Liberty University’s School of Business kicked off Day 2 of its Networking the Nations CEO Summit with a Faith Factor panel Thursday morning in the Towns Auditorium, inspiring participants to commit their lives and businesses to Christ.
Moderated by Dean of the School of Business Dr. Dave Brat, the panel featured Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and founder of the Museum of the Bible, and his wife, Jackie; H.E. John Mahama, former president of Ghana; Forson Swanzy, pastor and connector who has been a key networking agent for the business school; and Liberty’s own Chief Academic Officer and Provost Dr. Scott Hicks.
Liberty is welcoming over 630 CEOs, political figures, athletes, and world-class faith leaders to campus with the goal of uniting industry minds from around the globe in promoting faith, friendship, and Judeo-Christian business principles. The three-day summit concludes on Friday.
The Greens underlined their guiding principles for operating their business, saying that living a faithful life begins with your immediate family members and raising your household to be God-honoring.
Steve Green briefly spoke about the obstacles his father, David Green, had when he started Hobby Lobby and how his father eventually surrendered his business to God.
“This isn’t our business; this is God’s business,” Steve Green said. “We are only stewards of what God has entrusted to us. And that is really a foundational principle for all of life. All that we have is a gift from God. And if we understand that it is His, and we are responsible to steward it for His good and glory, it will serve us well.”
Jackie Green encouraged the guests to be intentional with each God-given day, to focus on legacy, and to remain obedient to Christ in all their ventures.
“God doesn’t call the equipped; he equips the called,” she said. “And we’re all called. We all have purpose.”
Hicks weighed in on the qualities of God-honoring leaders and said that leaders must have a heart of humility while serving others.
“If you’re going to be a great leader, you going to have a moral compass,” Hicks said. “And that moral compass has to be reared in a moral absolute and moral values. … Otherwise, instead of being self-interested from an economic position, you’re going to be selfish, greedy, and prideful. Great leaders will have a moral compass that’s focused on Him.”
Mahama emphasized how faith influenced his leadership as president of Ghana (2013-17). He also encouraged the CEOs and students to ground their work on a solid biblical foundation.
“Your faith is an anchor,” said Mahama, who also spoke to students at Liberty’s Convocation on Wednesday. “We are like ships on the open sea buffeted by waves. If you don’t have an anchor, you will just drift and eventually (capsize). My faith anchors what I do. … Oftentimes, we’re faced with oppositions, and it’s your faith that carries you.”
The CEO Summit has hosted multiple panels and break-out sessions aimed at finance, government, national security, and more.
“We are Christians because we are followers of Christ, and our work is cut out for us,” Mahama said. “All we need to do is emulate His life, His humility, His kindness, and His gentleness. If everybody lived a Christ-like life, we wouldn’t have all these problems we have in this life.”
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