Few people outside of full-time church ministry get to make a living by sharing their faith. But for Eddie Lutz, sales and promotions representative at the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, tourism marketing and evangelism go hand in hand.
“Our mission is to proclaim the absolute truth and authority of the Bible with boldness,” Lutz said. “That’s what I do when I work with churches and even when I go to various tourism conferences and mainstream events. I’m boldly proclaiming the same message. It doesn’t change.”
The passion and conviction that Lutz brings to his job is par for the course at the Creation Museum, an institution launched by apologetics and the evangelism organization Answers in Genesis. Beloved by faith-based groups and derided by secularists, the museum makes no bones about its worldview, its science or its interpretation of Scripture. And though organizers hope to educate visitors about young-earth creationism, the ultimate goal of the museum is something greater.
“The sign out front says Creation Museum, but ultimately, it’s about the gospel and seeing people come to faith in Jesus,” Lutz said.
A Winding Road
It was a long and somewhat circuitous route that brought Lutz to his work at the Creation Museum, where he has been on staff for more than six years.
“Most of my career I owned an Internet service provider in Cincinnati,” he said. “We actually started as a Macintosh software company, then in 1995, shifted toward the Internet. I had that company for about 20 years.”
When it was time for a career change, Lutz capitalized on his sales skills to land a job in radio advertising, where he worked for several years. Around that same time, he began getting involved in ministry at a local church in the greater Cincinnati area, where he still serves today as a bivocational pastor in addition to his full-time work at the museum.
Throughout these career transitions, Lutz was also following Answers in Genesis, which has long produced books, Sunday school curriculums and other materials to empower Christians.
“I was interested in their teachings for a long time before I came here,” he said. “I was being equipped myself and learning to proclaim the message of belief.”
These professional and personal interests converged when Lutz had an opportunity to visit the museum before its opening.
“I attended a pastor’s luncheon here about six months before we opened, about nine years ago,” he said. “I really saw the vision of what this place was to be. Because of that, I was the very first radio guy through the door as they were preparing to open, because I knew the ministry and was passionate about it.”
Several years later, a sales job came open at the museum, and Lutz joined the staff, turning his personal passion into a professional vocation.
‘Believing in Your Product’
As a faith-based museum, the Creation Museum plays a role as both a Christian ministry and a tourism attraction, and Lutz’s work has him working in both the church and tourism communities.
“A big part of my role is working with the travel and tourism community,” he said. “I represent the museum at events like the American Bus Association Marketplace and the Going On Faith Conference. But in addition to what I do with tour operators, I do a lot of work with churches in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Day to day, I’m out in the churches inviting them to come to the museum and helping to equip them with our resources.”
Lutz has found that his passion for the museum and the message it represents is an essential factor in bridging the gap between commerce and ministry.
“I have a sales background, so one of the key things for success in my view is believing in your product,” he said. “I believe this message without compromise. Believing the message and being able to proclaim the truth is sales, but it’s also ministry.”
This message is what Lutz brings to the pastors with whom he meets, who are often eager to help encourage their church members to embrace the authority of Scripture and to teach them more about the biblical worldview. He likes to talk to pastors about the relevance of Genesis in the world today to demonstrate the impact that personal faith can have in the real world.
It’s a message to which Lutz can attest firsthand.
“Understanding that Scripture is true from the very first verse has really encouraged me in my faith,” he said. “What our ministry does and what it continues to do for my faith is give it meaning, purpose, hope and value. That makes a difference in people’s lives.”