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Latest Blog Posts in March 2016

They Took The Plunge!

Posted on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 under Expression 4

Seeing people take the plunge in baptism at Easter is always one of the highlights of the year for many of us. Yesterday 177 people stepped into the water and were baptized in Danville, Georgetown, Nicholasville, and Lexington. They left their past behind and walked out of those baptisteries and ponds with a whole new life ahead of them as part of God’s family. We’re as excited as ever to see what God is up to, drawing people toward Himself and transforming lives week after week. 
These new believers need all the support they can get right now. Especially in prayer. Would you consider setting an alarm on your phone to pray daily for the next 30 days for those who were baptized yesterday? Whether you happen to know one or more of them personally or you lift them all up in one prayer, you can be part of their ongoing support, encouragement, and growth by being faithful to lift them up to the Father.
 
Pray for God to protect and guide them, strengthen and grow them. And please also begin praying for God to be working in the people around you to bring them to the place of taking this same step in the coming months!

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - April 3

Posted on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 under Children Expression 1

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Jesus Goes to Heaven (Luke 24:50-53 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Jesus is always with me
Bible Verse:  “...I am always with you…”  - Matthew 28:20b NIrV
Worship
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Jesus Died for Me (Matthew 27:11 - 28:10 NIrV)
Big Idea:  This I know … Jesus wants me to be His “Forever Friend”
Bible Verse:  “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” - John 3:16 NIrV
Worship

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - March 27

Posted on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Easter Story (Matthew 26–28 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Jesus is alive.
Bible Verse:  “He is not here! He has risen, just as he said he would!” - Matthew 28:6a NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Jesus Conquers Death (Luke 23:1 - 24:49 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Jesus is love so He made the ultimate sacrifice for you
Bible Verse:  “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” - John 3:16 NIrV
Worship: 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

One Encounter Away From the Father

Posted on Mon, Mar 21, 2016

I never thought I would find myself standing outside of a brothel in Reno, Nevada. Yet, there I was. It was immaculately kept on the outside. The building was a portrait of luxury and excess. But I knew it wasn’t by chance that I was standing here. God had helped orchestrate my steps one-by-one to bring me to this place.

"I never thought I would find myself standing outside of a brothel in Reno, Nevada. Yet, there I was."twitter share

A year earlier, after months of prayer, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to attend a school in South Lake Tahoe, CA for people who had a heart for missions. So, I sent in my application and was accepted. But very quickly I found myself facing financial and logistical hurdles. I started to doubt if this was something God had really called me to do. How would I raise the funds needed? Where would I live when I returned from school? But, one by one, miracle after miracle, God helped me stack all of the pieces together. In the midst of my doubts, God kept reminding me of the truth of who He was and what He was calling me toward. And that truth became even more clear the day I met Melody at the school in Tahoe.

Melody had been a street prostitute for 17 years. She had been abused as a child, found herself working as a prostitute at 17, and even spent periods of her life homeless on the streets. Then, at 34, she found out she was HIV positive. Her life had hit rock bottom. She was faced with a choice: either end her own life, or—something even harder—reach out for help. Thankfully, the friend Melody decided to call that day helped her start on a journey that would ultimately lead to healing and restoration.

"She was faced with a choice: either end her own life, or—something even harder—reach out for help."twitter share

So here I was, standing at the doors of a brothel alongside an evangelism team from my school. Inside, I knew there were numerous people with stories like Melody’s who just needed a friend. But I was letting myself be crippled by fear. And as I started to question my reasons for being there, Melody’s words recounting her time on the street came back to my mind.

I would have given anything if one person would have [come] up to me and showed they cared. Not necessarily taking me off the streets. If one person would’ve [come] up to me and said, “We just want to love you,” I think it would have made a huge difference. Instead, people would constantly come up to my saying, “You’re going to hell. You have to get out of this lifestyle. You’re a bad person.” I already felt like I was in hell. They were not telling me things I didn’t already know.

Her story reminded me of the power we have to help change the course of a person’s life—the opportunity we have to be part of helping someone experience the power of the resurrection. In that moment, as I decided to walk through the doors, I realized that my role is just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle.

I had every reason to give in to fear and practicality and not go to that school in Tahoe; but I’m thankful I didn’t. My encounter with Melody has changed the way I live. I now know that every person I meet is potentially one encounter away from the Father—and I get to be a part of it. Her story has shown me the importance of stopping for just one person...to love them as they are and simply set the stage for God to perform a miraculous work.

"I now know that every person I meet is potentially one encounter away from the Father..."twitter share

So who is that one person in your life? Who’s the person that needs to hear they’re loved and accepted just as they are? Trust where the Holy Spirit is leading you and know that, no matter how small it may be, you have a role to play in helping someone else experience Jesus. And maybe, your first step is inviting them to Easter services this weekend.

Carrie Dierdorf
Graphic Designer

This Week’s Dollar Club Story

Posted on Sun, Mar 20, 2016

Sometimes, life throws us curve balls. Everything is going fine then, out of the blue, we're faced with sickness, a financial hurdle, or the loss of a job. Often, the circumstances are out of our control and we're left trying to pick up the pieces and put them back together. It's for times like these that the Dollar Club exists—to extend hope to families in Central Kentucky who are facing hard, unexpected financial situations. And this past week, because you gave an extra dollar for the Dollar Club, we were able to help a family who recently found themselves facing one of those curve balls.

In 2015, they were blessed by being able to adopt two boys who they had been fostering for three years. It seemed like everything was coming together for their family. But within a few months of one of the happiest times of their lives, the dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to have part of his lung removed. Amazingly, he went back to work within two weeks after the surgery and had been working every day up until earlier this month. In the midst of what they thought had been a steady recovery, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Unfortunately, he is no longer able to drive, lift anything over five pounds, and has found himself unable to work. With his vacation and sick time exhausted, his employer is trying to help him receive disability, but it's proving to be a slower process than hoped. This has left his family facing medical bills, living expenses, and some much-needed home repairs without the financial means to cover them.

But because of the dollar you gave last week for the Dollar Club, we were able to call them and extend some hope their way at a time they needed it the most. We're going to help them repair the heating for the home, perform some repairs on their roof, and cover some of their living expenses. This will give their family the time they need to focus on fighting the cancer and caring for one another.

Thanks for giving an extra dollar each week to help us extend hope to families here in Central Kentucky. And remember, you can always be a part of the Dollar Club by giving online.

Kidsplash Coming To Georgetown!

Posted on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 under Children Expression 3

I had the great joy of baptizing my son on July 21, 2013, and my daughter on October 25, 2014. Those two moments were among the greatest in my life, but they were preceded by numerous smaller moments of prayer and conversation. Like any parent wanting his children to grow up knowing Jesus, I wrestled with the timing of these decisions my kids were making. My wife and I had many discussions about the age-appropriateness of baptism. We wanted them to be baptized, for sure. But we also wanted to have some measure of confidence that they understood what baptism was before taking that plunge. 
 
As a parent raising your kids in the church, my guess is that you wrestle with some of the same questions, concerns, or hesitations. For what it’s worth, there are two things that I tried to keep in mind when walking that path with my own children. First, baptism is a mystery. Sometimes we try to over-understand or control things that are simply too beautiful and profound for us to fully comprehend. It’s ok to lean into that, and to trust in the Holy Spirit. 
 
Second, I reminded myself that the Church is the living body of Christ. This body is made up of many members, all of which exist to build one another up in love. This meant that I could trust and lean into other people in my church family to help train, teach, and guide my children. Teachers, Life Group leaders, friends, pastors: all have a voice and a role in helping to develop the faith of my own children… and that is a beautiful comfort!
 
If leading your children in, through, and towards a relationship with Jesus Christ is something you desire to do as a parent, we have a great resource for you! KidSplash is a family event that helps give parents the tools to talk to their kids about Jesus, and provides a great opportunity to start, or continue, the conversation at home. If you struggle to know how to talk to your kids about faith and baptism, or if you simply want to lean into the Church and have the conversation alongside other parents and families, then KidSplash is for you!
 
Join us at Lemons Mill Elementary School on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 pm, as we bring KidSplash to Georgetown for the very first time!
 

Dan Jackson
Campus Leader - Georgetown

Heading North to Generously Extend Hope!

Posted on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 under Expression 4

Hey Southland family! Remember last year when we traveled up to Cincinnati to help our friends at BLOC Ministries in Lower Price Hill? Well, a lot of folks have noticed our work. Our efforts in picking up trash and cleaning up graffiti on the steps have had an impact. There is a plan in place for handrails to be installed on the steps to make them easier for people to use. In addition, a school in the inner city generously decided to provide and install solar powered lighting for the path up and down the walkway. You've already had an impact on the city, but there is still more to do! On Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, we are headed back to finish cleaning up both sides of the steps to help create a safe, clean area in the middle of the community. 
 
The Global Outreach Team at Southland is always looking for opportunities where people can serve. This trip eliminates many concerns you may have with mission work outside of Lexington. Concerns like cost, international travel, dietary issues, and time away from your loved ones. 
 
Total cost for trip is $25, plus your dinner on the way up on Friday night and gas to Cincinnati and back.  If you would like, you can leave right after work on Friday night and stay free at the McPhearson Church in Upper Price Hill. Ladies, the sanctuary is comfortable and gentlemen, the air mattress on the gymnasium floor work perfectly. Come with us and help BLOC Ministries reach out to this community. 
 
If you would like to learn more, contact Robin or if you are ready to sign up, register here!

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

Parent Sneak Preview - March 20

Posted on Sun, Mar 13, 2016 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  A Parade for Jesus (Matthew 21:7-9 NIrV)
Big Idea:  I can worship Jesus the King.
Bible Verse:  “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”  - Luke 19:38a NIrV
Worship
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Sermon on the Mount: Shine for Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Shine for Jesus by how you live
Bible Verse:  “You are the light of the world.” - Matthew 5:14a NIrV
Worship

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

You’ve heard of Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom…

Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 under Expression 1

You’ve heard of Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom…
 
...well now it’s time for Juice in Georgetown!!! (Ok, I’ll admit, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it). But regardless of the fact that “juice” and “Georgetown” don’t even start with the same letter, we are going to put the two together anyway!
 
On Sunday, April 10, we will be hosting a Meet and Greet at our Georgetown campus following each service. We will provide some light refreshments, and our campus staff will all be there to say hi and hang out for a few minutes. We’d love to get to know you a little bit and, if you’ve been thinking about it, help you learn more about getting connected to our campus!
 
Whether you attend the 9:30 or the 11:15 service, we’d love the chance to connect with you a little bit more. Hope to see you there!

Dan Jackson
Campus Leader - Georgetown

Sharing Your Faith Without Starting an Argument

Posted on Mon, Mar 07, 2016 under Expression 1

A few months back I  read this article  from Newspring Church. Then I read it again. Then I read it again. And I’ve read it over and over to keep the idea in front of me. The more I read these words, the more likely I’ve been to share my faith with others. So I feel it’s very fitting to share them with you as Easter approaches and we have a real opportunity to invite some friends to church
Ever tried to share your faith and had someone argue with you about it?
 
Scared to share Jesus because you may not be accepted by your friends or family if you do?
 
Maybe you’ve shared your faith and they just don’t get it. Or they just keep arguing with you about it.
 
The number one thing you have to remember is that it’s not your job to change their mind. It’s your job to point them to Jesus and let Him change their heart.
 
It's not your job to change their mind. It's your job to point them to Jesus.
 
5 Ways to Talk About Faith Without Getting Into an Argument
1. Tell your story.
No one can argue your personal story—what your life was like before you met Jesus, how you met Jesus, and what your life has been like since you met Jesus. It doesn’t usually make people defensive when you are talking about yourself and what Jesus has done for you.
 
2. Be consistent.
It’s hard to hit a moving target. It is hard for someone to understand what Jesus has done in your life when one week you are strong in your convictions, but the next week you live how you want to live.
 
This doesn’t mean you can no longer make mistakes because you will. We all do. Sometimes people learn more by how we respond to our own mistakes than anything we could say. This just means that you are consistently seeking direction from God and striving to live by it daily.
 
3. Love them.
A meaningful way we can show love to people, especially those who live differently than we do, is to show them grace. We don’t want to stand before them and be their judge of the things we believe they are doing wrong. We want to love them for who they are regardless of the choices they are making.
 
When Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself” was the next greatest commandment to loving God (Matthew 22:37-39), He didn’t put any conditions on it. He simply said to love them.
 
4. Serve them.
There is no better way to get someone’s attention than to serve them and meet their needs.
 
When you are trying to tell someone about Jesus, but they have a significant need not being met, your words are meaningless. However, when you put them above yourself and meet their needs, they are much more open to listening to you.
 
Jesus says He “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). How can you go out of your way to serve someone that you can’t talk to about Jesus?
 
5. Pray for them.
One of the greatest sources of power that we have is prayer. This is our way of asking the God of the universe for something. We are children of God when we accept Jesus as our savior, so it is like asking our dad to help us out. What father doesn’t want to bless his kids? Especially when what we are asking for brings Him more glory!
 
Jesus tells us that when we ask in His name (John 16:24), with the right motives (James 4:3), that we will receive. Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to them. Pray that Jesus would use you in the process. Pray for God to show you how you can better love and serve them.
 
Pray for boldness to tell your story.

Derrick Purvis
Formation Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - March 13

Posted on Mon, Mar 07, 2016 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Helping Others at Church (Acts 1- 4 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God wants us to help others.
Bible Verse:  “Be kind and tender to one another.” - Ephesians 4:32a NIrV
Worship
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Sermon on the Mount: Don’t Worry (Matthew 6:25-34 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Give your worries to God
Bible Verse:  “Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.” - 1 Peter 5:7 NIrV
Worship

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Night of Worship

Posted on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 under Expression 1

Psalm 103 (NLT) - A psalm of David.
 
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
 
I love music. I can’t remember a time in my life that music didn’t speak deeply to my soul and move me. Like many people I have songs that, when I hear them, draw me right back to a specific time and place in my mind. One of the great things about music is that it is a language that speaks to each of us. I am learning however, that this language speaks very differently to each of us in different times of our lives. I recently saw a quote from one of today’s biggest rock n’ roll musicians on this very idea. In talking about a crowd gathering to experience music together he said, “You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back to you for 85,000 different reasons”. Isn’t that so true? What I love about this quote is that the author has discovered that when our circumstances meet the lyrics and music we encounter,  a unique experience is created for each of us. Here’s the incredible part for us  - we share this experience with the Living God! Every time we gather to worship together I am reminded that our response to God through singing together is wonderfully unique to each of us - and every word uttered, every note played is a powerful moment for someone in the room in many different ways. Tuesday night, March 8, we will be taking time as a church family to express our hearts to God, each in a unique and powerful way. We would love for you to join us in the Richmond Road Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. so we can experience Him together in a deeply personal way.

Mike Vandemark
Programming Director


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