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Love Wins

Posted on Mon, May 25, 2015

Recently my wife and I were having Mother’s Day lunch with my brother and his wife. We had some really good conversation - and some really great food as well! We covered a wide range of topics together: parenting, politics, education, gay marriage, calamari, and, of course, UK Basketball. 
By the end of our time we began discussing what our role as Christ-followers should be in all of these areas of our lives… well, except the calamari. How should we believe? How should we respond?
Eventually we thought about what Jesus said when He was asked about the “Greatest Commandment”. He replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
If we can’t get this part right, then nothing else matters. Our impact, our opinion, our witness won’t mean anything. No one has ever legitimately converted someone’s beliefs through hateful discourse. Its time to drop the battle cry of who’s right or who’s wrong and just take time to listen and care.
I truly believe in the saying: Seek first to understand, then be understood. This opens the door to authentic conversation that can lead to changed hearts and lives. Is there an ongoing conversation with someone in your life that needs to change? Is there a relationship with someone that could benefit from taking time to listen and to care? If so, I encourage you to rethink your strategy. 
Love wins.
  • Who came to mind as you read the questions above? Pray for them specifically today. 
  • Ask God to guide you as you consider the ways He wants you to spend time with this person, listening to them, caring for them, and sharing Jesus with them.

Jeff Presley
Life Groups Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Parent Sneak Preview - May 30/31

Posted on Mon, May 25, 2015 under Children Weekend 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:  David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-4 NIrV)
Big Idea:  We can love others by helping
Bible Verse:  “Children, show love for others by truly helping them and not for merely talking about it.” - 1 John 3:18 NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Joash Repairs the Temple (2 Chronicles 24:4; 8-12 NIrV)
Big Idea: Saved people serve people.
Bible Verse:  “Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.” - Romans 12:10 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story: The Holy Spirit is with us and strengthens us  (Acts 3:1-8; 4:5-10,13 NIrV)
Big Idea:  The Holy Spirit is always with us and we can ask Him to help us do what is right.
Bible Verse:  I can do all this by the power of Christ. He gives me strength. - Philippians 4:13 NIrV
5th Grade Launch
If you have a graduating 5th grader, here’s a simple idea to make their transition to middle school meaningful and fun over the next couple of weeks. 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

We’re Here For You

Posted on Fri, May 22, 2015 under Expression 1

Southland's Care Team is here to walk alongside you in the joys and difficulties of life. We love to celebrate the successes with you, but we’re also honored to walk the difficult stages of the journey, too. 
  • Need prayer or thinking about baptism? We're here for you every weekend and throughout the week. Just talk with one of our Prayer Team members or contact us to learn more.
  • Navigating special needs in your family? Check out our Celebrate Jesus class which meets weekly at our Harrodsburg Road and Richmond Road campuses.
  • Walking through a hospitalization or the loss of a loved one? We want to be there to support you. Let us know how we can help.
  • Want to discover more about counseling or recovery? Give us a shout. Jesus offers hope for healing and restoration!
Whatever you're walking through, we're here and our goal is to take great care of you. If you’d like to learn more about Southland’s Care Team or find out how to volunteer to serve, contact Amy at abowerbank@southlandchristian.org.

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Conflict Management or Gift Exchange

Posted on Tue, May 19, 2015 under Expression 4

A few weeks ago I was at a local shop buying some gear when the clerk saw my email address and said, “Hey, you work at Southland? I hear great things about that church.” I told him that it is a really great place and asked him if he went to church anywhere in town. I fully expected him to be a follower of Jesus who just had another church home. Instead he said, “Nope. I’ve never really been a church guy. I just hear great things about what your church does in the city.”
I was so blessed by his words and attitude. I told him he was more than welcome to come with me any weekend. I told him I could get him a backstage pass to how all those cool ministries to the city work if he wanted to look behind the scenes. He seemed interested and excited at the opportunity.
He never did call me. I pray for him often and hope that my contact info is sitting on his dresser or countertop at home. But even if he never calls, I was blessed by that conversation. Do you know why? His attitude. We too often assume that people don’t want to hear about church or Jesus. We think they’re guarded. The truth is that many of them aren’t resistant at all. 
Who is it in your day today that needs to hear the truth of Jesus? Is the enemy lying to you and telling you they’ll be outraged if you share your faith? Hear me, that probably isn’t true. People like you (they ought to, at least). Be courageous and show them why you are the way you are. They might surprise you. It may be your co-worker that you see every day or it could be a complete stranger. But I hope you grab hold of the courage God gives us and share your faith with someone sooner than later. Too often we think of sharing our faith as conflict management. It’s time to think of it as a gift exchange. 

Derrick Purvis
Formation Pastor

A Trip Around The Sun

Posted on Mon, May 18, 2015 under Expression 4

The power went out at Richmond Road on Sunday, but there was no stopping the power of God at work in hearts this weekend at Southland! For the 35 people who responded to Jon’s invitation to take the plunge in baptism and follow Jesus with their lives, their next trip around the sun is going to be so different from any other year they’ve ever experienced! When Christ is given the driver’s seat, everything begins to change. Some things slowly, others in a huge way.
It was so cool to celebrate these decisions in Danville, Richmond Road and Harrodsburg Road - including nine at Theater 81 in the new portable baptistry that will be used when our Georgetown Campus launches in a few short months! If you know one of these people, take a moment to send them an encouraging email or grab the chance to buy them lunch or a cup of coffee in the next week to hear more of their story and share how your life in Christ played out in the first weeks or months after you took the plunge. If you see one of them on your campus in the next few weeks, be sure to give them a high five and congratulate them again. This decision is one worth celebrating in a big way!
  • Let’s spend a few minutes in prayer today for these new followers of Jesus as they take their first steps in the days following their baptism.
  • Continue to pray for God to be working in the hearts of people in Central Kentucky and in the world who need to discover hope through Christ.

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Three Hundred

Posted on Mon, May 18, 2015 under Local Involvement Expression 1 Expression 4

In the movie 300, Gerard Butler plays King Leonidas, the leader of the Spartan army who defied the massive Persian Empire. With only 300 men, Leonidas and his Spartans held off over 100,000 Persian soldiers for three days, and nearly assassinated the Persian King in the process.
In Judges, Chapter 7, we read the account of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites. God whittles the Israelite army down from 32,000 to 10,000 men, and then again from 10,000 to just 300. This meager army, with trumpet calls and shouts to the Lord, sent the enemy into chaos and confusion, and sealed an incredible victory.
On May 3rd, at Southland we held two informational meetings for the Georgetown campus. 
300 people showed up!
As I looked out over the sea of faces that morning, I saw an army of God’s people who are already sold out and committed to unleashing a revolution of love in Georgetown. It took all the restraint I could muster not to yell out, “We are Sparta!” or, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” or something super clever like that. 
The kingdom of God is forcefully advancing in Scott County, and I know of 300 foot soldiers who will be on the front lines, pursuing God and extending hope...and I know and pray that God will continue to add to that number daily!

Dan Jackson
Campus Leader - Georgetown

Parent Sneak Preview - May 23/24

Posted on Mon, May 18, 2015 under Weekend Worship 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:  Joseph and his brothers  (Genesis 45:3-8 NIrV)
Big Idea:  We can love others by being kind
Bible Verse:  “Love is kind . . .”  - 1 Corinthians 13:4a NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Paul and Silas in Philippi (Acts 16:16-40 NIrV)
Big Idea:  You can’t do life alone
Bible Verse:  “The Lord your God will go with you. He will never leave you. He'll never desert you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  The Holy Spirit - Our Helper  (John 14:26 NIrV)
Big Idea: The Holy Spirit help us remember what the Bible says.
Bible Verse:  But the Father will send the Friend in my name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you. - John 14:26 NIrV

5th Grade Launch
If you have a graduating 5th grader, here’s a simple idea to make their transition to middle school meaningful and fun over the next couple of weeks.

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Your Story

Posted on Fri, May 15, 2015 under Expression 1

If you've met Jesus, chances are you’ve got a story to share. You see, stories are about change, and Jesus is all about changing lives.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of sharing your story. I bet you've told yourself, "It's not exciting enough," or, "It's too complicated." Thankfully though, your story is as simple as telling people what God has done for you.
Through sharing stories, we get opportunities to be inspired, gain new perspectives, and discover we’re not alone as we navigate life. With a little preparation, your story can be a great way to show how Jesus is at work in and through the defining moments of your life.
Stories have three parts: the before, the turn and the after. So when you think about your story, consider the answers to these three questions:
  1. What was life like before that defining moment changed my life?
  2. What was the moment like when it happened?
  3. What is life like after that moment?
Every significant experience leaves us with a "before" and "after" in our lives. Explaining how your life and heart was changed makes a great story every time. And describing what you were thinking and feeling, not just what happened, helps make your story moving and memorable.
Remember, the power of your story is not in the words you choose or in the drama of the events you recount. The power is in expressing an authentic, personal account of how Jesus is alive and at work for you, in you, and through you.
We don't need our stories to end neatly or wrap up with a nicely tied bow. We just need to allow people to connect with our hopes, fears and struggles, and help them see that Jesus cares.
  • Want to take a shot at telling your story? We've made it easy with our simple story-sharing form. We’d love to hear your story today!

Neil Gregory
Video Producer

5th Grade Launch

Posted on Wed, May 13, 2015 under Expression 3

The transition from 5th grade to 6th grade is a huge one for kids.  Everything in their world is changing.  They’re moving from elementary to middle school, Children’s Ministry to Student Ministry and are taking a big step out of childhood into adolescence.  
Here at Southland, we want to help your family make that transition as awesome as possible.  We believe that during seasons like this, kids need their parents and other significant adults to come alongside them to celebrate and encourage them as they step into new territory.   
That’s why this year we’re encouraging all the parents of our graduating 5th graders to do something extra special for their child.  We call it 5th Grade Launch.
What is it?  It’s a time to celebrate your kids and pray over them for their next season.  It’s a time to affirm their value and share some vision.  
At its simplest, a 5th Grade Launch involves two things: a party and a prayer.  Both can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them.  
The Party
For the party, you could just get ice cream and pizza or host a full-blown shindig complete with decorations and the whole nine yards.  Whether it’s a quiet dinner at your 5th grader’s favorite restaurant or a backyard cookout, the important thing is that you’re creating a special moment for your child.  
Think about the people who have influenced your child’s spiritual growth and those you will want to influence your child in the coming years.  Think of family, friends, Life Group Leaders or others who have made a difference in your child’s faith.  That’s your guest list.  
The Prayer
Now for the prayer.  Write out a prayer for your child and pray it over them at the party.  Let them know how proud you are and specific ways you’ve seen them grow to become more like Jesus.  Tell them how excited you are for what God’s going to do in their lives over the next few years.  Then read your prayer out loud and pray it over them.  
If you’re not sure what to pray, here’s an outline of one way you might pray for them.  
  1. Thank God for them. 
  2. Affirm their identity in Christ.
  3. Pray for their relationship with God.
  4. Pray for their relationships with other believers.
  5. Pray for their mission.  
  6. Pray for protection.  
To see what this looks in action, check out this sample prayer.
You can also invite your guests to write special letters of encouragement, sharing how they see your 5th grader becoming more like Jesus too.  Invite them to pray with you over your child.  
Hold onto those letters and prayers and use them to encourage your child in the years to come as they grow into the young men and women God made them to be.  
So put your 5th Grade Launch Party on your calendar right now and get to work on that prayer.  Take time to celebrate this milestone and prepare your child for this next season of following Jesus together.  
We’d love to share this memory with you.  Post your 5th Grade Launch pictures online and tag us Twitter or Instagram @southlandcc or on Facebook at Southland Christian Church  with the hashtag #5thgradelaunch.
If you have questions about Student Ministry and the awesome things we have in store for your kids beyond the 5th Grade Launch, contact: 
Harrodsburg Road -  David Hausknecht
Danville - Justin Doyle
Richmond Road - Eric Schneider

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - May 16/17

Posted on Mon, May 11, 2015

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 widow gives two coins  (Mark 12:41-44 NIrV)
Big Idea:  We can love others by giving
Bible Verse:  “Give generously to Him . . .” - Deuteronomy 15:10 NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Bread and fish for everyone. (Matthew 14:13-21 NIrV)
Big Idea:  You can’t outgive God.
Bible Verse:  “You know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” - Matthew 7:11 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Forgiving vs. Not Forgiving - parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God wants us to forgive
Bible Verse:  “Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you”. - Colossians 3:13 NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

People Need to Hear Your Story

Posted on Mon, May 11, 2015 under Expression 1

Everybody loves a good story. Isn’t that why we get lost in a great book, binge watch Netflix shows, and lose all track of time catching up with an old friend over coffee? A good story beats a good lecture any day.
There’s a friend I’ve known and worked with for over 22 years. He has amazing stories. He will frequently tell me a story about something random that happened to him like 25 years ago that makes my jaw drop. It’s some amazing story that he’s been sitting on. His stories are so wild that I always think, “How is that not THE first thing you tell every single person you meet?  How do you sit on a story like that for decades before busting it out!!” It’s amazing how incredibly awesome his stories are.
As a Christ-follower, I have an incredibly awesome story, too. And so do you if you follow Jesus! It’s the story about how He dramatically changed the course of our lives. The question is, how is it not THE first thing we tell every single person we meet? How do we sit on that story? 
Many of us never tell anyone that story and there are a million reasons why we choose not to. But there are two reasons why we should. One, because everybody loves a good story; and two, it’s the story of your changed life that could lead someone else to a changed life.  
People need to hear your story.
Too many of our friends are living and dying without really ever knowing Jesus and here we are, sitting on the best story in the world. It’s amazing how incredibly awesome your story is!
Today, think about your story. Figure out how to tell it and then start telling it. Don’t sit on your story of what Jesus has done for you. It could be the game-changer for someone else.

Chris Hahn
Lead Executive Pastor

Covering of Prayer

Posted on Sat, May 09, 2015 under Expression 1

We believe worship involves much more than music. At each Night of Worship we try to participate in multiple forms of worship by reading Scripture, spending time reflecting on God, praying and offering praises. In our planning we like to align our nights with what we are all learning together in the weekend services. This time around, we wanted to piggy-back on the Acts series we recently finished by taking time to pray into the three topics from that series.
Next Tuesday night, May 12th at 6:30pm in Theater 81 we are planning to pray through the three movements of the Acts series. We’ll start by praying for our own hearts, confessing where we lack, and presenting our requests and gratitude to God. Next, we’ll spend some time praying for our church body. Finally, we’ll take time to pray for those expanding the kingdom in churches around the world. 
Our prayers multiplied together move the heart of God even as they move ours towards Him and His ways. We are believing that we will see “the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13, NIV).
To prepare you heart, join us in praying this Scripture even before you come to join us. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NLT) says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.”
May the ears of the LORD be attentive to every prayer we offer in the place we gather next Tuesday night. See you there!

Amanda Carter
Worship Leader

Baby Bottles

Posted on Fri, May 08, 2015 under Expression 1

Every year on Mother’s Day weekend, we partner with Assurance Care Center and pass out empty baby bottles for you to take home and fill with your change to support Assurance. You might know that Assurance helps women & couples facing unplanned pregnancies but did you know that they do a lot more besides that? Other than their counseling services, they offer help to mothers who choose to keep their baby by offering ways to earn diapers, clothing, and other items through their REACH program. They also offer some medical services like ultrasounds and they have a post-abortion support group and counseling and a men’s ministry for the fathers.  If you’d like to volunteer at Assurance, please check out their volunteer page here.

Sara Willison
Outreach Operations Coordinator

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