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How David Green’s Faith Helped Make Hobby Lobby a Multi-Billion Dollar Business

Photo by Tony Webster via Flickr

How David Green’s Faith Helped Make Hobby Lobby a Multi-Billion Dollar Business

By Movieguide® Staff

Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green recently announced that he plans to step back from the multi-billion dollar company.

Green, who started the company alongside his wife, Barbara, in 1970, recently recalled God’s faithfulness to him and his family over the past 50 years.

“I think all we were trying to do is survive for the first few years,” Green told Billy Hallowell in a recent CBN interview. “God has certainly blessed us.”

The 80-year-old businessman recalled that he and his wife started the company with a $600 loan to make tiny frames in their basement in 1970. By 1972, they opened their first store, a 600-square-foot building that would kick start their empire of nearly 1,000 stores across the country.

Green recently authored a book called ‘Leadership Not by the Book: 12 Unconventional Principles to Drive Incredible Results,’ and said that the number one business strategy he learned was to surrender everything he had to God.

“The toughest lessons we’ve learned is the fact that we need to know that this is God’s business,” he said. “We had to learn that. When we gave it to him we would see him bless this business. I don’t know that we always knew that. We said it, most Christians say that, but we really had to learn that for real.”

“It is a paradigm change when you see your company belonging to God and that’s not because we say so, that’s because God’s word says so,” he added. “God says he owns everything so it’s a paradigm change and how you deal with your family, who owns the company, what you do with the finances, all of those things change once you get to not just saying God owns it but knowing God owns it.”

Green explained that once he understood that God was at the heart of Hobby Lobby, his role changed from owner to steward.

“We’re happy and joyful to be stewards to what God has given us,” he said. “Now we see ourselves as stewards and that is a much, much better place to be than an owner.”

“I think following God and His word, the Bible, I think there’s not a better way,” he said. “I think he wants to bless us and that’s what we would like to happen and so we want to do the very best we can to see his word and see how to run our business.”

Despite his success in the business world, Green said that his greatest achievement is watching his children and grandchildren live out their faith in God.

“I think, most important in my life, is my children and my grandchildren serving the Lord. That is my biggest success,” he said.

Despite some backlash for their biblical values, Green said he and his family have relied on the truth of God’s word and leaned into a life of prayer and dependence on God in every circumstance.

“I think most of us including myself too, many times, don’t include prayer,” he said of how he manages his business. “God has given us all different talents, he’s given me one, but at the same time… I know he wants us to come alongside him and just let him be part of what we do.”

“For us, we really want to make sure that we come alongside [God] on a
daily basis,” he explained. “The Bible says pray without ceasing and so that’s what we really want to do, knowing that God is right here with us. He’s not in some far away place. He says he’ll never leave you nor forsake you. All of us, no matter where we are need to know that God would like to walk this life with us.”

Green said that spreading the good news of salvation through Christ is the main goal of his work, which he refers to as his ministry to the world.

“We have not because we ask not,” he said, “I want to make sure that I’m always asking and asking for the right things and that is that we can do more to be a witness for Him [and] that more people would come to know Him.”

“He wants us to do something other than just create wealth and just be selfish about what we have, but to be concerned about others that need to know him,” he added.

Movieguide® recently reported on Hobby Lobby, and Green’s decision to hand over the role of CEO:

David Green, the 80-year-old founder, and owner of Hobby Lobby, a multibillion-dollar retail store chain, recently announced that he would step away from the company.

Green said that he had “chosen God,” and also hopes that the change will allow Hobby Lobby to continue to be successful.

“When I made the decision to give away my ownership, similar to Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard, it allowed us to sustain our mission and purpose,” Green wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.