When you fly into Oklahoma City you realize that you’re not flying into a normal American city. Boasting its National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the southwestern city is proud of its cowboy culture and booming entertainment district. It is also proud to be the hometown of the massive home decor and craft store, Hobby Lobby.
The moment you step off the plane you’re greeted by a city that’s in love with the national Christian crafts franchise, Hobby Lobby. From the rental car counter to the time you cross through the doors of the Hobby Lobby entrance, it’s clear that they have left their imprint on this city. While Hobby Lobby is known nationally as ‘the’ Arts and Crafts store that can be found in 48 states across America, in Oklahoma City it means so much more.
In an exclusive interview for Christian Headlines, I spoke to Hobby Lobby President Steve Green about how his love for God has impacted how he heads-up Hobby Lobby.
Green – who also built the Washington, D.C. based Museum of the Bible with his family – isn’t quiet about his love for God's word and the mission of his craft company. Although Hobby Lobby hires people from diverse backgrounds, all throughout Hobby Lobby’s headquarters Green’s love for Jesus is on full display. This is even more evident the moment Green begins to talk.
Green is on a mission, one that is significantly different from those of most other billion-dollar company Presidents. So, what is Green’s mission? To educate and help people understand the Bible, a topic Green passionately writes about in his new book, This Beautiful Book.
"I wrote the book to help people understand the Bible," Green told Christian Headlines.
When asked about why he loves the Bible, he shared that his relationship with the Good News has “grown over the years."
He said, "It’s been a journey that started from growing up in a Christian home."
Our conversation is taking place right outside of Green’s office, and the conversation sounds almost like a one that happens in a pastor’s office—it’s that spiritual. I asked Green if he thinks he missed a pastoral calling, but he is quick to share that his true calling is helping lead Hobby Lobby. Green noted, however, that while he is not a pastor, authoring his new book on the Bible and teaching Sunday School at his local church have allowed him to minister to others and share his love of Christ.
“My grandparents were pastors, so some of it may have rubbed off," Green added.
For Green, the Bible is something that he’s deeply committed to, which is why building and starting D.C.’s Bible Museum is something that he fully believes in. "God tricked us into starting the museum," Green quipped.
The original intent was to come alongside another developing museum, but it wasn't until the family was deep in that process that they knew the Bible Museum project was something they needed to do, Green shared.
The Museum has faced some challenges, including being sold stolen artifacts during the last decade. They learned the hard way that antiquities trafficking and other art-related crimes are a global business just like any other black market.
In Christlike humility, Green accepted responsibility and admitted some regrettable mistakes. Green has a strong desire to make things right where the museum has erred, but through it all, his faith has helped them face the storms and recover.
Although Green doesn't shy away from the tough issues that he's had to face in leading the Bible Museum project, he's clear that he wants people to understand the Bible to its fullest extent and allow it to bless their lives as it has his.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff