“Once Steve Green sets his path, there’s no turning back.” This is how Cathy Lynn Grossman of the Religious News Service described the CEO of Hobby Lobby in her Washington Post article in March of 2014. As you read more about Steve you come to understand that he is not a philosopher but a practitioner of courageous leadership. As a Christian, Steve’s model of gentle, consistent, yet tenacious leadership should be a model for all of us.
Hobby Lobby and its affiliates employ 28,000 people, have combined sales of $3.3 billion, and operate retail craft stores at more than 600 locations. So when the company decided to push against cultural and the federal government’s pressure to provide certain contraceptives or pay enormous fines, there was a lot at stake. If they did comply, the company would compromise the very foundational Christian beliefs that undergird their company. If they didn’t comply, the livelihood of 28,000 plus employees could be at stake. Steve and the Hobby Lobby company proceeded to courageously navigate the legal system leading to a Supreme Court 5-4 ruling in 2014 in their favor. The ruling set the standard for all religious organizations.
With the decision to push back on the federal government’s rules, Hobby Lobby became the standard-bearer for other Christian groups who faced the same dilemma.
As church leaders, we would do well to learn from leaders like Steve Green. His testimony should not only help us lead courageously, but should help those we are leading to determine how they can live in this world of compromise without compromising their faith.
Steve is one of many speakers who will be featured at the 2018 BACE conference, April 5-6 at Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OK.
Learn more from Steve in this interview with Q Ideas