Faith and Work

Wrestling with Failure at Work

By Hunter Daniels

More than other idols, personal success and achievement leads to a sense that we ourselves are god, that our security and value rests in our own wisdom, strength, and performance. To be the very best at what you do, to be at the top of the heap, means no one is like you. You are supreme.
— Tim Keller in Counterfeit Gods

A month before attending the 2019 Global Cohort Gathering, in Saddleback, CA, (where Christian global leaders all over the world are gathered to learn, connect, and be challenged to make impact in their global cities) I was drafting the most painful document I have ever had to write; I was writing an incident report at work. The incident involved one of our most strategic clients; and I was on the hook for a mistake that I did not catch (picture an infielder missing a pop-fly). It is difficult to overestimate the toll this had on my spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. To me, writing that report meant that I was forced to admit that I had failed, that I was incompetent and that I was worthless. I had worked hard to be the best performer on my team, to be the guy you could rely on and I was proud of my “exceptional performance” evaluation. This failure stood in direct contrast of who I thought myself to be and, more importantly, whom I wanted others to think I was.

While at the gathering, I heard several speakers talk candidly about dealing with failure at work and I was convicted by their anecdotes. Bob Doll gave a lecture entitled “Failure- The Stepping Stone to Success” that provided me with much needed guidance. To provide context, Bob was the Chief Equity Strategist of a large asset management firm and has used his God given gifts to attain what many would consider a highly successful career. In his lecture, Bob discussed a time in recent history where he was asked by his previous firm to retire early and the impact it made on his life. It is difficult to imagine attaining Bob’s level of success only to be let go at what would be his “prime career years”. But his response was not to wallow in failure or to blame God for misfortune or engage in destructive self-loathing. No, instead he used his situation as an opportunity to further engage with Christ, his community and his family- what an amazingly faithful response! Ultimately, God blessed him with the opportunity to continue using his financial expertise, but his initial response represents the posture we, as Christ followers, should model in the midst of failure and success in work.

Upon reflection, I’ve come to realize how much my sense of identity was based on success in work. This realization came as a surprise to me (shocking I know). I didn’t think I was idolizing my work, yet it wasn’t until failure at work sent me into a spiral of self-degradation that I realized my priorities were grossly out of order. This, I think, is at the heart of Bob’s lecture; it is difficult to know we’re idolizing success until it is ripped away from us, which then forcibly creates the stepping-stone to success. Success in this context is not about promotions, bonuses or societal praise; it is the stepping-stone to further reliance on God for our joy and worth. We are free from performance evaluations because we can never be “exceptional” before God. We are all hopeless and complete failures when it comes to our worthiness of God’s love yet He gives it anyways. This is the radical promise God makes to His people that is the source of our joy, that God looks at us and sees his Son.

Hunter Daniels works in the finance industry and was part of our Chicago Cohort in 2019.

Redefining Beauty

By Reina Ang

On May 31 st , I had the opportunity to sit and listen to Jessica Rey in her session about “Faith, Hollywood, and Fashion” for Global Cohort Gathering 2019. I was personally incredibly excited to be in her session as I’m also working in both of the creative industries she’s involved in: entertainment and fashion industry.

Jessica Rey is an actress, mostly known from her work as White Wild Force Ranger in the TV Series Power Rangers Wild Force. She is also currently the Founder, CEO, and designer for her modest swimwear brand called Rey Swimwear. During the session, Jessica told her story about how while doing her MBA program, she got offered to do castings for commercials and TV series that ultimately led her to a main role in Power Rangers Wild Force. Her experiences in Hollywood and its lifestyle led her to see the need of different and wider perspectives on what is the definition of beautiful for modern women. After much struggle and rejections, she successfully launched Rey Swimwear, a modest swimwear based in Los Angeles.

The fashion and entertainment industry are two very unique industries that have so much influence on dictating what is deemed beautiful in society. But at the same time, within these industries themselves, diversity and inclusion comes especially slower. As I was listening through her session, I was very convicted on how much influence the people in these industries can bring in term of redefining what is beautiful and how much I could’ve done as the part of it. Two of Jessica’s statement stood out to me the most.

“Only 4% of women feel beautiful. My goal is simple, how do I help make it 100%?”

As heartbreaking as it sounds, it’s true. Beautiful is a big scary word for most women. We find ourselves constantly trying to conform to certain set standard unconsciously, never fully satisfied on how we look. The pursuit of improving oneself is good, as long as it doesn’t come from self-hatred. As someone in fashion and entertainment industries, am I doing my best to help this cause or am I actually further enforcing this habit of placing our identity in this unrealistic beauty standard through my work? Am I forcing my own perception of beauty onto others, rather than God’s perspective of it? That brought me to her other statement.

“Your mission is not to make others know who you are, but to make others know that they are made in the image of God.” My goal and mission shouldn’t be centered around me and who I am. It should be about God and according to God’s Word. And what is God’s Word about body image?

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” - Ephesians 2:10 God’s message is loud and clear. We are made according to His image and we are His masterpiece. God sees us that way and that’s the goal, to help men and women to see not only their true beauty, but also their God-given dignity.

Reina Ang is part our Jakarta Team. She is also a professional model in Jakarta.

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. 

Hesabika Mentorship Launch-112.jpg

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.