On Monday, April 9, 2018, Grove City College had the exciting opportunity to hear from the founder of Praxis, Jon Hart. Sticht Hall hosted many spectators from various departments. As Jon made his way up to the stage, he made the audience laugh with his regrets about Grove City weather. Jon Hart is a very knowledgeable and personal speaker. He started his discussion with a thought provoking statement: “God continues to mess my life up.”
That statement is unusual to hear from a Christian, but his meaning behind it was extraordinarily true. God interrupts our plan for our lives with his divine one. Although God’s path for us is beautiful and worthwhile, it is a complete disruption. Hart pointed out that we currently live in an age with a spirit of cultural crisis. In the last few decades, America has experienced a culture of Hyper-Individualism, “Live life now” mentality, and a lack of responsibility. This culture has created a massive issue, which as seen in the increase of mental illness, opioid abuse, gun violence, political polarization, and sexual abuse reports. Although this view of culture seems hopeless, Hart gives us a new vision of what America can become. “Times of crisis are the best time for creative solutions,” Hart remarked, “to change culture, we need to create pathways for culture. Entrepreneurs have a lasting impact on changing culture.”
Hart told the audience that as Entrepreneurs, we can play a role in helping the world around us, but made it very clear that the entrepreneurs were the servants of the real hero: God. God is the great “I am” who provides redemption and restoration for the fall through sacrifice. In the physical world, we live in a fight between brokenness and beauty. Brokenness is the result of the fall of man and seen through the cracks in our culture. Beauty is the hope and progress that shifts our world into the vision that God wants as the ultimate creator. Jon Hart gets the name for his organization from a theological concept. Praxis—where faith and action align, is a major source of beauty in the world.
Many Christians have utilized business and creativity to help the common good. This theme runs through the models of Giving Keys, African Prisons Project, and the Emerging founders program at Praxis Academy. We, as humans, have caused the fall of man. God, as our loving father, has opened the door towards Restoration. There is so much reassurance in the knowledge that we can use redemptive entrepreneurship as a way to reintegrate beauty in a broken world.