Hi, I’m Noel Jesse Heikkinen.

The most important stuff in my life has nothing to do with my work. I’m married to Grace and we have four amazing and talented children (Emma, Jesse, Ethan, and Cole), a son in law, and a couple extra kids we are happy to call our own even though they have other families, too.


I serve as the Teaching Pastor at Riverview Church (affectionately known as “Riv”) in the Lansing, Michigan area where I have been one of the pastors for more than 20 years.

I also serve as the Upper Midwest Regional Director for Acts 29, working with pastors, church planters, and churches to start new gospel-centered congregations.

I’ve had the honor of teaching and coaching leaders in more than a dozen countries on five continents.


I am the author of two books: Unchained: If Jesus has set us free, why don’t we feel free? and Wretched Saints: Transformed by the Relentless Grace of God. I am currently working my third book, tentatively set to release in 2023.

You can learn more about my books or order a copy here.

I write short form articles on Substack and if you want to read my old stuff, you can check out my old blog archive.

Recovering Hypocrite.

Yup, you read that correctly.

I grew up in a home with parents who loved Jesus but, as many Christian kids do, I went sideways and slid right into unashamed hypocrisy. As a college student at Michigan State University, I read through the New Testament of the Bible asking two simple questions: “What does it mean to be a Christian?” and “What is the church supposed to be like?” The answers I found on those pages changed my life and now I am stumbling after Jesus the best I can, trying to point people toward him along the way.

You can read a longer version of my story here, learn more about my hypocrisy on this guest blog post on Saturate, or listen to the archives of my aptly named (but a little behind on recording) podcast.

Speaking Request

If you are interested in having me speak at your event, please fill out my Speaker Request Form.

I love traveling and speaking, but have to be careful how much I do for the sake of my family, church, and sanity.

It should probably go without saying, but the views I express on this site (as well as on my podcast, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) are my own. They are the product of my personal experience, study, and hopefully, a little bit of sanctification. They are probably a little bit contradictory at times, but what can I say? I’m a work in progress.