John Houston Family of Companies

John and Tracy Houston run one of the best home-building businesses in the country. However, the journey to get to that point wasn't an easy one. After losing almost everything, they dedicated their lives to the mission of reaching people for Christ by helping them to find their way Home. Every prospect for them is important, even the ones they don't land. "God didn't tell us to go sell houses, He told us to go reach people."

Following Christ’s Call in the Workplace

John Houston: God never told me to build a business to go make money. He said, go do what I've called you to do. Go love me and love people and then let me take care of you. And so I literally, the purpose that God gave us to start the very first business in every business sense is to reach people for Christ and give the kingdom. So we believe every one of these businesses, as well as our whole life is really just the vehicle that God is using for us to reach people for Christ.

Tracy Houston: Well, from the beginning we just saw it as a home building company. We had no idea the future of where that would grow, and it really resulted from a journey that my husband and I had been on.John Houston: And it was at that point where I was like, okay, God, I'm all yours, whatever you tell me to do. So we follow Psalms 24:1 that says the earth and everything, including hiss people are gods. So if I've dedicated my life to God, then I'm his to do whatever he wants to do with it.

Tracy Houston: My husband kind of came to a point of, I just want to do really whatever God wants me to do and everything we have, and that was kind of the point we had to come to in life, that everything we have belongs to God. Even our work and what we do.

John Houston: Today, we say our mission is to reach people Christ and give the kingdom. But how we do that is by helping people find their way home, which is the capital "H". So it's eternal home. We broke it down like this. This is what we felt like the Lord told us to do, was for every one home that we build, we believe we have 60 opportunities to share the love and the hope of Christ. So in home building, if you have 10 prospects, then on average, if you have 10 prospects, you'll get one sale, one contract. But what we had to make sure we taught our staff was all 10 of those prospects are just as important as the one we contract. Because God didn't tell us to go sell houses. He told us to go reach people.

Rob Poole: To me, it's exciting, to be honest with you, the sales are awesome. I'm a salesman. The sales are awesome. But the truth is, is that it feels like the people that we don't do business with are the ones that I get to impact the most.

John Houston: So this year, if we do 600 houses, that's 36,000 opportunities we have to share the gospel. And what I love about it is, is that I estimate that maybe 40 to 50% of our staff aren't believers. And I love that because they can still be part of it.

Tracy Houston: One of the things I love to hear the most from our employees is that they're here for a purpose. They're here because of the relationships they've built. They're here because they don't feel like they're just working a job.

Working Toward a Greater Purpose

Chad Miles: I think people want to have something to work towards. They want purpose in their lives, and I think this gives them that purpose. You're working for something greater than yourself, and so there's something rewarding that there's joy that we receive here. It's not just getting all of our rewards in heaven. I mean, my heart's more full of joy because of these things that we do right now.

Bobby Parks: You've often heard it said that people are your greatest asset, but assets can depreciate for us, people are not just an asset that we try to squeeze something out of them to produce fruit. They're people that God's called us to steward well.

Tracy Houston: JH Reach is the arm of the company that basically oversees all of our employee care, all our giving, all our missions and outreach that we do.

Bobby Parks: We want to create those opportunities of how do we minister to our employees, our customers, those that we work and serve with our communities and even people around the world.

Tracy Houston: So one of the things that the chief ministry officer and I've worked very heavily on is how do we put a strategy in place where we can measure and we can know where?...well, it's like how do you identify where someone's at in their journey?

Bobby Parks: So we want to see business and mission together where it's one, this is just who we are, and that at the top of that funnel, it's strengthen. And then as we go down, equip, activate, and multiply

Tracy Houston: The top layer strengthen. So we identified activities that we could do as a company that every employee could participate in. It's what are things that we can put in place to help build relationships with our employees. So we do things like a Christmas party. We do Christmas party every year where we get to know the spouse. We do a picnic every year where we can kind of meet the whole family. It's more family-based activities. We do a fair day every year where we close the office and we take all the employees to the fair, and it's for employees to do team building, relationship building with them. We do round tables with our employees that's focused on values and it's something that we can have all employees do because we're focusing on values like relationship.

Bobby Parks: So when they equip part of that funnel, here's where we're inviting employees to go through discipleship trainings, small groups in the workplace, retreats where they can be enhanced, taught, and learn to grow in a small group setting, self-reflection, accountability, the same things that we're doing in our church of how do you grow in your faith?

You need community. We've got built-in community every day in the workplace, and if people are willing to, we're going to help disciple them. And we empower the mature believers in our workplace that they can be the ones that disciple. It doesn't need to be a chief ministry officer or the founder or a pastor or a chaplain. Our role, we believe Ephesians 4:12 is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. We've got a lot of saints, a lot of believers in our company, and they want to do the work of the ministry in the workplace. So we just give them opportunities to do that. And then we help people activate their faith in the workplace where they can go on mission trips, they can serve in their community, they can give.

Empowering Your Team to Serve

Tracy Houston: So we kind of say now, are they taking a step to actually serve? Are they participating in community serving things that we have? We offer ways for employees to give, and we do matching campaigns. You give, we'll match those kinds of things. So now we're seeing, hey, they've even gone a step further. Now they're actually not just participating or actually serving. And then our last layer is multiply.

Bobby Parks: So Jesus said that you didn't choose me, but I chose you, and I chose you to bear fruit that would last and remain. So for us, we take seriously that responsibility to multiply what God has entrusted us with making disciples in the marketplace. We want to make disciples that know how to make disciples, but we also want to help encourage other faith-based leaders in the marketplace to do the same.

Tracy Houston: That's our approach, and those are activities we can actually measure and we want to constantly measure. Are we providing the right activities for employees? Are we caring for them well?

Jenna Hagy: I've walked through a lot of life here. When I first got hired on, I had just got married, and unfortunately this last year I went through a divorce and really this place was my church during that time period. And the people here year literally became Jesus to me.

Cassie Moreno: I feel like they are the reason that I have a relationship with God, where I got to know God for who he really is. Anyone can tell you God is good, but when you walk with people who truly believe that and take the time to show you how good God is, that makes a difference.

John Houston: I consistently tell our staff the day that I'm in business to just build a house. The day I'm here to sell a mortgage, I'm done. I don't want to do it anymore because what's the point?

Tracy Houston: I don't want to just go to work every day. I want everything I do to be something... I just want to be obedient to the Lord and just do everything He's calling us to do, and I know this is what he's called us to do. I know this is the purpose he's given us. I think the business is the biggest mission field we have.

John Houston: You see God's faithfulness man, and you're just like, what if? That's the whole reason why we ever started one business was one person came to Christ, was it worth it? But that's what motivates me and gets me out of bed every day. It's not building another house or closing another mortgage or delivering another finished lot. It's what's going to happen in those vehicles today that can change somebody's life for eternity.

Related Videos

Expo Home

Read More
Christ at work logo social image logo over a washed out image of two men praying together in the workplace

Tom Ferguson & AZZ

Read More

The WHY of Your Business

Read More

Related Videos


Watch videos of Christ at Work in businesses and in individual’s lives.
  • “Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it when it is in your power to do so.”
    Proverbs 3:27

  • “Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”
    Philippians 2:4