How to renovate a stadium

I’ve been interested to see the ads in favor of Issue 7 in the Cleveland area.  This is a renewal of the tax on tobacco and alcohol to pay for improvements to Quicken Loans Arena, First Energy Stadium and Progressive Field.

Raising taxes to improve a place where a bunch of millionaires, employed by a bunch of billionaires will play a game and charge the owners of the stadium to come in and watch is a tough sell.  Especially when you figure that more often than not those teams are aspiring to mediocrity.

So the pro-levy folks crafted their message around it.  They tell us that Issue 7 will help us keep police and firemen on the streets because money for these services won’t have to be diverted to pay for a new scoreboard.  They tell us that it means jobs, good paying jobs, for the area.  For crying out loud, who can be against police, firemen and jobs?\

It would be almost unpatriotic to vote against this levy, then.  You might as well vote against John Wayne and apple pie.

What they have done is talk about those things that people are interested in hearing, and not the other.

I counsel churches do to do the same.  Frequent readers of this space know we should never talk about the copier contract or the pastor’s health insurance.  We need to be talking about changing lives, about being in mission, about doing Kingdom work not church business.

The ads also show highlights, Indians hitting home runs and the Cavs celebrating.  Too often in the church we focus on our shortcomings, our challenges and forget to brag on ourselves and our accomplishments.

So the next time you talk money in your church (and I hope you do so often) craft the message in a way that people will hear you, all the time doing so with integrity and honesty.

I mean if they can make the Cavs and Browns look good, can’t you get some excitement going around your ministry?

I sure hope so.

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