Meet the Man Behind the Internet’s Most Famous Jesus
Do you follow Jesus on Facebook? There are many Jesuses on Facebook. But only one of them has a goal of reaching 1 Billion souls for Jesus Christ. Sounds incredible, but that’s just what the man behind JESUS DAILY® is planning to do.
And it seems to be working. At last count, 23,500,000 people like Jesus on Facebook.
The brain behind this popular Jesus is Dr. Aaron Tabor, a graduate of John Hopkins School of Medicine who became wealthy because of the “natural” dietary supplements and “breakthrough” skincare products he sells online.
But undeniably, Dr. Tabor seems most proud of the work he’s accomplished for Jesus on Facebook. Since 2009, when the doctor hasn’t been whipping up new wrinkle creams or introducing fat people to his weight loss pills, the Diet and Alternative Medicine editor for The Journal of Medicine has been growing Jesus’s following online.
As the creator of the JESUS DAILY® Facebook page, Dr. Tabor has managed to congregate millions of Facebook disciples who, not only “like” and “share” the daily the words and memes of Christ, they’ve helped JESUS DAILY® become the Greatest Page Ever Trolled (on Facebook).
Dr. Tabor grew up in church. His father traveled and preached at churches across Alabama and North Carolina, sharing the Good News with anybody who would listen. Though Dr. Tabor didn’t become a preacher, you might be surprised just how seriously this well-educated preacher’s boy takes his job as Facebook Jesus.
And in fact, the seriousness of this calling has grown with the page’s popularity.
For instance, in a 2011 interview with the New York Times, when asked why he started JESUS DAILY®, Dr. Tabor said, “I wanted to provide people with encouragement.”
But millions of followers later, what started as a doctor’s hobby, a way to offer people Christ-focused daily encouragement and homely memes on Facebook, has been born again into an all-out mission to save the world.
What does that mean exactly?
“Our goal is 100,000 salvations per week,” he writes in the about section of his Facebook page.
That’s a lofty goal, even for somebody who administrates God’s most engaged page on Facebook. But in an email to me, Dr. Tabor writes, “we have been reaching that goal almost every week.”
While that might sound unbelievable (and perhaps, for some, satirical), it’s also impressive, considering that the majority of the posts on JESUS DAILY® are sappy and often poorly designed memes, Jesus-approved links to cash-making affiliate programs, or copy and pasted Bible verses with requests from Dr. Tabor to “like” if you agree with the sentiment.
But amid all of the “like this if you love Jesus”-laced posts, Dr. Tabor says, “we post 2 to 3 requests for people to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior a week.”
For instance, one of the “calls to salvation” posted at JESUS DAILY® looked like this:
According to Dr. Tabor, that one post generated tens of thousands of salvations.How does he count salvations? This is what he told me. “We measure it by public indications for Christ compared to other web based ministries that only require an anonymous click of a link to indicate a new salvation.” I’m not sure what that means. But that’s how they do it. It sounds very scientific.
And he has huge expectations goal, too. His goal is to “help 1,000,000,000 humans ask Jesus to save them. Yes, 1 billion.” And according Dr. Tabor, all of us can help: “Your Likes, Comments and Share can help YOU can reach millions each day.” He even offers a 5-Step easy daily plan for Facebook evangelism. Dr. Tabor also writes: “Start immediately because our time is limited. God will bless you for helping obey His command to preach the Gospel to everyone!”
When talking about all the evangelism success at JESUS DAILY®, Dr. Tabor praises Almighty Facebook for offering an online environment where people feel safe to become vulnerable and talk about religion. “[On Facebook] it’s not in your face,” he says, “[I’m] not standing on a street corner and preaching. It’s just a simple click of a button.”
And with every click, Dr. Tabor is singlehandedly making heaven more crowded. With that kind of power, no wonder he’s convinced that his hobby is Christianity’s largest opportunity in all of history to share the message of Jesus with the world. That’s a mouthful, yes, but perhaps his cockiness, though ungodly, is somewhat warranted. On average, JESUS DAILY® is reaching one million new Facebook users per month, making it by far the social network’s largest and church/ministry page on the site.
On Facebook, Dr. Tabor is bigger than the combined presences of God, Jesus, and Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston. And his page often out-engages the much more popular pages of celebrities like Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Beyonce. In fact, JESUS DAILY® “is the #1 most active Facebook Page in history…” Those are his words, not mine.
The secret to JESUS DAILY®’s popularity, Dr. Tabor believes, is in the balancing of God’s message with the cuteness of puppies. “I don’t evangelize on every post because you’ll otherwise burn out your base,” he said, “which is why I often put up photos of babies, animals, and puppies and add the gospel message to that.”
And even if you don’t like Jesus, can any of us say no to cute babies and puppies?