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What It Takes to Teach the World to Sing
by Tom Goodman
November 28, 2012

Coca-Cola is on a mission, and I wonder if we match their passion in our own mission.

Duane Stanford for Businessweek reported that Coke plans to spend $12 billion on the continent of Africa this decade, more than twice as much as the previous decade.  It is already the continent's largest employer, but Stanford says Coke is now in "a street-by-street campaign to win drinkers, trying to increase per-capita annual consumption of its beverages in countries not yet used to guzzling Coke by the gallon."

Current CEO, Muhtar Kent, said, "There's nowhere in Africa that we don't go.  Being in a country is very easy, you can go and set up a depot in every capital city.  That's not what we're about.  We go to every town, every village, every community, every township."

It won't be easy.  The region suffers from poverty, war, and shortages of fresh water.  Political instability makes investment in factories risky, and transportation is notoriously unreliable.

But those things are just complications to work through on the way to Coke's destination, according to Nathan Kalumbu, president of the company's East & Central Africa Business Unit.  He keeps a photo of a pride of lions above his desk in Nairobi as a reminder to stay aggressive.  "You gotta get hungry," he says.

Maybe you remember Coke's most famous commercial, featuring sincere young people on a hillside singing--

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.
I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.

After reading the Businessweek article, you'll see that it apparently takes a lot of sweat and coin to teach the world to sing to Coke's tune.

I wonder how well we Christians match that passion when it comes to our own mission.  Jesus commissioned us to make disciples within every people group in the world.  So, even as we're on mission within our own neighborhoods, we send and support missionaries to other parts of the world.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is one way we do that.  The collection is a huge part of the funding for our International Mission Board, which provides for 5,000 missionaries around the world.

Join your church family in contributing to this Christmas offering.  I challenge you to make your missions gift match the largest gift you're planning for others.  Let's teach the world to sing a new song!


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