years. Click here to get your free download of the study.

Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Well hey everybody, welcome to the unSeminary podcast. So glad that you have decided to tune in. Man, I’m really looking for to today’s conversation. In fact it’s been probably six months in the making; really been looking forward to today’s call. You’re going to want to lean in for this one. We’ve got Kyle Isabelli – he is at Avenue Christian Church. It’s a multi-generational church that represents the western suburbs of Chicago as they ah help people live their best life with Jesus in charge. Kyle, I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being here today.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, thanks Rich. I’m excited to have this conversation with you today.

Rich Birch — Yeah, why don’t you fill in the picture about Avenue? What is tell us a little bit more; give us a kind of a flavor, a sense of the church.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, Avenue is a church that has been in the western suburbs for over 60 years. It was originally started in suburbs a little bit closer to the city. And then the mid 60s it it made its way out to Clarendon Hills which is, some people may not know, it’s Downers Grove, Hinsdale for about 30 minutes outside of the city. And they’ve had a heart to really reach the the community, and really be a light in the community. And I’ve been the senior pastor here now since January 2020. And prior to that I was here as a youth pastor, started in 2017. So I’ve been here six years. And it’s been cool to be a part of a church that really is multigenerational, that we have new, younger families that are here, but you also have people here at our church that have been here longer than I’ve been alive, you know. So it’s it’s such a blessing to be able to lead in this context and to see God work and move in really helping more and more people find new life in Christ.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love it. This um, so today what we want you… we got connected on Carey Nieuwhof’s online community called The Art of Leadership Academy. And you posted in there about your church’s participation in the He Gets Us campaign. If people remember this Super Bowl 2023 a big ad on that, a whole campaign built around that by our friends or powered by our friends at Gloo and, you know, associated other folks. And so today we’re going to dive in this is kind of we’re going to open up the hood take a look at what happened at Avenue understand ah you know, kind of lessons learned, that sort of thing. But why don’t we start with, you know, what led you to say, hey this is the kind of thing we want to be a part of? What kind of got you to that?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, our our church throughout covid had been utilizing a lot of the resources that Barna and Gloo had been sharing with churches. We used a lot of the church health assessments. And the Summer 2022 we had our entire church take kind of like a spiritual survey to gauge their spiritual health as as well as like ways that we as leaders in the church can do a better job of caring for our church. So we’ve been utilizing Gloo for quite some time, Barna quite some time.

Kyle Isabelli — And so we began to hear about the He Gets Us ads which actually launched in March of 2022 during the and NCAA college tournament, the basketball tournament. And so you see a few of these ads coming out, you’re like what’s all this about? And so Gloo then begins to share how these ads are posted on social media, and if people text in saying oh that resonates with me, or I have a question about that, or something speaks to me in that way, they text in. And what Gloo does is then sends those text messages to local churches.

Kyle Isabelli — So for instance, if someone has an area code that is close by our church—so here in the western suburbs it’s a 630, a 708 or an 815 area code—um our church then would receive that text message. So for instance, someone struggle with anxiety, and they see the ad about anxiousness and they want some help or encouragement with it, they’ll they’ll text in: hey, I need help with this; I’m feeling anxious. And we get that message to our platform through Gloo. And so then we’re able to start a conversation with them. We’re starting to text them and and be able to, you know, engage in conversation. And this has been so incredibly helpful because over these last few years in our polarized society um churches and pastors especially our credibility just within society has kind of decreased. I think leadership in general…

Rich Birch — True.

Kyle Isabelli — …our credibility has gone down for better or for worse…

Rich Birch — Sure, sure.

Kyle Isabelli — …whether we did that to ourselves or we’re just a byproduct of being a leader or a pastor or church. Um that’s just the reality of where we’re at. One of the things in Barna, ah Glenn Packiam in his book about being a resilient pastor, he shares that like 55% of people have little to no trust in pastors and church leadership. They don’t they don’t view them as a credible source.

Kyle Isabelli — And so now to overcome that um, people are able to, you know, get connected with the pastor or church with that. They probably wouldn’t have thought of before, but they’re willing to have a conversation about what they’re struggling with it. And it opens up this this gateway to, hey this is I’m a pastor um, from this church. Can we let’s just talk about your anxiety. Let’s just talk about whatever is going on. And so it’s allowed us to kind of reach into our community even more despite people not having the best thoughts or feelings about a church whether for better or for worse.

Rich Birch — That’s interesting. Can can you give me a sense, so we’ll start with the kind of anecdotal story like you know, maybe somebody that you’ve ended up connecting with as a church and the impact the kind of positive impact either through He Gets Us or pre-, you know, He Gets Us with the other work you’ve done with Gloo.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah. I mean for instance I met with a guy a few weeks ago. He texted, he said he was having marriage problems, he was on a second separation. And so I texted, said, hey, you know I’m really sorry to hear that. Would you be willing to come in and like have a conversation with me? I’m not a marriage counselor, but I can least have this initial conversation with you. And so he came in. We began to talk and um, you know, shared the gospel with him. And said, you know, I I hope your marriage can be restored and there’s some things that you definitely have to work on. But like I want you to know what’s really going to make a change in your life and hopefully from that spiritual change in your heart then you can see changes in other parts of your life. And he’s like he’s like, I went to church growin’ up. No one’s ever told me about Jesus in this way; I don’t read my bible. And so I gave him a bible here at our church. I said, hey start reading through this.

Kyle Isabelli — And um, so now for these last couple weeks I’ve met with him once or twice, we talked through, he’s attended one of our church services. Um, still working through his separation, working with the details of that, but um, just trying to help people out. And I would have never…

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — …had that conversation with him apart from him clicking on an ad from He Gets Us on, I think it was on Tiktok.

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — I dunno which ad it was…

Rich Birch — Sure.

Kyle Isabelli — …but he clicked on it. We got the message. And the conversation and the relationship really started because of that.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s amazing. So this is what I love about our friends at Gloo. Like they’re, you know, they’re empowering churches. They’ve developed tools. You know, there’s a number of things that they’ve tried to do to help people, um you know, help church leaders connect with their community. And there is often, you know, a lot of their solutions are built around this idea of providing actual care for people, which I think is amazing, is fantastic. So what about on the kind of, I’m sure there’s people that are listening in that are like, what about so how many, is that like the one conversation you’ve had? You know, what’s that look like? Or do you have a you know a phone center now, you got 25 people all day long texting people back. What’s that look like?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, so where we’re at um at our church, we started in October of 2022.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Kyle Isabelli — So now we’ve been doing this for about—today’s June 1st—we’ve been doing it, you know, eight, nine months. Um we average about 2 to 3 messages per week. Some weeks it’s less, some weeks it’s more. And out of those messages we get about a 50% response rate. So…

Rich Birch — Okay.

Kyle Isabelli — …if we text back right away saying, hey, this is who I am. I’m a pastor here in the western suburbs of Chicago. I’m a partner with He Gets Us. Thanks for reaching out. I hear this is what’s going on your life. Would you like to share more? We leave it at that. On the bottom of it it says like, hey this message comes from Avenue Christian Church., You can you can, you know, text n…

Rich Birch — Check them out or you…

Kyle Isabelli — …or text no to get out of opted out or whatever. And so about 50% of people do engage with us, um at least over texting. And I would say out of that 50% probably another half we’ve been able to have phone conversations, get connected in our church and have them start coming to some of our, you know, life groups or small groups at our church. Get them… Some people I’ve had to refer them to counseling, you know, and say, hey, let’s we have some we have some counseling services that we partner with in the area. This is something that’s probably above my pay grade…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Kyle Isabelli — …but let me let me help you out. It’s above my training, let me help you out and point you in the right direction.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Kyle Isabelli — So you know some people would look at that and say oh only 50% of people respond back to you. But these are people we would have never connected with in a million years had it not been for being a partner with Gloo and being ah a He Gets Us a partner.

Rich Birch — Um, and then how how is that working, so like you talked about the six is it 630 area code? Um…

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, there’s three different area codes that kind of are generally within the Chicagoland area where we’re at…

Rich Birch — Yep.

Kyle Isabelli — …that we’ll we’ll get those coming to our feed I guess.

Rich Birch — And so obviously on the backend there’s a little bit of like ah like there’s obviously multiple churches in 630 or in those areas that are engaged. They’re doing something to root calls to, you know, various different churches. You have a sense of how that looks? And and is that are they scaling it based on the size of your church or how does that work?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, I don’t know how they scale it. My my guess from from my initial conversations and then also talking with a couple other churches in the past six months that are in this area is that it’s almost like a checklist.

Rich Birch — Sure.

So it’s just like all right, we sent this one to Avenue today and…

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kyle Isabelli — …and like I know Community Christian is another one and they, you know, they get the next one that comes up. And then the next one that comes up. and so I think it might just go on to rotation. I’m not 100% sure, but we’ve never myself and another staff person handle these initial contacts, and it’s never been like this overwhelming thing where like you said, there’s a call center now…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Kyle Isabelli — …there’s 25 people, you know, time of thing. So um, yeah, so all I know is it’s based on area code.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Kyle Isabelli — It’s based on where they’re coming from. And and like getting capturing people’s information, you know, you get ah in a church setting to capture a first time visitor’s information is so hard some days, you know?

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s so…

Kyle Isabelli — It takes them like six weeks…

Rich Birch — Oh, yeah, yeah.

Kyle Isabelli — …to finally a write down their email, you know? And now it’s like we get their phone number and email immediately before even having a conversation with them.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s amazing. Like so if, you know, doing the math quickly, you know, there’ve been somewhere around 200 contacts, which is amazing. Like that’s if you if, you know, eight months a couple and a half, you know, two and a half a week um…

Kyle Isabelli — Yep.

Rich Birch — …you know, 50% of those you actually hear back from. So there’s like a hundred legit kind of conversations. They’re all legit…

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah.

Rich Birch — …but a hundred conversations you’ve been engaged with. And then, you know, some some people that you’ve actually and then other 50%, so you maybe moved 40, 50 people to actual phone conversations, which is you know, pretty amazing. Tell me what’s the size of your church? Like what’s the I’ve tried to get a sense of scale for people that are listening in.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah.

Rich Birch — Because it would to your point to even even if you whittle it down to that 50, even if you say okay, the 50 who kind of followed the bottom of the the funnel, for a lack of better word. The people that you you know, actually end up getting on the phone, man a lot of churches would do a lot of work to get 50 contacts…

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah.

Rich Birch — …like that would be a tremendous amount. So yeah, give us a sense of that.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, I mean we’re we’re a church of about 400 on Sunday.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Kyle Isabelli — And you know, with you know people come in once or twice a month…

Rich Birch — Yeah, absolutely.

Kyle Isabelli — …you know, probably more would call Avenue their home. But that’s our average attendance. So we’re a mid-sized church. So to to your point to have 50, 40 to 50 contexts, you know, 10 to 15% of our weekly attendance that we’re able to engage with people in the community, like I don’t know an outreach strategy, a digital outreach strategy that has that type of return on investment, if you want to put it in those terms. Like it’s it’s pretty remarkable. Um, and and such a blessing for for us to be a partner with them. So it it to me the the numbers, the math as we kind of broke it down, it just it makes a lot of sense. Especially because it’s something that they give to churches for free. Like that doesn’t cost us…

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah, you can’t beat the price.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, you can’t beat the price of that.

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah, and how much does all this cost? Well they give it to you.

Kyle Isabelli — Yes.

Rich Birch — So yeah, absolutely. Just to put that all in context context, friends. So a church of 400 people, you know, the industry average, the kind of ah thing that we would typically would love to see us driving towards from a first time guest contact information, that would average 8 a week. Like we should be seeing somewhere in that range typically. And I don’t know where where you guys are at, but when you even put it in that context, if you think three contacts a week are coming in on average through through the the internet that are above and beyond that, that’s a robust number, again, considering all the work that it does you have to do to to gather contact information from people who attend on a regular basis. That’s that’s incredible. So when you know the interesting thing, so did you see as the actual Super Bowl went through a spike? Did that was there a lot that week? Has it been pretty consistent? Yeah, give me a sense of, you know, as as it’s trickled on do you still get contacts? How’s that going?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, I would say Super Bowl saw a little bit of a spike. Um you know in Chicago in particular for most of the fall and then now this new baseball season ah, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox they consistently have He Gets Us ads in their ballpark. So in Chicagoland it’s probably been more prevalent. I don’t know how that is compared to the rest of the country. So we didn’t see too much of a spike for Super Bowl and the weeks after because it had kind of been a part of everything we’re doing. Um, but I will say that um I just think about the dollar amount that goes into creating these ads.

Rich Birch — Oh yeah, that’s huge.

Kyle Isabelli — Like as ah as a church our size like we would never have the millions upon millions of dollars to to create these amazing amazing digital ads, get them advertised in multiple platforms. Like we don’t have the the team, the resources, we can’t do any of that. And so to have that type of resource and for your church just to be a benefit, ah it’s huge. And so it just it makes sense for any church anywhere to utilize it because people are on social media, people are on the internet, people are streaming, and these He Gets Us ads are everywhere. And so it’s it’s such a blessing to be a part of it. So yeah, so not too much of a spike when the two big ads did show. Um, but we, like I said, being in the area that we’re in we I think it’s been more consistent because it’s been here a lot longer.

Rich Birch — Interesting. Yeah, I think Chicagoland is one of Gloo’s—I’d have to look, but—one of their focus communities. Like they have a number of communities across the country that they’ve ah they’ve said hey we’re going to put disproportionate effort in, for sure, which makes sense. Yeah, that’s that’s fascinating. All right so.

Kyle Isabelli — Um, yeah.

Rich Birch — when you now are you able to, ah so you get the text and email you get their phone and email which is amazing. Um, have you put those into another follow-up sequence? Are you allowed to do that? What are the restrictions around that? Can you continue to, you know, be proactive? Obviously if Ppeople opt out then, you know, obviously you can’t keep going. But if if what what does all that look like?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, so Gloo, the the nice thing about Gloo is that um there is an actual online platform that you can utilize that your church signs up for. So all of their data is is stored in there. So if we want to do a phone call or send a text message, we can do it through Gloo obviously. But if we have something else going on in our church and they’ve opted into communicating with Avenue Christian Church, we’ll send that to them. You know, we can ask them, hey, we we send out a weekly email of our church… because some people even do um have reached out because He Gets Us started a campaign of saying like, hey, it’s time for you to come back to church. Pandemic’s over; start coming back to church. Do you need to find new church home? So we’ve had quite a few people have responded “looking for a church home”. That’s been their kind of one sentence prop. So um, we’ll we’ll put them in our database, you know.

Kyle Isabelli — And and Gloo ah, you can export it through Excel. So we can load it to our database which is you know CCB, Community Church Builder. And everything’s very seamless. If we want to use more of that data we can import it into our own database, but Gloo has a great online platform that makes it very simple to see everything, all the contacts, when’s the last time you’ve connected with them, what’s the last message that you’ve had with them, so on and so forth. So it it really is a one stop shop – their online platform.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s that’s fantastic. So what would be your advice, so I’m sure there’s church leaders that are listening in that are like, man, we’re missing the boat here. We should get involved. What would be ah, you know, beyond—and we’ll get to links and all that in a bit but—like what’ll be your advice for a church that’s maybe just starting? Or is there a piece of this that you wish you know back eight months ago, oh we should have done this differently when we got the ball rolling?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, I think um I think there are probably many churches like ours that coming out of the Super Bowl ad um, did a series based on like the He Gets Us ads. And that’s another um thing about the online platform is they have sermons and discussion questions that go with some of their ads. So for our Easter series, and it started palm Sunday went through Mother’s Day, we would show one of the He Gets Us ads as a as a bumper video, and then we would you know teach on that topic about Jesus and how it relates. And there are sermon outlines, guidelines that if, you know, you need to use you can utilize them.

Kyle Isabelli — So I think many churches probably started there and just kind of left it, like oh this is a cool thing. Let’s talk about it. Whereas I wish we would have done that in October so that by Christmas of 2022 we would have been really honing into saying like, here’s our promotion, here’s what we’re talking about and then a month later in February it just it continues on. You know, so it’s it’s continuing on people’s minds in our community. It’s on the mind of our church for them to say, oh yeah, our church was talking about this this this Christmas and this fall. And we’re starting to engage with people and and they’re sharing it on their social media and stuff like that. So I wish we would have done that before, but even still connecting with our Easter services, connecting it with some of our big, you know, Palm Sundays and Mother’s Day, continually following up with people in that regard.

Kyle Isabelli — We did a stations of the cross like prayer experience where we tied in the last week of Jesus to different those different videos and and different, you know, scriptures and different reflection questions that came from Gloo, like you can make it your own. But I wish we’ve just done that a little bit earlier. But it’s it’s not too late. Like you can still do it. He Gets Us is continuing to put out more ads and and they’re creating new things and more people are donating, so it’s still free. So I would say jump on and try to figure out how it can help your church’s community outreach moving forward.

Rich Birch — Yeah I love it. If you log on, again you just can can go to if you’re if you’re um, a church, you just log on create an account. It’s super easy. Super fast to do. But you’ll see in there in the He Gets Us resources there’s prayer prompts, sermon resources, reading plans, discussion guides – all kinds of content that even if you were not thinking about like even you’re like, I don’t know do I want to have somebody answering text messages. Even if you weren’t interested in that, man, there’s a great opportunity to leverage those resources. They’re well done, high quality. Um, yeah, that could be really really helpful.

Kyle Isabelli — Yep.

Rich Birch — So as you look to the future, how do you think this will shape your, you know, your church’s approach? You’re kind of, you know, where you go from here?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, I think it has reminded us of our need to engage in some of these tough conversations with people, to really get over the fact that maybe the church doesn’t have the best reputation overall.

Kyle Isabelli — And say, you know what, we’re gonna be a church that creates our own reputation in our community. And we’re gonna do that by caring for people’s needs, listening to them, helping them where they’re at. Um and through the through our conversations, through showing them the love of Christ like their hearts will be open to the gospel. Their hearts will be open to attending a church service, or coming to a program, or you know taking their next steps in their faith journey. Whatever it is this is getting us outside of our walls um and helping us understand and see even our own personal digital strategy has to be less about promotion of, hey this is what’s happening at our church, and here’s what we’re teaching on! And it needs to be more about like how are we helping people in our community meet their needs…

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — …and and hit their pain points and and talk through the things that they’re going through. So it’s it’s really kind of flipped the script for us in a couple different ways and I think that’s going to continue to drive some of our outreach strategies moving forward.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s fantastic. This has been just a really, you know, great conversation. Is there any part of this that you look at or like yeah that just actually hasn’t been that great? Or it maybe hasn’t met your expectations or you know it kind of just is like maybe more not negative, but just a little, you know, maybe it just hasn’t been as fantastic as it sounds on this box, you know, kind of thing?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, um, the platform is easier to use on a phone than it is ah than it is on a computer or laptop.

Rich Birch — Okay, yeah.

Kyle Isabelli — Um, which is that that’s a small thing. And for me…

Rich Birch — Fascinating.

Kyle Isabelli — …as I was sharing earlier with with you, Rich, is that I’m not I don’t like being on like social media as much.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Kyle Isabelli — I’m not really into like having the apps on my phone; I would rather do it on a desktop. Um and just kind of put my phone away a lot of times, until the fact that it really is a lot easier to communicate with people on the phone versus the desktop. It’s a downside. If you’re fine using your phone, um, go for it. It’s not a big issue. But for me, there’s some kinks in there when it comes to the desktop version. So but that’s you know it’s such a minor detail. Otherwise it’s like ah, you know, I would say one more thing.

Kyle Isabelli — Some of the ads, you know they’re not always my favorite ads all right? Maybe I don’t fully agree with the message, or I don’t really like how they talked about Jesus in this way. Like sure that’s that’s going to happen. But that’s not the point of it. The point of it is that it’s connecting with someone who doesn’t know Jesus, or is far from Christ and it’s given you an opportunity to talk with them. So it doesn’t matter if I don’t fully agree or fully like the ad. Or you know you see a lot of hate that’s on social media over these last few months about He Gets Us. Like there’s so much more good and redemption that can come out of it, even if you don’t one ah hundred percent like the ad. So.

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — I would those are two small things that’s like, oh could be a little bit better, but otherwise it’s it’s been such a great blessing for our church.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s cool. Yeah, I wonder if um, there was you know there has been pushback on that side on the messaging side. And since you brought it up, I didn’t bring it up, um, you know, maybe just go into that a little bit more. Like it it it has been, you know, it’s an interesting time in our culture where, you know, the way I read that is, you know, if if this was 20, 30 years ago and ah Billy Graham was coming to town, they used to do a lot a lot of ads Billy Graham would, you know, they would do all kinds of ads to, you know, advertise. And you know, I I put it in that category of like you may not love all those ads; you might not love all of that, but at the end of the day you’re like, yeah, it’s Billy Graham though. It’s going to be okay, like it’ll all work out in the end. Um, that’s kind of how I read it was I was I’m like, yeah, I not sure I would have you know you know, but but but it doesn’t seem we live in such a polarized era that it’s like people get so worked up over stuff.

Kyle Isabelli — Yep.

Rich Birch — Um, yeah, maybe talk through that a little bit more. Is there anything else on that front that you know, kind of sticks out to you…

Kyle Isabelli — Absolutely.

Rich Birch — …um, you know, as you think about the, you know, at the at the actual messaging itself?

Kyle Isabelli — I would say that, you know, even in our church after we we shared about it and talked about it and then did the series, you had some people like, I didn’t really like that ad; I don’t agree with it. And or I don’t I’ll just be frank – I don’t like that certain companies are donating to Gloo and funding some of it.

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — And I don’t like where their money’s coming from. And I don’t agree with their political stance on this company.

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — And so it’s like I get it. And you can go down that rabbit trail with any type of nonprofit. You can go down that rabbit trail with any type of corporation that’s trying to do good in society. And so I said just look at how it benefits the local church, look at how it benefits the mission of of making disciples. We would never have these conversations with these people. They wouldn’t they wouldn’t give church a chance in million years apart from seeing an ad, sometimes at like one o’clock in the morning…

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah.

Kyle Isabelli — …because they’re discouraged and depressed and they don’t know what to do with their life. And this random ad showed up as they’re scrolling through social media. And now we get to have a conversation with them.

Rich Birch — Yeah, it’s so good.

Kyle Isabelli — Like we don’t get that we don’t get that if they didn’t see that He Gets Us ad. So let’s, you know, at our church we like to say—and I can’t remember who’s the, if it’s Francis of Assissi or someone else, but—our mantra is in the essentials we want to have unity, in the nonessentials liberty, and in all things love. And so our digitals outreach strategy to reach people in our community to me is a nonnessential.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Kyle Isabelli — So let’s have liberty. Let’s show grace to one another, and in all things let us show love to one another. So that, yes, I I get the point, but the the pros so much outweigh the benefits…

Rich Birch — Right.

Kyle Isabelli — …and we’re not forsaking the gospel message. We’re not watering down the gospel message. In fact, we’re getting an opportunity to clearly articulate the gospel…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Kyle Isabelli — …to these people who are in need.

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah. And yeah, that’s very well said. And you know, the other piece I would add to that is, you know, you got to look at the form. These are these are quick spots. They’re, you know, you talk about a Tiktok ad.

Kyle Isabelli — Yep.

Rich Birch — Like, man, I feel bad for people who are saying, hey we’re going to try to make a thing that’s like in 4 seconds it’s going to get people’s attention. Like good luck with that, dear pastors. I’m like you know you know, could you if you were restricted to ah to a sixty second thing on a Sunday morning ah, how would what would you do with it? You know, how would you do that? And so, you know, I think on balance, all the stuff I’ve seen, I haven’t watched it all but all the stuff I’ve seen and been like, man, that’s clever. It’s interesting it. And it does it it does what it’s supposed to do, which is move people to do exactly what you said is, hey, I’m struggling with my marriage. I’m, you know, I’m I got this issue, this is this is bugging me, and to reach out. And really then the ball’s in our court is to say, hey, we’re going to pick this ball up and and run with it. So yeah, love that. This has been fantastic. Anything else you want to share just as we wrap up today’s episode?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, once again, Rich, thanks for for having me on. And and I would just once again, encourage pastors and in churches go to G-L-O-O dot U-S and sign up. And become a free partner and start getting connected with people in your community who are hurting, who are in need, who are looking for hope, who are looking for healing. Like you have an opportunity to to take a step forward and reaching more people in community. So don’t waste the opportunity. Yeah.

Rich Birch — So good. Yeah, love it. Well this has been fantastic. Where do we want to send people online to track with the church or with you?

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, our church’s website is And then if people want more about me and my family and my life and my journey that’s I-S-A-B-E-L-L-I.

Rich Birch — Love it. This has been fantastic. Thanks for being here today.

Kyle Isabelli — Yeah, thanks, Rich. Appreciate it.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.