This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 8/4/23. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Isaac Crockett: Well, hello. Welcome to the program to this Friday edition of Standing in the Gap Today. I’m Isaac Crockett and, as normal for most Friday editions, my co-host today is the Honorable Sam Rohrer, the president of the American Pastors Network and the regular host of this program.
But we do have a guest today and it’s somebody I have known very well my entire life and it’s another Crockett. It’s my older brother, Nathan Crockett, one of my older brothers who is a professor, Dr. Nathan Crockett, professor at Bob Jones University, but also an entrepreneur. So Nathan, just thanks for taking time to be on this program with us today.
Nathan Crockett: Oh yeah, happy to do so.
Isaac Crockett: Well, Nathan, you do a lot of different things. You wear multiple different hats and that’s what kind of makes you a perfect person for us to interview about our topic today, as well as you have actually spoken at seminars, retreats for this exact topic and that is that we want to look at how Christians can advance the kingdom of God using business opportunities. So today we’re talking about business as missions and something that you are doing and you have done as an entrepreneur and as somebody in ministry and training people for ministry and something that you’ve spoken about.
But before we get into all those different questions, Nathan, could you maybe just talk to us a little bit about your ministry background and how that has helped shape you to the ministry and the mission part of business as missions?
Nathan Crockett: Yeah, and, of course, Isaac, you would know this well, being my brother. But I was born into, thankfully, Christian parents and my dad was actually an evangelist at the time and then when I was three, moved to Indiana where he pastored for a few decades before the Lord took him home so born into really a pastor’s home and then the second of four boys. All four of us really are in the ministry with Josh pastoring in Greenville and Isaac, of course, pastoring in New York and me teaching theology at Bob Jones University and having been an interim pastor and a youth pastor and worked pretty extensively with the college ministry and then my brother Luke being in Africa as a missionary.
So just kind of grew up in the full-time ministry, almost not knowing anything else and then having had the privilege since 2003 to teach at Bob Jones University Bible classes and for many years worked directly with the ministry training class there, which is a great privilege. And just through the years having had the chance to be a youth pastor and an interim pastor for a couple years at the church where I’d been youth pastor when the pastor left. So just 43 years old and almost haven’t known anything but full-time ministry through the years and had the privilege to preach at a number of camps and churches and Christian school retreats and leadership conferences.
Sam Rohrer: Nathan, this is a great opportunity. I’m glad that you’re on and we are so glad at American Pastors Network and Stand in The Gap for Isaac. He and I have had the chance to work together. Both your dads was a pastor, mine was not. But you’re both in Christian ministry, I’m in Christian ministry, people listening to us are doing all kinds of things. God’s worked in our lives all differently and I think it’s a great thing to be able to talk about this in your personal experience.
Let me ask you this question. You’ve started a number of businesses. I want you to share a little bit about that. But let me ask you this personal. In your life when you were growing up, did God direct you in your life where you felt, all right, called into pulpit ministry, called into with you’re teaching, academic teaching ministry or business, how did the Lord kind of direct in your life and just kind of build that up a little bit? I think it might be interesting.
Nathan Crockett: Yeah, it’s a great question. It’s something I go back and forth on in some ways in that students will ask me questions like that.
For me, personally, I think I was probably an eighth-grader and I think Tom Farrell was at our church preaching and I felt that the Lord was calling me into some kind of full-time Christian service. I think as I went to university at Bob Jones and started training and really from the time I guess as an eighth grader, probably pretty serious about training, just thinking, boy, I want to train and try to learn the Bible the best I can to be ready and prepared for this.
I do feel like there are other people that don’t, there’s not necessarily this sense of direct calling so much on some people. It’s maybe a little bit like some people you ask them, they’re like, “I know I was called to marry this person” and other people are happily married. But they’re like, “Well, it all made sense. We’d been best friends since third grade and the Lord clearly directed us to each other that way.” So for some people it seems like it’s more of a point in time and some more of a gradual thing.
I think the older I get, the more I realize that if you’re a doctor, you’re in that ministry. If you’re a Christian congressman, that’s the ministry God’s called you to. If you’re an accountant, God’s called you to that ministry. If you’re called to preach, God’s called you to that ministry. But it should be the focus of all of our lives is directing people back to Christ and the great commission, whether or not we get our paycheck as a pastor or a Christian school professor or an accountant or an entrepreneur or a plumber.
So I do think that maybe there are some people who are too much waiting for the or listening for the mystical call, kind of the Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment, that maybe they’re saying, “Well, God never called me to preach,” but maybe they’re actually gifted for it. People in their church recognize it and maybe they’re almost avoiding God’s will for their life because they haven’t heard an audible call from heaven. So on the one hand, I think Spurgeon said, “If you can do anything other than preach, do it” because you don’t want someone striving to attain to the pulpit just because for the grandeur of it or whatever.
I feel like that was maybe an issue a couple generations ago when pastors were maybe almost idolized. In our generation where authority in many cases in the media and so on is belittled, there might be people actually avoiding the ministry that God’s actually trying to call them to the full-time ministry.
Isaac Crockett: Nate, these are great questions, even your answering that we could spend so much time actually discussing those parts. But just real quickly going into the break, what are some of the business opportunities that you’ve gotten involved with as we’re looking at business as missions? Just maybe give us a little bit of an idea of some of your entrepreneurial and business side of things.
Nathan Crockett: Yeah. So by God’s grace, he allowed Abigail and I, so I actually should have probably mentioned I married a pastor’s daughter. Abigail’s dad, Mark Minnick, pastors a great church in Greenville, South Carolina, and her sisters are married to guys who are in the ministry. So she’s one of three girls, all who are married to guys in the full-time ministry.
But we were able to graduate university debt-free and initially buy some real estate and that portfolio has kind of grown to a number of residential and commercial properties now. Then about a dozen years ago, started Crockett Doodles, which is a network of family dog breeders basically where we raised high-quality Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Bernedoodles, Cavapoos. We offer about a dozen different kinds of poodle crosses so we have a number of homes that are involved in that. That was probably the first main business I’d started, other than having some passive income from real estate at that point.
Then as that was successful, we launched several other pet-related businesses off of that like Castle Crates where we do furniture-quality dog crates and Urban Mutt, which is a high-quality dog groomer.
Isaac Crockett: We’ll come right back and talk about this more. When we do come back, we want to talk about business and missions and how the two go together using our business opportunities as kingdom opportunities. We’re going to be right back on Stand in the Gap Today.
Isaac Crockett: Well, welcome back to our Friday edition of Stand in the Gap Today, and we’re talking with our guest who’s my brother, Nathan Crockett, a Bible professor, as well as an entrepreneur. So you mix a businessman and a theologian and that’s what he’s doing both.
So Nathan, I’d just like to go back and talk to you. We talked some about your ministry background. You and I both grew up in a ministry home. You married Abigail, who’s also from a pastor’s home and both of us, our siblings are involved in ministry and things. And you teach and you’ve pastoral roles and you actually teach a lot of preachers and things, too. And you preach all over the country and all over the world.
But at the same time, as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been quick at technology. So I remember when we were kids and the internet was just kind of starting to be a thing, how quickly you picked up on things. You’ve been good at website development and things like that. So if you could maybe talk to us a little bit, some of the businesses you have, maybe even some of the websites where people can see, because I think you’ve done a neat job of showing in your life, your whole life, whether it’s business side or ministry side, it’s all a kingdom-related thing. It’s not, “Oh, here’s what I do secular, here’s what I do full-time Christian.” It’s all doing it for the Lord’s glory.
But maybe talk a little bit about some of the business opportunities you’re in and maybe if you could see what are some of the things that kind of overlap what you’ve learned in teaching and preaching and things and how that applies also in the business world.
Nathan Crockett: Yeah, thank you for that. I think I’d mentioned right before the break a little bit about some of the pet businesses we were in. We’ve also had the chance to be in the hospitality space with a restaurant and then like Hidden Creek Horse Farm, which, again, that’s a good example where when we give horse riding lessons or boarding horses and so on. We do that with… Kerry and Anna Grace McGonigal really run that for us. He teaches at the university as well, Bible classes. He’s just an outstanding friend. But they can share the gospel with people through horses. It’s a really neat opportunity there.
We have a place in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa there. It looks out to the Dome of the Rock where we can let pastors stay and created a website just about the Old City of Jerusalem, just to try to point to the gospel even for Muslims or others who would be looking for something in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Then Elijah;s Harbor is a couple hundred acre retreat center in Tennessee that’s really geared for really Christian families. A lot of pastors use it for pastor’s retreats or couple’s retreats, but a lot of Christian families just use it as a place to get away and rest.
Then we have another wedding venue, the venue on Locust Hill, so that’d be some of the hospitality.
Also, as the Lord blessed businesses, I looked at buying other businesses. So I bought some retail businesses like tarps.com, which is interesting because right now we’re doing a ton of sale because of Burning Man, which I certainly don’t… I don’t know hardly anything about it, but I guess a lot of the people get tarps and tents and the materials we sell and trying to think of a way to work the gospel. And with that, with some of our businesses, we give out a Bible with every purchase so we’ve given out tens of thousands of Bibles through the years. I also try to give study Bibles to my students with some of the profit from some of the businesses, so some retail, just various retail things that we have.
Then got involved maybe four or five years ago in aerospace with connector parts. So that was a couple of businesses that I bought that, again, that hasn’t directly related to ministry, but trying to use the profits from that for ministry.
Then also involved in several things in the sports realm with one of the groups I work with are the agents for four of the teams in the US or the Women’s World Cup right now and for countries for the Olympics and different players. I have a team over in Belgium, they call it a football club, we call a soccer team. So that’s been a lot of neat opportunities to share my testimony and so on in the news media there.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, Nathan, let me interject here, because basically what we’re wanting here which you have done is to demonstrate a breadth of involvement in areas of interest. I asked you that first question of how did you become a part of that and you explained a little bit of that at the beginning.
Let me ask you if you could take and build out a little bit here for people who are listening. You mentioned that there are many ways that involvement in business can be used and most of what you’ve described, not all of it, but it would be like with home missions. I mean you’re not, we’ll talk foreign in a little bit here, but some of the ways that you have actually integrated. Now, one of the things you said in some of your profits you’ve taken and you give a Bible, a nice study Bible to all of your Bible students. All right, that is a really significant thing. Explain a little bit more about how you work in the gospel, how you actually take and use what you’ve done for the advancement of ministry.
Now, one thing I’ve got to comment on is that you were describing many of these things like a place for pastors to go and rest or pastors to go and hear. So obviously that springs out of your life as being raised in a pastor’s home, so you’ve got a sensitivity to that. It’s something you know, but build that out a little bit so people are thinking may own a business right now or other ways and maybe they have not thought about how they can actually use that platform for actually actual ministry. So build that out, please.
Nathan Crockett: Yeah. I think there’s, in a sense, you could look at it as a two-pronged approach. One would be to set aside a portion of the finances to support a camp, a Christian college or church to say, “I have this plumbing business and we’re going to use 10% of the profits,” and this would be probably an addition, I would think, to your personal tithe or whatever. But if you say, “I want to set aside this percentage of profits for this particular cause” and, of course, if it’s based on a percentage, you don’t want that to be like from missionary’s regular support because then if your company has a bad year, you don’t want to pull their support.
But that’s like for us, pretty early on, we started doing study Bibles because I felt like it was a really good ROI, like a good spiritual return on investment because, for one, I could get a 60 or $70 leather study Bible, but if I bought them 1,000, 2 or 3000 at a time, I could get huge discounts so I’d usually get them for 20, 25 bucks.
Then used to be I’d have about 1200 students a semester. Now it’s usually less than that. Maybe if I have six or 700 students and maybe not all of them even want it, some of them maybe already have one. I now try to give like a journaling Bible or study Bible. So they might have me for one class one year and get a study Bible and the next year get a journaling Bible. But I figure even if 30% of them really used that on a regular basis for me, when I got a really good study Bible in high school, it really changed the way I looked at the Bible.
So that’s one thing we do with, for instance, Crockett Doodles. Anyone who gets a puppy, we offer them a Bible. Probably 95, 98% of them take it. We get a lot of nice, I read an email I think yesterday from someone who said, “I think that’s so amazing that you share your faith by giving a Bible. I would like to make a donation for future Bibles.” So that’s what we usually get. Sometimes someone says, “I’m Jewish and I’m offended that you shared the Bible with me.”
But we try to say the Bible’s changed… When I’m talking to people, I say, “The Bible’s changed my life. I like to share it with other people.” So that’s a way of just specifically… So we’ve had all-star NBA players, famous politicians, all kinds of people who’ve chosen to adopt a puppy through Crockett Doodles, many of them, well-known people and with all of them, we give them a Bible. When we flew a puppy out to Bret Baier of Fox News and he later got one for his mom. I think we presented that one on air, one of those two, so that’s been an opportunity.
So you can either use the profits for ministry and hopefully that’s something you choose to do, or you can also try to incorporate things which it’s getting more and more difficult to do. I mean, even in our mission statement for several of my businesses we’re clearly Christian and some people would say, “Well, that opens you up for a lawsuit or whatever,” so our society’s becoming so secular that’s becoming more and more difficult. But I think as a business person, you’re first and foremost on the earth to glorify God, not to make money. Now hopefully, your business makes money or it won’t stay around very long, but that’s not your ultimate goal.
Isaac Crockett: Well, and Nathan, if you’re speaking to entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs interested in advice, but just real quickly maybe with that, you have spoken to people about this and maybe you could talk to us, you’ve done retreats about business as mission. I think you’ve worked with a mission board on that. If you could maybe mention that and we don’t have much time, but maybe talk about that and we can get into next segment some of the more advice on those areas.
Nathan Crockett: Yes. I have the privilege of being on a few boards. One of those is Open Door Baptist Missions, which is connected to Morningside Baptist Church, which is my church in Greenville and my brother Josh is a senior pastor there. So for years, Open Door Baptist Missions has done what they call a BAM retreat, Business As Missions, in the past couple of years, holding that at Elijah’s Harbor, our ministry retreat center. So it’s been a privilege to have just a bunch of young people who feel that God’s calling them into a business, but also want to use that typically on a foreign mission field. So maybe that’s making chocolates and going to Italy to do that. Or my brother Luke, who started a fitness center on an island off the coast of Africa in Mayotte and was able to give the gospel through that.
It’s one of my favorite things to do is to speak at a conference like that because it’s people that talk business, which I love, and talk ministry and scripture, which I love as well. I know we’re probably running short on time, Isaac, but does that kind of scratch where you’re itching a little bit in that sense?
Isaac Crockett: Yeah, that’s perfect and that’s the neat thing. For whoever’s listening, whatever you’re doing, whatever your hobbies or your work or whatever God has given you opportunity to do, that’s an open door. You know, I’ve worked a lot of different jobs. Nathan and Sam have worked a lot of different jobs and they’re not all quote-unquote full-time Christian, but we are full-time Christians. Wherever we are, we are called to be the light in this world and so be thinking of how you can use that position, that opportunity to put the light on the Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to talk more about that when we come back. We want to look at some modern ways to spread the timeless truths of the Bible wherever we are, however God opens the door. So we’re going to take a little timeout, hear from some of our partners, and then we’ll be right back talking with my brother Nathan Crockett on Stand in the Gap Today.
Isaac Crockett: Well, welcome back to our Friday program. I’m Isaac Crockett and we’re talking about business as missions today, and we’re going to get into that some more in this segment.
But I want to have our program producer come on because one of the things really that we’re talking about is taking advantage of the opportunities that we’re given. And here at Stand in the Gap media through the American Pastors Network, God has given us many opportunities.
So Tim, you’re our program producer, but if you could talk to us about some of these resources that people have that they could be using to present tools for kingdom purposes to those, our different listeners, so if you could maybe just talk to us about some of these neat free resources that we have available.
Tim Schneider: Yes, Isaac. Good afternoon to everybody. Hard to believe we’re into August. Today’s August 4th already. Where did the summer go? Before we blink, it’ll be Christmas and Thanksgiving and the end of 2023 will be here.
But we got lots of resources here at the American Pastors Network and Stand in the Gap Radio and TV. If you only listen to our radio program or check out our TV program and you’ve never been to our websites or our social media or everything that we offer, if you don’t have our app, you’re really missing out on a lot that we offer here and I want to let you know about a couple of those things.
As I mentioned, we are on social media. We’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter. Actually, I think now the name of the term Twitter is being changed, but for right now, we’ll just call it Twitter. Also, we’re on BitChute. So like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter by looking for American Pastors Network and Stand in the Gap Radio. Also, we are on BitChute. If you’re there, we’re a little bit tougher to find. But if you put in the @ sign and @ handle Stand in the Gap Media, you’ll be able to find us right there on BitChute and look for us. We have lots of content that we post on there also.
We’re also on YouTube. We have three great YouTube channels. We have the American Pastors Network Stand in the Gap Radio and Stand in the Gap TV. Right now if you would go over to the American Pastors Network YouTube channel, which is where I’m at right now as I’m talking to you, I’m looking at what we’ve recently posted, we have a couple of TV programs, a two-part TV series with Michelle Bachmann about Global Tyranny and the World Health Organization. That’s over there. There’s also a show about knees that will not bend. I believe it’s about Daniel and Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego. So you can see those and there’s tons of other TV programs and other things over there on the American Pastors Network, excuse me, YouTube channel.
Also, our Stand in the Gap TV also has those TV programs also. If you look at our Stand in the Gap Radio, you can also see programs of Facebook Live. Well, it used to be called Facebook Live, but now we call it YouTube Live, basically, on Fridays when we do record our Friday program live. You can see that over there on our Stand in the Gap Radio YouTube channel. So please search and subscribe so you’re notified when new content is posted. Once again, those three channels, American Pastors Network, Stand in the Gap Radio and Stand in the Gap TV.
Also, we ask you to please pray for this ministry. Nothing can happen without prayer. It definitely helps the situation and we’re try to be in touch with God whenever we pray. So please pray for our ministry. We’ll send you a prayer request email once a quarter on ways you can pray. But just regularly, just please pray for us, pray for our hosts, pray for our team, just that. The Lord will allow us to do the things that He wants us to do and we could be in touch with His heart.
Also, we’re into August. As I said before, summer is still happening. It’s been a little bit nicer here recently than it was previously, but still it’s hot and humid and it’s very sticky in a lot of places. And it’s still summertime and people are on vacation. So as you’re on vacation, please don’t forget us and your giving during the summer. A lot of ministries see a dip in their giving in the summer from people because people are on vacation. They just forget, it’s out of their routine. But please consider giving financially if the Lord has blessed you through this ministry. No amount too big, no amount too small is too much. So please consider giving to us and thank you in advance.
Like I said, Isaac, always lots here to talk about. There’s also lots to talk about here on today’s program so I’m going to go ahead and sending on back to you.
Isaac Crockett: Thank you very much, Tim. We’re talking with my brother who’s a professor, a theology professor as well as an entrepreneur.
Nathan, we’ve talked some about this topic here, missions or business as missions. But I want to look at something you brought up right at the end of the last segment, even our brother who has been in foreign places, Muslim countries and things, using business and his degree and background in business to have an open door to do mission work.
I know with your different companies you have a number of different people that have been able to work through you in various capacities, it’s been able to help them financially. And you have students that you’ve trained who have gone out as businessmen and businesswomen to get the great commission accomplished. And you have friends and relatives and different ones that are overseas doing that, and you’ve had opportunities to do some things.
So if you could maybe just talk to us as what you see as someone who’s spoken with these people, trained some of them and been involved in different ways with it, what might be an advantage? I’m not saying it’s for everybody, but what might be an advantage? To a person who wants to go to another country with the gospel, what might be the advantage of going in as a business person?
Nathan Crockett: Yeah, that’s a great question and maybe we can talk about advantages and disadvantages because, like most everything in life, there’s usually pros and cons and I’m probably maybe more gung-ho for business as missions than some mission board directors and so on. But to me, in many ways, it seems like it’s much of the future of missions if we can do it the right way. I think there’s a number of advantages.
For one thing, it can get you into countries that you couldn’t just put missionary on your visa. And when you think about some of the key missions passages in scripture like Romans 15 in the 16th verse where Paul is saying that “I should be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ and those things which pertain to God for I will not dare to speak of any of those things, which Christ has wrought by me to make the Gentiles obedient by word or deed.”
He goes on and in verse 20 says, “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, unless I should build upon another man’s foundation. But as it is written to whom He was not spoken of, that they shall see and they that have not, shall understand.” So if we’re thinking about taking the gospel to unreached areas, I think the access that we can gain through business as missions is almost unparalleled because you’re really going in there to run a coffee shop, to open up a gym, to create furniture, whatever that gift is.
I think kind of a flip side of that, that’s also a huge benefit is just the financial benefit, that someone who’s been a successful accountant in the US who wants to go to a European country or whatever, if they practice similar accounting standards in the country you’re going to, you don’t have to raise all that support necessarily because you’re going to get paid there. Or some friends of ours that went to the Philippines because his job offered him a transfer and he would actually get paid better money, I think, to go there. So now he’s on a mission field, he’s super plugged into a church and his US-based business is paying for that. So I think the access is amazing, the finances are amazing.
I think probably in many ways the language is going to be easier to learn, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re working for a US business that’s going to pay for you to go overseas because they’re going to pay for language classes. You’re in maybe an eight-to-five type of job with other people speaking the language. And I think just in that community, it makes so much sense to them. “Hey, someone came into our community and they started a gym here, that’s wonderful.” “This guy came in and he’s an accountant.” “These people started the coffee shop or the ice cream shop down the street.” You become a vital part of that community, instead of, “Oh, here’s two people who moved into our neighborhood and we don’t know what they do. And when we ask them, they’re really vague. Are they living off of our nation’s resources? Where did they come from?” So I think just that it can build a lot better community.
So those are some of the top reasons, I think, that there can be a lot of benefit to doing business as missions.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, Nathan, that’s great. And I think people listening to that say, “Yeah, I can identify with that because you can see.” If you’re there, you’re earning an income, you’re laboring alongside someone else or you’re providing a service, okay, now there’s an opportunity. Those, I think, are good. Thanks for mentioning them.
But go to the other side. Is there a disadvantage perhaps by not actually being on a foreign mission field where you carry the label of being a missionary? Because what you’re describing is more of necessity. You can’t go to a lot of these countries. Before you could go and you actually went with an exalted position more or less. Perhaps it’s like you were talking about at one point it was a really significant thing to be a pastor or someone in authority. But now that’s not the case. Okay. What’s the downside of not being there as an official missionary of the gospel?
Nathan Crockett: Yeah, and I think you’re exactly right. I mean, I would think even some people, and it might depend on which mission board director you talk to, but even some people who are going fully supported are still, I guess I’ve talked to a number of people lately who said they try to avoid the M word on their passport or whatever. They still don’t want to be called a missionary necessarily because what group of people is going to be all excited of, “Oh, you came over to convert me to your belief system?”
But I think disadvantages of business as missions, especially let’s say if you went over and you’re not fully supported because you’re hoping the coffee shop will help support you, is number one, just a time, perhaps a time factor that your business is helping pay your living wage so you’re going to have less time for sermon prep and so on.
Now, I think that can be counteracted if you’re able to witness the people at work and that kind of thing. But I do think it’s like a bivocational pastor in the States. If you talk to bivocational pastors, they’ll tell you about some advantages, but many of them have this huge disadvantage that they’re basically working two jobs. They’re working a job as an accountant and also a pastor and so they’re just stretched thin at all ends so I think there’s a significant time disadvantage.
I think another disadvantage is if you talk to entrepreneurs, and many of you listening to this maybe are, you know how hard it is to start a business even in the US and it can be exponentially harder in a foreign country, especially if they don’t speak English, especially maybe there’s a whole system of bribery and corruption to try to get a business started. Or some places like in Europe do not want an American to start a business.
So one thing that I think is an interesting potential opportunity is you can actually, just like you can buy businesses in the US, a number of the businesses I own I’ve bought, you can buy businesses internationally.
Isaac Crockett: All right, so that is very interesting and you bring up a whole side of things that many of us probably haven’t thought of. We want to come back, wrap up these things and finish our program when we come back. We’re going to take another brief time out. We’ll be right back on Stand in the Gap today.
Isaac Crockett: Well, welcome back to our program. I’m Isaac Crockett and my co-host is Sam Rohrer and we’re talking with our special guest, which is my brother Nathan Crockett, who is a theologian and an entrepreneur.
Nathan, I want just, before we close, give you a chance to talk a little bit about one of the ministries, Elijah’s Harbor. But before we get into Elijah’s Harbor, I’d just like to have you kind of finish the thought from the last segment.
You were talking about sometimes it’s difficult to start a business from the ground up overseas as a foreign business person that’s doing it for missions purposes. But sometimes an entrepreneur like yourself or others, you have opportunities where you can get an existing business that’s already kind of going and put a believer in there. Could you maybe talk a little bit about that and even a website you have where you have different businesses on there that you’re using those as opportunities for the kingdom?
Nathan Crockett: Sure, yeah. A website that might be helpful to some of the listeners would be 7Crocketts, just the number seven, and then Crockett, plural, Crocketts. It’s because my wife and I have five children, so there’s seven in our family. So I started it as a family website, but then lists most of our businesses there.
One of the businesses you’ll see there is one of the few that I don’t fully own. I was one of the initial investors in a company called MergersCorp. When I met Ed and Stefano who run that, basically they’re the two primary owners, but they were looking for an investor and I worked with them in purchasing a European soccer club. It was fascinating because I saw all these opportunities to buy a preexisting business in a foreign field.
So part of our agreement when I made an initial investment in addition to an equity stake was that I had the first right of refusal for myself or others. So if I knew of someone who was looking for a coffee shop in South America, before any of those would hit the website, I could have first access to those for someone I was trying to help get to the mission field. So it’s something to think about that sometimes it’s easier to buy a preexisting business in another country than to go over and start one yourself. Just an idea with that.
Then you’d mentioned Elijah’s Harbor, again, you could find that at 7Crocketts or you could just Google Elijah’s Harbor. That is a retreat center that we have for Christian families. A lot of families use it as a getaway maybe for a family vacation, and a lot of churches use it to send their pastor on a sabbatical. It’s just a beautiful place in the mountains of Tennessee and a very quiet and relaxing and a great place for a pastor or just a Christian family to get away and rest and retreat. We’ve enjoyed having business as missions retreats there. I think it’s a great use of it, but a lot of churches do couples retreats and other things there as well. So it’s a great resource that our businesses help underwrite to try to make it extremely affordable for families and for churches.
Isaac Crockett: Someone with your background in ministry, being so involved in ministry recognizing the need that ministry families have to get a respite.
I’ve been doing some studying, even today I was studying, someone was writing about it. He said he heard a pastor say, “The devil never takes a day off, so I’ll never miss a Sunday,” or something like that and he said, “Well, I didn’t know our example was the devil. I thought our example was Jesus Christ.” In the New Testament gospel accounts, we see I think over 10 times where Jesus takes a respite. He takes a break so that He can minister more fully. So I thought that was kind of interesting and that need that you’ve seen for ministers that they sometimes know they need to take a break, but they don’t feel like they can afford it or don’t know where to go. To create, to be able to have that opportunity was something again that was started that you’ve kind of taken over and been able to run is really neat. Sam, I know you and Ruth Ann have even gone there before, too.
But Sam, I want to close our program by going to you because business as mission is not something new for you. I remember the programs you used to have to get ministers together, where you had ministers of the state and ministers of the church coming together, and that’s what your ministry has been. That’s what, I think, led in many ways to the American Pastors Network and to Stand in The Gap Media. So I’d like to just give you a chance to talk through some of this, too, and what it has meant in your life and what it means with us at American Pastors Network.
Sam Rohrer: Yeah, Isaac, absolutely. The reason I ask you, Nathan, at the beginning, your story is because I have talked to Isaac and he’s not shared his on this program. But when young men, all of us now older men, but have grown up in Christian homes, it’s very interesting, I find, to ask how they end up being and going where they have gone. So you gave a little bit of yours.
For me when I was young, I thought the Lord would maybe have me be in the pulpit or in public office. Daniel and Joseph were my heroes and that’s kind of how it went. But as the Lord led through life, I didn’t feel called to train as a pastor in a pulpit. Neither did I decide to train when I went to Bob Jones University in political science because they didn’t have any major for that. So I went into business, talking about business because I thought it would be adaptable to anything. So, in fact, I did serve for 15 years in business, 13 years, in fact, to 15 altogether.
Then the Lord opened up the door for political office, Isaac, and then I understood minister of God, the civil authority side of the equation that a Daniel and a Joseph were, as they were serving as vice presidents in their governments of their time, but it’s exactly what Romans 13 talks about as a minister of God in government. Then when I got an office, the Lord gave me the ability to begin, an opportunity to begin to preach. Lo and behold, minister of God in pulpit.
Everybody’s life, I found, Isaac, and I hope this is helpful to people who are listening, that there’s not one, only one way that God allows and directs people into areas, but I think being willing to do what God wants you to do, whatever that is, is the place it begins. Then within that, God will direct, as we use opportunities He’s brought our way, to then open up the door.
Well, this what is happening now for where I am, for where we’re all talking now, Stand in the Gap and the American Pastors Network would have never happened had I not been in office, had I not gone and got some Bible training, had I not gone into public office as a minister of God in government. All of that God used, for me, to understand civil authority, authority generally, biblical principles specifically, but that the important piece is the pulpit and that God has given the pulpit the job of preaching the Word, instructing all of those who come under their sphere of influence what the Bible says about salvation, about God, about living, about God’s blessings, about God’s judgment and how that whole thing lays out.
That’s what we’re actually hopefully we’re doing in this program, Isaac, now with just sharing a little bit of your past. You and Nathan grew up in a pastor’s home. You’ve got wonderful stories of what your pastor has done, but it’s not accidental that you, Isaac and you, Nathan, and your two brothers are in God’s work now in the ministry. That’s not accidental and I think it never is in God’s economy, which is why moms and dads, as you’re listening to me and I hope that you take this as encouragement when you’re training up your children, grandmas and grandpops, encourage your grandchildren as they are growing up to be sincere about being willing to do whatever God wants them to do, and you can help them along that path to encourage them.
So I would just kind of say that and Isaac now it’s 10 years that we’re a part of American Pastors Network and we’re now looking back and saying, “Lord, thank you for what you’ve done,” and asking people to write us letters of thanksgiving of how the program has helped them to mark their calendars to join us if they can, November 14th, Tuesday night in the evening when we gather together here in Southeast Pennsylvania to meet with and reflect back on what God’s done and what, if He so wills and the Lord tarries what He’ll do in the five years to come and how people can actually be a part. Our special guest, Michelle Bachmann and Dr. George Barna will be with us as well.
Isaac Crockett: Well, Sam, I love that and it’s just so neat to see how this has all come together. To God be the glory. It reminds me a lot of the Apostle Paul and how God used him and changed his life, and thank you all so much for listening.
Nathan Crockett, thank you, from 7 Crocketts. Thank you so much for the insight you’ve had as a theologian, as a business person and entrepreneur. And Sam, as always, thanks for being on. For every one of you listening, thank you for listening. I hope you’ll listen again every day. And until next time, I pray you’ll stand in a gap for truth where you are today.