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Summer Camp in Haiti

Posted on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 under Global Missions Expression 4

Written by Josh Jennings, Global Missions Volunteer
Six months ago, over one hundred sweaty, hyper kids were singing “How Great is Our God” and learning about how special God made them. Every morning they came running to their school, Institution Univers (IU), donning their bright yellow t-shirts and eager to spend the day with their friends.
Camp d’été, or Summer Camp, at IU is the highlight of summer break for these children. As the orchestrators of summer camp, it’s up to us to make it stellar. The Lord has given us--the people of Southland--an amazing opportunity to serve these children. While the camp lasts for three weeks, the staff at IU have asked us to organize the entire second week of camp. We will write the curriculum, prepare the activities, teach the classes and tell every child possible how much God loves them!
While loving these kids, our folks will become friends with the older students who serve as interpreters, the staff who work tirelessly year round to run one of Haiti’s highest-performing schools, and their fellow team members. As many international service experiences do, this one will send you home full in spirit of humility and joy.
But, the very force that will send you home, is already at work in Ouanaminthe, Haiti.  We do not take Jesus to IU, we meet him there. The Lord is the center of this school; He is the Light of Summer Camp. We do not merely serve this community, we serve God alongside this community, the whole time realizing just how special God made each of us to be.
For this trip, please consider:
  • Are you supposed to join us?
  • Who do you know that should join us?
Nearly half of our team is confirmed, but we are ready for the rest to sign up!  Complete the application or contact Lizz Kunz with any questions.  We are praying for you, and we invite you to pray with us.
- Josh Jennings, Global Missions Volunteer

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Calling an Audible

Posted on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 under Weekend Worship

In case you're not a sports fan (or a red-blooded American), we wanted to let you know that the Super Bowl is coming up on February 1. It's the biggest day of the year for both football and television commercial fans alike. What does this mean for you? Well, if you're an avid 608 attender, you'll want to know that we're tweaking the service time by three hours. That's right. On February 1, 608 is going to be at 3:08pm. We want to make sure that you still have the opportunity to hit up church at our Richmond Road Campus, make your world famous buffalo chicken dip and make it to your Super Bowl parties on time.

Other than the time change, that's all you need to know! It'll be a regular 6:08 service, just at a different time.

Matt Edin
Producer -10 After / 608


Posted on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 under Evangelism Expression 4

Do you recall the way that you acted when you were a teenager—reeking havoc in the neighborhood, bringing teachers to tears, causing parents to question you as their child, and spending way too much time getting into trouble? While that experience might be foreign to some, I can remember those days. I remember thinking nothing of those older than me, and the term “respect your elders” didn’t really sit well with my lifestyle. I was reckless, rude, and stupid to say the least—but I was not forgotten. I chose to care less of what anyone else thought and church and Jesus just weren’t that important.
I’m sure to some degree we all can relate to that time or two when we were lost at sea. The waves of life had carried us a bit too far and we were lost—but not forgotten. Thankfully for me, there was someone named Scott Swartzentruber. He was a high school youth leader at my home church, and he deeply invested in my life. Despite my flaws, my frequent absence from group, and consistent, careless attitude, he poured into me more then many individuals would have at that time. And when I thought that nothing great could come out of my life, he begged to differ, and I will be forever thankful for what he did for me.
Who in your life has taken time to invest in you, and build you up into the person you are today? Who acted like Jesus towards you? Who showed you the love and forgiveness that comes in Christ? I am sure a name came to mind instantly, and you could be that person to someone in your life. Jesus says in Matthew 9,
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
We are all called to be workers for the Kingdom of Heaven. You are going to change someone’s life for the better, it’s just a matter of taking the time to see who God has brought into your life. It might be a disruptive child or a rowdy student, a crude co-worker or a unforgiving sibling. This week, think of the one person that you are investing in. Think of the person in your life that needs Jesus, and pray for them—then seek them out. Because ultimately no one deserves to be forgotten. Everyone deserves the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

Justin Doyle
Student Ministry Leader - Danville

I Can Honor My Parents

Posted on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 under Expression 3

Over the past two weeks in Student Ministries we’ve been discussing “The Framily.” You may be asking yourself, “Don’t they know how to spell family?”  Well, yes, we do know how to spell—but just to make things clear, “The Framily” is a series focusing on all the different relationships we build over the course of our lives: family, friendships, dating, and all the ones in-between. How do we build those relationships in Christ? How do we continually put Christ at the middle of it all?
In week 3 of “The Framily” our bottom line is I can honor my parents no matter what. We are going to be looking at Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and mother”, but more importantly what comes after it, “so that you may live long and it may go well with you in the land”. God chose this commandment to highlight the benefits of trusting and honoring the people in our lives that care for us and help us grow. We want our students to understand that the authorities (parents) in their lives don’t want something from them, but that they want something for them. The guidance and wisdom of the authorities placed around them is to help them, not constrict them.
Just like the past few weeks of this series, our main goal is to lead students in pursuing humility in all of their relationships. People come first and we are called to serve. Please be praying that God would continue to speak to our students and continually guide them down the path of putting others first.

Justin Doyle
Student Ministry Leader - Danville

You Can Change A Life!

Posted on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 under Expression 4

Did you know that our Financial Life Coaches have already helped over 100 families on the path to financial health and freedom? We have even more families call each day asking for help—the only thing we’re missing is you.
We need more financial life coaches. You don’t have to be an accountant or a financial planner. Anyone with the ability to help create a monthly budget and give some good solid financial advice can be a coach. Mostly, you need to care about the folks you’re paired up with. You need to really listen, ask the hard questions to find out what the root of the financial situation is, dig a little into the “why” so you can help them figure out “what” they need to do and “how” to do it.
Our life coaches find the process rewarding, too. Imagine being the coach who worked with the single mom who’d been given bad advice about how to get back on her feet. She’d been told to open several credit cards and use them to develop her credit. She soon found herself overspent and simply paying interest on credit cards she hadn’t really needed in the first place. Her coach taught her how to reverse the process and she is now well on her way to being debt free.
Maybe you’ll be the coach who walked through the process with a young man who had no credit, no job, and no resources and now has a bank account and a thriving small business.
God created us to serve one another—and it really does feel good to help someone learn how to get out of a desperate situation by providing a hand up (wise financial counsel and resources) instead of a hand out. If you would like to join us as a financial life coach, please mark your calendar now for our next training—6:30 p.m., February 2 at the Harrodsburg Road Campus in Building A, Multipurpose Room.
For more information contact Candy.

Sara Willison
Outreach Operations Coordinator

Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future

Posted on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 under Students Expression 3

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”
This statement bears so much weight and truth when it comes to our teenagers. After 9 years of doing youth ministry, I’ve come to believe that the two strongest indicators of whether a student will remain a Christian after high school are the friends they choose and how seriously their parents live out their faith.
In week 2 of our Framily series in student ministry, we are going to specifically examine our students’ friendships. We’ll look at the friendship of David and Jonathan and extract some principles for how to handle our friendships in middle school and high school. Our bottom line for the week is: A friend is someone who walks in when everyone else walks out. 
In the end, we want our students to learn how to approach all of their relationships with the same mindset that Jesus had here on earth. We’re here to serve and point people to Him. That’s what it’s all about.
If you’re a parent and would like to learn more about our current series, contact David Hausknecht.

David Hausknecht
Middle School Director - Harrodsburg Road


Posted on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 under Students Expression 3

Thinking back on the past couple weeks of Winter Break I realized that it was a great time for me because I came back afterwards relaxed and refreshed. The same goes for our Middle School and High School students.  For 2 whole weeks they’re not having to wake up early for school, or not having to cram for that math test, or not needing to stay up way too late working on a project. Breaks like these refresh us because we so often feel like we’re running on empty.
The same happens for students with the busyness of school and all of the distractions in their lives like constantly scrolling through Instagram, video games, worries about peer pressure and stress from school. That is why it’s important for us all to take some time to refocus and recharge ourselves, but not just from the busyness of our everyday lives... we need to be willing to take a step away from time to time and re-orient our lives back to God. That is why Student Ministry does Winter Retreat and why we want as many middle school and high school students to be a part of it! 
Even if it’s only for a weekend, numerous students have told me that Winter Retreat wasn’t just a weekend that recharged their year, for some it was the turning point in their lives that sparked their new life with Christ for the very first time. It’s a weekend packed with a crazy amount of fun and plenty of opportunities to be able to worship and focus in on the fact that there is a God who loves them, has a plan for their lives and is willing to fight on their behalf. 
So if Winter Retreat sounds like the recharge you or your son/daughter might be needing, get signed up today!
Amplify high school retreat will be held February 6-8. Register your high school student here.
LIFT middle school retreat will be held February 13-15. Register your middle school student here.

Eric Schneider
Student Ministry Director / High School Leader - Richmond Road

Live on Mission, Change a Life

Posted on Fri, Jan 09, 2015 under Students Expression 3

Spoiler alert! If you’re like me and have a hard time reading past the first sentence of a blog post, I’m going to give you the gist in hopes that you can finish it with me: Serving as a volunteer in student ministries is one of the best ways to live in community and on mission. 
Still with me? Okay, great.
We’ve all heard plugs for volunteers in church. It’s a constant need. And I think that’s a good thing. It means the church is doing something worthwhile for the Kingdom and is rallying the troops for the cause. A revolution of love doesn’t happen because staff are excited about ministry; it happens when hundreds of volunteers in the church body come together and say, “There is too much at stake not to give my time for Kingdom work.”
That’s what we are saying in student ministry. We have one goal. We want teenagers to fall in love with Jesus and decide to follow Him for the rest of their lives. This is not an easy task, or an easy ministry. But, when you get to help a student in your Life Group go under the water and be baptized, you’ll never look back. If you want a better feel for the students we are ministering to, check out Matthew’s story.
Hundreds and hundreds of middle school and high school students come through our doors every week, hoping that someone will notice them and care enough about them to ask how they’re doing. This is where you can step in and play your part in unleashing a revolution of love.
Here’s the other great part: While you’re living “on mission,” you’ll start to look around at all of our other volunteers and realize that these people are just like you. They care about the same things. They’re emotionally invested in the same people. And you genuinely like being around them every week at the same time. You came to pour into students, but somehow you found community! This is the story of almost every volunteer we have. 
Consider hanging out with us for two hours every week. I promise that as you live “on mission” and “in community” with us, you won’t regret it. There is no greater purpose than helping others know the love of Jesus at such a pivotal time in someone’s life. 
Ready to start that journey? Contact Stephanie Boxx for a volunteer application!

David Hausknecht
Middle School Director - Harrodsburg Road

Thinking About Joy

Posted on Fri, Jan 09, 2015 under Evangelism Expression 4

My favorite Christmas song has always been Joy to the World. The rest of the first verse gives the reason for joy: "The Lord has Come".
When I was twelve, He came to me, though I'm not sure I came to Him. In a little Baptist Church in Louisville, I repeated a confession of faith and was baptized. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing; I just knew we were expected to be baptized by age twelve. I didn’t feel any differently. In fact, within a couple of years I had dropped out of church entirely. 
After a long walk away from God, my friend, Beverly, reached out and invited me to her church. She knew I was miserable and wanted me to find Jesus. I started to get to know Him there. I also experienced unconditional love for the first time in my life. People didn’t try to change me; they just loved me, accepted me, affirmed me and cared. I eventually joined the youth choir and met a girl named Linda (who eventually became my wife).
About four years later, in college, I was baptized again. I was talking to my roommate late one afternoon and said, "You know, Doug, I was baptized when I was twelve, but I didn't know then what I know now." 
"What do you know now?" he asked.
I said, "I know that I want to follow Jesus the rest of my life." Then, I added, "I think I'd like to be baptized again...would you do it?" He was pretty nervous about the whole thing.
He said, "Where would we do it?"
I said, "Let's drive over to Morehead and you can baptize me in Cave Run Lake."
I called my girlfriend and asked if she would come. She said, "Absolutely." And so Doug, Linda and I jumped in the car and drove 30 miles to Cave Run Lake. The sun was starting to set on a clear, April evening. We waded out into the water, waist deep, just the three of us. I noticed the sun's reflection on the water. It made me happy.
Doug said, "Why don't you confess your faith in Jesus?" 
I said, "I believe, with all my heart, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God." 
This time, I felt something being released inside me. It was joy. Doug plunged me beneath the water. I remember that it was muddy, yet I felt clean. For the first time in my life, I was clean—on the inside—where it matters.
That was 39 years ago. It seems like yesterday. Joy is like that. It lasts. It lasts because its source never runs dry, and its source—is Jesus. I met Him in the water that evening and my life has never been the same.
Have you met Him?  Do you need more joy in your life?  Why not surrender your life to Jesus and make a life-changing decision to be baptized?  Call me. I’d be honored to help. What are you waiting for?

Gary Black
Campus Leader - Richmond Road

Experience Not Required

Posted on Fri, Jan 09, 2015 under Expression 1

I have a confession to make. My technical abilities begin and end with being able to turn the TV on and off. Beyond that, I'm hopeless—you can ask anyone. It's not something I'm proud of in this megabyte-measuring, cloud-storing world we live in, but it’s true. So, no one was more surprised than me when, in a pinch, I was asked to jump in and run lights for services one weekend. I was scared out of my wits. But, thanks to a lot of calm coaching and direction from my co-worker who was producing the service, everything went great and I ended up absolutely loving it!
Why am I sharing this little anecdote? That's simple! If you've ever wanted to be involved with our weekend services but don't think you have the skills necessary to serve, I'm here to encourage you to check it out. It takes 50 volunteers across our three campuses every weekend to make our services happen. Although some of our volunteers do have a certain knack for operating a camera or a lighting console, a great number of our volunteers—including myself—didn’t have any previous training. It’s amazing to see people ranging in all ages and all backgrounds come together to make our services here at Southland the best possible experience that they can be.
Do you want to be a part of a fun, wonderful group of people? Would you rather serve behind the scenes? Do you have a desire to learn something new? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the Production Team might be a great fit for you! If you are interested in getting involved or just have questions regarding what it’s like to be on the production team at Southland, please get in touch with one of the following people:
Harrodsburg Road, contact Sarah
Richmond Road, contact Ruth.
Danville, contact Aaron.
10 After / 608, contact Liz.

Sarah Hopkins
Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Harrodsburg Road

Welcome to the Framily

Posted on Tue, Jan 06, 2015 under Students Expression 3

Our society constantly tells us that we would all be better off if we just looked out for the most important people in the world: me, myself, and I. However, none of us are immune to the fact that we were created by God to be in relationships with others! From the very beginning, God knew that, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18 - NLT)
Teenagers have different kinds of relationships they are navigating through every single day. What if students would seek the wisdom that God has laid out for us in His Word for the relationships they encounter? That is what our next series in LIFT and Amplify is all about—the Framily.
Week by week, we’ll be discussing a different relationship dynamic that our students are encountering at home, school, on their sports teams, at work, and in all the different places that God puts us where we have relationships. We’ll also give you, as parents/guardians, the general overview of what we’re talking about each week so the conversation can continue at home each week throughout the series.
During Week 1 we’ll do an overview about having wisdom in all the different kinds of relationships that we have. The perfect example comes from the life of Jesus and the humility he displayed in all his encounters with people. We’ll be studying Philippians 2:3-8 with an emphasis on the healthy relationships we can build when we put the needs of others ahead of our own.
Here’s a sneak preview of what we’ll be covering in the rest of the series as well:
Week 2 - Wisdom in choosing your friends.
Week 3 - Focusing on what it looks like to honor your mother and father.
Week 4 - Understanding God’s standard for dating relationships.
Week 5 - A panel discussion on sex and living a life of purity. 
Everyone on the Student Ministry team hopes that this series will be beneficial for all of our students, and we look forward to partnering with you as parents, so you can continue to spiritually invest in the life of your students!

Eric Schneider
Student Ministry Director / High School Leader - Richmond Road

One Friend

Posted on Fri, Jan 02, 2015 under Evangelism Expression 4

What if 2015 was the year that it happened? What if the person you’ve been praying so long for finally surrendered everything to Jesus and started walking in freedom?
Here at Southland we have four expressions that serve as starting points for how we live our lives with Jesus, as a community. Each of these expressions has a specific challenge. As we start 2015, I wanted to remind us of one very important expression and challenge.
Expression 4 states that “We generously extend hope to the poor.” The poor are anyone in need emotionally, physically, financially and/or spiritually. In order to get even more specific with what we want the results of that focus to be we’ve challenged 100% of Jesus Followers at Southland to baptize one friend each year.
You took on this challenge and last year as we saw 1,006 people claim Jesus as savior and be baptized. These people now walk in freedom!
God is calling us to do more in 2015. Our goal across all of our campuses is 1,200 baptisms. However, if we took this challenge really seriously we could see over 10,000 people baptized!
Today, find a visible place to write down the name of one person you will commit to praying for. This year can be the year they accept Jesus and walk in freedom.

Nathan Head
Executive Pastor of Ministries

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