Author: Simon Cozens, MA graduate in Global Leadership in Intercultural Contexts (Redcliffe College)
One important way of equipping Asian mission movements is through training of emerging leaders, and one important way to do that is the use of mentoring. David Pickard of OMF International led a workshop on “mentoring Asian leaders”, and brought out something from each of the three words in the title.
One key theme of the seminar was that mentoring is more than just training through dialogue; it involves sharing life together and being an example and a model. Words like presence, respect, trust and integrity came up again and again in the discussion. David said that modelling and being present is the key way to mentor leaders. One participant reported on a survey of what Chinese church leaders wanted from missionary partners, and found that three-quarters of them wanted models of Christian character rather than programmes of Christian activity.
Character and modelling character is the most influential way to provide mentoring and training to emerging leaders; of course, we are not likely to be perfect models of Christian character ourselves, and it was suggested that team-based ministry can help to give our mentees a more rounded view of Christian character than they would get from just one mentor.
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