Century 21 – Phoenix, Arizona  

John Crow operates a large real estate agency in Phoenix, Arizona. Several years ago he made the decision to be closed on Sundays and the impact has been incredible. He incorporates his faith in everything he does. It all belongs to God. He donates his warehouse to like-minded initiatives throughout the week and on Sundays, his office building becomes a Church!

Putting Faith Before Profits

John Crow: We are a vertically integrated residential and commercial real estate company, so we do everything in that. I always had faith, but I didn't understand that having faith means you're in ministry. And so the first part of my career was in the automotive industry. As I stepped away from it, I realized it was a solemn moment for me, that it was all vanity and that my next phase in life would be living out a life in faith and boldness doing whatever I did for the service of the kingdom. It began with daily prayer. I think the next step that I incorporated was allowing Bible studies to form and use the company facilities. And as I grew and progressed those doors to run my business as a ministry just continued to open in 2015, we were provided with this opportunity to buy this new facility, and it was more than we needed at the time.

And I remember standing in our 4,000 square foot warehouse out back and thinking, wow, someday this could be used for community good. And it really came upon me at that moment. I'm like, this could be a church back here. And that saying that out loud to me made me realize that I needed to be closed on Sunday. And so that was really the next big step that we took was officially closing our operations on Sunday.

I think it's odd to be open on Sunday. I think working six days is a commandment. I think taking a day of rest is a commandment. And so for me, it's exactly the opposite. No, it's not weird at all to be closed on Sundays. It's weird to be open. And when I took that to them, I would say things like, I'm going to be a Christian company. And they would say, you mean a faith-based company? And I would say, no, a Christian company. We're going to wear our Christian values on our sleeve and we're going to tell everybody that that's what we are.

Giving to Christ What is His

The reaction was, you're going to get sued out of business. And my response was, it's not mine, right? I'm just being obedient to the commandment. If I am persecuted out of existence because I'm running a business of faith, it's not my business, so I'll go find a new ministry, but 100% of this organization belongs to God. I think the important part of that is what does that mean? You walked up my staircase. Everybody that comes to work here walks up that staircase to get to my office to meet me before they're even hired. Everyone has explained these are our values. This is who we are. The top step is faith. That is what we are about. And it's a Christian faith that we have here. You should know that before you join the organization. But we have people of all faiths, no faiths working here. Every walk and discipline in life is represented in this organization. They just know from us that that's where we come from.

And if you go back a couple of steps written in, the biggest font is the word love, and that's what we're going to do for you. We're going to love you wherever you're at. And because we mean that with every bone in our body, not once has anyone who's ever come here been offended. My mission is to run this business as a ministry and to live my faith. We're all called Colossians 3:23 is to do all things as though you're doing it for God. There's tremendous mercy and tremendous gifts that come in that. And the great blessing for me is to teach the people in our organization that that's why it's written on the side of our building in giant letters "serve first". I'm just doing what we're all supposed to do. Is it worth it?

Giving Your Life and Business to God

Is eternal significance worth it in your life? Yes. Yes, absolutely. A hundred percent. Is it good business So far? It's been amazing, but I know that these things of the world don't matter. That's not where our attention is supposed to be focused. And so everything I'm doing is for the eternal purpose.

If you're a person of faith and you own a business, you should lead according to your faith, you're commanded to. What I've learned is the secular world that is aware of it, meaning they come by here on Christmas during the middle of COVID and we're having a 700 car parade through our parking lot, telling the history of Christmas and ending at a live nativity scene. They get it. They know something's different here, but they're blessed by it because it's good. We've had people that have come to us as atheists with no faith, who were broken, who were addicted, and who are now thriving members of the church community. So the victories already had. My hope is to continue to engage in the fight.

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