As a result of God ministering through us, we look forward to seeing missionaries and ministers easily connecting worldwide to quality and transformative learning resulting in healthy spiritual lives and fruitful ministry.
God has entrusted us with something that we are uniquely to do and that is to bring timely and accessible learning to grow missionaries, ministers, and churches in knowledge, beliefs, and skills to learn and teach better.
Our values influence the way we function as we daily move forward with accomplishing the mission God has given us. They are boundaries we choose to pay special attention to stay within. Some of our values include:
- Honoring the Bible’s authority
- Trust, transparency and open communication
- Partnering and Community
- Teamwork which values each member’s unique and vital contribution
- Connecting people to opportunities
- Being change agents for positive, lasting and effective change
- Empowering people to do ministry better rather than doing it for them
- Active and intentional management for better results
- Respect for intellectual property rights
- Financial responsibility of the resources God has entrusted to us to invest
- Stewardship of the environment
- Continual improvement
- Innovation and willingness to change
- Living a balanced lifestyle in all of its aspects
- Connecting meaningfully with others is possible, even over vast distances
- Doing all we do, in word and deed, for the sake of God’s glory
Using milestones along the way of our service for God, we continually check to make sure we really are being faithful and making progress. Some of our measures are:
- The number of Great Commission communities we are partnering with.
- How many discrete learning resources which we are helping distribute are being used.
- The number of visitors to our websites.
- The number of take-aways of learning resources that we are helping distribute.
- The number of unique users of learning resources in a year.
- The number of consultation referrals we receive in a year.
- The number of partner referrals we receive in a year.
- Is Grow2Serve continuing to operate in a way that is financially sustainable?
- What percentage of Grow2Serve resources are being used substantially?
- The number of incompleted to do items that are left at the end of an implementation cycle.
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 human resources 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, with 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 blended-learning event known as Pre-field Training for new missionaries. 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 coping strategies 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 continued to develop online training courses for those already overseas, and the name of the online course site was changed to eventually changed to Grow2Serve. Over time, other mission organizations and ministries joined 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 spun off from SSEFC as an autonomous nonprofit organization. In recent years, we typically serve 10-20 ministries through our hosting and consultation services. At the same time, in an average year we’ll serve over 800 missionaries through our online course learning platform. In future years we’d be excited to see that number grow to 2,000 or more.
Production spheres (externally-focused):
- Through hosting and administration of an online learning portal (grow2serve.net), accessible and timely learning is made possible for those who provide it and receive it.
- A Mission Learning Toolbox (missiontools.org) connects learners to learning opportunities in areas of their interest and ministry needs. It also connects providers with learners and users of their services and links providers with other providers to increase collaboration and decrease redundancy.
- Consulting services assist learning providers, churches, and ministry organization with maximizing the effectiveness of their learning services as they seek to transformationally impact believers in their spheres of influence.
Production-capability spheres (internally-focused):
- Working together as a healthy and fruitful team, constantly open to seeing how God is working in others and how they might be a good fit to contribute to the team.
- Maintaining ongoing organizational intentionality through purposefully ongoing processes of vision framing and operational implementation.
- Protecting and fanning to flame the spiritual dynamic of our ministering community — individually, with each other and with our “learners” and “partners.
One of our core commitments is that training and education be learning-centered rather than teacher, content, or even learner-centered. This kind of fruit-bearing learning is measured by observable changes in behavior.
The following captures some measures of effective learning which we employ as we develop and deliver learning resources, as well as when we provide help and consultation to other learning providers:
Able to be evaluated
Residual (build on known info, facts, experiences)
Numerous instructional methods