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Top Three Reasons to Be Thankful for Salvation

Posted on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 4

I noticed that I read a lot of articles of late that are “lists” of points. 6 Ways to Kill a Life Group. 8 Models for Praying Effectively. I even saw one that was, 25 Celebrities Who Have Had Their Teeth Fixed. Really? That was 10 minutes I’ll never get back. 
 
It is truly reflective of our hurry-up, immediate-gratification, driven culture. Tell me in a few simple ways to do, learn, repair or avoid something. So, in this pre-Thanksgiving moment, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Here you go: my Top Three Reasons to Be Thankful for Salvation. You’re welcome in advance. I have placed them in ascending order of importance, descending number. Again, you’re welcome. 
 
3. You're Not Going to, Well, You-Know-Where. 
 
No fire, brimstone, or torment in your eternal future. Life with Jesus comes with a secure promise of where we will spend eternity. For-E-Ver. From the moment you said, “I believe, with all my heart, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and my Savior…” your eternal destination changed from warm to cool. That truth is one that releases us from fear. We don’t fear the future. We don’t fear death. We don’t fear the end of life, because our life never ends. Someday (unless the Lord returns first), each of us will close our eyes on this side of life, and open them staring into the eyes of our Savior. And then we will really live! For-E-Ver. 
 
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)
 
 
2. You're Accepted, Secure and Significant.
 
You’re actually alive for the very first time. Before Jesus you were dead, spiritually speaking. Now, because of Him, you are completely alive. Not only that, you are God’s precious son or daughter. No one—no one—can snatch you from His protective hand. You are free to be exactly who He created you to be. God’s not mad at you anymore, friend. Rest in that. You are safe and secure in His eternal family. Salvation is not fragile. It is firm and secure. It also guarantees that your life is to be one of significant value. One led by the Lord for Kingdom purposes. Kingdom purposes are revealed as we travel the path toward Him every day. Our primary purpose: to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus through the lives we lead and the relationships we build. You are safe in the arms of Jesus in salvation.
 
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one. (John 10:28-30)
 
And now, drum roll please… the number one reason to be thankful for salvation:
 
 
1. You're Filled with God's Holy Spirit and Capable of Amazing Things. 
 
Miraculous things. There’s a big, fat, churchy word we used to speak a lot: sanctification. It’s what happens when a person begins to walk away from their old, flesh-led life and toward Jesus. They become sanctified. The phrase is: “You’re justified (saved) in an instant; sanctification happens over a lifetime.” You know what sanctification really means? To be put to your proper use. Your “use” in this life or the next was never meant to be ordinary. You were designed for God’s pleasure and purposes. Because the power of God Himself resides within us (the Holy Spirit), we have been given great authority and privilege in the spiritual realms. It’s not ours, lest we begin to boast, but it’s real. And powerful. Mighty things happen when God’s people turn to him, call on Him, and act like Him. Just sayin’ … Jesus said we’d do greater things than even He did. Huh? Yep, it’s true (John 14:12).
 
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
 
Let us be grateful for the blessings salvation brings to us. If this is new to you, or you want to process through what it means to know you belong to Jesus, please let me know. I (or anyone on our staff) would love to walk alongside you. Maybe you’ll want to join us on Monday, December 15 at 6:30 pm in the Auditorium for our Baptism Event. Imagine the meaning of Christmas when salvation precedes it! 

Rebecca Hatton
Formation Director - Danville

Helping Your Child Take Their Next Step

Posted on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 under Children Expression 4

Do you remember your child’s first steps? If you’re a mom or dad, how could you forget it? There’s nothing like watching those chubby, wobbly legs move your child forward for the very first time.

For parents, it’s a bigger deal than Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. We cheer. We celebrate. We tell everyone we know. But as awesome as that first step is, it’s just a beginning. If our kids never took another step, we would know something was wrong.

The same is true when it comes to our children’s faith. Over the last five years, we’ve had over 2,000 kids and parents go through an experience called KidSplash, an event designed to help families talk about baptism and what it means to follow Jesus.

This is awesome and definitely worth celebrating, but baptism is just a first step of faith. If our kids never took another step, we would know something was wrong.

That’s why we’ve developed a new resource for families called JumpStart. JumpStart picks up where KidSplash leaves off. JumpStart is a program designed to coach parents how to teach their kids basic faith skills to help them grow in their new relationship with God.

Unlike KidSplash, JumpStart is not an event. It’s an e-mail you’ll receive once per week over a twelve-week period. JumpStart teaches parents how to teach their kids:

  • How to have a devotional time
  • How to find a Bible verse
  • How to understand the Bible’s big story
  • How to pray
  • How to overcome temptation
  • How to deal with tragedy and trials
  • How to be a good friend
  • How to live on mission

JumpStart will help you give your kids all the essential stuff they need to set them up to grow into a life of faith.

When you schedule your child’s baptism with the Children’s Ministry, we will e-mail you a link to opt in to JumpStart. We love to start this process around baptism because it will help you get in the habit of asking yourself every week how you can help your child take their next step in their new walk with Jesus.

However, if you have kids who have already been baptized or you want to go ahead and get access to this material, you can sign up for JumpStart here.

Our children’s first steps are a beautiful thing, but those first steps are just the beginning of so much more.

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - November 29/30

Posted on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. So we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you! Take five minutes this week and read the Bible story with your child and talk about the questions below. You can also listen to the songs we'll be singing this weekend!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: An Angel Visits Mary Luke 1:26-38

Big Idea: God Can Do Anything!

Talk About: Begin a Christmas Calendar with your kids and everyday plan something special to do leading up to Christmas day and Jesus' birthday. Like caroling to your neighbors or watching a fun family Christmas movie together.

Worship Songs:

He Is Born
by Promiseland

Good Good News
by Promiseland

Who Was There
by Promiseland

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: David and Mephibosheth I Samuel 20:14-17 II Samuel 9:1-13

Big Idea: God keeps his promises and we should too.

Talk About: Read the Bible Story aloud together this week. Discuss the importance of keeping our word to people.

Worship Songs:

What a Savior
by Taylor Harlow

No One Higher
by Ryan Stewart

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville

It’s like driving a car

Posted on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 under Students Expression 3

A friend of mine drives race cars. Really fast. Around lots of tight turns. He told me that the secret to controlling a car is all about your eyes. Really? I would have thought the secret to controlling a car was all about the steering wheel. Or at least your hands. But here’s the thing: the steering wheel follows your hands. And what do your hands follow? Your eyes. 
 
Eyes are a pretty big deal in the body. They take in all sorts of information that gets transferred to your brain. And we all know that the brain rules the body. If the brain is the quarterback, your eyes are the playbook. If you need a real-life example of this, just check out the nearest teenager. Teens take in everything and act accordingly. They see other kids wearing a certain style of jeans or shoes? It won’t be long before those styles show up in their closet. They see everyone tweeting about a movie or a new album? You can bet they’ll be downloading from iTunes as soon as their allowance money comes in. They see other kids drink a beer or do drugs? How long do you think it is before they take a sip or pass a joint? They start watching pornography? It’s only a matter a time before they become sexually active or have violent or unhealthy views about sex. But what if your teen saw other kids who spent their time serving or being kind to others? Or saw adult men and women navigating faith and life with Jesus?  Where would that take your child? 
 
If you’re the parent of a middle or high school student, then you can help guide the eyes of your kid. What your child sees will influence his life. Take time over the next couple of weeks to identify where your child might be exposed to negative influences. Do this with your student—conversations can build trust. Ask your student where they’re seeing alcohol, drugs, pornography, unkind attitudes, gossip, materialism, selfishness, etc. Together, identify where you can replace seeing negative things with seeing Godly things.
 
We’re not crazy. We know that you may have to have this conversation more than once. And we know that there will be some eye-rolling and refusal to talk. If you need help getting the conversation going or finding ways to help expose your child to things that will influence them in Godly ways, connect with anyone from our Student Ministries team via the staff contact page. We’d be happy to help!

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - November 22/23

Posted on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. So we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you! Take five minutes this week and read the Bible story with your child and talk about the questions below. You can also listen to the songs we'll be singing this weekend!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Daniel 3

Big Idea: God helps me.

Talk About: As a family take playdoh and assign each member in the family to make one of the characters in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Then act out the story with the playdoh characters.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

I Count On You
by Casey Darnell and John Delich

Never Give Up
by Hillsong Kids

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Elisha II Kings 5:1-17

Big Idea: When we tell others about God, we help His Kingdom grow.

Talk About: Write down one person your family wants to share God with. Tape the piece of paper somewhere where everyone can see it. Commit to praying for that person as a family once a day and ask God to give your family an opportunity to share Jesus with that person.

Worship Songs:

Jesus Freak
by Heath Balltziglier

#LITO
by Press Play

Our Great God
by Heath Balltzglier

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville

Stepping out of your Comfort Zone

Posted on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 4

I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing stories of people who take a leap of faith to get out of their comfort zone and go on a mission trip.
 
Last February, you may remember we did something a little different to try and give people the opportunity to go on a trip. We decided to give everyone at all of our services the chance to win a free mission trip. God blessed us so that we were able to do this, and our team couldn't wait to see who God hand-picked to receive one of these trips.
 
One of the trip winners from Danville, Lizzie LeDonne, had the opportunity to go to Haiti this summer. I loved how God spoke to her throughout the entire process—from the time she entered her name in the drawing, to the moment she arrived on the ground in Haiti. Hear more about her experience in the video below:
 
 
My prayer for all of you is that God moves in your life, challenges you to step away from your comfort zone, and that you consider going on a short-term trip this upcoming year! Maybe it’s a trip to Haiti to work with children at a Bible Camp, or a church plant in Harlem, or maybe it's down the street serving with one of our Serve The City ministries. Whatever it is, I pray that Lizzie's story is inspiring you to take that next step.
 
Check out our short-term trips coming up in 2015 and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - November 15/16

Posted on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 under Students Weekend Expression 1

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. So we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you! Take five minutes this week and read the Bible story with your child and talk about the questions below. You can also listen to the songs we'll be singing this weekend!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: David vs. Goliath I Samuel 17:1-51

Big Idea: God helps me do hard things.

Talk About: Read the story of David and Goliath from I Samuel 17:1-51.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

This Or That
by John Delich

Never Give Up
by Hillsong Kids

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: David and Jonathan 1 Kings 17:8-16

Big Idea: Friends of God love others.

Talk About: Talk about a way you can show love to a friend this week.

Worship Songs:

Happy Day
by Fee

Live It Out
by Steve Fee

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Bezalel and Oholiab Exodus 35:30-36:7

Big Idea: God gave us talents to serve Him.

Talk About: Make a list of different talents your family has. Talk about different ways you can use your talents to serve the Lord.

Worship Songs:

Spin
by Steve Fee

Chase the Light
by Pat Barrett

Not As Strong
by Steve Fee

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville

Jesus Prom 2014 Recap

Posted on Sat, Nov 08, 2014

 

It was a crisp, fall evening for Camping Under the Stars at the 2014 Jesus Prom. Over 1000 VIP’s (Very Important Prommers) traversed the red carpet on their way to an exciting evening of dinner, dancing, and celebration. The Harrodsburg Road campus was transformed into a campground for the evening and the dance floor was a sea of flannel as attendees came dressed for this year’s prom theme.  
 
Thanks so much to the over 2,000 volunteers who spent hours helping us setup for the evening and served as guides to all the VIP’s that attended!
 
Although the official trip is over for this year, we learned in the Jesus Prom series a few weeks ago that the party we held this weekend should really be a daily adventure where we try to love people like Jesus does. If you missed the series, go check it out—don't wait for next year's prom to go and show people how loved they are!

 

 

Justin Meeker
Communications Director

Night of Worship

Posted on Thu, Nov 06, 2014 under Worship Expression 1

We are in the middle of the series that we have been calling One and Not Done, where we have been studying what it looks like to live completely for God. Not just living for Jesus on the weekends, but day in and day out.

We know that in Romans 12:1, Paul talks about living a lifestyle of worship. But what does that really mean? For many of us it means finally coming to understand who God has made us to be. It means letting go of all of the things that God has told us are in the past. It means accepting who God has told us that we already are and then living that way. How does knowing I'm not who I was change how I live today? Jesus has granted us freedom from who we used to be and if we can accept that new identity, we can begin living the life that He has designed us for - a life that was designed for worship.  

Come join us Tuesday, November 11, at our Richmond Road campus at 6:30pm, for a night where we celebrate who God is and who He has made us to be.

Kelly Jennings
Producer -Richmond Road

Relentless Pursuit of Empty Seats

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 under Weekend Expression 3

My son Carter grew up in a Christian home. Heck, he grew up in a minister’s home! Carter has had every opportunity to learn about Jesus, follow Jesus and live like Jesus because that’s the foundation of our home.
 
Even though Carter chose to follow Jesus at a young age, he didn’t choose to get serious about living like Jesus and for Jesus with a great deal of passion until his sophomore year in High School. I would love to tell you that it was something I said which flipped a switch in his heart and mind that helped him get it! But, the reality is, it started with an empty seat and an invitation from a friend to go on a summer trip with Southland’s Student Ministries to CIY. The invitation to that trip changed his life and he’s not been the same ever since.  
 
Sharon and I are so grateful that the bus had room for one more student to go on that trip that year. That empty seat was filled by my son who now knows Jesus in a way that he never did before.  
 
This past weekend, Jon talked a bit about our year-end offering on December 6/7 called Relentless Pursuit. He talked about how we want to use this year’s offering to create more empty seats to send even more students on trips like CIY so their lives can be completely changed forever—just like Carter. And we refuse to let finances get in the way of our relentless pursuit of the next generation. 
 
I hope that you will give, and give generously, on December 6/7 weekend and be a part of creating opportunities to change a student’s life forever.

Chris Hahn
Lead Executive Pastor

Smells Like Jesus

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 4

I’ve never smelled anything better than my great-grandmother’s kitchen on Thanksgiving morning.  She made yeast rolls from scratch - light, feathery rolls that dissolved on your tongue like cotton candy.  
 
The aroma of those rolls spilled out the front door the moment you opened it and made you forget every other food you’d ever eaten in your life.  Turkey?  Cranberry?  Apple pie?  Why bother?  The second I smelled her baking, there was only one thing on my mind.  
 
Pleasant scents have that kind of power.  They’re so inviting you just can’t stay away.
 
Paul once said that believers can be like that too.  
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing”
People who walk with Jesus smell like Jesus.  
 
Have you ever met anyone like that?  Do you know people who have such a sweet spirit about them that they exude the aroma of Christ?  Do you know people with a gentle strength that almost radiates from them?
 
I’ve known several people who smell like Jesus, and always find myself irresistibly drawn to them.  Long before I knew Christ, I knew these people had something that made me hungry for more.  
 
So when it comes to sharing our faith, we need to ask ourselves, “Do we smell like Jesus?”  Is there a gentleness and kindness in our demeanor that attracts those hungry for grace?  Do we emanate hope?  Do we radiate new life?  And if not, what’s getting in the way?  What does God want to change in us to help us overflow with the pleasing aroma of Christ?  
 
Smelling like my great-grandmother’s yeast rolls would be awesome, but smelling like the Bread of Life?  That will change the world. 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - November 8/9

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. So we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you! Take five minutes this week and read the Bible story with your child and talk about the questions below. You can also listen to the songs we'll be singing this weekend!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: Joshua vs.The Wall Joshua 5:13-6:27

Big Idea: God helps me.

Talk About: As a family make a big wall out of blocks or cups and act the story of Joshua walking around the walls of Jericho.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

This Or That
by John Delich

I Count On You
by Casey Darnell and John Delich

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Joshua and Caleb Numbers 13:1-14:9

Big Idea: We can have courage to do what God wants us to do.

Talk About: Share a story with your child about a time when you had to have courage.

Worship Songs:

Can’t Stop Singing
by Heath Balltzglier

You Only
by Jeffrey B. Scott

Not As Strong
by Steve Fee

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville


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