Hi, I’m Trisha Bergjord.

Marshall, MN

Phone Number

(605) 690-1285


[email protected]


Marshall Evangelical Free Church
Connections Director


South Dakota State University
BS in Dietetics
MS in Nutrition

Church Affiliation


Years In Ministry

14 years




Relationship development, effective communication, administrative, team leadership, teaching/bible studies, strong work ethic, recruit/train/oversee volunteers

Tools & Software

Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online, ProPresenter, Pages, Numbers


Married to Chad for 23 years
Kids: Rebecca (21), Zachariah (19), Mariah (16), Josiah (14), Hannah (13), Lea (11)

Top 3 Strengths




Discipleship Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I grew up in a ELCA Lutheran home, going to church typically Labor Day – Memorial Day. After I confirmed, I felt like there was supposed to be more, I felt “empty” and began going to church in the summer by myself. When I began college a previous friend who was a year older than me invited me to IV (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship). I was immediately hooked going to Bible Studies, Large Group Sessions, lunch hang outs, game nights, and prayer meetings, I began reading my Bible and learning so much. Two months later I attended Heaven’s Gates Hells Flames, heard a very clear gospel message and accepted Jesus on Nov 13, 1995.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Loving
  • Organized
Personality Type
Meyer-Briggs: ESTJ The Supervisor or Director DISC: Result-Orientated pattern -High D/C Enneagram: 3-Achiever (98), 8-Challenger (93), 1-Perfectionist (92) Stengths Finder: Achiever, Learner, Belief, Restorative, Activator
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
I do not preach regularly although have enjoyed the few times I have had the opportunity., I have gleaned a great deal from: Eaglebrook Church, Larry Osborn (Sticky Teams/Church), Jim Collins, Becky Harling (Listening), Andy Stanley, Francis Chan, David Platt, (Multiply: Disciples making Disciples).
How do you plan to engage and inform your church about your ministry objectives and progress?
I would begin with dialogue to my reporting senior/executive pastor or other. Depending on the church system, reporting to the board the necessary information, questions, and ideas. One on one conversations are my preferred method to check on “buy-in”, or breakdown ideas, trouble-shooting, and follow up with progress on various ministry objectives.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new small group strategy. What did you do?
Just this summer, I noticed many in our church being hesitant to be involved in groups due to covid, but a hunger to connect with people intentionally. At the same time I was aware of the lack of Biblical knowledge of several in our church body. Our lead pastor was planning a sermon series “the Growing series” 11 essentials of growing a healthy Christian. I put together a simple reading plan: only 1 chapter per day/5 days a week, for 10 weeks. I encouraged the church body to read as a family, use as part of a LifeGroup and discuss (questions and the readings paralleled with the sermons), or create a small text group/Zoom to talk through and “Grow”
How would you alleviate confusion when you are communicating with someone and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
First, I would stop email/text and go to phone or face to face. I would also think through what I do already know about this individual understanding from their point of life/history/faith, etc to see if I need to look at their perspective. Ask them to tell me what they understood so I could clearly understand what they are thinking. The situation may need to have a compromise, a teaching point they need to hear, simply more information provided, or I may learn some new feedback and need to change myself.
Spiritual Growth
Once someone accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
I would encourage them to read the Bible, I prefer to start with Mark ( I prefer because of the humanness of Christ and the quick action of “immediately”) or John. Having conversations chapter by chapter to help guide and teach them. In the midst of those conversations, connecting with them in their regular life to help model and teach living in Christ-likeness as they are ready to hear bits and pieces. I have also learned, that often they are hungry and asking questions, so simply allowing those conversations to direct the discipleship process, referring to scripture as the backing, not my opinions or my knowledge.
As the spiritual leader of your ministry, how are you going to help small group leaders grow in their faith?
Ask them – what are you reading? what are you learning? How are you applying it to your life? taking notes, and holding them accountable as needed. Share resources, make suggestions depending upon where they are at, and challenging them to push to the next level. I would share with them how and what I am doing to grow personally. I would love to see small group leaders disciple small group leaders. One idea would be to do a weekly (or possibly more regular) podcast simple recording of talking through a section of scripture. For example each person takes a chapter or less of the book of Acts and “teach” a 5 minute lesson, to encourage everyone, plus going through a book of the Bible together.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
Jesus said the greatest command is to Love the Lord your God and the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself. In ministry, if we are loving like Jesus did, that is the greatest thing we can do. As we love others, we need to be like Jesus extending both grace and truth and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in each person’s life.
Share with me how you deal with a fast-paced, always changing environment. Have you had this experience in a previous position?
Although the church setting was small, I had constant interruptions throughout my day and many changes occurred at last moment. I find these things exciting and a joy to be a part of. As a mom of 6 children in 10 years I learned to be very flexible and stay on my toes because I never knew what would be right around the corner. As a restaurant owner for 9 years, life was very fast paced – fulfilling the requests of customers as needed and quickly! I am energetic and self motivated. The more things that are going on, the more determined and passionate I become. If things are slow or unchanging I tend to struggle.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
I would begin looking at what is the mission and purpose of the church. From that mission and purpose the values should flow…all systems and structures should feed into fulfilling the values, if not something needs to change. Possibly, it is not a true ministry or it needs to be adjusted to meet and satisfy the values stated by the church. Personally, I don’t like looking at numbers (they are one reflection) however, they are necessary to determine evaluation of if a system and structure is accomplishing the purpose it was intending. Having predetermined goals in mind is necessary and just because the goal wasn’t met does not mean it wasn’t a success but things may need to be changed.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea?
Women in the Word — Friday night and Sat morning event to teach God’s Word. We utilized the many talents from women in our church to have a successful and meaningful time together. We had ladies share testimonies, lead us in worship, hospitality gifting (served supper and breakfast), prayer warriors, graphic designer create logo/invites, another woman and I had the opportunity to teach. I formed the committees, asked individuals to be a part of the team, and led those individuals and teams as we planned, and we invited many from outside of our church. I personally also studied to teach effectively. ONE Thing — a ministry designed to give to the community. We picked ONE Thing to gather and collect throughout a month (the item was small and affordable – examples peanut butter, $5 gift cards, cans of soup, chapstick). Each month that item was predetermined and an organization or group of people to bless and give them to. Following the collection of the items we chose to spend time listening, encouraging, and praying with people receiving the items as able. As a church, our values included Finding Friendship and Community, Participating, Living Generously, and Sharing Jesus. Each of these values were intentionally thought of and incorporated as part of this ministry and then communicated to the church body regularly. (the why, not just the what)
How has COVID changed your approach on how to create community with the church members and nonbelievers?
I feel that there is an increased importance on on-line methods to connect: Facebook, live-streamed services, technology based groups (such as Zoom). Previously these did not seem to be high priorities for ministry focuses. Also, the necessity to connect two-way via on-line options. It is essential to not just communicate it “out” to people, but an avenue for them to respond by asking questions, sharing how God is speaking to them, prayer needs and praises, and simply life happenings.
What is your experience with creating an online weekend experience via live stream?
As covid began, we did do recording of our services. My role was to record a welcome to the online service, share ministry opportunities, continue to teach on our vision/culture, and help flow the recorded service.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
For Connections: my goal was to know each person’s name, and to know them well enough to ask heartfelt individual questions to each, by knowing them personally it was my goal to help them grow in their faith and serve in their areas of passion and giftings. I repeated someone’s name 3 times in the first conversation, I took notes as I learned people, I followed up with additional conversations. Groups: goal was to have at least 12 groups each year. I recruited individuals and teams to lead groups, I provided an evening of training for leaders, I assisted/suggested /provided materials for the groups to utilize. I followed up with the group leaders to see if they had issues, questions, or needed additional assistance. Planning the Service: to organize, plan, and schedule a flow of service consistently. I gave feedback to others for improvements, communicated thoroughly for transitions or changes from the normal, I conveyed a unifying vision for the overall service rather than separate components put together. Vision for the church: my goal was to help guide the church to embrace a local church culture with intentionality. I identified a resource available to help us formulate a clear direction. We formed a team and agreed on a vision that included our purpose, mission, and values to support. My staff role communicated this vision on a weekly basis to the congregation and staff to begin making that our culture as a church.
What would it take to grow a successful discipleship program?
Leadership buy-in and full agreement, Prayer, Training, and Passionate discipler’s to work one on one or in small groups. Commitment from the church for resources, commitment from the disciple, commitment from the disciplee. Training, coaching, and guidance from staff (Discipleship/Groups Pastor), follow-up consistently with those involved. Research to choose a program already available or time to assemble a unique program, possibly merging a variety of others.
Your members/guests come to church with specialized needs, different learning styles, and family stresses. Do you have a strategy to provide significant ministry to meet these needs?
With adult group ministries, I believe it is crucial to connect individuals with specific needs or stresses with others who have walked through a similar journey. No one else can relate better and offer the necessary support than one who has been there and been able to seek God as they are refined by His Word.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
The communities that I have lived in have not been very diverse. The local college does have a large International student program, our church works directly with the students and our family has “adopted” 1-4 students each year to have in our home, learn some of the customs, foods, and differences. We have had the joy of being part of some of them developing a faith, receiving Christ, and being baptized.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for curriculum choices?
I begin by looking at recommendations, reviews, and who is supporting the specific curriculum to determine if I/the church are in agreement with them in doctrine and theology. I have often gone through a sample of the lessons to get a feel for what is being taught, the process, is it interesting for the group intended, is it current, homework available and appropriate, prep time necessary for the leader, and is it engaging. I have asked others to check it out or find others who have tried the curriculum to ask directly what they liked and what they did not.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
I have been a part of implementing policies and procedures in a variety of areas in our church. They include: check in policy for children, sufficient workers : children ratio for safety, parking lot greeters to insure a warm welcome and provide safety, and communication and teaching to volunteers about members with peanut allergies.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and discipleship pastor?
I would desire to be challenged to be better in my ministry area and as an individual. I want to be evaluated and learn ways to improve, grow, and change through feedback. An opportunity to have open dialogue that is authentic and transparent.


Deb Hoganson || (507) 401-6593 || [email protected]
Serenity Miller || (605) 695-9750 || [email protected]
Dave West || (507) 829-7059 || [email protected]
Tom Tulberg || (612) 259-9349 || [email protected]

Favorite Bible Story

The story of creation

Favorite Scripture

James 1:2-4