We had our second quarterly Passion Talks for the Tech Industry last night. We kicked it off with a little bit of worship, meet-and-greet time, announcements, Passion Talks, and then dinner. Thanks to the efforts of a few people we had a great event that brought in 30+ people with 20 watching the live-stream. People from as far away was Singapore found the talks inspiring.
This time around we had five talks:
- The first talk was about a Software Engineer’s passion for Taizé Music
- The second talk was about the synthesis of kingdom and career, a passion for Passion Talks
- The third talk was about workplace ministries in the Bay Area, given by a Pastor who works with Christians at various tech companies
- The fourth talk was about a designer’s passion for art and missions
- The fifth and final talk was an Engineer’s passion for spending more time with God and how to cultivate that spiritual discipline
In my opinion, one of the best aspects of Passion Talks are the spontaneous conversations. At the end, before people broke for dinner, we even had deeper dialogue on how to live out the Kingdom and Career lifestyle. Many ideas were brought up, including:
- Bringing a big name speaker like NT Wright or Tim Keller
- Having informal events like a BBQ to fellowship with other professionals
- Planning service projects with other organizations
- Participating in an industry track/session for PT Stanford Conference in August
The Passion Talks here are less formal than what we’ve been doing at Stanford and Berkeley. The design of these talks are meant to be very low-stress. Like, if I asked you to give one of these industry Passion Talks, you should be able to think something up on the spot (unless you’ve really never thought about it before). That’s what I found out at dinner, some people could think up a talk on the spot, while others seemed to not know how to answer these questions. Here’s the general template we’ve been using:
- Who you are (Identity)
- What you do (Vocation)
- Why you care / Why you live (Passion)
Talks, generally, don’t have to follow such a structure, but it’s nice to have one. The talks took about 35 – 40 minutes for all five.
My talk was about my passion for Passion Talks. You can find the slides here.
- Who I am
- PhD in CS (for Artificial Intelligence)
- Game Designer
- I have a passion for storytelling
- Google Intern
- What I do
- I try to synthesize my intellectual world with my faith world
- This isn’t meant to shame people into being more Christian, but to invite people to be part of loving and impacting the world
- This will look different for everyone, of course, since we all have different passions
- Why I care
- Because Heaven on Earth includes what the intellectuals are stewarding
- This divide between intellectual and faith worlds prevents the Gospel from being fully lived out
- Each person has a unique story that we are qualified to tell, and if we can bridge these areas of our lives into a meaningful narrative, we can seek and cultivate that reality into everything we do
- Conclusion: give a Passion Talk, or just think about what your story would be if you did!
I’ll end with two quotes that I used in my talk:
“Passion Talks are a platform for intellectuals and professionals to develop and share their voice in order to foster humble dialogue between intellectual communities and the Christian Church.”
“What we do is our passion, which, for some, we would relate to the passion that God gives us and our passion for Jesus.”
Passion Talks are not just a matter of what, but a matter of why we do what we do.