Meet Our Mentees: Q&A with Jeremy Height
Tell us a little about yourself.
I currently live in Senegal (West Africa) with my wife, Reetu, and son, Zane Veer. Previous to our move here to Senegal in December 2017, we spent several years in Indianapolis, where I served in the Development Department at Shepherd Community Center – an urban ministry community center on the near Eastside of Indy.
I now serve as the Field Partnership Coordinator for West Africa with the Church of the Nazarene, with my responsibilities including donor development, volunteer engagement and communications. Simply put, I help others get involved with the amazing work of local churches throughout West Africa. When I am not teaching my one-year-old son how to walk, I spend my free time learning French, reading theology and business books, rooting for Ohio State, and cooking with my wife.
What brought you to Africa?
Reetu and I have known for years that one day, God would call us to ministry outside the United States. We received that opportunity in December 2017 when we joined the work of the Church of the Nazarene in West Africa as a part of a ministry support team for pastors, church planters and missionaries. We will be relocating to Ghana in May 2018, where we will continue to serve on our team coordinating evangelism, discipleship and compassionate ministry in 14 countries.
What brought you to EDGE? What were you searching for at the time?
I joined EDGE with several of my friends, because we were all looking to improve as leaders in our respective organizations. Our hope was to grow through learning from an experienced mentor as well as from other young leaders across a variety of disciplines.
Do you think you’ve found what you were searching for?
Yes, I have been blessed with an awesome mentor, Greg James, and a group that has helped me grow as a leader – in part because of their diversity in world views and perspectives. I would not have been able to assemble such a diverse group of driven men of God without an organization such as EDGE. Our variety of careers gives us an endless supply of conversation topics and cross-discipline wisdom.
You have a unique EDGE experience being overseas. Describe what a typical EDGE call looks like for you.
Normally my EDGE calls begin with me brewing a big cup of coffee around midnight (my time). With our scheduled bi-weekly video conference calls starting at 8:00 pm EST, our video calls begin at 1:00 am here in West Africa. Yet even with the time difference, our EDGE group is completely worth the loss of sleep (even as the father of a son who never sleeps).
Our group has continued to be a source of support for me during this year of transition, as well as a sounding board to help me process challenging situations and opportunities. Most importantly, they have been an anchor of consistency during a season of chaos and change in my life.
In what ways have Greg and your group helped you grow personally, professionally or spiritually?
Our EDGE group has helped me develop holistically as a person, as we have learned together how our personal, professional, and spiritual lives are intertwined. Regardless of what book we are reading together or what guest speaker we have on a video call, Greg has developed our group to always consider every implication of a teaching. For example, when we read Greg McKeown's Essentialism, we discussed how "distinguishing the vital few from the trivial many" related to our relationships, our walks with God and our current jobs.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your mentor so far?
One important piece of wisdom that has stuck with me from Greg is the importance of how we start our days. I can still remember his words as we sat in Fountain Square digging into some delicious Thai food one brisk fall afternoon. He said, "The first food you should have everyday is God's Word, and your first conversation each morning should always be in prayer." Starting the day in God's presence sets the tone for our days before we are inundated with the endless demands of email, phone calls and social media – not to mention real relationships.
What advice do you have for anyone who’s considering seeking a mentoring relationship?
A pastor friend of mine told me years ago, "There are two people you should always have in your life: a mentor and a mentee. You are never too young or too old to need both." And EDGE Mentoring has developed a system for mentorship which allows you to participate regardless of your geographic location, work schedule or social network.
Anything else you want to add about your EDGE experience?
Given the amount of life changes throughout our entire group, EDGE's focus on leveraging the strengths of technology has enabled our group to stay strong over several years, even with members across three states and two continents. Honestly, I would not have been able to stay connected with any other mentoring group. EDGE has taken the timeless strength of deep mentoring relationships and brought it into the 21st century.