Grow2Serve has had a long, rich history of development from its origins with ReachGlobal to its partnership with South Suburban Evangelical Free Church. It has only recently begun operating as an autonomous, free-standing ministry in its own right, but already the team ministers to over 500 missionaries and ministers across the world per year!
The first foundations for what would later be known as Grow2Serve were first laid about 13 years ago. In July of 2006, EFCA EQUIP (the training department of ReachGlobal) offered its first online course, Introduction to Teaching Online. Later, in September of the same year, Mark Morgenstern (now Grow2Serve’s senior director) was appointed as Director of EQUIP and, under his supervision, one of EQUIP’s historically most popular courses, Intentional Living, was first launched.
Under the administration of ReachGlobal and Mark’s leadership, EFCA EQUIP continued to innovate, developing a groundbreaking 2-part blended-learning event for new missionaries known as PT Online/PT Live (Pre-field Training.) Designed to prepare pre-deployed missionaries for cross-cultural life and service, Pre-field Training offered the opportunity for these new missionaries to grow together while learning life skills and cross-cultural ministry perspectives that they would need once landing on their new mission field. The event was a massive success, with participants traveling from all over the country to learn and grow together.
Meanwhile, Mark and his team also continued to develop online training courses for those already overseas, and the name of the online course site was eventually changed to Grow2Serve. Over time, other mission organizations and ministries also began to use the Grow2Serve online learning platform to offer their own resources and classes to the public. A collaborative learning community was born.
December of 2015 brought the momentous unveiling of Grow2Serve as an independent entity under the leadership of Senior Director Mark Morgenstern and Project Manager for Operations Christina Schott. At this time, Grow2Serve launched out from ReachGlobal to act as a free-standing ministry overseen and administered under the leadership of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church (SSEFC).
Then, on July 1, 2017, Grow2Serve was spun off from SSEFC as an autonomous nonprofit organization. In the next few years, Grow2Serve would like to double the number of organizations that offer courses online for missionaries from the current number of 7 to 14 or more. The ministry would also like to grow in the number of individual missionaries that are served in a given year, hoping in 2019 to serve 800-1000 missionaries and in future years would be excited to see that number grow to 2,000 or more.