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Get a Free Copy of The Search for God and Guinness

To be honest, when I first received a copy of The Search for God and Guinness I was not all that excited about it.  I love God and I like beer, but I am not a big reader of biographies, preferring “more practical” books on leadership, spiritual issues, or social media.  So, it sat on my bookshelf for several months.

When in finally cracked it open I was sorry I waited so long to read it.

In the Search for God and Guinness, Stephen Mansfield tells the story of the Guinness family starting with Arthur Guinness, founder of the famed brewery, and continuing through the Guinnesses of today.  While the book recounts the amazing rise of one of the must successful breweries in the world, what makes the book and the Guinness family fascinating is the accounts of their character, faith, and generosity.

Because of their commitment to excellence and innovation in brewing the Guinnesses became exceptionally wealthy and influential.  But rather than selfishly squander it on themselves, they were exceptionally generous with the pay and benefits they gave their workers and they demonstrated an unusual commitment to improving the conditions of the poor in Ireland and Great Britain.

Favorite Quotes

  • Clearly, this was the understanding at the time: gin destroys lives while beer is healthy and safe, enhancing rather than eroding good society.
  • “We must exhort all Christians to gain all they can and to save all they can; that is in effect to grow rich… to give all he can to those in need.” John Wesley
  • Arthur Guinness was the founder of the first Sunday schools in Ireland.
  • October 25, 1886, the stock offering sold out within an hour.
  • A Guinness worker during the 1920s enjoyed full medical and dental care, massage services, reading rooms, subsidized meals, a company- funded pension, subsidies for funeral expenses, educational benefits, sports facilities, free concerts, lectures, and entertainment, and a guaranteed two pints of Guinness beer a day.
  • In 2005 the British people voted the widget (the small plastic capsule that allows a can of Guinness to be properly nitrogenated) the greatest invention in the previous forty years.
  • A company should be measured by the culture it creates… what is encouraged to grow, the behavior and ways of thinking that are inspired.
  • Guinness demonstrated the good that righteous wealth can do.
  • A man’s profession was where he demonstrated to the world who he was.
  • Don’t just sell your product – sell your product’s culture.
  • “Gentlemen, find out the will of God for your day and generation, and then, as quickly as possible, get into line.” Prince Albert
  • Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well.

Personal thoughts

Stephen Mansfield concludes the narrative portion of The Search for God and Guinness with this line.

That part of the heritage will only live when men absorb it from the Guinness story and embed it in fertile fields of their own.

Clearly, he wrote this book not just to tell a fascinating story but to inspire leaders today to follow in the Guinness tradition.  These two sentences sum up that tradition.

What distinguishes [the first Arthur Guinness’s] story is that he understood his success as forming a kind of mandate, a kind of calling to a purpose of God beyond just himself and his family to the broader good he could do in the world.

[The Guinnesses] knew how to brew beer, yes, but they also knew how to care for their employees, how to invest wealth for social good, and how to create corporate cultures that would change the course of nations.

In an era where there is immense distrust and cynicism towards corporations and wealth – to the extent where a significant portion of the population considers them inherently evil – I found this account of success and generosity inspiring.

I highly recommend The Search for God and Guinness, especially if you lead or own a business.

Action Steps

As the CEO of a small business and a person of faith, I came away from God and Guinness with a renewed passion to do 4 things.

  1. Do what we do exceptionally well.
  2. Create a culture of excellence, innovation, faith and generosity.
  3. Be more generous with our employees.
  4. Be more generous with in our community and the world.

Discussion

Do you believe wealth is inherently evil?  Or do you believe in “the good that righteous wealth can do?”  Do you believe companies have a responsibility to invest in their employees and make their communities better?  If so, how?

Get a Free Book

If you’d like a free copy of God and Guinness, all you have to do is

  1. Retweet this post or share it on Facebook, and
  2. Post a meaningful comment to this post that contributes to the conversation (include your Facebook or Twitter usename in your comment so I can connect your comment to your share/tweet).

One person will be randomly selected the morning of Wednesday 3/10 to receive a free copy of God and Guinness.

20 Responses to “Get a Free Copy of The Search for God and Guinness”

  1. Appreciate your review. It confirmed my initial desire to read this book. A few months back I noticed it on BookSneeze.com but I still had a book out to review. By the time I finished the one I was reading this one was no longer available.

    Adding it to my Amazon.com wishlist in the case I don’t win your copy! 🙂

  2. I believe that wealth is more than money. It is not inherently evil. Money is a portion of wealth and in itself is neutral. It is how we make it and spend it that determines whether it is good or bad. The other factor is do we covet it? If so, then it becomes our master and this is never good.

    Money spent well builds churches, expands businesses and increases tax revenues. These factors increase societies overall wealth and thus we are all better from it.

    Business’ have the responsibility to provide return on investment to its stakeholders. My opinion is invetsing in the employees is the best way to accomplish this, but not all business owners agree. In the long run, the business’ which invest the most and take care of their customers the best will be the most profitable and will continue to provide our society with abundant wealth.

    tweet me at jalc6927

    • James, thanks for the comment. Your thoughts on wealth and business responsibility are similar to my own.

      >>In the long run, the business’ which invest the most and take care of their customers the best will be the most profitable and will continue to provide our society with abundant wealth.

      It seems like every company says this, but the minority actually operate this way.

      • I agree with you that most dont parctice what they preach. We gave out close to 40K in bonus money last week for 2009 even though we didnt hit our goals. The effort was rewarded with the hope that we’ll make it up in the coming years.

  3. I read an excerpted version of Stephen Mansfield’s book in the recent issue of RELEVANT Magazine. As a homebrewer who has also dabbled in pastoral ministry, I found it to be really interesting. I’ve often thought about different ways I could take my beer brewing hobby and use it to serve others. I look to Arthur Guinness and his successors as the ultimate example!

    Facebook: Shane Bertou
    Twitter: ShaneBertou

  4. Your review is a great one. I’ve had reservations on reading it as well just because in my “neck of the woods”, this would be no-no read. This review helps me better understand the purpose of the book. Thanks again for the review! Looking forward to reading it regardless if I win or not 🙂

  5. Thanks for the review on this. Book has always caught my attention – wondering what it was about.

  6. I retweeted this post: @plowlady

  7. I have always thought that this book looked interested. I retrweeted this post. @danbrubacher

  8. I grew up in a strict evangelical tradition that believed drinking beer was a “sin.” It was only when I went to college that I learned not every Christian adhered to this belief. Now, of course, I feel quite differently about the drink – my husband works for a brewery. 🙂

    I came across this book a few months ago and was interested, but failed to mark it on my “to read” list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again. Sounds like a truly inspiring story!

    • Megan, that’s quite a change going from considering drinking beer a sin to marrying a brewer. 🙂 You and your husband would probably both enjoy the book.

  9. Posted a tweet via mcbrownie220 and a facebook post via mcbrownie220 – Would really love to get a copy of this book… been wanting it for a while since I heard about it getting published… but alas I am a poor college dude. Great review looking forward to reading it.

  10. Congrats to James (aka @jalc6927) who is the winner of The Search for God and Guinness.

    Those of you who didn’t win, I hope you’ll pick up a copy anyway. There’s a link in my review which you can click to order online.

    I hope you’ll all return regularly to LiveIntentionally.org to continue discussing issues concerning leadership, corporate responsibility, and… beer. 🙂

  11. Paul,

    Thank you. I am looking forward to readin gthe book and following your blog and tweets. Be Blessed!

    James

  12. For many years I was taught that the consumption of any kind of alcohol was incompatible with being a Christian. It was often emphasized that those who drink access a gateway to drunkenness. Even if Jesus turned water into wine, and Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his upset stomach, the reality was there was too much alcoholism in our world to even consider that these types of beverages could be consumed in moderation.

    While it is true that many lack self-control, and that alcoholism is a serious issue, it is equally true that you cannot create a general rule about something that when used in moderation can be seen as a gift of God. We all know too much food can kill you but we still like to eat! We must start our discussion of alcoholic beverages, especially beer, acknowledging that the worst scenario isn’t the only scenario.

    This is where Stephen Mansfield’s wonderful biography of the Guinness family is most helpful. In a world where the two primary drinking options was strong liquor or dirty water the Guinness family rose to prominence by providing a healthy alternative. What may now very well be the world’s most famous pilsner began as a saving gift of God.

    As Mansfield shows the Guinness family has had ups and downs. There have been successes and failures, saints and sinner, and all that comes with the world of business. Nevertheless, the arch of the story is a family that used wealth and power to bring a healthy beverage to the masses, jobs to those in need, philanthropy to the needy, and Google style employee benefits before there was anything known as Google!

    If you have ever wondered if God can use beer this book is worth your time. If you just happen to really like beer you will enjoy it as well. At the end I am sure you will close the book and say a little prayer of thanks for the goodness of this beverage and the family that made beer benefit society.

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