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In Community

Posted on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Expression 1

We talk a lot about Biblical community at Southland because we believe that without deepening relationships—with God and others—we won’t become the whole and thriving people God created us to be.

I realize that’s a strong statement, but it’s a truthful one based on God’s Word (Luke 10:25-28). As a church, we believe it so deeply that we work daily to try to provide you with better opportunities to grow in these areas. We love God, we love you, and we want His very best for your life.

So, after hearing all this talk about Biblical community and Life Groups, my question for you is simple: Do you have authentic, life-giving Biblical community?

It may be that the answer for you is yes. If that’s the case, praise God! Keep doing what you’re doing. Continue to love and be loved, bless and be blessed, and live out the life God’s called you to live!

But, if the answer for you is no, let me share a thought with you. Life moves quickly, work can be hard, and our families (as beautiful as they are) are often demanding of our time. We’ve got sporting events to attend, grocery shopping to do, doctor appointments to schedule, and houses that never seem to stay clean. The list alone can make us feel tired!

In these busy and challenging seasons, community can sometimes sound more like a burden than a blessing. But here’s what I’ve learned and what I’d like to suggest to you today: Sometimes, we need to let go of the things that seem most pressing, in order to make time for the things that are most important.

If you don’t feel connected to Jesus or others in the church, I’d encourage you to take a step back, ask God for wisdom, and reflect on your priorities as we prepare for the coming fall season. It could be that the very thing you think would drain you, is the very thing your heart needs most.

If you desire Biblical community, we’d love to see you at our next Launch Night event, where we get people plugged into Life Groups. It’s not just another thing to do. It’s the life we were created to live.

Katie Bodager
Life Groups Administrative Assistant

Start a Group with Us

Posted on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 under Connection Spiritual Formation Expression 1

One of the perks of my job as Formation Team Director is getting to know really awesome people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. One of those people is Rob Williams. Back in October of last year, Rob and his wife Lisa agreed to launch a Life Group. They did such a great job and enjoyed leading so much that they did it again in February—then again in June! Between Couples Groups, Men’s Groups, and Women’s Groups, they’ve launched a total of four Life Groups in nine months!

We’d like some of you to help launch groups, too. Do we expect you to launch four? No way—Rob and Lisa are the exception. But, for extroverts, hospitality junkies, or people connectors, launching one Life Group can be incredibly rewarding.

If you’re wondering why Rob and Lisa made this type of commitment to people they’ve never met before, they’d tell you it’s for the sheer joy they get from seeing people experience real community here at Southland. They love being a part of helping people connect relationally, grow spiritually, and serve together. And we love seeing them make it happen!

So what about you? Would you like to join us and lead your own Life Group? If so, give me a shout. I’d love to talk with you about what being a group facilitator is all about.

Jeff Presley
Formation Team Director - Harrodsburg Road

Thoughts of Haiti

Posted on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 4

Written by Angela Mullens, Global Missions Volunteer

I recently went on a short-term trip to Ouanaminthe, Haiti. As I reflect, I'm struck by how much the trip has changed my perspective. What a blessing it has been that God has allowed me the opportunity to minister to His people in such a unique way. The Lord has enlarged my world and my heart and I am grateful for it.

It’s difficult to find the words to accurately describe Haiti and the experience that I had. If you find yourself praying about going, I would highly recommend you do. Yes, there were some very difficult things to endure—the heat, seeing the impact of the Chikungunya virus on my fellow mission team members and citizens of Haiti, less-than-comfortable living quarters, and having to deal with the emotions of seeing first-hand the pain and poverty of the Haitian people. Even so, the blessings far outweighed the difficulties...

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Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Why Southland?

Posted on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Why Southland? I still find myself driving home from work and thinking, “I can’t believe I actually live here.” It comes as quite a surprise to my wife and me that we are not in the intense heat and barren desert of Phoenix, Arizona anymore. I remember when I was first approached about the availability here at Southland and began the interview process. I was continually praying that God would show me why He was wanting me to go to Kentucky, let alone a small town called Danville that is the size of my hometown neighborhood.
As this last month has moved forward, and interactions with people at Southland have increased, I can see why God moved me here. I am so grateful that He has placed me in a community that genuinely cares for and understands the importance of people. It’s not just a matter of numbers and stats, but compassion for others that has intrigued me most. I have seen that even though the church is growing and moving at an incredible pace, they have not forgotten the important things that matter most—those in need of a relationship with Jesus. 
Being somewhat new to ministry, or at least being on staff at a church, I can’t think of a better place where I will get to grow as a leader. Not only will I get the awesome opportunity to pour into students, but I know that on a continual basis I will be invested in by the leaders above me. 
The emphasis that Southland puts on our next generation and their understanding that it’s important to invest in young people in the church was instrumental in guiding me here. There are so many lost students that grow up in broken homes, reaching their lowest points, who need love. They need grace and compassion. They need Jesus. I hope that being at Southland will give me the opportunity to help come alongside parents and students in our community to guide and sculpt them into the Christ-centered students that they are meant to be.
I'm very excited to be a part of helping them understand that they are going to be the difference-makers in their communities, schools, teams and families. All in all, I am extremely blessed to be able to serve in a church like Southland. There is no place that I would rather work.

Justin Doyle
Student Ministry Leader - Danville


Posted on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Worship Expression 1

I was recently reading through Mark 6, and it’s loaded with familiar stories of Jesus. The chapter begins with Jesus being rejected in his hometown. Next comes the story of Jesus sending out the disciples in pairs to preach and drive out demons under His authority. Mark then tells the story of the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod, the feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish, and concludes with Jesus walking on water. It’s a busy chapter with pretty significant stories from the life and ministry of Jesus. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so.
Jesus had been doing lots of ministry—there were thousands of people chasing after Him and His disciples. They were teaching about repentance, healing the sick, and driving out demons. I’m sure it was exhausting! But, tucked right in the middle of the chapter are verses 30-34:
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
In the midst of this endless crowd of people, Jesus put aside some time for His disciples to simply rest with Him. Even though the needs of the people were pressing, Jesus felt it necessary to rest. And, although it appears their break was cut short, it’s almost certain that the disciples learned what was important to Jesus—so they carved out time to get alone with their Savior.
Do you feel like you’re always on the go or like you’re running on empty? I know I often do as well. Try taking a moment to simply spend time with Jesus. Take some time to rest. Even in the midst of doing really important things, focus on the most important thing. Jesus wants to give you rest—but you have to allow Him to do so. Keep your heart and ears open and rest in the presence of Jesus.

Kelly Jennings
Producer -Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - July 26/27

Posted on Mon, Jul 21, 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: Noah’s Ark - Genesis 6-9

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

Talk About: Draw a picture of Noah and the ark. Talk about how Noah had courage to obey God.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek

I Can Obey
by Singin' Praise Tots


Bible Story: Twelve Men - Matthew-4:18-22

Big Idea: Jesus is invitin’ me to follow Him.

Talk About: As a family, invite another family over to your house for a dinner or a movie.

Worship Songs:

Happy Day
by Fee

Follow You
by Hillsong Kids


Bible Story: Moses in the Nile Exodus 2:1-10

Big Idea: Whatever God takes, He blesses.

Talk About: What is your idea of the best day ever? Talk about this together. Discuss how God's plans are better than even our best plans.

Worship Songs:

What A Savior
by Taylor Harlow

How Great Is Our God
by Kristian Stanfill and Chrystina L. Fincher

My God Can
by Jordan Sasser

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

This Week’s Homework

Posted on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Weekend Expression 1

We kicked off a new series called The Satisfaction Trilogy this past weekend to gain a better understanding of where true satisfaction comes from. At Southland, we’re convinced that the key to experiencing a satisfied life is by living a balanced life with Jesus, in community, and on mission. 
This past weekend Jon focused on the “with Jesus” portion. If you weren’t able to come out, I won’t spoil it. Watch it online this week! Real quick though, I wanted to remind everyone about the homework Jon assigned to us this week, and a few easy ways you can grow in your relationship with Jesus! 
At somepoint this week find a quiet place away from any distractions and read through Luke and Acts. Grab a highlighter too and mark some places where things really jump out at you. This will prepare us for Jon's next message this upcoming weekend.
And if you’re looking to really get your relationship with Jesus kicked off the ground or rebooted, here’s three easy ways you can get started. 
  1. Check out our Daily Devos written by our staff that supplement and support our weekend teaching. You can read 'em online or subscribe by email to receive a devo each weekday morning.
  2. RightNow Media is an awesome online tool that offers dozens of video Bible studies. If you haven’t signed up for a free membership yet, head over here.
  3. Last week we released an awesome new video series that goes in depth on some spiritual disciplines that can help you grow in your relationship with Jesus.
For more resources, head over to The Triangle page. See you this weekend for week two!

Brendan Harriff
Web Designer


Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 under Care Expression 2

There are few things someone can experience in life that are more difficult than going through the pain of a separation or divorce. At Southland, there's hope and help.

DivorceCare is a 13-week experience offered at Southland to help people dealing with a separation or divorce. It’s a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside someone through what can easily be one of life’s most difficult experiences.

For almost a decade, DivorceCare has been meeting at the Harrodsburg Road campus and has helped people grow into health and wholeness. This year, we're excited to add a class at Richmond Road as well! Participants can choose to attend a gathering at the location most convenient for them.

If you're going through a seperation or dirvorce, or know someone in that type of situation, we'd love for you or that person be a part of DivorceCare. It's a perfect place to help people face those challenges and move toward rebuilding their lives.

DivorceCare meets on Thursday nights, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, beginning August 14 at Harrodsburg Road. And at Richmond Road, we'll meet on Tuesday nights, from 6:30-8:30pm, beginning August 26.

For more information, contact me.

Adaryll Jordan
Care Leader -Richmond Road


Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 under Students Expression 3

One of the hardest things for any student is finding a group of people who truly care for them and will be there when they need them most. Whether it’s in school, on a team, or even in church, finding a true, authentic, Jesus-centered community is one of the most critical things they need.
I got to see just how important this was a few weeks ago. We took a group of 100 middle school students to a CIY conference. Each night we would break up into smaller groups of around 10 students. During our group time, I saw students act courageous and vulnerable in front of each other. Each one shared huge pieces of their lives where they were hurting. I then watched the students surround each other with love and encouragement. Instantly, burdens were lifted through the love of Jesus and the support of community.
I asked one of our students to share her thoughts on the importance of community:
Imagine you’re drowning in the pool because of a bad cramp. You would need a lifeguard to save you. Or, imagine your house catching on fire—you’d rely on the firemen wouldn’t you? Well, what about if you emotionally broke down because of everything going on in your life. You need someone to be there for you. Someone in your own community.
As a Christian, community is one of the most important parts of our daily lives. Jesus says in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We must show God to others in our community, just like Jesus did during his days on earth. Whether it’s the homeless, or our bosses at work. Maybe it’s the strict teacher in your third period or the cashier at the store, we must show love to all and hate to none.
Honestly, you will feel alone in your lifetime. Whether you’re three or 33 or even 63. You will feel alone at one point or another. We have to always remember that God is with us. But, at times, it might be hard to remember. That’s why we need community. People who remind us of Jesus. People who you can cry in front of, or hug for five hours straight and not feel weird or awkward about it.
I was given a verse about three months ago by my youth pastor. The verse was Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no guidance a person falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.” Since I read this verse, I opened up a lot more to my second family at church. If it weren’t for community and God’s love, I have no idea where I’d be today.
Incoming eighth-grade student at Lift Harrodsburg Road

Caroline Krouse
Middle School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Lend a Helping Hand at the Garden

Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 4

Recently, a few guys helped me unload my car at the Catholic Action Center. My trunk was loaded down with fresh onions, raspberries, cabbages, and cucumbers. As soon as the guys saw the food, they started talking about all the tasty meals that could be made with the fresh produce. A kitchen volunteer was most excited about the raspberries and all the delicious dishes he could make with them. The Catholic Action Center feeds three meals a day to anyone in need, so any extra food they can get is a huge help.

The Community Garden provides (literally) tons of fresh, healthy food to people in need in our community. We send food to our Serve the City neighbors, community partners, and individuals in need. By feeding hungry people, we are generously extending hope to the poor in Central Kentucky, from Lexington to Lancaster.

We're entering the busiest season for the garden and could use some extra hands because the food is coming in quicker than we can harvest! If you don't mind getting your hands dirty and want to extend hope to the poor, come lend a helping hand at the garden. Contact me for more info!

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

Five Tips to Teach Your Child How to Pray

Posted on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 under Children Expression 3

One of the best gifts you can ever give your child is to teach them to pray. Your kids can learn to pray with a confidence and boldness that draws them closer to heaven and changes the world around them.

Don’t make it more complicated than God does. Even though prayer can be intimidating for adults, kids are naturals at it. Remember, prayer is simply talking to God and God talking to us. Remind your child this week that we can talk to God anytime, anywhere, about anything.

The great news is that there’s really no wrong way to do it. You just need to start. Here are five tips to help you take some first steps to teach your kids how to pray:

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Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - July 19/20

Posted on Mon, Jul 14, 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: Joseph and His Brothers - Genesis 42

Big Idea: God wants us to be kind to others.

Talk About: Encourage everyone in your family to do a random act of kindness each day this week.

Worship Songs:

Robot Rock
by KidSpring

This Is How
by John Delich

Never Give Up
by Hillsong Kids


Bible Story: Gideon's Army - Judges 6-8

Big Idea: I can be a great leader.

Talk About: Play follow the leader and let everyone in the family take turns.

Worship Songs:

No One Like You
by David Crowder Band

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek


Bible Story: David is chosen as King - 1 Samuel 16;18

Big Idea: If we allow God to “take” us, we will see Jesus more clearly

Talk About: Talk about the different parts of our lives that we would want Jesus to take from us (ex. bad attitude, quick to anger, lazy, etc.). Pray to Jesus and ask him to “take” theses things from us so we can see Him more clearly.

Worship Songs:

Jesus Freak
by Heath Balltziglier

I Will Follow
by Casey Harper

Mighty To Save
by Laura Story



Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Seed Planting

Posted on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 under Evangelism Global Missions Expression 1 Expression 4

As any gardener knows, there are times when you plant a seed and wonder if it will ever grow and reproduce, but no gardener ever quits planting seeds. Jesus tells the parable of a seed planter who faced the reality that not all seeds grow at the same rate, and may not even grow at all, but Jesus never says anything about the sower except that he continued to sow. He is not judged by the number of seeds which grow, he is simply pictured as a faithful seed planter.

Around the world, Muslims are beginning to turn to God in new ways as they are seeing Isa (Jesus) as not just another prophet, but as Messiah, Savior, and Lord. The conversions are coming in a variety of ways, including seeing Isa in dreams. While teaching in a Central Asian country last year, a student told the story of a Muslim girl dreaming of Isa and upon waking sought out a Christian to ask about her dream. Over time she accepted Christ, much to the displeasure of her family, but stayed the course. Eventually her family also came to believe in Isa as well because she planted seeds of faith.

Just recently we were in Indonesia and heard a sermon which showed the 2013 statistics of the number of Christians in Indonesia, which is relatively small. In particular that message pointed out Aceh province as having less than .02% believers. Aceh is under Shari’a Law (Muslim) and evangelism by Christians is forbidden. However, humanitarian aid in microfinance and education are acceptable, thus people from Southland are working in these areas, living out their faith in Jesus among the people of Meulaboh and surrounding area. Seed planting; that’s what we’re doing there. We were told the word love is not used among the people there, but in the last two years we have both expressed love for the people, and they have used the word back to us. Our faithful witness is expressed in action, with few words, yet we are beginning to see the sprouts beginning to push the soil upward. How long before there will be acceptance of Isa as Lord? We may not live to see that happen, but we are planting seeds, expecting God to bring growth in his timing.

There are times when we hear of people sharing their faith with others who are not yet believers and those people accepting their testimony and making a profession of faith in a relatively short time, and we wonder if we are doing the right thing in our approach to evangelism by planting seeds in a place like Indonesia. Then we reread the story of the sower and we recommit ourselves to the task of seed planting, believing God will bring growth in his time.

So where are you planting seeds? Among people who will readily accept and you will see immediate sprouts? Or are you planting where the seeds may be slow growing? Jesus’ command is to plant seeds, and it is up to us to faithfully plant. Ours is not to produce growth, but to faithfully plant.

Myron Williams
Global Outreach Development Pastor

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