Dr. Willingham shares that some of the top lessons he has learned while pastoring Heartland Christian Center are:
- There is a difference between having a head knowledge and a heart knowledge of the Living Word of God. It is having the Word in my heart that has caused my greatest joy in pastoring.
- A team working towards the same vision is more effective than pursuing that vision alone.
- Integrity is one of the most valuable assets you can have as a pastor. Your character is like a cup. If its full of holes your life will never be able to hold what God wants to put in it.
- Investing in future generations to come to know Jesus is worth and be involved in the kingdom is worth every challenge and obstacle.
- Having a love for your city and the people there is essential to make the most impact for the Kingdom of God. If you don't care about the people you are trying to reach the only person you are trying to fool is yourself.
- Joy and optimism should characterize every pastor. Lack of joy, judgmentalism, and carnality are like a giant negative bill board for Jesus, the gospel, and His church.
- Community involvement is key for any church to have a pulse on the culture around them. The pastor must be willing to build relational bridges through networking, if there is going to be lasting impact in the community or city.