SEND International desires the personal and professional growth of every member of the mission. We believe that our members are our organization’s greatest resource, and therefore we want to maximize their effectiveness in accomplishing the overall mission of SEND and in bearing fruit in the individual ministries to which we have been called.
However, IGPs are not only important for the sake of the organization. We believe that our ongoing growth and development brings glory to God and cooperates with the ongoing transformative work of the Holy Spirit within us, making us into the image of the Son. If our strengths, skills and even ministry roles are God's gifts to us, then we must be good stewards of those gifts, and seek to develop them to their greatest fruitfulness. Paul tells Timothy, “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” - 1 Timothy 4:14–15.
In 2013, our SEND Directors’ Council said that all SEND members are expected to create an Individual Growth Plan each year, and the 2014 Directors’ Council reaffirmed this requirement for all members.
Your amp_igp should be closely connected to your Annual Ministry Plan. Your amp_igp will prepare and equip you for the ministry that God is putting before you in the coming year.
However, not all of the amp_igp goals need to be about preparing ourselves for ministry. The “Missionary Growth Areas” lists different growth areas in three major categories. It is important to look at learning holistically. Our calling encompasses all areas of our life, and so we should be considering all areas of our life as possible areas of growth.
Be creative. Think of people you might interview, books you want to read, places you might want to visit, sermons you want to listen to or mentors/coaches you want ask for help. Invite others, including your fellow missionaries and team leaders to suggest learning activities. Look for ideas on the SEND U wiki, which now includes an index of all resources on the wiki that would pertain to the three major areas of growth.
Learning and growing is never our sole responsibility. Our primary assignment remains our primary assignment. However, we believe that stopping regularly to sharpen the saw will make us more effective in the end. SEND allows us to give 10% of our time for our ongoing growth and development. That would be the equivalent of one morning a week.