Writing in a Fox News Digital op-ed, Hobby Lobby Founder David Green explained his decision to give away his company, saying that he did so because he “chose God”.
That’s how he explained the decision in the beginning of the article, likening it to the recent decision of Patagonia’s owner and founder to give away that company, saying:
Patagonia’s founder recently made news when he gave away the ownership in his company to allow the mission and purpose to remain intact. His decision, while rare, reflects the decision of other business owners like Alan Barnhart of Barnhart Crane.
I experienced a similar decision-making process with my ownership of Hobby Lobby; I chose God.
Continuing, he goes on to explain his switch from patting himself on the back and thinking he was an American Midas to giving the glory to God. Speaking about that and encouraging others to do the same, Green said:
In the mid-1980s I went through a period where I’d grown proud thinking that I had the Midas touch – and I nearly lost the business. God had to show me that He was the one who granted success. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 8.18 that it’s God who gives us the power to make wealth.
In that vein, I’d encourage every leader to consider their source of truth. What is the basis upon which they make decisions? Is it just themselves, or even a leadership team?
After speaking a bit more about faith and tithing, Green then went on to frame his giving away the company in the concept of ownership and ownership and stewardship, saying that he was not really the owner but really just the steward. In his words:
But perhaps the biggest challenge is to ask the question of whether you are an owner or a steward – a manager of what you’ve been entrusted with.
[…]But from the very beginning our purpose was to honor God in all that we did. We worked hard and God gave the results. As we were blessed by God, we saw it as a great privilege to give back. We’ve been able to provide hope through supporting ministries and planting churches all over the world.
That bigger mission and purpose helped me realize that I was just a steward, a manager of what God had entrusted me. God was the true owner of my business.
That stewardship gave me a greater responsibility. I wasn’t supposed to take the profits of the business and use them for myself. I also had a responsibility to the employees that God had put in my charge. This is why our company pays a minimum wage of $18.50 per hour, why we close on Sunday (which had been our most profitable day of business), and why we close by 8 p.m. every day.
What life by faith!
Green isn’t just a Christian, he’s also a conservative, and deeply involved with the political movement. He endorsed Trump for President in a 2016 op-ed, won a 2014 Supreme Court case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which he sued the Obama administration for forcing the company to cover abortion-related drugs, with the court finding that the mandate violated the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, and shows the country how Christian faith makes the world a better place.