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Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - August 23/24

Posted on Mon, Aug 18, 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: Ruth - Ruth 1-4

Big Idea: God wants us to be kind friends.

Talk About: Discuss with your child how they could show kindness to one of their friends this week. Maybe have them make a card to thank that friend for being their friend.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

This Is How-
by John Delich

God Gives Us Friends
by Singin’ Praise Tots

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: A dark Friday - Matthew 26:36-38

Big Idea: God always be Good, even when times arrrrr tough!

Talk About: Talk about Jesus dying on the cross for us and why He did that for us.

Worship Songs:

Let’s Go
by Jessica Taylor

I will follow
by Casey Harper

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Rich young ruler - Luke 18:18-30

Big Idea: The Bible is truth so we can trust in it’s wisdom.

Talk About: Make a list of all the things in the world that we can't see or haven't seen yet, but we know they are still there. Discuss how even though we can't see the stories that happened in the Bible we can trust that they did happen and we can learn from the wisdom it teaches us.

Worship Songs:

Can’t Stop Singing
by Heath Balltzglier

Imagine the Impossible
by Riley Biederer

No One Higher
by Ryan Stewart

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Lunch Break Challenge

Posted on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 3 Expression 4

What if I told you that your 30-minute lunch break could be the most fulfilling 30 minutes of your day? What if I told you that your lunch break—just one time each week—could radically alter the trajectory of a child’s life for the positive? There’s good news—it can!
 
Because of our School Partnerships, we get the opportunity to invest in students at four elementary schools in Central Kentucky. Our goal this year is to double our number of mentors. Imagine the difference we could make in the cities of Lexington, Nicholasville, and Danville by sending 200 committed individuals from Southland to work one-on-one with students. You could be the closest a student ever comes to meeting Jesus.
 
There are thousands of students in Fayette, Jessamine, and Boyle Counties. We can’t help every kid, but we can do for the one what we wish we could do for everyone. And, by doing that, we can make a huge eternal impact in our cities’ schools.
 
If you want to get involved with School Mentoring, head over here to learn more and sign up!

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

We’re Back

Posted on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 3 Expression 4

It’s the first week of school, which means the Backpack Program is gearing up again. Last year we fed 450 kids at Tates Creek Elementary and Warner Elementary, and we hope to feed at least as many this school year. Jesus spent a lot of time feeding hungry people—which is our simple goal for the Backpack Program: to feed hungry kids in our cities.
 
There are three ways you can get involved:
  1. The easiest way to help out is to commit to bringing a couple food items to church each weekend. You can grab a list of needed items at the bins outside the Auditorium at each of our campuses. Or, download one here. Keep the list handy when you’re buying groceries and bring your items with you when you come to the weekend service.
     
  2. Another way you can get involved is by packing the backpacks with us at our Harrodsburg Road campus. On Thursday nights, you can find community by serving alongside people with a common purpose. One of the coolest things is that you can bring your kids with you, too. It’s a great way for Life Groups and families to serve. Our first packing night is on September 4.
     
  3. Finally, you can change a child’s life by being a Backpack Buddy. Backpack Buddies write notes, send birthday cards, pack Halloween candy, and Valentine’s to students throughout the school year. This is a great way to make a kid’s day and show them the love of Jesus.
If you'd like more information on getting involved in the Backpack Program, contact me for more information.

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

It’s worth It

Posted on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

When I think of evangelism, my mind doesn’t always jump to strangers with whom I know God wants me to share my faith. In my life, God has been challenging me to reach out to some difficult people—my family. I don’t have an easy time sharing my faith with them. I wasn’t raised a Christian, so my beliefs are pretty foreign to my parents, grandparents, and cousins. On top of that, I’ve been struggling with unforgiveness, which makes it even more difficult for me share the love of Jesus.

So where do we start? How do we share the love of Christ with those closest to us—those who often have the ability to hurt us most? I’ve learned over the past year that it starts by making a choice every morning. One of the first steps I need to make is to forgive the hurt that’s been caused, or the deceit and lies that make me want to cling to anger like it’s my source of salvation rather than Christ. I know there are a lot of people who have been hurt by the ones closest to them, but I promise the daily choice of forgiveness will bring humility beyond what you can imagine.

After making the internal choice of forgiveness, I start to reach my family through kindness. When I read through the Gospels and examine the life of Jesus, the one thing that hits me above all else is that He was kind. Jesus showed compassion to the adulterous woman in John 8, extended forgiveness to the sinful woman in Luke 7, fed the hungry, healed the sick, and was patient with His disciples.

I’ve found that kindness extended toward those who have hurt me—who are difficult to evangelize—has created organic conversations that lead to Christ. It’s really an act of God. We have the option of being a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Our actions can lead people into the church or away from it. We have to resist selfish desires and try to be as Christlike as possible through this process.

Who in your life is difficult to reach? Has someone hurt you but really needs Jesus? God created the human race, was cast aside by mankind, yet sent His only son to redeem us. If He can bring us redemption through forgiveness, surely we can forgive so that others may know Christ as well. It’s not easy. But, it’s a command of Christ. And the day you watch someone come out of the waters of baptism knowing they will join you in Heaven—it’s worth it.

If you’re going through something similar, I'd love to hear from you and pray for you as you evangelize the challenging people in your life.

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

What’s Your Story?

Posted on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 under Global Missions Local Involvement Students Expression 4

I love getting to know people—and I don’t just mean finding out their favorite color. I want to know the deeper things that fill them with joy and passion. 
 
Has anyone ever asked you about your story? This one question can make you feel so inadequate. I’ve heard so many people say their story isn’t special. The truth is just the opposite. Everyone’s story is something special because it's your journey with God.
 
In preparing a group of middle school students for a mission trip to Haiti, I asked one of our students to share their story:
 
I grew up in a Christian home—going to church with my grandparents, and doing “Christian” things—but it wasn’t a big part of my life. It wasn’t until a friend invited me to Southland that I finally understood God—who He is and what He has done for us.
  
Through church, my Life Group, and the Haiti team, I have become closer to God on a whole new level. Month after month the Haiti team has continued to bond, talk, and prepare. Unfortunately this past July I got a notification that the Haiti trip was going to be postponed. I was so disappointed. Why would this happen?
 
Our leaders asked us to do service work in Lexington to touch the lives of local families while we waited for the trip to be rescheduled. We decided to partner with Serve The City in downtown Lexington. I decided that volunteering weekly would strengthen my relationship with God and help me wait patiently for the Haiti trip.
 
As I write this, I'm slowly learning that life has twists and turns that you don't see coming—disappointing moments, happy moments, and blessed moments. I've learned more about myself this year than I ever thought possible. God has a way of making things work out.
 
Everyone’s story is special. Yours is being added to each day as you walk with Jesus.
 
Southland’s Haiti mission story didn’t end just because the trip was postponed—our team’s eyes were opened to the needs of others in our own city. There is always an opportunity to help others and add to your story if you’re willing.

Caroline Krouse
Middle School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Student Ministry Open House

Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 under Expression 3

Our student ministry programs are growing and we would love for you to prayerfully consider being a part of it! We're looking for adults at all of our campuses who love Jesus and want nothing more than for our 11-18 year olds to live with Jesus, in community, and on mission. Whether you want to help lead a Life Group or serve behind the scenes, we have lots of ways you can help invest in the next generation.

To help you discern whether this would be a good fit for you, we are hosting Student Ministry Open Houses at all of our campuses for you to get a better idea of what that would entail. Check out the dates below and come out and join us!

  • Harrodsburg Road: Tuesday, August 12, 7-8pm, Atrium, Building F
  • Danville: Tuesday, August 12, 7-8pm, Auditorium
  • Richmond Road: Thursday, August 14, 7-8pm, Café

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - August 16/17

Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 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: Esther - Esther 1-10

Big Idea: God wants us to have courage to obey.

Talk About: Help your child make a crown and discuss how Esther was a queen and still chose to obey God.

Worship Songs:

Ha-La-La-La
by Studio Musicians

My God Is So Big
by John Delich

I Can Obey
by Singin' Praise Tots

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: Bread and fish for everyone - Matthew 14:13-21

Big Idea: When I’s fFollowin’ Jesus, I be generous!

Talk About: As a family, take popsicles to the park and share with anyone you see or take donuts to a fire station.

Worship Songs:

Jump
by Steve Fee

Follow You
by Hillsong Kids

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: The Bible is God’s Word - 2 Timothy 3:16

Big Idea: The Bible is the script that guides our lives.

Talk About: Choose a Bible story and read it as a family. Have your child turn it into a script and perform it together.

Worship Songs:

Jump
by Steve Fee

No One Greater
by Holden Fincher

Our Great God
by Heath Balltzglier

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Relationship

Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

Evangelism. It’s a word that brings many mixed emotions to a whole host of people. Some get angry because they think of the person with the bullhorn on the corner of the street shouting, “turn or burn.” Some get nervous or fearful because they think about publicly sharing their faith with strangers. Others get excited because they get the opportunity to share with anyone who will listen what God has personally done for them.
 
Honestly, I can understand all three reactions. I’ve been in all three pairs of shoes. 
 
For me, when it comes to the word “Evangelism” there is another word that comes to mind right along with it: “Relationship.” The most natural and effective method of Evangelism that I have ever seen is when there is first a relationship. I know in my life the people who have had the most influence on me are the ones whom I have a relationship built on trust.
 
Think about it for a moment... if we were all easily influenced by the loud-talking guy on the Home Shopping Network our homes would be full of knives that cut a metal pipe, a shoe and a tomato (although I’ve never understood why cutting a shoe with a knife is supposed to impress me). But the relationship is just not there. However, if a good friend tells you they own this same knife and have used it for years and just can’t live without it, I’m willing to wager you would own a box set of these miracle workers before too long.
 
The same is true of your relationship with God. Who do you currently have a relationship with that needs to hear what God has done in your life? It's possible this person has been waiting for you to begin this conversation. Give it a try. 

Jeff Presley
Formation Team Director - Harrodsburg Road

The Academy

Posted on Thu, Aug 07, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 3 Expression 4

Some things in life are worth going the extra mile. For example, ice cream. For me that’s always worth the extra mile to drive, walk, or run. Who doesn’t love ice cream? However, if someone were to ask me to drive the extra mile for broccoli or brussels sprouts, I’d give them a weird look and walk away. I’ve made the decision that they’re not worth it.

We make decisions everyday about what is worth the extra dollar or extra effort. I’ve made the decision that people are always worth my extra effort. The encouragement and effort of investing in the lives of people, especially students at Breckinridge Elementary School, are worth it.

They’re worth the planning.
They’re worth the resources.
They’re worth the extra hugs.
They’re worth extra measure of patience.
They’re worth my time.

These students are an incredible bunch that have immense potential. So, through a snack, an hour of homework, and time of worship, we’re going to communicate that to them. We’re going to talk about, worship, and reflect on Jesus during our Monday afternoons together. Then, at the end of next school year, these students know how much they are valued.

Jesus thought we were worth the sacrifice. This next school year, I want these students to know they’re worth mine.

Join us on Monday afternoons from 2:30-5:30pm at Richmond Road for The Academy. Contact me to learn more!

Janelle Cartner
Local Initiatives Coordinator / Administrative Assistant

Following God’s Example

Posted on Wed, Aug 06, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Expression 1

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

When I was a little girl I wanted long, flowing blonde hair. I had very fine, dark-brown hair and was horribly tender-headed. So, when I would play dress-up, I would take a little yellow slip and wear it on my head with the waistband circling it like a scarf, and then poof! Long, blonde hair achieved! I’m laughing as I write this, thinking how ridiculous I must have looked. But, those are the adventures of a determined four year-old.

When I was a child, I wanted to look like someone else. I’m all grown up now, and comfortable in my own skin; but the truth is I still want to look like someone else. Only now, I want to look like Jesus. When I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11) and became a Christ follower, I began to pray to look just like Jesus, to imitate everything He did, and to incorporate all of His traits. I hope that when someone looks at me, they see Him.

This is exactly why Southland has invested so much effort to encouraging, assisting, and even unapologetically urging you to be part of a Life Group. It’s to help you look more like Jesus by connecting you to others in meaningful and significant relationships. These spiritual friendships will challenge and inspire you every day. Together you’ll find powerful ways to serve others and extend hope.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t just want dinner companions. I’ve got scores of those. I don’t just want stuff to do—something to check off my list of “things that make me feel better about myself.” I want to surround myself with people who recognize that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), and who won’t rest until we all look more and more like Him. When I do that, I have hope to offer a lost and dying generation. Through others, I can receive hope in my time of need. Together we can make an eternal difference in our circles of influence. None of this happens by looking like me, but by looking like Him.

I pray for each of you—that you will know Jesus so deeply, listen to His voice by His Word so much, and be in His presence so often that you have to veil yourself because His glory shines on your face like the sun (Exodus 34:33-35).

By all means, join a Life Group. But, by any means, look like Jesus.

Rebecca Hatton
Formation Director - Danville

That Place

Posted on Tue, Aug 05, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

We all have that place. That place besides home and work that you frequent. Starbucks has coined it, “the third place” and their goal is to be yours. What is that other place for you? For some of you it may be your kid’s baseball field three to four nights a week (I just started this season of life with my son Riley), for others it may be the gym, or it could be your favorite restaurant. Or Starbucks may have succeeded in becoming your third place. Whatever or wherever it is, we all have that one place where we spend a lot of extra time, either voluntarily or involuntarily. For me, it’s the gym where I workout and coach. I’m there six days a week and sometimes a few times a day. But the real question is, what are you doing with all this time that you spend at that place?  
 
In Colossians 4:5-6, Paul says, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
 
Make the most of every opportunity. That’s a big task. But I firmly believe that God has designed all of us with different passions and abilities, and He wants us to use those for His glory. So when you’re sitting at the ballpark next to the same sets of parents night after night, make the most of that opportunity. When you’re working out next to the same people every single day, let your conversations be full of grace. When you’re hanging out at your favorite coffee shop, live an attractive life in front of those who are not believers. Make the most of every opportunity.
 
Our fourth Expression says that we generously extend hope to the poor —that includes the spiritually poor. The challenge that comes along with that expression is that we would all baptize at least one friend each year. And I know that sounds scary and maybe even impossible for you. But I promise, it’s not. God has put you in that place for a reason—make the most of every opportunity. It may be as simple as starting up a conversation about plans for the upcoming weekend and asking them where they go to church. If their response is, “nowhere,” then make the most of that opportunity.
 
We all have that place—it’s just a matter of what you’re doing there.

Kelly Jennings
Producer -Richmond Road

Fall Indoor Volleyball

Posted on Tue, Aug 05, 2014

It’s that time of year again and we’re registering for our Recreational and Competitive volleyball leagues that will run from September 8 through December 2. So, if you’re looking to have some fun or enjoy something a little more competitive, we’ve got a league for you!
 
All games will be played in Building E, at our Harrodsburg Road, with recreational leagues playing on Monday nights and competitive leagues on Tuesday nights. The cost for a team is $150. An individual is $25 per person. We can even place you on a Free Agent team if you’re coming in solo.
 
If you’d like to register a team or as an individual, head over here by August 25. If you have questions, contact me
 
We hope to see you out on the court!

Janelle Cartner
Local Initiatives Coordinator / Administrative Assistant

Who Do You Look Up to?

Posted on Tue, Aug 05, 2014 under Students Expression 3

In middle school and high school, a lot of students look up to a professional athlete, actor, or maybe musician. But I was different. It wasn’t people I saw on TV or listened to on the radio that inspired me—it was the men that radically invested in my life. Men like Aaron Rathbone, Josh Adsit, Jared Parker, James Summers, Damien Spikereit, Bob Witte, Michael Defazio, and now guys like Nate Johnson and Dan Hamel. I'm sure a lot of these names don’t carry much weight with you, but to me, they mean the world.
 
Students at Southland are growing up in a world the apostle Paul would likely describe as “warped and crooked” (Philippians 2:15). But, we want our students to be different—to shine and be holy. While other students are getting into things that aren't good for them, we want ours to be filled with the Spirit. When other teenagers are gossiping, using crude language, or lying, we want our students to be telling the truth, building others up, and spreading the Gospel with their lips. Our desire is for students at Southland to further the Kingdom of God—but it can be hard, scary, and confusing for a student to figure out on their own.
 
As an intern with the student ministry team, I get to see them work hard and pray a lot for the students to fall in love with and follow Jesus. But we have a lot of students. And the team can’t radically invest in every student one-on-one. So we need your help! We need mentors for our students—men and women who will personally invest in the lives of our students.
 
There are many ways to radically invest in our students’ lives. You can lead a life group, volunteer at Lift or Amplify, or give your time and talents to support our student ministries. Our hope is, after time, you're able to build personal relationships with our students—with their parent or guardian's permission—that would eventually allow you to invest in a student or two on a one-on-one level throughout their middle school and high school years. Whether it's grabbing a cup of coffee, talking about Jesus, or heading to the movies, we want them to be around and admire people who love Jesus—people like you!
 
Your radical investment in the students at Southland will make an eternal difference.
 
Drake Holderman
Student Ministry Intern, Ozark Christian College
 
If you'd like to get involved with our Student Ministry team, we'd love to talk with you! Contact Mallory to learn more.

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