New to Ministry

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New Church, New Call, and New to Ministry 



Jacob Van Der Linden is the Pastor at Riverview Reformed Church in Yankton SD. Jake writes:


I was in a new Church, a new Call, and I was New to Ministry when I stumbled upon discipleship.


In seminary I was taught how to study and explore the Bible, and I think I was taught well. At the same time, however, I realized how much I had to learn about making Jesus central to how I lived. I struggled with living for Jesus in every aspect of my life. I wanted to follow Jesus and point others to him, but I struggled to communicate why and how? I also knew that our church had a calling to love God, to love others, and to make disciples.


This led me to a two-day retreat led by Jeff Allen from the Thrive Coaching Network focused on being a Small Church on a Big Mission. We were asked how our church was making disciples? Many shared about Small Groups, Sunday School and various other things around education and in particular with the youth. That pre-pandemic discussion brought forward a challenge of how well our methods of discipleship led to making disciples?


I gained some insight and tools during that retreat. This led to a Pilot Coaching group to explore more about discipleship and what it meant to live a Jesus shaped life. This journey continued with weekly coaching and to my becoming a guide on the side to others who are seeking to equip disciple-making leaders in their context.    


Next Step

Interested in learning more about Coaching, Consulting, and Culture Change in the Church? Drop Jeff Allen an email at


Take the disciple Self-assessment

The disciple self-assessment tool has been designed to help you identify where you are on your journey as a disciple of Jesus Christ by providing 30 questions related to your Character (being like Jesus) and your Competency (doing the things that Jesus did).