JON TYSON—PRAXIS SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR AND PASTOR OF CHURCH OF THE CITY NYC
Andy Crouch—Partner for Theology & Culture at Praxis
Jon Tyson and Andy Crouch remind us of the glorious purpose (and LIMITATIONS) OF OUR CREATIVE CALLING.
Entrepreneurs create and lead ventures with a view of how the world should be, and how their venture seeks to contribute to that change. Jon Tyson completes his talk from Session 1, explaining the rest of the biblical storyline—fall, redemption and restoration—in light of what faithful entrepreneurs should seek to bring about in the world. He shows that when we understand the full story of the Bible, we see that Jesus came to reclaim our authority and vision as image bearers to work for restoration in the world. That gives our work purpose: God is inviting us to change the world—or as Jon puts it, to "join him in the renewal of all things."
Then Andy Crouch continues his talk from Session 1, presenting a sobering challenge: how can we change the world when we struggle to change ourselves?
OPEN IN PRAYER
Re-CONNECT (10 min)
Last session, we talked about love as the alpha & omega of entrepreneurship. Our prototype was to try out a new way to love a person or group differently through our work. What did you learn? How did it go?
Watch (20 min)
REFLECT (3-5 MIN)
Spend a couple minutes in silence, praying and reflecting on the videos. Ask participants to jot down questions that were raised, significant points, where they felt encouraged or challenged by the Lord, Etc.
Discuss (25 Min)
1. Jon says, “From the very beginning, God had a plan of redemption. Jesus didn’t come to get God’s authority back; God never lost it. Jesus came to get our authority back that we had forfeited to the enemy.” Now Read Ephesians 4:1-16, which says that in His ascension Jesus is filling the world with Himself and His glory.
How do Jon's quote and this passage challenge your understanding of Jesus' purpose in His life, death, and resurrection? How might you approach your work differently as a result?
2. What are the dominant storylines of the company or sector in which you work? How does it define the good life? What does it invite people to hope for and work toward? What does it tell us to be afraid or ashamed of?
What parts of these storylines should be challenged in light of the gospel? How does Christ complete the storylines in a different way?
3. Jon says that "culture is religion externalized." Have you ever considered what the culture of your own heart is? Is it possible that what you create through your work says something about what you worship? How does that idea challenge you?
WATCH (4 min)
REFLECT (3-5 min)
Spend a couple minutes in silence, praying and reflecting on the videos. Ask participants to jot down questions that were raised, significant points, where they felt encouraged or challenged by the Lord, etc.
DISCUSS (15 min)
4. Andy suggests, “The question in how we’re going to change the world is actually the same question about how we are going to be changed. And it’s not 'What we are going to do?' It’s 'What is God doing?' What is God doing in me? What does God will to do in me? What is God doing in the world? What does God will to do in the world? And how could I become the kind of person to be available to the creator of the universe in His plan to bring restoration in the world? That is the question of world change.”
Is this challenging or encouraging to hear? Explain.
5. What single action or practice could make you more like "the kind of person who's available to god in his plan to bring restoration in the world"? What stands in the way of you taking that action or adopting that practice?
PROTOTYPE (3 min)
As you go through the week, ask yourself Andy's question: "What is god doing (in me and in the world)?" Be able to share with your group in the next session what you observed that intrigued or surprised or inspired you.
END IN PRAYER
FINISHED THIS SESSION?
PRAXIS FELLOWS CASE STUDIES:
Our community of practice contains a global portfolio of redemptive business & nonprofit ventures. Each week together as a group or separately at home, watch one or both of the following five-minute pitch videos. Discuss where you saw aspects of the week’s topic lived out in and/or through the venture.
Non-Profit Venture: Alter - Alter is a social venture on a mission to scale the entrepreneurial champions of the world's toughest places, such as Haiti, Myanmar and Afghanistan, to create jobs where they are needed most.
Business Venture: R | TRIBE - R|TRIBE is a smartphone app that provides an innovative, first-of-its-kind approach to recovery and accountability for addiction.
Watch this 15 minute epilogue to Andy’s talk on how to pursue “true transformation.” In light of your own entrepreneurial ambitions, what might it look like to glean? Or as Andy puts it, what are you going to leave undone as an entrepreneur that will allow others to flourish, even at some limitation or cost to you?
James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, Essay III, Ch 6: "Toward a New City Commons"
Richard Mouw, When the Kings Come Marching In, "Introduction" and "Isaiah 60"
Timothy Keller and Katherine Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavor, Ch 9: "A New Story for Work"
Amy Sherman, Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, Appendix A: Key Theological Themes Undergirding Vocational Stewardship (p 235-241)