Global Volunteers: Mentoring

mentoring_triAs the world shrinks via the internet opportunities abound for North Americans to become involved in the lives of nationals on our various mission fields.  This is both welcome and worrisome – more worrisome if the mentor does not take the time to prepare himself/herself with a proper cross-cultural perspective.  It is even more worrisome of field missionaries are not consulted or even considered.  The missionary is the one who has studied the local culture and language and has made the sacrifice to leave home for new life around the globe.  Their insight and wisdom will be helpful to anyone desiring to have a positive mentoring relationship with a national on any of our fields.  We do not encourage or condone any mentoring relationship that ignores the value of our field missionaries.
Important Points:

  • Spend some time exploring the MentorLink website.
  • Don’t create financial dependency.  Many nationals will see the relationship as a means of advancing themselves financially and you may find some compulsion to develop not just a mentoring relationship but also a financial relationship. While GBIM does, on occasion, assist the national church with financial assistance our basic philosophy and the prevailing philosophy of cross cultural ministry is found in the indigenous principle.
  • Don’t violate cultural norms as much as possible.  We will provide some helpful information here to help in those areas.
  • Please read the Leader’s Covenant. This Covenant was developed for the Lausanne Leadership Development Working Group as a resource for Lausanne’s Cape Town 2010 Congress on World Evangelization.
  • Read Cultural Awareness in Intercultural Mentoring. This is another essential read for anyone involved in mentoring.
  • Take some time to work through the Passing It On manual (Spanish version).