A few weeks ago, I posted a blog explaining one of the primary reasons for Grow2Serve – we offer learners from all over the world the ability to learn and grow together in community. A second key purpose for Grow2Serve is that we enable trainers from many mission organizations to connect with and learn from one another.
I really love the Grow2Serve Great Commission Learning Network website. I’m not just speaking as someone who’s spent the time developing and organizing it, but as an active trainer myself. Often as Julie and I are working to develop new online courses, we will go through and use the GCLN as a library to search for relevant materials. More often than not, one of our more than 30 partners has already written in detail on the subject of interest, connecting it to new concepts or experiences that we had never before considered! By tapping into what others are already doing across the world, we’ve been able to use the Network to find phenomenal resources for several of our more popular classes such as Spiritual Warfare, Sustainable Resilience, and Culture Shock.
In the long run, we hope to see mission endeavors and mission organizations go beyond the classic culture of generosity and openness found among so many mission agencies today. Building on that foundation, we hope to foster a culture of active collaboration wherein two or more organizations — each having the same idea for a needed resource — are able to not only find each other but to work with one another to develop a resource that goes beyond their independent uses and serves the broader mission community. Or, whenever an organization is thinking about developing a new learning resource for missionaries on the field, they can go online to the Grow2Serve Network and research the idea first. This might give them the opportunity to realize, Hey! It’s already here, and it’s done really well! I can use this and recommend it to my people for their benefit and growth. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
A good friend of mine, Dick Freed from OMS, does similar work to mine in his organization, curating pre-existing learning materials from other organizations to build his training department for OMS missionaries. This networking helps his staff realize all that is already available to them. It also encourages maturity in thought and action, as the staff explore what others with more experience recommend in a given situation or concerning a specific subject. This is one of the key reasons that we do what we do in Grow2Serve. We desire to see closer collaboration between training departments and trainers of different mission organizations for the glory of God and the benefit of those serving cross-culturally.