Here’s What Happens When A Company Declares They’re Christian…
By: Joseph Simonds on May 17, 2020
Do you want to know what happens when a company publicly declares they are Christian?
Let me take you back to Oct 13th, 2019…
It was 9 am.
I was sweating bullets.
We were about to hit “SEND” on an email about God to our entire email list (almost 70,000 fishermen).
Was this going to be the end of our company?
Would this destroy everything we had worked so hard to build?
Would people leave our Insider fishing club in droves?
Would people think less of us?
Would God protect us?
Fear was starting to set in.
I’ll share what happened in a second…
First, let me tell you how we got here.
Just a few months earlier we had added the following mission statement on our website:
- To Unite Friends & Families
- To Serve Fishermen
- To Honor God & Jesus Christ In Everything We Do
The biggest change to our public mission statement was the name, “Jesus Christ.”
We had never mentioned that on our site before.
But I had been challenged by one of my C12 Group Members to do make this bold declaration if I really believed it (thank you Darryl Lanker for the encouragement).
So we did it…
Can you guess what happened?
The next morning our entire site was shut down.
As in every single page of our website was nowhere to be found online.
It was the first time in the history of our company where I couldn’t even log-in to our back end admin panel.
After some investigation, it turns out there are numerous groups that have spiders and WordPress plugins that are constantly scanning the web for the mention of Jesus, Christianity, etc.
And when they detect Christian based content, they do anything they can to hack in and shut it down…
It was a clear sign that there are forces trying to attack and slow down the spread of Christianity…
It was also a clear sign that we were doing the right thing… someone was scared for us to spread this message…
So fast forward to Sunday, October 13th:
Luke and I felt we had been called to start a series called Salt Strong Unchurched (you can see all of the past episodes here).
Not to become pastors, but to share the love of God and to help answer the same questions that we struggled with for many years (and still continue to struggle with some days).
We wanted to cover hard-hitting questions like:
- Is God real?
- If there really is a God, why does he let bad things happen to good people?
- How can the Bible be correct if there if the Theory of Evolution is correct?
The goal was to have an open discussion about faith, God, love, and how all it plays a role in our lives.
And we were about to email episode #1 of UNCHURCHED to our entire audience…
The email started with this quote:
“One of the next great moves of God is going to be through believers in the workplace.” ~ Billy Graham
It then went on to share my journey of giving up on the Church along with how everything changed when I found out I had cancer along with an amazing story from my friend (and fellow Salt Strong Insider Pastor Johnny Kelly – you can see my email and the first episode of Unchurched here).
As I mentioned, the email went out to almost 70,000 people.
To say it was a scary moment would be an understatement…
Speaking candidly, our biggest fear was that revenues would drop and that it would cause pain to us and to our employees.
Within an hour of sending out the email, I received replies such as this:
“Way to ruin your entire brand. Mark my word, you’ll be out of business in 6 months from now…”
“This email is a bull*** move on your part, and says a lot about what kind of people you are. Take your religious zealotry right the f*** out of my inbox…”
But I also received some of the nicest, most uplifting, and powerful messages that have ever made it into my inbox.
I’d say out of the countless emails I received back, 90% were positive and proud to be part of a fishing community that stood for something.
10% were negative and some out-right evil replies.
But even with the few people who were angry with our decision to share our faith, I knew instantly that we did the right thing.
And even though we’ve certainly had some mud thrown at us (including some nasty emails, people we’ve never met or done business with trying to trash us as Christians on social media, and even a few threats), the doors that have opened, the blessings we’ve received, and the people we’ve been able to impact has been miraculous.
Thank you, God!!!
Here are just a few things that we’ve seen in our business since we launched Salt Strong UNCHURCHED in October…
- We’ve gone from 8,000 Insider Club members to almost 14,000 members (in 7 months)
- Our monthly revenue has DOUBLED (so take that to the dude who predicted we’d be out of business in 6 months)!
- The amount of fishing tackle (Slam Shady lures, rods, reels, etc) that we sell each month has DOUBLED
- The number of people downloading our Podcast has SKYROCKETED!
- Our monthly YouTube views have gone up 40% (we’re now getting 1,600,000 views per month)
- April 2020 was our best month in the 5-year history of our company (in the middle of a global pandemic)!
- May 2020 is one pace to beat April by 15%
- Most importantly, we’ve been able to reach and impact more people and more families
Does God protect those who boldly proclaim HIS name?
We’re seeing the writing all over the walls on how GOD IS FLOODING US WITH HIS FAVOR and helping us reach more people to spread his LOVE ever since we proudly started sharing HIS name.
But let me be very clear, this isn’t all about doubling our revenue… (recall that we were nervous this move would slash our revenue, not grow it).
And this certainly isn’t about gaining more YouTube views (or any other vanity metric).
It’s much bigger than that.
The reason we publicly declared that we are CHRISTIAN is that we BELIEVE we were called to share God’s word using our platform.
We believe that we were called to be Fishermen… and Fishers Of Men.
We believe that if God is our father in church on Sunday, then why would we be afraid to share our beliefs the other six days of the week?
We believe that it’s time for businesses to stop hiding behind their faith and treating it like it’s something to be ashamed of.
Before you listen to the candid episode below, let me cover a few misconceptions about Christian companies:
Biggest Misconceptions About Christian Companies
Ever since we opened up about being a Christian-based company, we’ve heard all kinds of crazy things from people on social media…
Here are a few of the biggest myths and misconceptions about Christian-based companies:
- Just because a company is “Christian” doesn’t mean that they discriminate or have only Christian customers. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Real Christians LOVE and ACCEPT everyone… regardless of race, beliefs, skin color, sexual orientation, etc. We’ve actually heard from numerous non-Christian Salt Strong Insider members who said they joined simply because of how positive, uplifting, and non-judgmental we are. It was the same reason my wife and I enrolled our daughter in a Jewish school back when we lived in Tampa. It was the best school in the area and they loved on and embraced our blonde-haired little girl just as much as they did their Jewish students. Do you think Chick-fil-A only has Christian customers? Of course not.
- Just because a company is “Christian” doesn’t mean the company (or its leadership team) is a bunch of Bible Beaters who claim to be perfect and don’t make mistakes. We’re all imperfect people. We all have flaws and battles we are fighting. We’re all sinners just trying to be the best versions of what God created us to be. If we ever allude to being perfect, slap us upside the head with a fish!
- Just because a company is Christian doesn’t mean that they want to push religion on them – and it certainly doesn’t mean they expect every person to agree with them. Just like any post you see in your social media feed, if you don’t agree, then skip it and move on.
- Just because a company is Christian doesn’t mean they look down upon or think differently about non-Christians. Here at Salt Strong, we love everyone (except for saltwater catfish… we still have issues embracing them).
Large Christian Companies We All Know
Here are just some of the Christian-based companies in America:
- Forever 21
- Tyson Chicken
- In-N-Out Burger
- Interstate Batteries
- Hobby Lobby
- Merry Maids
- Mary Kay
- HEB Grocery
Well-Known Christian Fishermen
If you’re a fisherman and a Christian, you aren’t alone…
Here are just a few well-known anglers who are public about their Christian faith:
- Bill Dance
- Roland Martin
- Jimmy Houston
- Hank Parker
- Shaw Grigsby
- Josh Jorgensen (BlacktipH – YouTube celebrity)
- Robert Arrington (Deer Meat For Dinner – YouTube celebrity)
- Tyler Anderson (Tyler’s Reel Fishing – YouTube celebrity)
- The Linder Brothers
- Darrell Lowrance (founder of Lowrance)
- Forrest Wood (founder of Ranger boats)
- Capt. Peter Deeks (multiple world-record holder)
- Capt. Mike Anderson (Reel Animals TV Show)
- Randy Howell (Pro Bass Angler)
- Edwin Evers (Pro Bass Angler)
- Kevin VanDam (Pro Bass Angler)
Are you ready to hear the episode?
In this episode below, I break down all of the amazing things (and the scary things) that have happened here at Salt Strong since we declared we are Christians.
I hope you enjoy.
What Really Happens When A Company Declares Christianity [PODCAST]
Thoughts on companies declaring their faith and what they stand for?
Have you felt called to do the same but just scared to pull the trigger?
I’d greatly appreciate any and all feedback by leaving a comment at the bottom of the post.
You have my word I will read every single message (although it might be tough for me to get all of them considering the tens of thousands of people will read and see this).
Finally, I’d really appreciate if you’d take a second to SHARE this with your friends and family.
And if you feel called to share your love of God within your company, let me know.
Thank you for being part of the Salt Strong family and don’t ever hesitate to reach out if we can help you or better serve you in any way.
Stop Wasting Your Valuable Time On The Water!
Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.
Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:
- Weekly fishing reports and TRENDS revealing exactly where you should fish ever trip
- Weekly “spot dissection” videos that walk you through all the best spots in your area
- Exclusive fishing tips from the PROS you can’t find anywhere else
- 20% OFF ALL of your fishing tackle (rods, reels, line, lures, and more from ALL of the biggest brands in America)