Why Jazz?

The artistic expression of Jazz music has many characteristics that match how we understand our call to mission and ministry in the world. We use music for prayer, praise and inspiration.

Inclusive and Diverse

There are many different kinds of Jazz music.  They  transcend cultural barriers and are celebrated all over the world. At Heartland, we believe grace (the unmerited love of God) is in the same way inclusive and diverse. Everyone is welcome in  our community beyond the boundaries and barriers of race, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation. We seek to share God’s grace in Jesus Christ with the same inclusivity as God’s own love.


While many different kinds of emotions are expressed through Jazz, the underlying feeling is one of joy and celebration of life. Jazz evokes in us a desire to tap our feet and move the body! Its rhythms and expression bring joy. We celebrate the gospel, the good news of God’s love in Jesus. Our primary response to God’s grace is praise and thanksgiving. It is not uncommon to see our children dancing in the aisles and people clapping their hands. Our mission is to share with others the Kingdom of God.

Order and Ardor

Jazz is a form of music where an underlying rhythm exists and musicians play off of that rhythm while they take the music in their own unique direction. Many describe Jazz as an intellectual form of music where one’s appreciation deepens as one hears the connections made between the musicians. Yet through Jazz, profound emotions are expressed. We believe that grace is the underlying rhythm of Creation and we are all connected to it. We believe faith involves the intellect and the heart; the mind as well as the spirit. Our mission involves deepening the  understanding and experience of God’s Grace.


Jazz involves musicians who are listening to and relating to each other as they play. They respect and respond to the musical movements each player expresses through their instrument. Jazz is truly a communal creation. Heartland understands its mission as one of relationships. We seek deeper relationships with each other and with others in the world. Mission is about relationships and not simply providing resources to the less fortunate. We desire a  relationship with the rich and the poor while working to create the Kingdom of God in this world.


Jazz, at its heart, is a true expression of the human condition. No Jazz is perfect in and of itself but instead, is always changing and evolving over the course of a single song. Jazz is, most of all, real. At Heartland, we strive to be real and authentic – to share our joys and sorrow and to acknowledge our goodness and our brokenness. Our mission is not for perfection, but to be diverse people on a journey seeking to be fully human and compassionate.