Ron Johnson, the Christian business executive behind The Apple Store, the Genius Bar and Target, has revealed he shared the gospel with Apple founder Steve Jobs before his death.
During a recent interview with Matthew Faraci, host of the Dove Channel’s original series “Frankly Faraci,” Johnson, the current CEO of Enjoy, said that Jobs, who died in 2011 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer, had a “great soul.”
“Steve was a very private person, but boy the light of God burned in him passionately,” Johnson recalled. “He had a passion for customers, for his products, for life, for family. Steve surrounded himself with a lot of wonderful respectable human beings. He had a very complex but great soul.”
While his interactions with Jobs were limited, Johnson said the visionary co-founder of Apple respected the fact that he taught Sunday school – and even listened to what he had to say about eternity.
“I remember when he first had cancer, he use to love to go to Hawaii and one time he went over there to get a break and we had a long phone call about faith and what it meant to me, and what it could mean to him,” Johnson explained.
“My only advice was very simple. ‘Steve for a person who is as smart as you are, you ought to take some time to think about this issue of eternity. Is it there or not, and how do you think about it? I said, ‘Just don’t take it for granted,'” he added.
Johnson said he didn’t try to convert Jobs, but simply point him to the truth of the gospel.
“My role was to expose to him who I was,” Johnson said. “Ninety percent of people believe in a higher power and the reason they do that is not just ’cause they grew up and people said, ‘do this.’ It’s pretty hard to be a smart person and not have faith because there is so much evidence on the side of faith.”
Whatever role he tackles, Johnson said he’s guided by the “Golden Rule,” Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Your neighbor is the people who are in your path, who you work with,” he shared. “It’s your customers, it’s your business partners. So, if you’re trying to honor that, how do you love your neighbor? You gotta do it in work, through work, and so that’s what I always tried to do. And so, how do you love somebody through work? That’s what the Apple Store is all about.”
Johnson’s full interview on “Frankly Faraci” can be watched here.