Ministry Today commends a different group of kingdom-minded people or organizations each year in our MT21 issue. In 2014, when we launched MT21, we honored churches and ministries that were influencing the 21st-century church.
In 2015, we highlighted 21 congregations that were "culturally diverse on purpose." This year, however, we're taking a different approach and naming 21 businesses whose leaders are a witness for Christ in some way through their professional platforms. From cupcake makers to insurance agency owners to roofers, we have covered a wide range of businesses in this year's MT21 feature.
Today, we are highlighting New York Life greateroregon.nyloffices.com
Entrepreneur Joshua Garcia has seen his business grow, thanks to insights from life insurance agent Sven Anderson. Garcia's faith and marriage also are stronger, thanks to mentoring from Anderson and others in a men's group formed in 2014.
"What influenced me about Sven is his heart," says Garcia, a father of two daughters. "He's always out there trying to reach people, trying to lead them to Christ and be an influence on them. I don't know if he intends to be a mentor, but when you get to know him, he becomes that."
Also a small-group leader at his church, Anderson and several others helped form Brothers of Valor (brothersofvalor.org, BOV) two years ago to combat social problems like divorce and child abuse. Launched with a series of quarterly lunches, the organization has since morphed into a multifaceted initiative that includes prayer sessions, service projects and mentoring. Plans are also in the works for a media arts ministry.
Garcia's turnaround started with an invitation to a BOV luncheon. That led to attending Wednesday morning prayer-and-encouragement sessions at a coffee shop. Anderson also helped arrange an interview with a possible new agent so Garcia could expand his insurance business.
Anderson also hopes to guide other men in their spiritual growth.
"Our vision statement is 'Inspiring men to action so women, children and families thrive,'" Anderson says. "We're trying to get these guys engaged."
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