Balloons & Banners

I have noticed that home builders, regardless of neighborhood or price, utilize a common tool to lure buyers into their models. I also see car dealers of all makes use this same marketing device.

What is it? … Balloons. Blue, red, white, purple, yellow, pink, the color doesn’t really seem to matter. Evidently nothing says “come on in and spend a fortune today” quite like $5 worth of helium balloons. Blow ‘em up, tie ‘em to the strings, go out and wrap them around your sign to blow in the wind, and … Bam! … Sales!

We just passed Easter Sunday and, for the several weeks prior to the date, churches of all denominations and sizes put out their own version of “balloons” vying for the once-maybe-twice-a-year-attending-church people to decide to choose their venue to visit. After all, it’s the best marketing shot at getting new members, and hopefully givers, for the whole year. Banners of all sizes and designs were staked outside churches everywhere, touting the best service “Easter” could offer.

The truth is we all put up “balloons and banners” in our lives to attract people to us and distract from anyone we deem as the competition. A $5 set of balloons can go a long way in putting up a false front of integrity and authenticity. A banner with a catchy slogan can distract people from seeing what they might really get if they truly saw the inside.

Here are some “balloons and banners” we can use:

Charm, Wit, Humor, Patronizing, Embellishment, Looks, Stuff, Job Credentials, Resumes, Intelligence, Knowledge, Connections, Name-dropping, Aggressiveness, Position …

You get it …. The list goes on. Not necessarily bad things, or even sins, but a list of behaviors we can use to “sell ourselves” in trying to get something we actually aren’t supposed to have and can never own anyway.

Do people buy houses or cars because of a few balloons? No. Do people attend churches because of a banner? No. But might it have gotten their attention long enough to see the product? Yes. Are balloons and banners what keeps people engaged with anything or anyone? Absolutely not.

After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua … Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). —Exodus 17:15 NLT

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