By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew
Steve Green, president of arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby (www.hobbylobby.com), has been named the 2013 recipient of the John M. Templeton Biblical Values Award by the National Bible Association (www.nationalbible.org). The organization will recognize Green’s accomplishment at the annual NBA awards luncheon in New York City on April 15 at the Union League Club.
“I am honored to receive the award,” Green said during an interview with Inside The Pew. “I am humbled to join the ranks of other leaders who are committed to the Bible to guide their spiritual and religious beliefs as well as their business.”
The award is named after John M. Templeton, who successfully integrated work and his Christian faith. By using his investing talents to help ordinary people and practicing biblical values in the work world, Templeton serves as a model to all business executives of faith.
“The honor goes to a nationally recognized business leader who exhibits values the Bible promotes, takes the Bible into the marketplace, and lives it, said Richard Glickstein, president of the New York-based organization.
“Matthew 6:33 says to seek His kingdom and His righteousness. Steve Green exemplifies that in the market place. In business, it is difficult to choose biblical values over the money. With Green and his entire family, it is God first, the company second. They live that out every day.”
Founder in the early 1970s and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., Hobby Lobby has 525 arts and crafts retail stores with more than 20,000 employees in the U.S. The decision to close stores on Sundays cost the company more than $100 million in product sales each year. The decision to pay all new employees at least 80 percent more than the minimum wage is a further reflection of the company’s values. Hobby Lobby also offers biblically based spiritual and financial counseling to its employees.
“The guidelines that are given to us in Scripture. We believe they are God given. As our Creator, He knows what works best. Sometimes it is counterintuitive we think to be the most successful we have to be open longer hours, but the guideline the Scripture says to take a day of rest, Green said.
“As we apply the principles the scripture the Bible gives us, we believe this is what is best for the business. Not that we won’t have challenges or struggles and operate the business according to biblical principles that we will find the most success in our lives and in business by doing that.”
Nearly half of Hobby Lobby’s annual profits are donated according to Biblical principles and for the promotion and reading of the Bible itself. These donations have allowed Hobby Lobby to acquire one of the world’s largest private collections of Bibles and Biblical artifacts, a collection that will be housed in a 50,000-square foot Bible museum opening in Washington, D.C., in the near future. Green has been at the forefront of this project since its beginning in 2009.
NBA will also make a $25,000 donation to a nonprofit charity designated by Green that has biblical values.
Glickstein said the NBA was founded 71 years ago during World War II by a group of American business leaders. The mission of the organization is to encourage individuals to read the Bible. Early in the existence of the NBA, the members were asked by NBC radio to read the Bible over the station’s coverage of the Japanese’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Tonya Andris contributed to this report.