How does entrepreneurship echo the redemptive arc of the Gospel story?
How does the narrative of creation, the fall, redemption, and restoration fit into a business model?
The vision of Praxis Labs answers that question.
“We’re an organization that’s designed to help entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and others figure out how to bring their Christian faith to bear on the ventures that they lead and support,” says Dave Blanchard, co-founder of Praxis Labs.
Blanchard – himself an innovator, company founder, and author – recognizes the importance of a Christian worldview in the business world. He’s passionate about the positive impact of Christian-led entrepreneurship on culture and society.
In order to educate and support Christian businesspeople and innovators, Blanchard co-founded Praxis Labs, “a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship.” The company finds creative ways to “[support] founders, funders, and innovators motivated by their faith.”
It’s crucial to help these visionaries “renew culture and love their neighbors,” Blanchard believes. “The future of culture largely depends on the next generation of entrepreneurs,” and if those entrepreneurs are reached for Christ, amazing things can happen.
The upcoming generations in our society are especially wired for innovation. Statistics show that more than half of all Millennials have started an organization or desire to start one.
However, it’s often difficult for Christian businesspeople to know where their faith fits into their dreams. How can their spirituality influence their entrepreneurship?
According to Blanchard and the other board members at Praxis Labs, redemptive entrepreneurship is the intersection of faith and innovation. But what is redemptive entrepreneurship?
Blanchard writes enthusiastically about the possibility of business models that reflect “the great Christian narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration.”
“As founders, we create ventures in response to the creative impulse God gives us, and like Him we hope to ‘call them good,’” says Blanchard, speaking from his own experiences as a business builder.
“As fallen creatures,” he continues, “we take seriously and humbly our own sin and the brokenness of the world around us.”
Businesses fail, like the people who build them, but the hope for redemption, restoration, and success still lingers. “We work for impact that approximates the ultimate restoration that we know one day is coming,” Blanchard adds.
Redemptive entrepreneurship, in the worldview of Praxis Labs, means “restoration through sacrifice.”
Instead of seeking their own gain and the accumulation of worldly profit, Christian entrepreneurs should “generously surrender their personal and organizational power for the sake of others.”
“A redemptive enterprise ‘spends itself’ on behalf of the world more than on its own behalf,” urges Blanchard. “It is organized to ‘bind up the brokenhearted’ (Isaiah 61)…especially as it relates to its customers, its workforce, and its partners.”
Can you imagine a business model that focuses on sacrificing for the good of those who interact with it? Can you imagine a CEO who prays for customers and employees and does his or her best to die to self every day?
That’s the kind of person Praxis Labs wants to train and send out into the world.
To that end, Praxis Labs offers Praxis Academy to educate Christian entrepreneurs on redemptive strategy, redemptive operations, and redemptive leadership.
Redemptive strategy focuses on the setting of “truthful and God-honoring” goals that will move toward renewal in the workplace and society. It’s a commitment to “create beautiful and humanizing products.”
Redemptive operations involve the virtues and principles of a business. Christian business leaders must demonstrate “grace, generosity, justice, and patience” in their dealings, and they must help their employees demonstrate these characteristics as well.
Finally, redemptive leadership seeks to submit to Christ’s headship in all areas of personal and professional life. It’s a countercultural approach to leadership that requires humility and service instead of pride and power.
In addition to providing Praxis Academy, Praxis Labs strives to create a strong “community of practice” that strengthens Christian entrepreneurs in all areas of the business world.
“We see this as a beautiful demonstration of the body of Christ across a variety of callings, sectors, and places in the world,” says Blanchard.
With hundreds of Praxis Academy graduates, more than 150 successful business ventures, and dozens of professional mentors, Praxis Labs has brought the glory of God into the business world.
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