2:35– A little about my background
7:14– The start of Movement Mortgage
17:24– About Movement Mortgage’s mission statement
20:30– One of the darkest moments in my business journey
24:41– My vision for the future
27:45– What advice would you have for the 20-year-old you?
29:39– A piece of encouragement
34:14– The 4:23 Question
Casey Crawford is the co-founder and CEO of Movement Mortgage, one of the nation’s 10 largest retail mortgage lenders. He is also the chairman of Movement Bank, founder and chairman of Movement School and the founder of Movement Foundation, a nonprofit vehicle investing millions of dollars in business profit for good works in communities around the world.
As a former Super Bowl champion, real estate investor and loan officer, Casey co-founded Movement Mortgage in 2008 with his business partner Toby Harris. Together, they built the nation’s fastest-growing mortgage lender. Under Casey’s direction, Movement has become one of the largest purchase mortgage lenders in the U.S., totaling $12.8 billion in loan volume, 4,300 employees and 778 licensed offices in 49 states in 2017. By focusing on a corporate culture that loves and values people, Movement has been certified by the third-party Great Place to Work Institute with 96 percent of employees saying Movement has a positive atmosphere.
Casey is a sought-after guest by national media outlets, including CNBC, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Fox Business, Inc. Magazine, and HousingWire. He was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year in Financial Services in 2015. Casey lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife, Michelle, and daughters, Cadie and Josie.
Full Transcript:
Ray: Well hello everyone. This is Ray Hilbert, and I’d like to welcome you back to another edition of the Bottom Line Faith program. If you’re a first-time listener, welcome to the program today. If you’re a regular subscriber, welcome back. We’re in Indian Land, South Carolina that’s just right across the border from Charlotte at the headquarters for Movement Mortgage. And I’ve got to read just a little, little bit about our very, very special guest today. And I know he’s going to be embarrassed so since you can’t see him, he’s probably going to turn really red, but we’re talking with CEO of Movement Mortgage, Casey Crawford, and listen to this. Just a little bit of the intro that I’d like to share with you about Casey. It says, just a glance at his resume, and you may think that he and his greatness lies in achievements, because he is an NFL Super Bowl champion with the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a very wonderful career in the NFL. He’s also the founder and CEO of a multi-billion dollar mortgage company, Movement Mortgage, and where we’re setting in their headquarters today. And he is absolutely a highly sought-after media guest with appearances on CNBC, Squawk Box, Bloomberg, Fox News, and with print articles and features in the Wall Street Journal, Ink Magazine and Time Magazine as well. Along with that a 2015 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner. As great as all that sounds, what truly drives our guest today, Casey Crawford is a man who is called by God in meeting others needs. Casey, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
Casey: Thanks so much for having me, Ray. Real privilege and pleasure.
Ray: Well, listen, we’ve got a lot to talk about. You remember that movie? Well, you’re pretty young, you know.
Casey: I don’t know; we’re pretty big movie fans.
Ray: Okay. So there used to be a show, a movie called Smokey and the Bandit. And, and there’s a line in the song in Smokey and the Bandit says, “we got a long way to go and a short time to get there.” And so we’ve got a lot of questions today, but just a little bit of time. So let’s, let’s jump right into it. Let’s talk a little bit about your early years. I read as I was reading and learning about you. You had an amazing family. And one person particularly that you highlight as really influencing you. Let’s talk about that person.
Casey: Yeah, I think maybe you were referring to my dad. I thought a lot about my father. I was blessed with an amazing father. So the tough thing is, I feel like sometimes that I short change my mom. I had an incredible mom also. Alright. My mom is the bomb. And my mom is still my biggest encourager, I mean, she was an absolute leader in her own right, ran our own small business that I watched her put together and, you know, help provide for our family alongside my father. My mom is, you know, a lifelong believer as well, but yeah, I’ve talked a bunch about the role that my father played in my life. And I think you know, for, for many young boys, man, if you’re blessed with a strong believing father man, that just is such a blessing that you don’t even appreciate maybe until later in life. And so my dad, I kind of joke you know, preached the greatest sermon I ever heard in actions every single day and the way he loved and served my whole family. My dad was up at you know, five o’clock every morning, he worked six days a week, he ran a little True Value hardware store in the inner city in DC, you know, never had more than a few employees, just kind of a handful of them. And I just watched him day after day after day, faithfully serve my family, lead us spiritually, and then also the way he provided for us. You know, my dad worked long and hard hours, he wasn’t home most nights at 7:30, 8 o’clock and again, worked on Saturdays; he wasn’t at every single game I had, but I never ever doubted my father’s love for me, and I just think for so many young children, you know we kind of picture our Heavenly Father’s love for us in the way we’ve been loved and cared for by our earthly fathers. Man and for me, my earthly father just set a really beautiful picture of what it looks like to love and serve your wife and children that I’m trying to imperfectly kind of replicate today with my own kids, but he was an incredible role model for me to this day.
Ray: Yeah, and we’re going to talk in just a few moments about particular passion here at Movement Mortgage for servant leadership and loving people well. We’re going to talk about the mission statement, but I’m not quite ready to leave the conversation about daddy. In preparing for the interview, I read a story that occurred in your father’s store I believe there was a man named Earl who really demonstrated servant leadership. Would you talk about that?
Casey: Yes so Earl E. Bird was his full name and Earl came to my father was one day and came and said I’m gonna have to quit, and Earl, I mean this guy’s an incredibly hard working guy, incredibly humble guy who lived in the neighborhood and real strong believer, and my father said quit? What’s going on? Earl really wouldn’t expand upon it, said I just, I need to leave, prayed about it at church last night’ I need to leave. You know, okay and so Earl quit on the spot. Not two weeks notice, like handed over you know the broom and left. And my dad was always kind of perplexed, and it’s gone. Man you know he didn’t have like an HR department to go hire a new staff so he kind of went, what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? How am I going to replace Earl, and about two o’clock that afternoon, man came walking through the door, he said, Hey my name is Lonzo. I understand there might be a position open here at the store. My dad looked, understand there’s a position open here at the store? How would you know that Lonzo? He goes, last night at church one of my, one of my church members, guy named Earl, told me there was a position open up at the store. We were praying ,he knew that I needed a job, and Earl in prayer at the church the night before had been made aware that one of his brothers in Christ was in need of a job. And Earl took it upon himself to create that job. He gave out of, man his own need; he gave up what all that he had to give an opportunity to his brother in Christ and man my dad ended up hiring Lonzo, you know got in touch with Earl, hired Earl back. He said you can’t lose guys like this with this kind of heart and character. But I remember my dad sharing that story with me as a young boy. And again, you know, I wasn’t aware of all the theological kind of implications of that and what that looked like. But we were just really blessed to see example after example after example like that of people really living out I think, you know, Jesus has commanded us to love one another, you know, man and man some guys did that sacrificially did it really well, I think set a really high bar for me. I don’t think I’ve ever given that sacrificially of myself to my brother in Christ in need.
Ray: It’s a phenomenal story. And I was just really encouraged. And I thought it would just be a perfect illustration of what we’re going to talk about today on the program. And that is really about the company and the culture and so forth. And I’m sure that with your background in athletics and obviously professional career, a lot of folks would want to talk to you about that part of your life, but here at Bottom Line Faith, we want to talk to you about life today; we want to talk to you about business. So some might have called you crazy in 2008, starting a mortgage company.
Casey: My wife was one of those.
Ray: Okay, maybe we should be interviewing her, but tell us a little bit about what led to starting the company and even the timing of that, and then we’ll get into what business is all about here.
Casey: Yes. So I think growing up, grew up in the church grew up like again, it was a family that you know, loved Jesus and kind of kind of helped instruct me in my faith as I, as I grew up, and I think my perspective as I was growing up was that there was like a few classes of Christians, right. And it made it if you really, really love Jesus, like if you’re all in, you’re a missionary.
Ray: Yeah, that was kinda like top of the stack, right?
Casey: Yes. Five Star recruit, first-round draft pick, man, you love God. I mean, if you weren’t like, like, you know, if you really love Jesus but you weren’t quite as committed, maybe you’re a pastor, right? And that’s hey, man, that that’s just kinda like, slightly below, committed to Jesus from missionary to pastor. And then like, there was this whole like, other kind of group of folks that I knew that man they love Jesus and things, but they weren’t gonna like really go all in for him, so they were going to be business people that went to church on Sunday, you know, that was kinda like, maybe my family and a lot of other families that I kind of knew. And so I kind of, it kind of, you know, tiered down that way in my mind. And then somewhere down there were athletes who profess faith in Christ, like after games, and I was like, well I think that feels like me, right? So I’m kind of gifted athletically, I want to do this, what I didn’t see and understand much was that you could really be sold out following Jesus, and that could lead you to somewhere other than full-time ministry. And I think while I may have even intellectually articulated that that wasn’t necessarily the case after college.
Still, in the back of my mind, I think that was a little bit of a bias that I had. And in 2007, I was part of a little church that was going through tough times, economically, you know, as so many were, right, they had, the economy’s hit hard, giving us down, and I was an elder, which is, it’s probably less than 29 you should not be an elder, like, you’re not old enough to be an elder, an elder in the church, and we’re looking at the budget, you know, my goodness, no, we’re not gonna be able to meet our financial obligations to all of our employees, and our rent and everything, we need to reduce overhead. And I had a conversation with the pastor and it man, it got really, really heated. And it was really tough, because I was suggesting that he take a pay cut and kind of the question I asked was, how much do you really need to live on? What do you really need to live on? And man, it was an insensitive question of the times that, you know, I didn’t have children of my own at the time. He had a lot of obligations that I didn’t have, and didn’t appreciate and understand. I’m sure I did not ask the question very thoughtfully. But the answer struck me when they came back and basically said, Hey, I have a degree and I need to make this much money. And I was really struggling, saying hey, haven’t you gone into this calling, this profession because you want to serve God, because you want to see the kingdom extended, not because of how much money you want to make, because you know, you’re really following Jesus and want to see his kingdom come and that should be your highest kind of true north, you know, and I was, I was just all upset about him, and this whole thing. On the next day, I prayed about starting a new kind of company. I think you’re supposed to do it as a good Christian, ask all your 10 buddies to pray and fast with you, and kind of ask God to sprinkle some blessing over whatever decision you’re making, I said I want to start this bank, God, I want to start this, this new bank and new endeavor.
And as I was driving out there, I could not stop meditating on this conversation for the night before. And I just had all this judgment for this pastor and his gravitation towards how much money he was going to make, and not having glorifying Christ as his true north and about halfway to my destination where I was going to go climb a mountain and pray, I thought, God just hit me with a left hook and said, Oh, you’re so different. You’re so different. You’re talking about starting this, this, this, this bank, this mortgage company to give me glory. This is all about your kingdom, not mine. Well, hang on. Like I’ve been a Christian my whole life. Always tithe, always tithe plus some right. I’ve always done like, you know, over and above. And this isn’t about that. Yeah, your heart is more wrapped up in money and power and wealth than his is, but you just sit in judgment of him. I said, I am called to the marketplace. Okay. He is called to the pulpit. Those are different. Alright. This is a different calling on my life. Right now. I’m a marketplace, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m taking risk and risk can get rewarded financially. So I was arguing, right? I’m going like, Oh, no, Lord. Like, I’m trying to make all these reasons why it’s different for me, and he says, man, I’ve called you just as surely as I’ve called him. I’ve called you to see my kingdom extended in the marketplace, him to lead from the pulpit. Why are you trying to hold him to a standard you would never hold yourself to? And I mean, I would love to say that like, that was just like, I heard this great revelation.
I was thrilled with that call. I was not; I was totally ticked off by that. I was like, this is because I’m in business. I want to make money. And I felt God really pressed my heart like, No, no, this business needs to take care of you and your family, the same standard you told him to hold himself to. How much do you need to take care of your in your family, right? But the fruits of it, the profit of it, needs to go to extend my kingdom and not yours, needs to build my kingdom that yours. And I can tell you that was not an exciting proposition to me in that moment, at that time. Because I was very much wrapped around and excited about building my kingdom and giving God a 10% tip. That’s what my life had looked like up until that point. I mean, I think on the outside you would have said man, you’re certainly Christian and following Jesus and all these kinds of things. But God knew what was kind of, that money had kind of begin to wrap itself around my heart man, there was, there was some surgery there that needed to be done, and kind of rip some of that off. And he still works on me on that issue and topic today, and, you know, kind of through a long series of prayer and confirmations, probably too much to get into, I kind of had a lot of that vision and calling confirmed for me in my life that I was indeed supposed to start this bank. And it was supposed to be about God and His Kingdom, not me and mine, and seeing you know, Christ glorified in the marketplace. And at that time, our country was in the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Great Recession. And really, the epicenter of that financial crisis was centered around the mortgage industry and the mortgage market. And we not only brought down our nation’s economy, but we brought down the world economy because of a lot of corruption, greed, and lack of integrity that was so pervasive in this space. And Americans had fundamentally lost hope and trust and financial services as a whole, and so the picture I started to have, oh, man, what would it look like?
What would it look like if we start a financial services company that really loved our customers, and I had a Catholic priest in high school define love for me like this. They said, to love is to act in the long-term best interest of another; to love is to act in the long-term best interest of another. We really gave people loans that were going to be accretive to their family owning a home; not going to stress them out, put them in debt, so they have a foreclosure, but actually help them realize the American dream of homeownership that we know leads to greater wealth building and leads to greatest family stability, you know, but never do that inappropriately. What if you create a place, man where in the work environment, actually people were coming, getting drawn closer to Christ. That they were really being loved; That we were going to act in their long-term best interest by helping them be physically fit, emotionally fit, spiritually developed, and be a part of something with a purpose beyond simply making a profit, and I started to get excited about that. I said finally, you know, what would it be like, if, if you’ve done those things, you provide great value to your customers, man, to your teammates. And then as you have a profit, that profit is then sown back into the community you’re a part of, such that, you know, the communities see you loving the marginalized, loving those that can’t help you maybe even economically in your business. They, they might not be able to afford to buy homes, but you’re doing that because you want to be a good corporate citizen; you want to love the communities you’re a part of, wouldn’t that be glorifying to Christ? Yeah, that would be; that would be.
And that’s the kind of company I would love to invest my life in. You know, I think each one of us, our lives are so, so precious. And, and, and we’re called to invest them, you know, and we want to create a place where, where folks are proud and excited to invest their life because they see the eternal kingdom work that’s being done, and the fruit that’s being born out of the, the investment they’re making. And so with that vision, with that enthusiasm, we set out in 2008 and said, man, we want to start a new kind of financial service company in the United States and change the bar. We know we’re not gonna serve every family, but we think change what excellence looks like in the entire marketplace. And my partner and I started the company, we had four employees, and in the last 10 years, we’ve grown to about 4,000 employees. We’re doing one out of every 70 home purchases now in the US, about 600 offices and man, we have just seen God move in incredible ways in the last decade, it has been exceedingly much more than we could have hoped or imagined at that time, you know, kind of according to His purposes, as we walked down this.
Ray: And so do you feel now all these years into this now, roughly 10 years into this journey now, do you truly feel that you’re in your calling? Do you truly feel that you are doing that conversation that you had with God in the car? Do you feel that you’re in that space?
Casey: Oh, yeah, I feel we’re squarely in that space. I feel like it’s way messier and way more difficult than I thought it would be. You know, because you’re dealing with people, and I am one of them, right? Like a bunch of sinners, and me being chief among them. And it’s more difficult, I mean, that that vision, that picture is like crystal clear. Go, wow, that’d be amazing. I love that picture. And a lot of people have asked me, did you ever think you would grow this quickly or go this quickly? And I would say, I mean, honestly, and ignorantly, I also thought it would be quicker and easier than it’s been to kind of grow because I was so enthusiastic about the vision I had from God, and thought it would be so engaging, and I think the tough thing has been all the micro decisions as you process through what does it really look like to glorify Christ, to love people in this particular situation and in this way, because there are lots of just tough tensions that come up every day.
Ray: Yeah, I think that one of the things that I’ve learned about Movement Mortgages, this word keeps coming up, disrupter, you know, there’s a lot of things that you have done, your company has done to disrupt an age-old industry, as you said, that really helped to contribute to great displeasure and pain around the world. But if I could read the company mission statement, I’d like you to just comment on this because I think this is a disruptive type of mission. It says that we exist to love and value people by leading a movement of change in our industry, corporate cultures, and communities. Says nothing about what you do. Comment on the mission statement.
Casey: Yeah, the mission statement is our is our why, right, and like, what and how, like what we do, we provide mortgages, we help people acquire homes, and how we do that is kind of our secret sauce for our process and things like that. But you know, again, if I’m thinking about what I want my kids to invest their life in, you know, a purpose worthy of investing their life in, it can’t be just hey, you know, we exist to make a 10% profit on assets because you know, that to me wasn’t extending the kingdom, so we kinda just went to Matthew 22, right? And I kind of joked as a ex-football player, I appreciate the cliff note version sometimes that Jesus gives us of the entire Word where, you know, kind of sums up says, hey, the greatest commandment, love the Lord your God, thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do these two things you do well, and we went man, to be a part of this community, you certainly do not need to profess Jesus is Lord. We have lots of folks in our company from all kinds of faith backgrounds. Man, we are honored by that, we love that, we want them to go on and love being a part of this place.
But an imperative is that you must commit to acting in the long-term best interest of another. That is an imperative: to be a part of this community. If you are not willing to commit to loving and valuing people to acting in their long-term best interest, we say you shouldn’t be part of this community, period. That, that’s why, that’s our purpose, that’s our collective community commitment, purpose statement to loving people. I think when you do that, a lot of really good decisions line up. So one of the things we’re known for is giving people a full credit decision, underwriting them before they ever start shopping for a house. And we do that because we believe that you should know how much you can afford before you start shopping. These simple concepts, right? People said we were crazy at the time. You can’t do that, that’s too much resource. You know, you’re wasting your underwriters. But fundamentally, if my little sister was going to go buy a home, first thing I’d have her do, give me all your documents, give me a, let me have our credit decision maker look at all this and give you an idea of how much you should buy. Not you want to buy; how much you should buy. And so said, if I was gonna do that for my little sister, why wouldn’t I do it for yours, and your brother and anyone. I said because we want to love and value people, so we want to act in their long-term best interest. And so we started doing that, and it has now become 10 years later, everyone is saying all of a sudden going, you know what? So really, I think we should underwrite people before they start shopping for a house. And I take no credit for that. That was my partner, came up with those good ideas. But it was simple, I think, true norths like that form so many business processes. And people, I think, neglect to see that a lot of times if you really just think about was the best thing to do for your customers and your teammates, it helps make a lot of decisions pretty straightforward and easy.
Ray: Yeah, and so here we are now 10 years into the journey, 4000 employees, did you say 600 locations around you know? And just so as the Bible says that the man looks on the outward appearance, and God looks on the heart. So if you wouldn’t mind for just a moment, Casey, I’d like to just maybe peel away the veil for a moment, and let’s talk about the hard part of the last 10 years. You said, you know, you thought it might have done faster and easier despite all the success, but what’s been the hardest, darkest moment for you as in this journey? What would be a surprise for people to learn about leadership and your capacity? I mean, I want to help people understand that this hasn’t just been an easy pathway. What’s been the hard part of the journey for you?
Casey: Yeah, so I think I think some of the most difficult part for me has been when people that you think are with you and committed with you on the journey leave you, and I’ve heard a lot of pastors talk about this, you know, like they lose congregants or something and how emotionally difficult that is for a pastor because, you know, we’re all insecure, fragile humans, and we all start to, you know, it reflects on us, and man, maybe, maybe I’m not worthy of love, maybe I’m not a good leader, maybe I’m not. And Satan speaks those little doubts into you, and I think over time, as folks, that they look at me and say I’d never leave this community, oh my goodness, it’s changed my life, my marriage, this, and then you know, the better job offer comes and not that people are wrong for taking those, but sometimes you see people make disappointing decisions, and sometimes they make good decisions and God calls people out of the community, man. And we try to celebrate the heck out of that. But being really honest, I think the most emotionally difficult thing for me is watching folks leave the community sometimes that I didn’t want to leave, and I didn’t think they were maybe leaving for the right reasons.
And I was actually man, gosh, it was this year, I’d had a really rough day and had a few of those kind of conversations and a lot of folks were upset, and again from the outside, people look in and go, man, the company has just so many good things going on, and praise God there really are. But to your point I mean in any given moment it gets tough, and I was actually laying in my closet just crying because I felt like the worst leader; I felt like I had let everybody down. My perception was the four people I had talked to represent the 4,000 people that work here, and I was like everybody’s mad; everybody’s unhappy; I have ruined a lot of lives; people are leaving like crazy; no wants to be a part of this thing. And I’m like why Lord, why, like what am I doing wrong? And man, God really ministered to me in that moment of pain, and I felt like he took me kind of to Christ and said, my son, like God incarnate, what kind of leader do you think Jesus was? I was like, he was probably pretty solid, I mean, pretty good. You know, fully God, fully man. What kind of friend do you think he was? I was like oh gosh, man, who wouldn’t want to be Jesus’s friend? Like that, yeah, I mean you know, was he living, you know perfectly? Like was he in sin himself? I’m like, no, he wasn’t in sin at all. Yet, what happened to him? One of his best friends, right, sells him – doesn’t even leave him – sells him, and then his really good friends leave him, deny they ever knew him. He’s like, who do you think you were? You’re not the Son of God, and by the way, you are Peter, right? Yeah, you are Judas; ,you’re that you’re that guy with that problem. And man, that just I think helped me a lot you know, just hey man, the Son of Man experienced this even more dramatically than I am, certainly. Goodness gracious, you know, he’s the leader I’d never even get close to being, and so, so you know who’d I think I was not to kind of walk through something like that? But I think that’s a real reality for a lot of leaders that, you know people in the outside see everything going so well and assume oh, man, you can’t have any insecurities or anything. Goodness gracious, no. It can be emotionally tough.
Ray: I really appreciate the transparency of you sharing that story and literally even like being in your closet in tears. You know I’m reminded in John chapter 6, you know, Jesus has been through the height of his public ministry, been performing his miracles, walking on water, feeding the thousands, and then there’s a shift because he starts talking about there’s difficult times ahead. I mean it’s like everybody starts saying, what, are you crazy? Now it’s going to get hard to follow Jesus? And we actually see a mass exodus of people following Jesus, right? And he asked his closest inner circle, are you going to leave me too? So I think that in that moment, in your closet with the Lord, you could identify with the suffering of Christ in a really great way.
Casey: Yeah.
Ray: That’s what I heard in that, in that, in that story, and that’s well put. And Casey let’s talk a little bit then about the, the future. You know, what do you see left undone, what do you see that God has for you in the business? Cast the vision of where do you see the Lord, what’s been revealed to you, what you believe has been revealed to you about the future?
Casey: Well okay, so again, man, our North Star to act in the long-term best interest of another right, to love and value people as we look around the United States in our particular sector, with the sector God’s called us to, housing and education, in the housing market right now particularly, we have seen the cost to obtain a mortgage go from about $3,000 to $8,000. That’s a hidden cost to Americans.
Ray: Is this due to regulation?
Casey: Yes, due to regulation. I was meeting this morning about it actually. And we think fundamentally, you know, there’s a huge income disparity in the United States that’s growing, an income gap. And today still, the number one indicator for a family’s financial success is whether or not they own their home. One of the biggest income disparities between whites and blacks, and the large disparity between whites that own their home and blacks who do not is one of the major causes of that economic chasm that is, that is just creeping deeper, deeper in the United States. We have a real fundamental belief that we want to help Americans realize the dream of homeownership. And that we know that when Americans own their home, crime rates in neighborhoods go down, graduation rates in the schools go up, Americans are more financial stable, and families stay together at a higher rate. So we think we want to take that cost to obtain a mortgage down from $8,000, not back to $4,000 where it was in 2010, we want to see technology do what it’s done across so many other parts of our society where it’s made things faster and more affordable, faster and more affordable, faster and more affordable. And we want to take that cost down to about $800. So we think if we can put $7,200 back in Americans’ pockets to act as down payments, not so they do 100% financing, but so they can actually have equity in the homes that they’re purchasing, that’ll be meaningful. The way we think about transforming families, the way we think about transforming wealth, and the way we think about addressing this massive wealth gap that is just growing in our nation, that’s what we see kind of as a unique and particular calling within our industry and to do it in a way where again, we’re not just refinancing families, helping them use their house like a piggy bank, we don’t believe in that. We want to help them purchase a home for the first time and, you know, have their have their children grow up in a stable environment.
Ray: That is so exciting. I had no idea, and I’m sure that a lot of our listeners had no idea either.
Casey: We’re actually talking to a lot of our regulators and politicians about this because it’s no one talks about it, right? And actually, I tell them as a man, what we’re telling you is actually creates competition for us, because mortgage banks and banks are making just as much money as they ever had in the mortgage industry. And since all this regulation has slammed the door shut to new entrants. America needs new entrants, and we need to actually have a more competitive environment that brings down the cost to buy a home, not pushes it up.
Ray: Yeah, well, believe it or not, we’re getting near the end of our time together. So I just would like to shift just for two or three questions here. I’d like, I’d like you to now become Casey the advisor. And I’m going to have three specific pieces of three questions around advice. First of all, I would like you to advise the 20-year-old Casey; I would like you to sit across the table from yourself. As you look back now, what advice would you have for the 20-year-old you?
Casey: So I’ve always been an extremely goals oriented person, I’m always thinking about the destination. And I think what I would encourage myself to do is for the last two decades; I’ve really encouraged myself to spend more time enjoying the journey, you know, enjoying the journey. Really, really knowing man, it’s not a destination, that God’s got you on a journey. It’s a process and the fellowship with Him and my wife and my children along that journey, in that there’s true joy, you know, there’s really true joy, there’s peace. When you’re focused only on where you’re going all the time, there’s a lot of striving, a lot of stress, consternation, worry, am I going to get there or not, is it gonna happen or not, am I gonna screw this up or not. When you’re present in the moment, just enjoying your relationship with Christ, man, the peace that he offers us, and then you know, the relationship with my wife and children. I mean, that’s where I’ve just found the greatest blessing. And I wish I’d spent a little more time in that place at 20. I hope I’m spending more time there today. Because at 20, man, I was just laser focused on where I was going, not enjoying where I was.
Ray: So I love that because it really is talking about living in the moment. You know, and I think oftentimes when we live in the past, we discover and talk and think about our regrets and what we should have done differently. When we live in the future, we’re filled with worry and doubt and fear. And it’s only in the moment. And I think it’s interesting when we read about Moses, right? When he was talking to the Lord and Lord, sending him back to Pharaoh, and he says, hey, who should I say sent me, right? God didn’t say, tell them I Was, God didn’t say, tell them I Will Be. What did he say? Tell them I Am. And I think God wants us to be in the moment. And so I love that. So that’d be the best advice you’d give to the 20-year-old, right?
Casey: Well, that would be a piece anyway.
Ray: Yeah. Right. Yeah. So then the next advice question is, I would like you to just take a moment and encourage someone who’s listening to this program right now. Maybe they’re an entrepreneur; maybe they’re a leader. They’re really; maybe they’re, they’ve got a big dream, they’ve got a big vision, like what you were sharing with us earlier. Maybe, maybe they’re kind of stuck, and they can’t figure out that next step. I don’t know what their situation would be. But right now, they know we’re talking to them. Okay, what advice are or encouragement would you have to that person right now?
Casey: Yeah, so I would give them the encouragement, and I felt like God was precedence on me yesterday. The first Bible verse my daughter ever learned was Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid>” You know, and man, I would just say, if you are feeling called by God to do something, man, step out, enjoy in faith and chase after him. Follow him. Do not be afraid. The number one thing I still deal with as a leader is Satan whispering in my ear, don’t do that. People will think you’re silly. Oh don’t do that, that’ll look crazy. It’ll fail; you’re gonna be made fun of. You know this whole thing will blow up, and you’ll be found out as a fraud for not really knowing what you’re doing. And man, Satan so many ways tells us man that the worst thing you can do for your business is to glorify Christ in it. You know, everyone will run away, nobody want to work with you. Oh, that’s okay. It works in the south. You got the Billy Graham Parkway. You can’t do that out there in California. You know, I mean, Satan takes a southern voice with me at times. It’s interesting. I think he whispers so many words of fear into my ears, and so many ears of so many folks, whether it be about money or success or being foolish in the eyes of the world. And I was just saying, be strong and courageous and follow God where you feel like he is leading you. Man, seek Him, seek Him, seek Him and then follow, step out in faith and say yes when he calls and do it boldly and do it joyfully. Right. And that’s why I’m trying to live more into that each and every day.
Ray: That’s fantastic. I’m gonna slip in a bonus question in my mind, and then I got one more, and we’ll be done. This one may be a looper, okay? If you were Ray Hilbert interviewing Casey right now, what question would you ask you that I haven’t asked you?
Casey: Alright, so I had a guy ask me this, he says what do you think the biggest issue in the churches right now with men? And this is Movement Day. This was Tim Keller’s deal and not our deal, but it was gathering the whole body of believers in our city and I kind of looked at what was number one he goes, I think the number one issue is pornography. Number one issue for men in the church is pornography, and I said okay, see I don’t. And he says, really? I said now the number one issue is that money has our hearts. It’s the same issue that was going on when Jesus was around because you know, the iPhone has definitely changed some things. It lets us look at our money more. Also that I think men are still men, people are still people, and that money is still the number one idol that competes for our hearts with God. Man, I say God has ripped some stuff out of my heart he continues to work on today. I think the number one thing I see that’s not talked about in the church is what an idol money is, in the lives particularly of Christian business leaders. The number of guys that I see that give, even tithing of good Christian business leaders is miniscule folks. to give over and above that, man, it’s almost non-existent. And it is, I can talk about in almost any men’s small group about a covenant with my eyes.
If I were to say, Ray, how much did you make last year, it gets really uncomfortable. Like really like, oh, that’s, that’s private. That’s really private. We can talk about the weirdest stuff. Well, I’ll ask you about how much money you make, and how much money you give. That gets real private. All of a sudden I go, why is that? I think it’s because Satan likes to keep it in this dark place where no one else knows, where we don’t have accountability and fellowship with brothers around this, we’re not held accountable. And he knows that’s the place he can own us and the place he can win. Because man, that’s private. Again, pornography or any kind of sexual addiction is no longer really private. That’s totally, every small group I’m in, that’s what guys have asked me about. No one will talk about how they are giving, and what kind of place money sits in their life. And that’s why I have in my life; I have three guys look at every dollar I spend. They look at every dollar I have my bank account and like, say, hold me accountable to am I living consistent with the calling I got placed in my life, you know, so many years ago? And I need that. And they, I think, need that accountability also. And I mean how just encourage folks to have some transparency with your money. Get in some groups where you’re open in sharing your finances with some brothers and sisters in Christ that you trust and love, and men hold each other accountable to honoring your finances in a God-glorifying way.
Ray: That’s powerful. Thank you. That’s fantastic. So now, promise last question. So for our regular listeners here at Bottom Line Faith, this is the last question I’ve asked in every interview as long as we’ve done the program.
Casey: You guys are like world-class; that’s a lot of pressure man.
Ray: Yeah, so this is called my 4:23 question. And it’s based out of Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23 were Solomon says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flows all of life.” And there are many biblical scholars that believe those may have been among Solomon’s last words, that he may have gathered his family, his friends, his loved ones around, and said, “I’ve given you all this great advice. Now, let me tell you the one thing, the one thing to remember above all else.” So Casey, let’s just maybe move the clock forward. And it’s your last days here on Earth before this side of eternity. And you have a chance to gather your family, gather your friends, gather your loved ones, and you’re going to pass along one piece of advice. So I want you to fill in the blank for me, above all else…
Casey: Above all else. So I don’t have like a personal family mission statement. I haven’t done some those things. I think they’re wonderful. I just haven’t done that myself. I think, you know, if I were talking to my girls, man, I would say trust Jesus and follow him with joy. You know, I think, I think that Christ came that we’d have life and life abundantly. And I don’t think that means that man, we’re filled with a bunch of stuff. But I think there should be a great sense of peace and joy. It’s in our life. Because we know who’s we are man, we know that our Heavenly Father is sitting on the throne. He’s not under consternation, he’s leading and working all things together for good at all times. Man, and he loved us enough to send his own precious son to die on our behalf, to reconcile us back to himself for eternity. This life is a vapor in a mist, and then rest. Rest in whose you are. And because of that knowledge of whose you are, men have joy, have peace, and just have a winsome hope for the future as you walk through life. I hate when I see sad Christians and Christians that walk around with consternation all the time wringing their hands. I know I know things aren’t perfect in life. And we all went through stuff. There’s time to cry, I’m in love each other but man at the end of the day, like we have to be marked by a hope that the world doesn’t have. Like, we have to know man that we have a God who’s already conquered sin and death, right. He’s conquered it and I mean he’s weaving and working all this together for His glory. And man, we’re a part of that incredible story and we’re gonna be with Him forever. Eternity in heaven, man. Let’s have a joy and a hope about that as believers.
Ray: Casey Crawford, thank you for being a guest on today’s Bottom Line Faith program. You can learn more about Movement Mortgage at movement.com. You can learn how they have disrupted not only an industry, an age-old industry, but how they are literally changing the world with the love of Jesus Christ. And so if this is your first time listening to Bottom Line Faith, we’re so glad you could join us today. Why don’t you check out the website at bottomlinefaith.org. Dozens and dozens of interviews like this one are posted there. You can scroll down to the bottom of the page and become a regular subscriber of the program as well. Until next time, I am your host Ray Hilbert here at Bottom Line Faith encouraging you to love and serve the Lord faithfully in the marketplace. God bless. We’ll see you next time.