Mentoring is a vital part of a young Christian’s faith formation. In the past few years, CBOQ Youth has encouraged churches to support mentors, who walk alongside those about to graduate high school. Pickering Community Baptist Church has been guiding and supporting high school graduates in this way for few years now. 

We asked some of their mentors and recent mentees (Grace Wong, Kiya Fu and Jimmy Chao) to share about their experiences. We hope this will encourage other churches to support their high school grads this way. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact Pastor Blake Bentley at or (905) 686-6311.  

Grace Wong is a fresh employee in the workforce since completing her BSc in Human Kinetics and Psychology at the University of Guelph in 2020.. She has been a believer of Christ since high school. She participated in PCBC’s mentor program as a mentee in the twelfth grade, and was mentored by Emily Chao. Grace learned a lot throughout that period; since then, while encountering different trials in high school and university, Grace’s faith was strengthened in part from lessons learned from the program. Having seen firsthand the value of mentorship, she has been led to joyfully serve in her university’s Asian Christian Fellowship for two years, fostering relationships with other Christian girls to take on the inevitable challenges of academia. Now, during these unprecedented times, Grace continues to learn more about the grace of God every day. 

Why did you choose to be part of this mentoring process? What did you hope to gain from it? 

I was introduced to this program in the summer of 2015 as a mentee. At the time, I was very interested in growing in my faith and wanting to know more about God so this was a God-given opportunity for me to learn. It was also comforting to think about having a Christian support figure in my life that I could talk to deeply with. 


For each mentor/mentee, in what ways have you personally benefitted from this experience? What’s been a challenge? 

So far, I’ve learned about the importance of mentorship. Having a support system that involves an older, wiser figure who can empathize with you, gently correct you and always point you back to the Bible is significant. During my time in the program, accountability was also an important aspect. I was able to have conversations about the sin in my life, and how I was actively fleeing from it. This would be something that is difficult in other relationships in my life, but with the mentorship program it gave an opportunity for me to be vulnerable. It can be a tool (of many) that God uses in your life. A challenge is that I wish I had been vulnerable even after the program ended and kept in more contact afterward. If not with the current mentor, perhaps with another similar figure. 

I had this mentor program in particular during high school. This period, as well as post-secondary years, are often volatile and can be full of challenges that put your faith to the test. It was only a few years later that I could look back and see how God can use this program as a way to build individuals up in their inevitable battles – not only in post-secondary education but also for the rest of their life. 


If/how have your expectations changed from the first time you met to now? 

From the first time I met with my mentor until now, my expectations have only changed with the end of the program. For example, during the program, my expectations were just to have sincere conversations with my mentor: being guided, being supported, being confronted, being held accountable, being prayed for, and so on. With regards to logistical details, we were aiming to meet once a month (and we also followed a booklet guide). Fast forward to today, my expectations have only changed in the sense that I don’t expect to meet exclusively/officially for this. As we are still friends and fellow sisters in Christ, I hope to see her and regularly fellowship with her on Sundays, church programs etc. We can still support each other in our own individual journeys through life, although I surely will always look up to my mentor and consider her a figure I can always share with! 


Describe the relationship you have with your mentee. 

The relationship I have with my mentor is basically what I described above; I continually look forward to fellowshipping (difficult to do in COVID) with her, and hearing more about how she is going through life. Also, I hope to support her in her walk too, through prayer, words of encouragement, etc. I am also constantly encouraged by her. Simply put, we are sisters in Christ and I am thankful we both worship the same Holy God! And we can look forward to the joy we have when He returns! 


What advice would you offer to others who are interested in doing this? 

The question would be, “Why not?” or “What’s holding you back?” If we profess Christ, we know we are also called to support, love and meet with one another. For both mentors and mentees, I believe this would be a great opportunity for you to grow and be challenged. It keeps both of you accountable, gives a chance for you to grow in compassion and empathy. I don’t know about all the benefits for mentors, but as for mentees, I do believe that you will be supported and pushed to learn. We recognize that we need support especially as we go through the different waves of worldly challenges. Being with a mentor not only supports us during this time, but teaches us different lessons/skills we can take away moving forward in life, and also trains us to build others up as well. Mentorship is not the sole source of wisdom, though; it doesn’t replace your own relationship with God and pursuit of holiness. But it is a way that God uses to point us back to Him! 

In addition, it’s a lot of fun sometimes! Building this close friendship sets up for a lifelong connection as well, and is full of good memories, jokes, food and hugs. 


Provide 1 “soundbite” (a summary statement) of why someone should be involved in this. 

Having a Christ-centred mentorship program is a wonderful opening for both mentors and mentees to grow in Christ. Being supported, challenged, held accountable and consistently pointed back to Christ are a few of the many themes here. We can share in suffering with one another, we can be trained as vessels for honorable use, we can pursue righteousness together! So again, I would say the question would be “what’s holding you back?” 

Kiya Fu is currently mentoring a Grade 12 student at Pickering Community Baptist Church. During the rest of the week, she works as an Ultrasound Technologist in Toronto. She is passionate for youth in the church and excited to see how God will build up His Church through them! 

Jimmy Chao is a trained Engineer that worked in his field for almost a decade until God called him into professional ministry. Now he uses his technical skills as the Director of Operations at OMF, a Christian charity. Mentorship has been a key aspect of his life, so when asked to be a mentor at PCBC to high school seniors, he was happy to invest his time and energy into the next generation of Christians. 


Why did you choose to be part of this mentoring process? What did you hope to gain from it?

I’ve had a soft spot for youth/young adults who are undergoing a critical time of growth; i.e. post-secondary. I didn’t have my own mentor figure growing up and probably could have been spared challenging times in life if I had. 

I hoped to gain a little brother I could positively influence.

For each mentor/mentee, what have you personally benefited from this so far? What’s been a challenge?

My mentee’s mother attends our church. My mentee has been to a few events and Sunday services but would explicitly state that he’s not Christian. The book “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” is written to a Christian audience. I suggested to my mentee that we attempt to use this resource regardless. It’s proven fruitful mutually as it showed the value of spiritual disciplines which required conversations about God. It also taught me how to personally share why I practice spiritual disciplines and to be prepared to give a reason.

One might find my mentee challenging as he asks a lot of questions. But I affirmed him to continue being curious as I am positive he’ll find that Christianity has more depth in truth than any other religion.

If/how have your expectations changed from the first time you met to now?

wasn’t sure who or what to expect when I started mentoring. It was obvious in the first session that I got paired with an academic as my mentee questioned the validity of the author (John Ortberg) after looking into his credentials and reviews – ha, my kind of guy. I then actively prayed about how to share the gospel to such a person who may believe faith has little value.

Describe the relationship you have with your mentee.

If I could speak on behalf of my mentee, I would say that he sees me as his life coach. He’s respected my life decisions and opinions; i.e. school, career, money, health etc. He even asked for a finance/investment 101 type workshop which I happily provided – of course with a disclaimer that he’s responsible for how he wants to manage his income. By winning him over with these various areas of life, I’ve been hoping that he would be more open to hearing how my faith in God is relevant.

What advice would you offer to others who are interested in doing this?

I think every generation appreciates vulnerability in relationships. It’s what makes us human. But I want to emphasize it for Millennials and Gen Z in case it’s overlooked. Prospective mentors need to be aware that there is a power dynamic by nature of entering a relationship with a mentee. The mentor is older, wiser, more experienced and thus holds the power. By being vulnerable with our failures, losses and life in general, we level the playing field so that our mentee would be willing to do likewise. With such a gap, it will always be up to the mentor to initiate vulnerability and reconcile the difference. It’s also important to be vulnerable (with discretion) as life is not always peachy; even for Christians. And mentees know that. But if we project that we’ve lived a perfect life, the relationship will be superficial to some degree.

Our ultimate example is Jesus. He was God in the flesh yet approachable to everyone. He was all knowing, all powerful, yet he humbled Himself. Why? So that we could enter a relationship with Him. Humble yourself so that mentees are willing to listen to your life stories and eventually find God as the Author.

Provide 1 “soundbite” (a summary statement) of why someone should be involved in this. 

By now it’s public knowledge that the Canadian church is losing youth especially when they enter adulthood; namely at the post-secondary stage. These youth discover that Christianity is really their parents’ faith and as a milestone of growing up they desire to separate themselves from their parents. Do not use their attendance as an indicator of genuine faith. The report “Renegotiating Faith” has stated that mentorship (not from a parent) within the Church has been a proven method to increase retention of youth even after high school (see statistics). Therefore, it is a ministry in the Church that needs urgent attention. It cannot be done without those who would be willing to offer their time and heart to mentor. Another way to look at mentorship is that it is part of the disciple-making process to help one see the relevance of their faith in all areas of their life, and thus it is in part fulfilling the Great Commission. Mentorship helps an aspiring disciple move from seeing Jesus as merely Saviour to also the Lord their life. And it opens the door to the relevance of faith in life’s purpose and calling.

How would you describe the current state of this mentorship relationship? 

By going through John Ortberg’s book, it’s provided a good framework to share about faith and the various spiritual disciplines to connect with God. I would highly encourage mentors to practice the disciplines alongside the mentee and not just delegate ‘homework’. The most obvious win is my mentee learning to pray. He recently closed a session in prayer with, “I hope one day I can share this faith too” (paraphrased).