About the Course
Through a six-session video & discussion series, The Praxis Course aims to help a generation of leaders to develop an imagination for what we call "Redemptive Entrepreneurship"—leveraging personal and organizational power for the sake of others, leading and growing ventures that join God in the renewal of all things, in all sectors. Details below.
Praxis, an incubator and training program based out of New York City, is a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship, supporting founders, funders, and innovators motivated by their faith to renew culture and love their neighbors. Our discussion is built around content that has been implemented in a variety of group settings all over the country. Learn more about Praxis at praxislabs.org.
WEEK 1: We Create
We create because God calls us to co-create under his authority — to be fruitful, to increase in number, to fill the earth and subdue it. He delights when we use these creative capacities to serve others rather than ourselves, and when we pronounce his glory rather than our own. In this first session, Jon Tyson, Praxis Spiritual Director, roots our vocation in the biblical narrative of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration, showing us that we bear the image of God as creator, and exploring how that truth can shape our entrepreneurial motives and imagination.
WEEK 2: From Love
Entrepreneurs’ energy arises from many sources: from a need to prove their worth, from a hunger to make their mark on the world, from anger over injustice, from greed for the prestige, power, or security that may come. Redemptive leaders are attuned to the ways they tend to rely on these counterfeit energies, choosing instead to cultivate love — the truest and most potent source of inspiration. Praxis Venture Partner and serial entrepreneur, Jessica Kim, shows us that love is the most powerful motive possible, and it can power everything we do as entrepreneurs. She walks us through how loving God and our neighbors can play out in the complexity of a startup.
WEEK 3: For Restoration
Entrepreneurs create and lead ventures with a broad view of how the world should be, and how their venture seeks to contribute to that change. For many entrepreneurs, this vision is the inexorable upward progress of humanity through ingenuity. We believe that God will reconcile all things to himself and restore his reign on earth — yet our role is not to achieve this restoration but to practice it and point to it. Jon Tyson will continue his talk from Session 1, explaining the rest of the biblical storyline—fall, redemption and restoration—in terms of what entrepreneurs should seek to bring about in the world. Jon presents us with a sobering challenge: rather than going out and think we are going to fix everything in arrogance, we must start by asking “What is the culture of my own heart?”
WEEK 4: Through Sacrifice
Just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a sacrifice, we can walk in the way of love and give to others out of our abundance. We have unlimited opportunities for generosity through our work — absorbing slights and blame, distributing influence and credit, living and operating within limits, offering terms that are more than fair. Andy Crouch will show us that the gospel gives us the vision and resources to move beyond ethics, beyond excellence, beyond integrity—to a posture of sacrifice. Through every part of our venture, from our products and brands to our workforce practices and culture, we can commit to give up some of what we might claim so that others can flourish.
WEEK 5: With Hope
As entrepreneurs we feel the burden of the world’s problems and deeply believe in our ability to help solve them. This optimism — so essential to beginning the work of restoration — inevitably gives way to pessimism and even despair as we encounter more of the world’s brokenness and our own limitations. Yet we can give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because we know that our labor in him is not in vain. We can know the world at its most painful struggles and failures, yet choose to love it in hope. Praxis Partner, Jena Lee Nardella, shows us what it looks like to hope in the Lord and trust in his goodness, even when we encounter setbacks in our venture and leadership.
WEEK 6: In Freedom
We know that if we define our identity primarily on our success of changing the world through our work, we are indeed slaves to that ambition, however noble. Yet we know that it is for freedom that God has set us free. In his grace, he has saved us not only from condemnation but for life. We are sent into the world to act, to risk, to fail and succeed, and to persist in our calling with joy and peace in the face of uncertainty. Fear and striving are nearly constant in the entrepreneurial journey. But entrepreneur and author, Dave Evans, commissions us to action by demonstrating that through his grace, God has given us permission to “try stuff” in the world with a spirit of freedom instead of fear.
Short video talks with group discussion
DATES & TIMES
November 6–December 18, 2019
(Break for Thanksgiving on Nov. 27)
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Leaf Institute of Art & Vocation
31 Stevens St., Greenville, SC 29605
Katie Gerdt & Chris Hartzler
$25 (or $100 with 6 weekly lunches included)
AGE / LEVEL
College age through professional career