"Think globally, but act locally." This slogan was posted in the headquarters of the Coca Cola Company by R.C. Goizueta, Coke's former chairman. Goizueta gave an address on "Globalization" and presented this slogan and some stimulating ideas for gaining perspective in world marketing (Vital Speeches, 1 April 1989).
He listed three requirements for penetrating world markets. First, secure a powerful trademark or symbol. Second, develop a worldwide system of employees and customers who consider themselves partners in the production and purchasing of the product. Third, establish a central theme that the product lives up to its expectations and is associated with our best feelings and memories.
If Coca Cola can say that it is their vision and goal to get a Coke into the hand of every person on this earth, shouldn't we be more passionate about getting the good news of Christ's death, burial and resurrection to all around the world? Shouldn't we think globally and act locally?
The Coca Cola Company has certainly placed itself effectively in world markets. And if we think about what the chairman of the Board said, our commission is not much different. We should be asking questions about how do we penetrate the world with the gospel? What does it mean to think globally, but act locally from a biblical perspective? It would appear that there is a biblical parallel.
A Powerful Trademark (or Symbol)
Is there a more powerful, distinguishable symbol than the cross? You and I have the privilege to possess a trademark that for 2,000 years has identified the message that "Christ died for our sins." While it is not a symbol of beauty any more than a replica of an electric chair would be, it is a reminder that Christ went to the cross and took our place on that cross, dying a horrific death.
A Worldwide System
Mr. Goizueta stated that there must be a worldwide system of employees and customers who consider themselves partners in the production and purchasing of the product. That is not unlike Christianity and the universal church. The Bible makes it clear that believers from every nation form the church universal. We are partners laboring to make known the good news of Jesus Christ. Our product has integrity and eternal value. We are not in this alone. We are a part of a worldwide church bringing light to the dark parts of the this world.
A Central Theme
Mr. Goizueta stated that there must be a central theme that the product lives up to its expectations and is associated with our best feelings and memories. The gospel is true because the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ confirms all that He said and did was indeed true.
"Because He lives, you too shall live," means that there is hope in life and in death. The Apostle Paul understood this in his world perspective. For as he addressed the Roman Empire, he declared, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..."(Romans 1:16)
This fall, let's examine our world and its needs. Let's think about the gospel's message as it speaks to man's deepest longings and needs. Then locally, starting with your family, friends, and community, commit yourself anew to "investing and inviting." We invest in people's lives who are outside of Christ. We "invite" them into our lives, to our church and ultimately to our Lord. Equally, let's apply the gospel in a fresh way to our own lives. This is each and every believer's mission.. . . even greater than Coke's.