Leadership Structure

Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the word of God, Heartland is led by a body of “elders.” This body is divided into three different teams--a Lead Team, Board of Directors and Pastoral Elders--which are described below. Each team is specialized in function and role.

In 2021, Heartland embraced a shift away from having one “Lead Pastor” to having one “Lead Team” of three pastors to lead the staff and ministries of the church. Why is Heartland led this way? We believe that relationship and community are essential both to who God is and to the ways in which His church is led. On a practical level, a Lead Team invites greater amounts of collaboration, health and humility, which are things that we believe are essential to a church. Each leader focuses on a different, but equally important aspect of the church’s mission in accordance with the gifts, passions, abilities and responsibilities of the team member. This balances the leadership responsibilities, and enables the different ministries of the church to be more closely integrated around Heartland’s one mission. Together, these three pastors lead humbly in relationship with God and with one another, each with a commitment to Heartland’s very best future. Heartland’s Lead Team consists of a Communities and Discipleship Pastor, a Leadership and Teaching Pastor, and an Operations and Development Pastor.

Our Management team has been providing Heartland core leadership for many years. This team is comprised of Heartland staff members who lead major Heartland ministry areas. Their focus is on ministry vision for Heartland and on staffing. Responsibilities of this team include developing ministries and establishing churchwide priorities that contribute to the big picture vision established by the Management Team. (This includes staffing, financial oversight, and establishing systems and policies that allow the church to function most effectively to accomplish its mission.)

Management Team has embraced the transition of it's responsibilities to the Lead Team by the end of 2021, in keeping with the Leadership Structure changes approved by the Elders in early 2021.

Current Management Team members are Tom Brawner, Michelle Pemberton, Steve Fisher, Shibu Mathew and Craig Cheney.

Current Lead Team members are Brad Herndon (Communities and Discipleship Pastor), Dan Jacobsen (Leadership and Teaching Pastor) and Craig Cheney (Organization and Development Pastor).

This team is comprised of volunteer members of Heartland who have marketplace expertise in legal affairs and financial management. Their focus is on Heartland’s finances. They insure that Heartland’s financial affairs are handled with responsibility and integrity in accordance with ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) standards. They must approve the Heartland budgets proposed by the Management Team, and they authorize buying/selling of real estate, securing real estate leases or borrowing of money. (Additionally, an Audit Review Team selects the auditors for the yearly audit and works with Heartland Operations Team to review both the yearly audit results and Heartland’s internal control structure, presenting a final report to the Board of Directors.)

Current Directors are Abby Doyle, Mark Chrislip, Eric George, Brooke Hodnefield, Mike Sears, Derek Seitz, Caroll Sinclair.

Current Elders are John Auld, Tasha Cook, Brad Gregory, David Irwin, Betsy Lehleitner, Brian McBride, Darrin Plant and Kathy Plant.