Hello! My name is Julie Morgenstern. I am a very expressive, out-going person that utilizes words and personality to persuade others to strategically use their strengths in the best way possible to maximize their role in God’s work. That is a mouth full…and a lifetime endeavor! I work as the Director of Operations for Grow2Serve alongside my husband, Mark, who is the strategist and innovator of our married partnership. It works because I implement and oversee the details for many of his good ideas. Daily I interact with people, answering their questions concerning resources, online courses, and consultation sessions. I engage facilitators, enroll learners, and work the help desk for any running online courses. Most recently, I do a fair amount of reading and gathering of experts on particular subjects in order to create the curriculum for CIT Next’s new online courses.
I originally went to college to become a junior high/high school science teacher. Although much of my ministry training came out of learning experiences in my home church and my first few years of teaching, the test of my training came when Mark and I moved to Russia as missionaries. In our first experience overseas, we were tasked with taking a morals and ethics curriculum, one based on Jesus’ life, and training teachers to integrate the principles of this curriculum into their classrooms. It was a perfect ministry fit for me. Then, in 1994, we joined a team of church planters in Ukraine. After learning the language, I fell naturally into this new ministry role, discipling, teaching and training. About 11 years later, in 2005, our mission approached us about returning to the States to join their training team, organizing and preparing new missionaries to adapt to their foreign environments. That step led to Mark becoming the Training Director for ReachGlobal and me becoming the leader for our pre-field training team. We began to experiment with blended learning, delivering the training content online over a period of 2 months, and then inviting all the learners to a week-long conference event to cap off our training. It was such a huge success that we continued to use this training model for many following years. After 8 years of pre-field training with ReachGlobal, however, we realized that Grow2Serve (the online training platform that we had been using) could serve an even wider missionary community if we went out on our own. So Grow2Serve became its own entity in November of 2015.
Although I was excited about the possibilities for engaging missionaries around the world in online learning communities, I didn’t initially see how my love of teaching and people could be integrated into this predominantly “tech” world. Mark encouraged me to start getting my feet wet in all the aspects of the ministry. From talking through “training dreams” with mission leaders to writing detailed “how to log in” explanations from the help desk, my excitement for the possibilities began to grow. I still love the traditional classroom. But that model alone is not going to get the job done for our missionaries overseas. Using Grow2Serve, we have been able to serve over 500 individuals last year (2018) and are on pace to serve over 900 this year (2019)!
Mark and I have 4 sons (ages 17, 19, 22, 24) that complete Team Morgenstern. They are the best! Each one loves God and are finding their place in the world using their gifts of writing, leading, performing, and teaching. Much of my ministry comes out of who I am and what I spend my time doing. So it is difficult to see where “work” ends and “leisure” begins. I look forward to unrushed, meaningful conversations with friends. I enjoy game nights with the boys (the board game count at home is well over 60). Time watching football or movies with like-minded fans is a must. With my goal to read 52 books a year covering all types of genres, I try to keep up on relevant content to pass on to whomever will listen. And that includes my love of teaching the Word to any age group, in the classroom or online.