As a pastor it is not typical for me to write about a beer company, but I’m an observer of culture, and honestly, it would be hard to deny the impact the beverage has had on the culture I watch. (Beer has had an impact if for no other reason than providing cool Super Bowl commercials.) An example of a cultural phenomenon I see occurring now is found in the selling of Anheuser-Busch to the Belgian company InBev. (Has anyone even heard of InBev before a few months ago?)
In addition to being a pastor, I live in the South. People around here take their beer very seriously. That’s why I knew months ago when I read rumors of this sale that tempers would flare. The Internet has been full of stories over the last few days of how distasteful a foreign own Bud really is in the minds of consumers. (http://tinyurl.com/5qjatp) It will be interesting to see how loyal beer drinkers remain after the sale is final. Still, in spite of the protests, apparently the sell will go through. (I wonder if the Clydesdales will remain in America.)
Why does this matter? I think it matters because it is one more example of how small the world has become. We truly are a global economy. Our world has shrunk more the larger it has become. One thing is certain, it is more difficult than ever for a company to remain totally an American company. To really grow a company must think internationally. Don’t be surprised if next year it is Wal Mart, Ford or Starbucks on the international auction block. Trust me; if it can happen to the “King of Beers” it can happen to anyone.
There’s a coffee shop in Nashville (pastors can surely write about coffee) that has a sign over the men’s urinal (okay, so I crossed another line talking about urinals) that says “Think Globally, Drink Locally”. That phrase has actually become a cultural buzzword for the mindset of many people today. I can’t find a definitive answer of where the phrase came from or even what it means, but basically it appears to mean that we live here, we shop here, we enjoy life here (wherever here is), but we have access to an incredible world at our fingertips with the touch of a mouse or keyboard or through the products that we can easily buy and we should, therefore, always keep the greater world in mind.
As a church we have a similar mission. We are local, but we have been called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We worship together, we minister to each other, and we share each other’s burdens. It would be easy for us to get comfortable in our own little world and forget about the world. Discovering how we take advantage of this smaller world culture may be one of the greatest challenges today in the local church, but somehow I think this culture change may work in our favor if we allow it to and give us greater opportunities to grow the Kingdom of God.
(Just to avoid the negative comments or emails because I wrote about beer, let me be clear now that I’m not promoting the sale, purchase or consumption of beer. It’s just an illustration. I hate that I have to put disclaimers on posts like this, but I’ve been there…done that. Don’t have a t-shirt though…FYI size medium.)