I remember when I worked for Billy Graham, we would talk about ways to make the Gospel message as ubiquitous globally as Coca-Cola. Practically anywhere you go in the world, you can find Coca-Cola. Outside of printing a Gospel message on cans of Coke, how would you do that? (we would ask ourselves)
Well, the “missional drink that changed the world” is not Coke actually — it’s Guinness beer! And since I’ll be spending a good bit of my time today in the Beer Tent at the Wild Goose Festival — first for “Beer and Hymns” at 2pm and then for the Patheos bloggers meetup at 4pm — I thought today would be a good day to share this interesting article from Paul Sohn:
“Arthur Guinness was a man of faith. Born in 1724 in a family where his father was an archbishop, he embodied the words that were his family motto: Spes mea in deo (My hope is in God). His influence from the famous revivalist John Wesley inspired and enabled him to use his God-given talents in entrepreneurship as a vehicle to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Wesley’s mantra which is known as the statement, ‘Make all you can, save all you can, and give all you can’ profoundly impacted Arthur Guinness’ perspective in life and his wealth.“In mid-1700 in Ireland, there was a phenomena called ‘The Gin Craze.’ An overwhelming large number of people were drinking whiskey and gin as their primary beverage. Water was deemed unsafe due to the micro-organisms and mysterious diseases found in water unbeknownst to everyone. The parliament forbid the importation of liquor in 1689, so the Irish and British began making their own. This led to excessive drunkenness resulting in a poverty-ridden, crime-infested time. Statistics show that every sixth house in English was a gin house.
“Arthur Guinness was infuriated with this drunkenness. He constantly prayed to God to do something with the alcoholism on the streets of Ireland. In fact, he felt God calling him to ‘Make a drink that men will drink that will be good for them.’ He then developed a dark stout beer called Guinness. Guinness contained so much iron that people felt full before they can drink more pints. During its creation, the alcohol level was lower than gin and whiskey.
“Guinness truly was doing business as a mission instead of business for mission.”
Are you a Guinness fan? Or do you have another missional business story to share? Post your thoughts in the comments!