The History Of The Slogan “WWJD?”

From the BBC article “What Would Jesus Do? The Rise of a Slogan”…

The History Of The Slogan “WWJD?”

The question has a long history. In 1896 the Kansas Congregational minister Charles Sheldon published a novel called In His Steps: What would Jesus do? in which a town is revolutionised when Christians “pledge themselves, earnestly and honestly for an entire year, not to do anything without first asking the question, ‘What would Jesus do?’”.…

One of its readers was Janie Tinklenberg, a youth leader at Calvary Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. After re-reading it in 1989, she talked to her youth group about it.

She considered printing T-shirts for them bearing the slogan, but at the time friendship bracelets were all the rage, so she got a local company to print 300. She opted for the abbreviation WWJD. Tinklenberg asked the group to wear them for 30 days, they caught on locally, and more were needed.

Others with more of a commercial eye than Tinklenberg spotted the trend, made their own and took the marketing to the national level. By the time she attempted to register her trademark it was too late.


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