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In the Market Place

Mentoring: An End Time Marketplace Niche

Denise Hayden


ASI members have been uniquely called to serve. I started my own business in 1988 because my skills and personality demanded more of a challenge than I was getting from corporate employment. Fine Line Services, Inc. (my business) became an ASI member in 1991. Attending the ASI convention made all the difference in my thinking and approach toward witnessing. “Sharing Christ in the Marketplace” redefined my business motives, aligning them with my Christian aspirations. It began at the source – the Word of God. The Bible says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV). And what’s my marketplace word for ambassadors? Mentors.
Mentoring is simply the process of one person helping another to grow and develop. For example, an established business owner volunteers to help an aspiring business owner with brainstorming ideas and formulating a business plan, then arms the aspirant with tips and techniques of the trade. A Christian mentor has a responsibility to go even further. A Christian mentor testifies of the power of Jesus in one’s life to make a difference in corporate and personal life management, customer service, and community fellowship. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19 (KJV).
God has blessed me over the years to ascertain that character and influence are my best witnessing agents. Transforming those witnessing agents into a practical marketplace sharing utility has been quite a blessing to discover. And, as the CEO of my own business for more than 20 years, it is apparent that God is blessing me with specific resources to bless others – that is the mentoring niche.
Perfect strangers have invited me to speak one-on-one with them regarding business ideas. They invite me to speak at professional business groups without asking for credentials or degrees. Middle and Junior High Schools request presentations to their students. Preaching during evangelism campaigns, working on volunteer mission trips, speaking at numerous churches, all of these presented opportunities to share. That’s God calling! And when He calls, the reply is simply, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Because the Bible says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV).
Recently, I mentored a young lady who needed immediate advice and guidance. As I listened to her describe the situation, I observed that she had an abundance of youthful energy, sound ideas, sincere determination, and a multi-discipline background which could translate in the marketplace as essential “start-up capital.” Basically, with few to no assets she wanted to start a business. Just the way I started 20 years ago.
So I heard God saying, “Show her what I showed you.” The Lord had sent her to someone with the experience and background to help her plan properly. And that is why Christian mentoring is so important. I was ready to share, because in my life and hers, “…God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV).
Effective Christian mentoring is discipleship. It leads to improved knowledge, skills, and performance by providing personal access to important know-how, principled tips and techniques, and savvy practices. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV).
As a mentor, the knowledge and ability to communicate the “preparedness” message in a clear and convincing manner is critical. Preparedness for the rigors and extreme joys of business ownership and preparedness for the second coming of Jesus Christ are synonymous themes. Sharing Christ in the Marketplace is the unique mentoring mission of ASI members. “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” Isaiah 61:3 (NIV).
Mentoring is such a special end-time marketplace niche because our role as Christian professionals at this time in earth’s history is so important, and the Word promises “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8 (KJV).