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Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - September 20/21

Posted on Mon, Sep 15, 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!


Bible Story: Zacchaeus Luke 19:1-10

Big Idea: The Bible tells us that Jesus loves everyone.

Talk About: Have your child draw a picture of someone Jesus loves.

Worship Songs:

by Studio Musicians

The B-I-B-L-E
by Singin' Praise Tots

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek


Bible Story: Jonah Jonah 1-4

Big Idea: God calls us to go and serve.

Talk About: As a family make a list of different ways you can serve in your house.

Worship Songs:

Crazy Love
by Ben Richter

I Will Follow
by Casey Harper

No One Higher
by Ryan Stewart

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville

I am not able… Jesus Is.

Posted on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 under Expression 1

I’ve been wrestling with letting go. Maybe you have, too. When I think I’ve finally surrendered everything...boom! Something happens, and I long to pick it right back up.
So, I wrestle. But, I’ve realized something—I can’t keep struggling. I am unable in my humanness to let go of someone I love very much. However, the Holy Spirit is able to take care of and guard that which I entrust to Him. The first step is realizing that any control I believe I have in life is purely imaginary.
I say this because none of us has control over another living creature. For years, I fooled myself into thinking, “I’ll just pray this into existence.” What I neglected to see was that I gave myself too central a role in this scenario. I was actually in the way. What about you? Have you ever been in the way of the Lord having full sway in a situation in your life? 
We have a child, living in the “far country” as described in Luke 15. She is living outside the umbrella of her spiritual guidance and protection. For close to 15 years, she has consistently chosen life-sucking ventures and relationships.
For a parent, there is nothing more difficult to watch. It’s a constant struggle to not swoop in every time her life circles the drain, lifting her out of whatever circumstance is threatening her. Every natural mothering instinct in me wants to shield her from the consequences of her poor choices.
I am not able. 
Jesus is. 
So, in these days of uncertainty, I will trust Him. I will pray and release. I will let my God take care of that which I cannot, believing wholeheartedly that He loves to act on my behalf—doing for me what I cannot do for myself. In days of worry, I will repeatedly say, “If _______, then God.”

Rebecca Hatton
Formation Director - Danville

It’s the Little Things

Posted on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 under Expression 4

“I came by the church Saturday night, but it looked dark so I went home.” 
These words came from a boy who lives near the Richmond Road campus. He’s 13 years old and has found refuge at Southland. He would be here every minute of every day if he could.
My kids and I met Jo’Quan two years ago at an after school program called Urban Impact. Each week we had the privilege of doing homework and spending time with lots of kids, but we grew particularly close to Jo’Quan.
In fact, lots of people around Southland have grown close to him. Many have taken him out to eat, the movies, church services, and skating. People around here are radically investing in this kid!
This summer I started to see Jo’Quan during the 9:30 service. One week I greeted him with a hug and he was soaking wet. He had ridden his bike to church in the pouring rain! He really wants to be near people who love him.
Mark Fain is one of those people. He walked with Jo’Quan through his decision to be baptized and even went the extra mile to meet with Jo’Quan’s grandmother and invite her to church for the big event.
Jo’Quan is now serving in Children’s Ministry on the Programming team and loving it. Last week, he brought the Producer a cup of coffee because he heard her mention she forgot to get one. Not only that, he asked every volunteer in the environment if he could get them a cup, too.
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” - Mandy Hale
It’s the little things isn’t it? A cup of coffee. Help with homework. Taking someone dinner. Sending a card. Random acts of kindness help people see Jesus. They are drawn to the love of Christ through our loving actions. 
Who will you reach out to and love today?

Tobi Florence
Children's Groups Leader - Richmond Road


Posted on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to hit a car with a sledge hammer? Me, too!
That’s just one of the many amazing things we like to do at our BASH event for middle school students.
What is the BASH?
Glad you asked. The BASH is an event we have every fall to kickoff the new school year. It’s designed specifically for middle school students. That means it’s high energy, fun, messy, and of course there’s food involved!
We’ll have lots of inflatables for students to run challenge courses and maybe do some jousting. For the really adventurous we even have a mechanical bull. You can't have an event called BASH without "bashing" some stuff so of course we’ll have that, too. Students can bash a car or try bashing some tomatoes at our Tomato Home Run Derby. We will have all of this and so much more!
Still not sold on the BASH being the most amazing event ever?
Really? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words—check out this short video of our BASH event from last year:
You can't tell me you’re not excited!
OK, when is the BASH?
The BASH 2014 is open to any and all middle school students (current 6-8th graders)
  • Date: Friday Sept. 19th
  • Time: 7-9pm
  • Location: Building F, Atrium, at the Harrodsburg Road Campus
  • Cost: $5 entry fee
  • Food: Bring money for food trucks
If you know a Middle school student invite them to BASH they are guaranteed to have fun!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or Mallory!

Caroline Krouse
Middle School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Extending Hope in Harlem, New York

Posted on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 3 Expression 4

Since 2001, over 200+ evangelical churches have been planted in the New York City metro area. Largely because of those churches, the percentage of believers has jumped from 1% to 3%. With over 22 million people in NYC, that’s 40,000 new believers! And whether you know it or not, you have been a part of that. Southland has partnered with The Orchard Group to plant five churches in the New York City area!

We’re excited to present a few opportunities to take part in a weekend mission trip up to New York to help out one of those new church plants that just recently opened its doors, located in Harlem, called Renaissance Church!

We’ll be sending four separate teams of eight to Harlem to help run the Children's ministry program for the weekend service November 1/2, November 8/9, November 15/16, and November 29/30. Teams will leave Lexington on Saturday morning and be back Sunday evening. Cost of the trip will be $1,000 a person. Due to holiday rate increase, the cost for the November 29/30 trip will be approximately $1,500.

If you’d like to be a part of generously extending hope with us this fall, contact me or Lizz. Deadline to sign up is October 10.

Learn more about Renaissance church plant by watching the video below, or by going here

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

Awesome Skill Set vs Awesome Savior

Posted on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Expression 1

God has recently spoken powerfully into my life through the book of 1 Corinthians. A number of passages stand out to me in the letter, but none as prominent as 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified...My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Paul seems to be saying that he intentionally stripped down his preaching to ensure Jesus was the only thing people remembered from his messages. Paul had the capacity to use eloquent words when he spoke. He could have employed impressive rhetoric and confounding logic in his sermons. But, he made this strategic and intentional decision. Why? Because Paul did not want the faith or focus of the Corinthians to be centered around him and his skills, but around Christ and the cross.
I believe it’s common to think, “I wish I had greater abilities. If I did, then maybe I could be used to bring more people to Christ.” That could be a double-edged sword, though. Maybe instead of bringing more people to Christ, having greater abilities would only bring more people to you. Instead of viewing our limitations as liabilities, we should view them as counterintuitive opportunities—ensuring that what people see when they look at us is not our awesome skill set, but our awesome savior.

Dan Hamel
Teaching Pastor

Solid Community

Posted on Tue, Sep 09, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Last semester I met Ashley. She wandered into our high school ministry alone and immediately sat in a corner away from where all the other students were playing games. I went over and started up a conversation with her. She was shy and awkward and was going through some pretty tough times at school and at home. I introduced her to one of our adult volunteers, Jessica, who invited her to be a part of the Life Group she led. Over the next several months, I watched as Ashley went from sitting alone to joining her friends in a game of 9-square. She went from barely uttering a word to running up to the girls in her Life Group to blurt out the details of her day. And the sadness around her lifted as she began to radiate joy. At the end of the semester, Jessica baptized Ashley and helped her get connected to a ministry at the college where she started this fall. Ashley met Jesus and met the Church through her Life Group.
Our Student Ministries invest 50% of the time we have with students each week into Life Groups. The Life Groups are intentional and structured groups of 1-2 adults and 6-10 students of the same gender and grade. We believe that these groups are the very heart of our ministry. They provide each student with a solid community to encourage them throughout their middle and high school years. 
If you’re the parent of a middle or high school student or know a student, we’d love to help connect them with a Life Group. Visit our Students page for more info on how to get connected with Student Ministries and view our upcoming events at each of our campuses.

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

The Fruit of Our Labor

Posted on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 3 Expression 4

In just over two weeks, we’ll have over 6,500+ volunteers at our Richmond Road and Danville campuses to help us pack one million meals for Haiti. My heart is overwhelmed, having just returned from one of the areas where our meals provide lunch for students.  
When we pack meals with Lifeline Christian Mission, we get to send a portion of those meals to Danita’s Children and COCINA. In June, I had the privilege of visiting Hugues Bastian of COCINA and talking with him about what these meals mean to the children there. He talked about how before he was able to provide lunch, the students would come to school each day malnourished and unable to focus over the pain of a hungry belly.
If you’re anything like me, when your body tells you it’s time to eat, it overtakes your thoughts. I look forward to each meal, and have never been concerned if there will be a next meal.
The result of this meal packing event means each-and-every one of Hugues’ students won’t have the question “will I eat today” on their mind when they come to school. Children can’t learn on empty bellies, but for our partners who receive the meals we pack, they don’t have to be hungry.
I love Hugues’ dream for the future of his school. One day, he hopes to be able to provide more than just lunch for the kids—breakfast and dinner, too! Our God is a big God. An awesome God. As I walked through the halls of Institution Univers in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, I noticed something. Rather than being burdened with the malnourishment I have seen in the bloated bellies and red tinged hair of the students, I saw bright eyes and hungry brains ready to learn.
We’re just a couple weeks away from our meal packing event and I’m asking just a little bit more of our amazing church. We still have needs, so if you have availability that weekend, sign up for one more session here. And keep your eyes open—in 2015 we're going to have so many incredible opportunities to serve with Hugues and his kids, as well as with Lifeline and other partners throughout Haiti as we generously extend hope to the poor.

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - September 13/14

Posted on Mon, Sep 08, 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!


Bible Story: I Samuel 1:1-20

Big Idea: The Bible is true.

Talk About: As a family play a game of true or false. Ask your kids questions that they will understand like: "True or False? The sky is Green?" Of course the answer is False. Continue to ask questions like this and then end with asking if the Bible is true.

Worship Songs:

The B-I-B-L-E
by Singin' Praise Tots

Forever and Ever
by John Delich

My God Is So Big
by John Delich


Bible Story: Isaiah 58:10

Talk About: Tell your child that this weekend in The Backlot they are going to pack meals for the Haitian people. Look up Haiti will your child and discuss the cultural differences between Haiti and America. What are their houses like? What do they eat? Where do they work? Do the kids get to go to school? ( parent note: the point of this conversation is to show your child the differences between our cultures and how families live).

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville

Unripe Tomatoes

Posted on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

My tomatoes took forever to ripen this year. I started full of hope and excitement by picking out the perfect plants at the Farmers’ Market. I planted them with care and placed them in direct sunlight. As the weeks went on, I faithfully tied my growing plants to their stakes as they got taller. I watered them when they looked parched and even fertilized them every now-and-then. I began to see more and more delicious tomatoes on the tables at the Farmers’ Market, but mine were still on the vine…green as ever. What was I doing wrong? Did I miss something?
I’m wondering if you’re asking the same questions—although not about your tomatoes. We’ve been focusing on evangelism this year, and according to the calendar we’re in the hot heat of it—the desert of summer. I’m wondering if you’re possibly in the desert of evangelism?
We all love stories about people who prayed for something for years and then God comes through in a big way. Heroes like Abraham and Sarah. They prayed for a son, and when their boy finally arrived, Abe was a whopping 100 years old! God promised him from that son, his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. What an incredible promise from God. But, the part we don't like to think about is when Abraham and Sarah were 30 and all their friends were having babies. Or, when they were 50 and all those babies started having babies. At that point, their prayers must have sounded like unripe tomatoes in the desert.
Maybe this year you’ve been praying for a friend, reaching out to them and nothing is happening. Maybe you’ve been praying for a long time that God would come through, but you’re feeling like you’re stuck. I want to encourage you to hold on—keep praying. Persevering prayers beget big blessings. Abraham can attest to that. Our good God knows the perfect time to give a blessing. His Word says that He delights in answering our prayers and petitions. It says ask and you shall receive. God means it. So keep praying. In his book With Christ in the School of Prayer, Andrew Murray says it perfectly,
“Our great danger in this school of the answer delayed, is the temptation to think that, after all, it may not be God’s will to give us what we ask. If our prayer be according to God’s word, and under the leading of the Spirit, let us not give way to these fears. Let us learn to Give God time...Each believing prayer brings a step nearer the final victory. Each believing prayer helps ripen the fruit and bring us nearer to it; it fills up the measure of prayer and faith known to God alone; it conquers the hindrances in the unseen world; it hastens the end...Child of God! Give the Father time. He wants the blessing to be rich, and full, and sure; give him time while you cry day and night.” 
Give God time and keep praying for ripe fruit. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I finally picked a giant red tomato yesterday and had it for lunch. Totally worth the wait.

Hanna Wahlbrink
Creative Team Administrative Assistant / Events

Meal Packing for Kids

Posted on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 under Children Expression 3 Expression 4

The only thing better than seeing your child discover God’s love is watching them give that love away. At Southland we call that living on mission. It’s how we unleash a revolution of love to a world desperately in need of hope.
When a kid has the chance to live on mission, it doesn’t just change their world—it changes their heart. That’s why we’re super excited that our 2nd-5th graders will have their own Hope for Haiti meal packing event in the Backlot environment the weekend of September 13/14.  
During their regular weekend services, kids will check in and out of the Backlot as usual, but during the program they will pack meals with their Life Group and decorate meal packing boxes with Bible verses and encouraging words. Not only will this be an unforgettable experience to bless kids in Haiti, it will also get our Backlot kids excited about coming back to pack meals with their family during the all-church meal packing event September 20.
If you have a 2nd-5th grader, make sure you take them to the Backlot September 13/14, and then bring them back to pack meals with you on September 20. There’s no registration needed for the Backlot preview event, but to pack meals as a family, you can sign up here.
Remember that family meal packing isn’t just for Backlot kids. Children five and up are permitted to pack with a grown-up during the regular meal packing sessions.  
So make some meal packing memories this September. Change the world and let God change your child’s heart forever.

Shannon Colwick
Children's Ministry Leader - Danville

Proverbs Challenge

Posted on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Expression 1 Expression 2

September is usually a time when we get re-energized to lean into schedules, systems, rhythms, and routine. Or maybe that's just me! I noticed in a Lowe's magazine all the systems people utilize to gain order in their home. Backpacks have a place to be hung, lunch boxes have a place to be stored, shoes have a place to land, and graded papers have a place to gather. I enjoy order!
Our family functions a lot on weekly rhythms—devotions at breakfast, conversation at dinner, and prayer at bedtime. At the beginning of a new school year, we pray about a few key words as we launch into a new year. One key word that our family has spent some time around so far this school year has been Wisdom. Wisdom to make the right choices, wisdom to know right from wrong, wisdom to know when to speak and when to listen, and wisdom to know how to extend compassion to someone who may be hurting. We know that if our next generation can understand the importance of wisdom, it can make a huge difference in the opportunities on the horizon for them and the impact that can have on others and even our world!
The pursuit of wisdom has led us to a journey through Proverbs and we have found some scriptures which have really come alive for us:
Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance. - Proverbs 1:5
Cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Search for them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord and you will gain knowledge of Him. - Proverbs 2:3-5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. - Proverbs 3:5-6
We'd love to encourage you to take some time this week and pray together as a family for a greater hunger for wisdom. You might even want to take the next 30 days to journey together through Proverbs! As our Expression 2 says, we sacrificially serve our families—an investment I know we will all be glad we made. 

Michelle Frank
Guest Experience Director - Harrodsburg Road

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