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Your Piece of Jesus

Posted on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 4

Everything I know about sharing my faith comes from the Lion King. 
 
Okay, not everything. Most of it actually comes from the Bible, but there’s one thing I picked up a few years ago from Simba and his friends that was a real game changer.
 
Let me be clear, when I say the Lion King, I’m talking about the Broadway musical, not the cartoon. Taking evangelism cues from a cartoon would be silly.
 
But Broadway musicals? Now that’s a different story. 
 
There’s a scene about halfway through the musical when Mufasa, the original lion king, appears to his son, Simba, as a giant face in the sky. He’s huge. It’s a cool effect. 
 
At first you just see obscure shapes moving around the stage, but you can’t tell what they are. Then the puppeteers, who each have a different piece of Mufasa’s face, move them into place forming the enormous lion. 
 
The light hits it. Jumbo Mufasa comes to life. The audience gasps. Mind blown.
 
I walked away that night thinking it was an awesome moment in the show, but it’s also a helpful reminder of what it looks like to show Jesus to the world. 
 
None of us are responsible for the entire picture. We each just have a piece. That’s it. 
 
Your piece may be serving someone. My piece may be telling them my story. Someone else’s piece may be inviting them to church. Yet another person’s piece may be the privilege of baptizing them. But it’s God who works these pieces together to help this one person see Jesus.
 
Paul said it this way, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6).
 
When I look back to how I fell in love with Jesus, it wasn’t because of any one person. I had an uncle who was a huge influence in my life and played the biggest part, but there were several others along the way. A co-worker who wouldn’t stop talking about God. A friend who felt burdened to pray for me. A great-great aunt who kept inviting me to church. 
 
Person after person showed me their piece of the face of Jesus, and then one day, God brought them all together. I could see Him. Jesus became real to me. 
 
Mind blown. Life changed. 
 
So, when it comes to sharing our faith, the pressure’s off. We don’t have to overthink it. We don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or saying too much or not enough. We don’t have to freak out about walking people through some elaborate gospel presentation. 
 
We just need to be ourselves and pray for God to help us to pay attention to the people He puts in our lives to love. We need to ask God, “What’s my piece of Jesus that this person needs?” And then be faithful to follow through.
 
Today, think of the people who were part of your journey of faith. What part did they play in showing you Jesus? What’s one thing you can do this week to show someone else Jesus in the same way?

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - October 4/5

Posted on Mon, Sep 29, 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: Baby Moses and his sister Miriam Exodus 2:1-10

Big Idea: God is with me.

Talk About: Act out the story of Baby Moses in the water as a family and then talk about how God was with Moses.

Worship Songs:

Ha-La-La-La
by Studio Musicians

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

My God Is So Big
by John Delich

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: The most important commandment Matthew 22:37, 39

Big Idea: The Bible shows me how to live.

Talk About: Draw a picture of different ways as a family you are living for God. Maybe it's getting in the car and coming to church or praying at the dinner table.

Worship Songs:

Follow You
by Hillsong Kids

Live It Out
by Steve Fee

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Philip Acts 8:4-8

Big Idea: God calls us to be ready to serve wherever and whenever.

Talk About: As a family make a list of different ways you can serve locally.

Worship Songs:

This Little Light
by Steve Fee and Mr. Versee

Jesus Freak
by Heath Balltziglier

Lord I Need You
by Matt Maher

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Share the Hope You Have

Posted on Sat, Sep 27, 2014 under Evangelism Weekend Expression 4

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect... 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

We've heard some amazing stories during the Plan B series from people who have found hope in Jesus and stepped into God's Plan B for their lives. Now, it's your turn to share your story. Not during a weekend service necessarily, but with someone in your life that needs to hear about the hope you've found in Jesus.

We'd love to see every single Jesus follower at Southland baptize at least one friend each year. And this week, we want to encourage everyone to take a real step towards baptizing someone within your circle of influence. It may be a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or just another parent that you see at the ball field each week. Whoever it is, here's what we want you to do:

  1. Write down their name somewhere where you'll see it each day as a reminder to be praying for them. If you picked up a static cling at one of the services this weekend, stick it on your bathroom mirror and write their name on it!
  2. Signup for a five-day prayer reminder. You'll get an email each morning this week to help you pray for your friend.
  3. Download a wallpaper for your phone and use it as a guide to help you pray this week.

Then, come join us on Monday, October 6 at 6pm at the Harrodsburg Road Campus pond as all of our campuses come together celebrate with those who will be getting baptized and those who will be baptizing their friends. It will be an amazing reminder of what can happen when we take the step to share the reason for the hope that we have!

Justin Meeker
Communications Director

#TBH

Posted on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 under Students Expression 3

I’d like to think as a guy in my mid-twenties that I’m still pretty fluent in the trends happening around me, in our culture, on a daily basis. If I’m falling behind in any of those areas, the Middle School and High School students that I work with help keep me in the know, especially to what’s the latest in social media. One trending hashtag has caught my attention recently, and maybe you’ve caught onto it as well. The hashtag is three simple letters—TBH.
 
It stands for “To Be Honest” and it’s a pretty common trend that I see on Instagram and Twitter feeds, especially among our Middle School and High School students. People may post a selfie and they’ll throw a #TBH hashtag onto the photo to ask their followers about how they honestly feel about them (even if they would never say it to their face in person). Here’s just a sample of some basic #TBH responses from my social media feeds this week among Middle School and High School students:
 
  • “#TBH you’re cool and you seem pretty funny”
  • “#TBH I don’t really know you, but you seem good at baseball and I like your hair.”
  • “#TBH You are really pretty and nice, and we used to talk but we don’t anymore and that makes me sad.” 
 
This “honesty” might seem really surface-level and might be motivated more by finding identity in the opinions of others. But, I think that this “trend” might be on to something. The fact that this practice has become a worldwide trend shows that on a deeper level most of us crave truth and honesty in our lives. No matter what stage of life we’re in, we need people that can be be brutally honest with us and speak the truth in love.
 
Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesian church in regards to unity among the believers: 
 
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (Eph 4:15, NLT)
 
I hope and pray that we can have our own #TBH moments with the people around us in our lives on a regular basis. Not only behind the safety and anonymity of a keyboard, but with boldness and love with the people that God has placed around us in each of our lives.
 
  • As students: Don’t keep your #TBH moments with the people in your life just online. Be a truth-teller who models honesty all the time.
  • As a spouse or as a parent: Give your husband or wife, or your son or daughter, honest encouragement and affirmation on a daily basis.
  • In the workplace: Be willing to stand up for truth and honesty with integrity in all situations.

Eric Schneider
Student Ministry Director - Richmond Road

Southland’s School Partnerships

Posted on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 under Expression 3

A few weeks ago, we saw Susan and Hunter’s story. Through Southland’s School Partnerships, Susan is investing in Hunter’s life in a way that he will never forget. She is extending the hope of Jesus into his life by giving up just 30 minutes a week to meet with him, talk about how his week is going, play a game with him, and be there for him. 
 
There are hundreds of Hunters out there in our local schools. They are desperate for a positive influence. Are you the person a child in one of our schools is waiting for? Have you got 30 minutes a week that you are willing to give as an investment in a young person’s life?
 
If you think you’d enjoy working with a student like Hunter, go on over to our mentors page and sign up! It’s not too late. In fact, there may be a kid out there who is waiting for you!

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

Keep Extending Hope

Posted on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 4

We wanted to say a huge thanks to all of you for your help in making this year's Hope for Haiti meal packing event such a success! In just a little over 24 hours, 6,500 of you came together to help us pack nearly 1.1 million meals for Haiti—enough to help feed 3,500 kids for an entire year.

Many of you look forward to our Hope for Haiti meal packing event each year, but we wanted to encourage you to not wait until next year to be a part of extending hope here in central Kentucky or around the globe. There are lots of ways you can get involved right now and have the same type of impact as our Hope for Haiti event!

Extending Hope in Harlem, New York

In November, we’ll be sending four separate teams of eight to Renaissance Church in Harlem, New York to help them with their children's ministry. We'll be helping with weekend services on November 1/2, November 8/9, November 15/16, and November 29/30. Learn More

Room in the Inn

Starting in November, our Harrodsburg Road campus will partner with Room in the Inn to host 20 homeless men each Saturday evening. There are lots of ways you can be a part of extend hope to these men—cooking, leading devotions, doing laundry, and hanging out for an evening to talk. There will be an information meeting on Monday, September 29 at 7pm in the Harrodsburg Road Atrium. Learn More

Thanks again for being a part in helping us extend hope to Haiti this year!

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - September 27/28

Posted on Mon, Sep 22, 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: The FloodGenesis 6:9

Big Idea: The Bible tells us to obey.

Talk About: As a family play a follow the leader game and then discuss ways with your child on how they can be better followers and obey.

Worship Songs:

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

Forever and Ever
by John Delich

I Can Obey
by Singin' Praise Tots

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: God’s Promises Isaiah 41:13

Big Idea: The Bible tells us God’s promises are true.

Talk About: The Bible tells us that all of God's promises are true. Talk about a promise you've made and broken. Then talk about some ways you can keep your promises.

Worship Songs:

Jump
by Steve Fee

No One Like You
by David Crowder Band

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Jesus chooses the first disciples Matthew 4:18-20

Big Idea: God equips us for His call on our lives.

Talk About: As a family make a list of different ways you can serve globally.

Worship Songs:

Crazy Love
by Ben Richter

Imagine the Impossible
by Riley Biederer

Our Great God
by Heath Balltzglier

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Pathway to the Pond

Posted on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

 
I love when God reminds me that He’s doing something significant in our midst. He consistently puts people in our path—whether it be at the grocery store, baseball practice, or the gym. Our opportunities for interaction are quick. If we’re not paying attention we can miss it. I’m thankful I was paying attention when I met Gretchen.
 
Like many people I meet, Gretchen chose to serve in preschool to hear the truths of the Bible in their simplest form. She grew up with a lot of religion but no Jesus. She was unfamiliar with the Bible and God’s overwhelming grace, but her Catholic background bred a lot of legalism and fear in her heart.
 
Gretchen arrived in Animation Station desperate for a true relationship with Jesus and a healthy community to help that relationship blossom. She was looking for a place to belong. Gretchen craved a community that truly shared life together. I’m happy to report that she has found it. Gretchen’s team in Animation Station serves together, plays together, and invests in the next generation together.
 
Early this summer, Gretchen was baptized in the pond by her Big Picture Show coach, Cheryl. Others from her Animation Station team, as well as her family, were there to celebrate with her, too.
 
Our goal at Southland is to baptize 1,500 people this year. Gretchen is one of them. 
 
I challenge you to find a few minutes to pray today. Someone is looking to you to find their way to the pond. Ask God to show you who you could bring to our upcoming Pond Baptisms on Monday, October 6. We’d love to celebrate with you!

Laura Rizer
Preschool Groups Leader

A Look Inside the Room in the Inn

Posted on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 4

Room in the Inn is a ministry that works from November through March every year to provide a safe, warm and inviting place to stay for a group of homeless men. Southland is just one of 14 churches in this program. Each night, two different churches host a group of 14 men that are chosen in the fall and stay with Room in the Inn until the end of the season.

We want to give you a little inside look at what goes on each week. Every Saturday night we host this special group out in Building M at the Harrodsburg Road campus. We give them a delicious meal, hot breakfast and sack lunch to take with them the next day.

The evening starts as our driver picks the men up downtown at 6:30pm and brings them back to the church. While he is doing that, a group of volunteers are waiting to socialize and serve them a hot meal that evening. Time passes quickly as we eat, play board games, watch TV, or simply sit and talk. Two of our male volunteers spend the night with them and prepare breakfast the next morning. At 6am the van driver arrives to take them back downtown with their bag lunches.

Room In the Inn is more than a ministry. The volunteer team and the men we serve have become family. Everyone looks forward to seeing each other on the weeks they volunteer. We look forward to seeing the group of men and learn how their week has gone. It takes the whole team to make Room In the Inn the warm and inviting "overnight sanctuary" it is for our guests—from the person setting up sleeping cots, to those preparing the dinners, providing hot breakfasts and sack lunches, to the van driver.

We’re always looking for more volunteers and there are many ways to get involved! If you're interested, contact Jani for more info, or come to our info meeting on Monday, September 29 at 7pm in the Atrium.

Leoda and Steve Clark
Room In the Inn Team Leaders

Jani Lewis
Local Outreach Administrative Assistant

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!

ANIMATION STATION

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:

Ha-La-La-La
by Studio Musicians

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

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: Creation Genesis 1

Big Idea: The Bible tells us about God’s love for us.

Talk About: Read the story of Creation in Genesis 1 and see if you can put the days of creation in the right order together as a family.

Worship Songs:

Happy Day
by Fee

Raise Your Hands
by Jessica Taylor

THE BACKLOT

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

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

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?

The BASH

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


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