More than musicians or worship leaders, Jonathan and Melissa Helser are lovers of God and believers in the gift of Family.  Jonathan and Melissa and their children, Cadence and Haven, live in the woods of Sophia, NC on the edge of the property of A Place for the Heart.  The name Helser means people of the woods and this family loves to savor life by exploring the woods together – frequently taking hikes, packing picnics and going on adventures to the creek.

As a family, the Helsers have said yes to the gospel and to spreading the love of Jesus to the world. They love traveling together – drinking in beauty, sharing the goodness of God and building friendships abroad.   Often times, when Jonathan and Melissa travel to lead worship, Cadence and Haven will come with them.  This family loves culture and loves people.

The Helsers love Kingdom Family and have laid deep roots here in North Carolina.  Jonathan and Melissa long to teach this generation how to have relationship with God and each other. More than having great ministries or writing great songs, the Helsers desire to teach a generation how to love their own hearts and other people. Every year, they commit two months to the 18 Inch Journey, their school for the heart. The 18 Inch Journey was born from their desire to see a generation wrecked by the love of God.

The 18 Inch Journey has grown and now Jonathan and Melissa lead a full time community of staff and friends. Many of these staff first came to A Place for the Heart from the 18 Inch Journey. Now they help carry the dreams of the Helsers for worship and discipleship.

Out of this community came the creative collective the Cageless Birds. Jonathan and Melissa believe that we all can create since we’re made in the image of God, the Creator. The Cageless Birds is the creative expression of A Place for the Heart and the growing number of artists and musicians in the community.

In all things, the Helsers carry the message of adoption. Their life, music and message proclaim the freedom and wholeness that comes from identity as children of God. They give their lives to teaching the world to steward the hearts inside their chests.

“Where we’re created for greatness is where the enemy attacks us with fear,” says Jonathan. The Helsers’ ministry is not to impart some special blessing, but to unlock the greatness in the students that come to their schools and the people that join them to worship. Melissa says, “The closest we get to heaven on earth is the heaven inside our chest.” Jonathan and Melissa long to wake up the heaven inside the hearts of this generation. They burn to see children of God walking in the fullness and confidence of their identity as beloved sons and daughters.