[Editor’s Note: This blog post has been updated as of February 16, 2012, to reflect the current status of the Ark Encounter project.]
One comment we receive every now and then about the Ark Encounter project is that the $24 million price tag for the attraction is a lot of money, which could help needy people instead. Isn’t this frivolous?
The ministry of Answers in Genesis can’t think of a more effective way today to share the gospel with so many millions of people than an Ark. The Ark of Noah is a picture of salvation, which allows us to also share with future visitors that Christ is our modern-day Ark of salvation. People who might never visit a church to hear the gospel will get that message at the Ark Encounter.
Projections estimate that over one million people may visit the attraction each year. According to a study from America’s Research Group, 1.6 million guests are projected the first year alone, with a feasibility study suggesting that hundreds of thousands of them will not be Christians. The Ark Encounter will be a wonderful evangelistic opportunity.
Furthermore, when all phases of the Ark Encounter are completed, it is projected to bring jobs to 900 people, many of whom might need employment at that time. Thousands of other jobs will potentially be created in other tourism-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, etc. The state and local governments will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue in the first ten years, which will help fund schools, health care, libraries, and other services. The Ark Encounter will be an absolute boon to Northern Kentucky.
Again, we can't think of a more evangelistic outreach for today than using the example of an Ark. It provides a picture of salvation, and it allows a great opportunity to proclaim salvation through a modern-day Ark of salvation: Jesus Christ. That’s the greatest need in the world.