How’s Your Connection?

How’s Your Connection?

How’s Your Connection?

Shortly after I planted Lake Hills Church in Castaic, California, I was invited into a cohort with several church planters. This group included church planters in both the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and the Missionary Church.

Every month we met at In-N-Out Burger near the Ontario Airport off Vineyard Avenue. For me, it was typically a 90-minute trip to get there. And it was definitely worth the long drive and traffic to make the trip every month.

There were eventually six pastors in our cohort, and each of us drove a good distance to be there – from Castaic, Palmdale, Apple Valley, Moreno Valley, Nuevo, and Murrieta.

We’d share what was going on in our family life, personal life, and ministry life. We’d tell stories, encourage one another, exhort each other, and pray for one another. I learned so much about church planting and pastoring just by listening to their stories. I’d steal a few good ideas, get some advice on how to break through the next barrier, and share my own learnings to help them.

It was an incredible blessing to belong to a cohort like this!

Frankly, I don’t know if I would have survived those early years as a pastor without this intense community of practice. Even years later, whenever I see Tom, Doug, Roger, Steve, or Ned, I’m immediately grateful for the support and encouragement they each provided to me as we ate lunch together at In-N-Out.

Connect with a small group of fruitful leaders
to love, live, and lead like Jesus!

We’d like to invite you to join a VINIA cohort, especially if you value personal connection with other fruitful leaders. Gathering twice each month for coffee or lunch for 90-minutes will prove to be invaluable to your personal and professional development. (Even if you needed to drive 3 hours to make this happen — believe me when I say, “It’s worth it!”)

What does it take to start or join a cohort? It doesn’t require much structure or leadership. Here’s all you need:

  1. A consistent date and time to meet (e.g., 11am on the second and fourth Tuesday).
  2. A convenient location to meet (Zoom works well).
  3. Two to four fruitful leaders who join you to share life and friendship.

That’s all you need. And the benefits are powerful. Here are a few to consider:

  • You will feel that you are not alone.
  • You will get some great insights on how to move forward.
  • You will learn from the mistakes of others.
  • You will share from your own pain – and begin to experience greater healing.
  • You will be challenged to personally align your life and ministry with His mission.


In order to provide the most seamless registration experience possible, joining a Vinia Cohort involves 3 simple steps of onboarding participants and forming cohorts.


Register by completing the registration form.


Receive email confirmation of your participation, preparation instructions, and link to join.


Prayerfully anticipate personal connection, support, and encouragement this season. 

Take a significant step toward more fruitful ministry by joining a cohort. Learn more about cohorts here. Got questions? We’d love to answer them.

Find deep and meaningful community with a small cohort of 4-6 friends for life!

Dave DeVries
Vinia Executive Director
Contact Me

This blog post is from the June 6, 2023 Vinia Newsletter. 

If you would like to sign up to receive the Vinia Newsletter, you can do so here.