Mathematics of Mentoring

1+1+2 = 270

Wait, what kind of math equation is that?

It’s math that captures the power of mentoring in God’s Kingdom, where investing in one person can impact a whole community or even multiple communities.

Mentoring involves investing significant time in building a relationship, significant time invested in one person. Some might question the value of this time. But as a mentor for DOVE, a Cambodian non-profit that emphasizes mentoring in its leadership development program, I have seen how mentoring builds God’s Kingdom far beyond the investment in that one person.

God’s math is different than ours!

It Begins With One (1+1)

Cambodia lost a whole generation of leaders when the Khmer Rouge regime executed anyone with an education. Today, the population’s median age is 24. The non-profit I work alongside is developing young leaders who are transforming their churches and communities. These leaders, age 17-35, gather each Saturday morning for one year and also meet with a volunteer mentor and a peer mentoring group. My mentoring math equation comes from one of those young leaders, named Chanty.

Chanty is a young Christian leader who graduated from DOVE’s program. She’d been a follower of Jesus for just four months when she started, and God transformed her. Chanty said, “The angry heart that I used to have was changed; I love others, serve, forgive, and have patience! The ‘Forgiveness’ and ‘5 Love Languages’ lessons really healed my past.”

Mentoring Multiplies (+2=270)

Chanty was encouraged to be brave enough to start home churches. Now she’s responsible for four. Each Sunday she gets up early and travels to the four villages over rough dirt roads by motorbike, a 26 mile round trip, and doesn’t get home until evening. She buys snacks for the children with her own money.

Chanty is mentoring two other Christian leaders who studied in the program the year after she did. Together, the three of them are responsible for at least 240 children and 30-40 youth in the churches. Those youth are becoming mentors themselves, trained to come alongside vulnerable children in their own community. So Chanty’s mentoring math equation looks like this:

1 (Chanty)
+ 1 (her mentor)
+ 2 (the young leaders Chanty now mentors)
= 270 (children and youth in four new home churches)


In God’s mathematics, the impact of a few mentoring relationships is multiplied to touch many more people! So don’t underestimate the value of investing in mentoring. God’s Kingdom grows exponentially when we develop leaders who will develop more!


1. Have you considered multiplying your Kingdom impact by investing in one or two other people? What would it look like to take a new step towards that today?
2. If you’re already mentoring, have you challenged those mentees to be investing in others as well? Where could you expand your impact through calling others into Kingdom multiplication?


Lynn Ogata has served with ETHNE Cambodia since 2008. She focuses on leadership development and spiritual formation of Cambodian emerging leaders.