A Season of Transition

An Important Letter From Pastor Dave

Dear Heartland Family,

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love walking around the Frincke Farm and looking at all of the leaves change into their beautiful colors. The turning colors of the leaves signal to all of us that a change of season is coming.

During the last few months, the Lord has had us on a journey in understanding more about “movement”; both vertically in how we worship, and horizontally in how we mobilize for mission. The Lord has been confirming this word to us corporately through Scripture, preaching, prophetic words, dreams, and our international ministry partners. Movement requires change. And change isn’t always easy. I want to share with you about one of the changes happening at Heartland that will help us continue to move in step with the Lord.

Last year when I was on my sabbatical, Bethany and I went on the trip of a lifetime. It was called the Exodus Tour. Following the path of the Israelites, we toured through Egypt and Jordan and then entered into Israel. This was our first visit to Israel, so we were so excited to finally experience the Holy Land.

When we crossed the border from Jordan to Israel, all of us had to do a Covid test. The next morning my results came back positive. We were devastated. As Bethany continued on the tour, I was taken to a Covid hotel in Jerusalem where I was locked in my room for quarantine. I was extremely disappointed and angry. At the same time, I had this weird feeling that this was God’s plan for me. He had me all alone and all to Himself in Jerusalem.

On day 3 of my quarantine, I had a life-changing experience with the Lord. I started the morning by worshipping and went into a time of journaling. During that time, I heard the Lord speak. He said to me, “Dave, I am shouting into your spirit for the Apostolic to rise up.” I didn’t just hear that word, I felt it. I felt it go through my body from head to toe. As soon as it happened, I knew I would never be the same. I felt as if God had commissioned me to the nations while I was trapped in that hotel room in Jerusalem.

That moment led Bethany and I into a year-long period of discernment. We began wondering what that word from God meant and how we were to respond. We also began to seek additional counsel from leaders at Heartland, our Elders, and our Bishop.

Through this season of discernment, it has become clear that God is leading me to resign my position as Senior Pastor and operate in a different role at Heartland.

Though I will no longer serve as Heartland’s Senior Pastor, Heartland will continue to be home for me and my family as well as my ministry covering. This will allow me to be rightly connected to Heartland and our Diocese while giving me the time and energy I need to primarily focus on my call to the nations.  I look forward to working out the details of my new role with the Elders and our next Senior Pastor and how we will move forward together.

United Adoration

The primary way my Apostolic call is being expressed is through United Adoration. United Adoration is a missional expression of Heartland’s DNA of worship and healing. What started as a small Heartland ministry in 2014 has now grown into a global movement operating on 5 continents. Every week, we are ministering to artists all around the world and helping churches equip artists to go on mission and release the sights and sounds of worship in their own cultural expressions.

Since I’ve returned from my sabbatical, United Adoration has exploded in growth. Churches and movements from other countries are reaching out to us for partnership and asking us to come and train their people to do this work. We are on track to have 100 trained leaders from around the world by the end of 2025.

Leading United Adoration will become my primary focus as I step into this next season of ministry. It is my prayer that this work will be a blessing to congregational life as we will be able to invite more people to go on mission trips, forge more international partnerships and reciprocal mission, and activate more congregational members for ministry.

What Happens Next

We are now entering into a season of transition. We don’t yet have all of the answers, but we do have a process. Our Elders have the responsibility to seek the Lord and to discern who is called to be Heartland’s next Senior Pastor. Our Bishop is also involved in the discernment process and is in close communication with our Elders.

I will continue to serve as the Senior Pastor of Heartland while the discernment and transition process is happening. We are aiming for a formal transition from me to the next Senior Pastor to happen sometime in the Spring, though it may happen sooner depending on the pace of the discernment process.

Change can be difficult. As you have questions or concerns, please feel free to share them with myself or one of our Elders. It is our prayer that this process be as transparent as possible.

I am inviting all of us to enter into an intentional time of prayer over this season of transition. Please pray for our Elders as they seek the Lord and discern who He has called to lead us. Please pray for whoever is called to be our next Senior Pastor. Please pray for our staff and our congregation. And please pray that God will use this time to bring us together into an even deeper unity as we step into a new season as a church.

I truly believe that God has incredible things ahead for all of us as we continue to move forward and do our best to follow His leading. I love you all and look forward to entering into this new season with you.

Pastor Dave & Heartland Elders – Adam Skaggs, Todd Kidder, Steve Jehl, Larry Mueller, Gary Willig, Alex Tollington