Real people, real opinions: the 2018 poster series

New year, new posters. The year 2018 brings a fresh set of posters for the display cases of the congregations in Europe. It is a proven recipe: people like you and me, who underpin the annual motto of the New Apostolic Church with authentic statements.

They have become the public face of the Church. For several years now, the New Apostolic Church has been issuing a poster series at the start of the new year. The series includes twelve motifs which are designed to be hung in the display cases outside our churches—particularly in Germany.

But other European countries also use the posters. In fact, the posters have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bulgarian and Hungarian to mention two. The three universal languages, English, French, and Spanish, are also represented of course.

The idea is to corroborate the Chief Apostle’s New Year message, which he proclaims on New Year’s Day every year. “Faithful to Christ” is the motto for 2018, which he issued in a video message a few days ago. The slogan of the 2018 poster series, “I love Jesus …”, is based on the 2018 motto.

An interesting cast in front of the camera

The slogan is being communicated by the most important people in the Church: people like you and me—old and young, female and male. With church buildings as a backdrop, they step in front of the camera. These members do not only put their best face forward but also their thoughts on how the statement “I love Jesus …” can be completed.

The statements are to be concise and thought-provoking. For example, “I love Jesus … that’s why I take direction from Him, and not my horoscope.” Or, “I love Jesus … and the wonderful thing about that is: the feeling is mutual!”

Personal statements are emotional

“We want to continue in this particular style with the authentic I-statements,” the Working Group Public Relations says. They are the specialists who are responsible for the concept of the annual series. The advantages of sticking to the concept year after year are the recognition factor as well as lower production costs thanks to a standardised design.

“The posters aim to address passersby and drive home a concise message,” the working group says. The message is to be positive, unexpected, timely, and fit into the religious context. So far the response to this idea has been good.

Models from North Rhine-Westphalia

The photo shooting for the first three poster series took place in northern Germany. For 2018, New Apostolic members from the German district of North-Rhine Westphalia were photographed. Six different churches were chosen for the photo shoot, which took place in July 2017.

“We are not really looking for the typical model, but simply New Apostolic Christians,” it said in an advertisement. Anyone in any age bracket was invited to respond. “Authenticity is important, and a nice smile desirable.”

“I don’t need to hide my faith”

At least in Germany it is hardly possible to imagine the display cases outside our churches without the posters. The models are well aware of the posters’ popularity, and were not scared off by the thought. “I don’t need to hide my faith,” one of the models said during the photo session. “In fact, I want the opposite: that people notice my faith.”

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