It was Oct 2002 when Steve Hill called me. I’ll never forget the passion in his voice and the significance of his words. “Daniel, I’m coming off the evangelistic field. The Lord has spoken to me about starting a church in Dallas.”
“My sheep need a fold” was what Pastor heard Jesus say. The word was simple. The impact was huge. Those five words that pastor penned onto a note pad in 2002 became the seed of a dream that would change not only the life of my family, but the lives of thousands of families in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and eventually millions around the world.
Pastor shared with me that as he was looking towards his final 25 to 30 years of ministry, he refused to make the mistake so many of his peers had. He didn’t want to cross the finish line without having raised up disciples to carry on the work of the ministry. He and Jeri had worked all over the world, planted churches, been part of two major revivals, and seen millions come to Jesus. Now it was time to plant a church that would do the same.
Jenna and I have been a part of that church from the very first day and from the beginning we have dreamed some big dreams about this church called Heartland.
We Dreamed about a Powerful Pentecostal Church
Pastor would constantly challenge us. Don’t go looking at other churches. Don’t try to copy what someone else is doing. What God was going to do here was going to be different.
Pastor believed it was still possible to raise up a powerful church that didn’t shy away from Pentecost, the need for repentance, or the message of cross. He didn’t want this to be a program-oriented church, but a power and presence driven church where you could come and experience God’s power. He wanted a church that was in revival!
We Dreamed about a Church for your Whole Family
The first motto that our church used was, “A church for your whole family”. That’s still true today. Pastor stated that he wanted to see a church were lives are always being saved, healed, delivered and set ablaze for Jesus. Where whole families come to the Lord and marriages are restored. Where men and women who’ve been spiritually complacent are set on fire for God. Where children are being powerfully touched, teenagers are having encounters with God and sons and daughters are answering the call to fulltime ministry, receiving training at our school. A church where believers grow in God and discover that they can be used of God. Truly, a Church for your whole family!
We Dreamed about a Large Church
During our first conversation Pastor said that Heartland would become church of 25,000. It wasn’t about being large to say we are a large church. It was about calling a great army within our city to do great things for Jesus. The greater the vision, the greater the need! Many hands do indeed make light work and Heartland has a lot of work to do. When pastor planted Heartland he wanted a church that was able to not just make an impact around our city, but also around the world. The kind of impact that only a large church can make.
Heartland is now seven years old and over that short period of time we have already seen glimpses of that dream become reality. We have also endured our fair share of trails over that time as well. Any endeavor you pursue will involve some degree of sacrifice. A dream this great was always going to require fighting through some great battles. We’ve been through some great battles, but it’s a great dream. You want to know something? I still dream the dream! I refuse to give up on it or to diminish it. It’s the vision we were planted with, it’s the vision we are running towards. It’s who we are. It’s who we will become.
The Lord told the prophet Habakkuk, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
Heartland, don’t take your eyes off the vision! Though it linger, wait for it! Don’t stop dreaming!