This summer I had the privilege of listening to James KA Smith, keynote speaker at Christian Schools International’s Worldview Summit held in Grand Rapids, MI. He was speaking primarily from his recent book – You Are What You Love: the Spiritual Power of Habit.
You are what you love. But you might not love what you think.
. . . author James K. A. Smith shows that who and what we worship fundamentally shape our hearts. And while we desire to shape culture, we are not often aware of how culture shapes us. We might not realize the ways our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made. Smith helps readers recognize the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices. He explains that worship is the “imagination station” that incubates our loves and longings so that our cultural endeavors are indexed toward God and his kingdom.
More on this very important book will follow. For now, in reviewing my notes of Smith’s presentations, I was reminded of his reference to a Simon Sinek video. While addressing a different audience for a different purpose, Sinek contributes to the conversation by talking about how people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. What you do, he says, serves as proof of what you believe (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA).
Sinek urges us to begin with ‘why’. Smith urges us to examine our practices, our habits to see if they indeed reveal that we love what we say we love – that our stated ‘why’ is the practiced ‘why’. Engaging with these ideas could lead to some very fruitful conversations in our educational communities.
Other Sinek TEDx talks:
After why comes: trust. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VdO7LuoBzM
Restoring the Human in Humanity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeAkYuMDVGY
Responsibility and Leadership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ4zl6G_Td4