Background and Testimony
Mark: I was raised in a Christian family in Fresno, California. My Jewish grandparents became Christians shortly after going to the U.S. during the Holocaust. My family was extremely active in serving in the church. When I was 16 serving as a counselor at a church camp, God used a filmstrip about missionary pilots in Africa to call me into missions. The path from there to here has had turns and surprises, but each step of the way has contributed to how I minister today. I graduated from Fresno State with an Electrical Engineering degree and studied Intercultural Studies at Western Seminary. Our vocational ministry as a family began when we left for Moscow in 1992.
Julie: I was raised in a Christian family in Fresno, California. Because of my parents’ great involvement in our church, I, too, was very active in it. I was six years old when I trusted in Jesus as my Savior and 13 years old when I committed my life to Him. Teaching had always been my passion, and I began to actively use this gift in the church. My focus was on teaching in the public school system until God redirected my path through my marriage to Mark.
Meet the Morgensterns
As we approach the ministries God has entrusted to us, one of our foundational beliefs is that God has called us collectively as a family into ministry. That means that each of us has been uniquely designed by God to make a special contribution to our family’s calling:
Mark (51): Being very analytical and strategic, I love figuring out how all the pieces fit together. My passion is for seeing people grow in their fruitfulness in ministry. Leading a highly collaborative team is a perfect fit for me.
Julie (52): I enthusiastically interact with people. I love influencing and moving forward groups of people to complete a task. Helping people find their perfect place in ministry is very fulfilling for me.
Daniel (23): I graduated in 2013 from the School of Environmental Studies, Apple Valley, MN. I am an intelligence specialist in the Minnesota Army National Guard and I am studying at North Central University. I love to write and get into deep philosophical conversations. I have the ability to connect with and care for people.
Andrew (21): I am athletic and competitive. I am a student and Air Force ROTC cadet at University of St. Thomas. I excel in academics. I’m a determined servant, very responsible, and blessed with a can-do attitude. I’m able to understand technology effortlessly.
Timothy (18): I am outgoing and opportunistic. I’m highly creative and see possibilities no one else sees and tenaciously charge after them. I enjoy playing guitar and leading worship at our church. I think I am the seventh most funny person in Minnesota since I placed 7th in Humorous Interpretation Speech for the Minnesota State High School League in 2016. I graduated from Eastview High School in 2018 and attend Concordia University in St. Paul, studying criminal justice and communication and running on the track team.
Samuel (16): I love people and am a future leader. I’m a magnet for kids wherever I go. I’m fiercely competitive in Cross-country, Wrestling, Track and Baseball and very observant.
Mark: High school missions music team leader; church youth director; Director, ReachGlobal Equip; strategic planning consultant, Church Assistance Ministry; Leader of TheNextStep missionary trainers network through Missio Nexus; Reach Director, South Suburban EFC; Senior Director, Grow to Serve; Director, CIT Next.
Julie: College worship team leader; Jr. and Sr. High School teacher (Bible, Science, Math); children’s ministry coordinator, Ukraine; Senior Coordinator for Reach Global Pre-field Training; Connect Director, Lead Director and Family Ministries Director, South Suburban EFC.
Both: Morals and ethics educational consultants, and community Bible class coordinators, Russia and Ukraine; church planters, Ukraine and Crimea; missionary trainers, ReachGlobal Equip.
1989: Mark and Julie married
1989: Mark and Julie complete undergraduate work at California State University
1989-90: Seminary work at Western Seminary
1990-92: Moody Aviation, Elizabethton, TN
1992-93: Campus Crusade, Moscow, Russia
1994-2006: ReachGlobal, Ukraine
2006-2015: ReachGlobal Equip
2013-present: part-time staff members, South Suburban EFC (both)
2015-present – Senior Director of Grow2Serve (Mark)
2015-present – Director of CIT Next (Mark)
2015-present – Missionary trainer with Grow2Serve (Julie)
Areas of Teaching, Training, and Consulting Expertise
- Teams and teamwork
- Constructive approaches to conflict
- Assessment and ministry placement (profile creation and behavioral interviewing)
- Personnel coaching and management
- Long-range, mid-range and short-range planning
- Missions planning and implementation in the local church
- Training for short-term missions teams
- Training for cross-cultural ministry
- People development planning for organizations (disciple-making, professional development, ministry training, etc.)
- Innovative, collaborative, distance-learning models
- Intentional living
- Healthy and fruitful ministry partnerships
- Instructional design for ministry training
We seek to bring glory to God by networking missionary trainers together to collaboratively provide fruit-multiplying ministry training. We accomplish this by providing an accessible and effective distance learning platform.
Grow2Serve is dedicated to helping believers grow in their knowledge, beliefs, and skills in order to faithfully serve our Lord. We do this by helping them learn and teach better, by providing a wide variety of learning opportunities, and by connecting them to other learners and teachers. We aim to serve missionaries, pastors, and churches in accessible, timely, and affordable ways. Let’s learn better now!
We are blessed with the opportunity to serve missionaries and leaders from many mission organizations as well as international Christian leaders from around the globe. Using an innovative combination of specialized learning approaches for adult learning, technology, learning community creation, and a high level of personalized attention to learners, Grow2Serve packages learning experiences in many and various ways designed specifically for each context and audience.
(Visit the About page to learn more about Grow2Serve.)
International Impact of Grow2Serve
- Providing training and equipping for missionaries in over 40 countries on five continents
- Serving various missions agencies and international Christian leaders worldwide
- Traveling to various corners of the world providing face-to-face learning events and consultations
- Bringing together otherwise “un-gatherable” groups into learning communities through collaborative online courses in which “iron sharpens iron”
To donate to the ministry of the Morgenstern’s visit this page: https://secure.etransfer.com/Grow2Serve/Morgenstern.cfm