Leadership

Modern mentoring: Why is it important and how is it different?

By Christine Gorz

Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as a trusted counselor or guide. 

The number one thing employers can do to demonstrate their investment in a young person becoming a leader is to train and develop them, including coaching and mentoring,” stated Lindsey Pollak, The Hartford’s Millennial Workplace Expert. 

Many millennials seek purpose in their work. Helping them to explore their God-given vision and the talents they possess early in their career increases their job satisfaction and enables them to make an impact throughout their life.  

Lifeway research found that 68 percent of church-going young adults identified the opportunity to receive advice from people with similar life experiences as very important. Young adults place high value on connecting with people who have more life experience than they do.

As we find regularly at Resource Global, today’s emerging leaders of faith frequently desire to make a difference through their careers and in their communities, cities and the world. They long for a like-minded guide who will come alongside them and help them think through strategic questions and provide relevant resources as they navigate the marketplace. 

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Is mentoring biblical? While you won’t find the word “mentoring” in the Bible, we see many examples of mentoring relationships taking place throughout scripture. Jethro mentored Moses, Moses mentored Joshua, Naomi mentored Ruth, Eli mentored Samuel, Samuel mentored Saul and David, Elijah mentored Elisha, Elizabeth mentored Mary, Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos, Jesus mentored the disciples, and Paul mentored Timothy. In Titus older women are instructed to train younger women and Paul implies that older men should teach younger men by example.

So how is modern mentoring different from traditional mentoring?

First, the focus is on what the mentee wants to learn, not on what the mentor knows. Mentees bring their most important questions and mentors engage with them to help foster growth in the desired areas. Mentors may recommend resources, assignments, and contacts in their networks who have particular expertise or experience. The mentee is an active participant throughout the process.

Second, the relationship is characterized by authenticity. Mentees are seeking a more experienced person who will share their work and life experiences with transparency—the good, the bad, and the ugly. This occurs when the relationship is a safe place to discuss ideas and both parties share experiences that include stories of successes and struggles, how they have processed them and what they learned.

Finally, mentors benefit in the process. Mentors aren’t just giving, they also receive. In my own experience as a mentor I am inspired nearly every time I connect with my mentees—by their heart to make a difference, their lives of faith and by their thoughtful engagement with God, their work, and the world around them. I learn new things as I engage with different perspectives and experiences. Time flies and I am always thankful for the opportunities I have in mentoring. 

So what are you waiting for? Jump in and become a trusted guide for an emerging leader in your organization, church or community. You’ll be providing a valuable service and you may just find you receive much more in return. 

Christine Gorz helps Resource Global with connecting and developing our mentorship pool for our cohorts. She formerly was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Moody Bible Institute. She has also done marketing in the Christian music industry in Nashville, Tenn. She and her husband, Chris, live in Chicago and she loves mid-century design and a good cup of coffee.

The Unexpected Leap: Trading My Strategic Ideas for God’s Purpose

By Joi Freeman

Have you ever taken a professional leap of faith? Was it like Naaman taking several dips in the water or Peter’s fearful steps as he walked on water?

I have experienced both. Yet, my most impacting leap of­ faith was not a leap at all. It was more like an abrupt, unexpected plunge down a cistern which was followed by what I can only describe as a series of “be still” moments that felt more like spending my young professional years stuck in an Egyptian prison for a crime I didn’t commit versus feeling like a season of growth.  

“But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” -Joseph (Genesis 40:14-15 NIV)

These moments of solitary confinement with God have equipped me with a new vocabulary. I learned that “leaping” is not always an action verb. In the Kingdom of God version of the dictionary, to “leap” is often passive. In this season of my life, leaps of professional faith are lessons on how to allow God to unfold his purpose for my life. My professional mentor Joseph (yes, the one from the book of Genesis) has taught me incredible lessons about the art of staying put in faith and trusting the vision God planted in me even when the road is unpaved and full of detours.

Like Joseph, God gave me a vision at a (relatively) young age. In 2010, while reading a foreign affairs magazine article about the predictions of population growth, God painted a clear picture that I would help open doors for the next generation to positively impact the world and major industries. And through this amazing bold view of what He called me to; I saw all the ways that I could influence this next generation, and especially youth of the African diaspora, to be the force for positive change and restoring what God intended when he gave us dominion in Genesis.

A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life,
but only the designs of his purpose will succeed in the end. -- Proverbs 19:21 TPT

So as any driven, passionate, talented professional would do, I took it upon myself to convert God’s vision into an action plan.

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The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. –Genesis 40:23

This revised journey in which God designed for me includes moments of professional disappointment, frustration, and pain. Yet each of my “Egyptian prison” moments helped create a conviction that God permits us to undergo difficult experiences; and it is those experiences which develop our character, increase our endurance, and prepare us for the journey ahead. Without Joseph facing the cistern, the false accusations, the prison sentence, and delayed parole; the people of Egypt and surrounding regions would not have survived the famine. Joseph’s family would not have been spared, and the vision he saw at age seventeen could not be fulfilled.

When I started this leap of faith, I was certain that I could change the world. Yet, inspired by Joseph, I now understand that it is not my plans or ideas that will carry me. Rather, it is my willingness to sit at the center of God’s will for my life and with that posture his purpose for my profession will prevail. And as I learn to imitate Joseph’s work ethic and outlook on professional detours, I believe this new outlook on leaping into faith will ultimately lead me to my original Step 6.

“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ – Jesus, on Stewardship & Investment (Matthew 25:21)

Joi Freeman is part of our third Chicago Cohort. She is currently doing some part-time consulting work and also in a leadership MBA program in Chicago .

100% Jesus, 0% Me - Interview with Abraham Viktor

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During Tommy Lee’s last visit to Jakarta, in January 2019, he was able to meet with several Resource Global (RG) cohort alumni, including Bram. The two caught up after connect group, and shared the latest updates across Bram’s life (both professionally and personally) since his time with RG.  

Bram grew up in Jakarta, and received his accounting degree from University of Indonesia (UI). He always had an enterprising spirit so before his final year in school, he attempted to launch his first startup with a few friends: a Kaya jam company. They had a great formula, but struggled to find the right factory for production. Eventually, he had to make the difficult decision to move on. The experience would be the first of a couple of “professional failures,” through which Bram learned much about the world, faith, himself, and God.

After graduating, Bram found himself on his second startup - this time in the construction industry working on lightweight building blocks. However, after much time, and significant monetary investment, a series of unfortunate events lead to the closure of that startup too. This second failure was much harder on Bram. He found himself low on cash, and felt like the weak link in a group of friends who had gone into banking or consulting, were rising the ranks, and making good money.

Looking back, he recalls how this devastation was partially influenced by his own family’s financial crisis when he was younger. That experience had taught him to be driven by monetary gain in his own decisions. Desirous of more stability, he took a step back and decided to pursue work in investment banking and consulting. He went first for an internship with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), before eventually moving into investment banking. He remembers fondly that first paycheck, and the feeling of security it came with. However, he also remembers the disappointment he felt shortly into his tenure as he began to feel restless, thinking: What am I doing here?

Throughout his early career struggles, Bram recalls feeling God convicting him to rely not on his own desires and ego, rather on God’s plan and design. He also recalls how he always pushed those convictions aside, deceived by his own pride. However, the more restless he felt at work, the more he reflected on his failed startups, and the more he found himself turning to God.

In an act of faith, Bram asked God to purify his heart. In reconciling his desires to those of God’s for him, he found renewed clarity. Suddenly, he felt God impressing upon him that he should be working in financial inclusion. He took a leap of faith, and left his cushy investment banking job. That very day, he stepped into creating his next venture: Taralite.

Through much faith and hard work, Taralite is now a key mover for financial inclusion in Indonesia, providing micro loans and and micro funding to underserved people. They also lease their algorithm to banks for more efficient processing and greater financial inclusion across the country. Most recently, Taralite has been acquired by OVO - a large mobile payments player in Indonesia. Bram sees the move as synergic, allowing the team to work with mentors with more experience, as well as expanding Taralite’s own market share and impact on Indonesia as a whole.

Around the time Bram was working on Taralite, building it up into what it is today, he had experienced several other milestones as well. These milestones informed many of his decisions, and continue to shape his career and faith journey today.

First, he got married - to a woman he says is greater than his equal. “She humbles me,” he says - describing how his pride and self-righteousness often causes him to lack grace, whereas her own deep desire and honor for truth make her the opposite: humble, kind, gentle.

Second, he participated in Resource Global’s first cohort - an opportunity he credits for giving him clear and encouraging mentorship. The Christian guidance and focus on bringing the gospel into the business sphere helped him in many a decision, especially in the Taralite’s early days.

Third, he had a clear epiphany about finances. Whereas his upbringing and “the Old Bram” led him to focus on simply gaining wealth, the Bram of today who remains stayed on the Lord realized that money is a blessing from God. This blessing, he believes, is one that must be shared, and enjoyed. Ultimately, he says “my life and even my finances don’t belong to me. [They] all belong to God alone.”

And last of all, via redemption through, and trust in, Christ, Bram has received 2 priceless gifts from his turbulent professional experiences to date: humility, and trust in God’s sovereignty. Humility because, whilst he continues to struggle with pride, he remembers that he has never succeeded when he has insisted on doing things by his own strength. And trust in God’s sovereignty, because when he looks back at the last few years (his career trajectory, his marriage, his time with Resource Global, and his failures), he sees how God’s providence was upon him through it all.

“When I failed the second time, it felt like the lowest point in my life, it felt like I’d never get close to where my friends were. But somehow God just cared for me, equipped me, strengthened me. And it’s all God’s work. When I look back, it was 0% Bram, and 100% Jesus.”