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When the Words Overflow

Posted on Mon, Mar 02, 2015 under Expression 4

I’m a strong introvert. I stand in awe of the people who know what to talk about. With people I know, I’m aware of who can both generate and carry conversation. Around strangers, however, I have to depend on another strategy: The “Introvert Walk.” Basically, I just keep moving, dodging awkward silences by looking like I’m heading somewhere on purpose. Walk over there to get a drink. Head for the bathroom next. Move to one side of the room. Now the other. Outside to check my phone. Back inside. I put in a lot of miles.
 
The funny thing about my introversion is that it’s actually possible for me to talk your ear off once we find a subject I’m passionate about. I can rave about international soccer, coffee, trail running, car repair, French literature, Fuji apples, Austin Cheese Crackers, European travel, Japanese green tea, and, yes, Jesus. The more passionate we are about a subject, the greater our vocabulary is to describe it. Even if you find you are sometimes short on words.
 
But evangelism is a big deal! What if I don’t know what to say? I’m here to remove the pressure. Have you experienced Jesus? Are you getting to know Him better and better? If so, you have something to share. You don’t have to make anything up—just share what God is doing in your life today. At the right time, of course. Remember, God wants your friend to meet Jesus even more than you do. And He knows how to nudge conversation along. Stop trying so hard to evangelise for God and start evangelising with Him.
 
Usually God sets me up to share about Him by starting with something else that comes easy to me to start the conversation or relationship. The other day it was at the grocery store, connecting about trail running shoes and German soccer. Not every conversation moves immediately to Jesus. Some do. Most don’t. Instead they travel through a much longer road of connection and common ground that build trust, give you a voice, and cause your story of Jesus to be set in the context of a whole life that has been impacted by encountering Him.
 
  • Pray for God to show you the relationships to pray about sharing Jesus. Ask God to give you words at the right time to share about Christ.
  • Watch for the opportunity to share the news about Jesus through your words and your actions daily.

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - March 7/8 Weekend

Posted on Mon, Mar 02, 2015 under Children 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:  Abraham Shares (Genesis 13 - NiRV)
Big Idea:  Be happy with what you have
Bible Verse:  “Love will never end.”  - 1 Corinthians 13:8 NiRV
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Abraham (Genesis 22:1-18 - NiRV)
Big Idea:  I Can be a Sinbuster by Obeying God’s Word
Bible Verse:  “Obey the Lord your God.” -  Deuteronomy 27:10 NiRV
 
The Backlot
Bible Story:  The Good Shepherd meets our needs (Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 23:6; Matthew 6:19; Philippians 4:8 - NiRV)
Big Idea:  We will mess up, so Jesus, the Good Shepherd, sets limits
Bible Verse:  “All we like sheep have gone astray.” - Isaiah 53:6 NiRV
 
 
Sheep Life Challenge: Families, don’t forget to take the Sheep Life Challenge and download your Psalm 23 poster and wallpaper today.

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Disciplines & Drive-Thru’s: Season 2

Posted on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 under Expression 1

Evangelism can be a scary word. But it’s often more misunderstood than it is scary. It’s not about holding a bullhorn on the corner of the street. It’s merely a conversation with your friends about your friendship with Jesus. Jesus doesn’t want us to be guilted into talking about Him. He wants us to overflow with it in our own, natural context.
 
Join Chris and I as we take Jon for a ride in these four episodes. We’ll discuss what evangelism is, and perhaps more importantly, what it isn’t. And if you’re looking for some reading to work through as you watch, go buy Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels. It’ll be a great supplement to the conversation.

Derrick Purvis
Formation Pastor

I’ve Got My “E” Ticket

Posted on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 under Evangelism Expression 4


As a kid growing up in California, I loved going to Disneyland. Back in the day, you’d have a book of tickets that you’d use for each ride. The “E” ticket rides included the Matterhorn and Pirates of the Caribbean—two of my favorite rides. Many times my mom and her sister would give up their “E” tickets so that we could ride all the fun rides with my Dad. They made a huge sacrifice so that my brother and I could enjoy ourselves for that one day. Of course you no longer have to use a book of tickets to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld...these days it’s just one price for everyone to get in.
 
Disneyland pales in comparison to what heaven will be like. And guess what—you don’t need an “E” ticket to get in. Actually, your ticket price to get into heaven has already been paid. Jesus paid the price for you and me when He sacrificed His life on the cross. We can walk right through those gates of Heaven and walk right into the arms of Jesus if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. That’s a whole lot better than riding a roller coaster at Disneyland, believe me!
 
I don’t know where you are right now in your walk with Jesus. I know some of us think we will never be good enough... and you’re right! We will never be good enough, but through Jesus we can be made new. The choice is yours!
 
Disneyland is awesome, but nothing like how awesome Heaven is going to be and I want to go there with you! If you are thinking about giving your life to Jesus, don’t be afraid. I’d love to talk with you about what it means to surrender and give your life to the One who loves you most.

Dotty Harney
Children's Volunteer Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Parent Sneak Preview - February 28/March 1

Posted on Mon, Feb 23, 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: Abraham Moves to a New Land (Genesis 12:1-8)

Big Idea: Wait with a happy heart.

Bible Verse: “Love will never end.” - 1 Corinthians 13:8

The Drive-In

Bible Story: Daniel Tells the King the Truth (Daniel 4: 1-8,19 & 25)

Big Idea: I Can Be A “Sinbuster” By Always Telling the Truth

Bible Verse:“So each of you must get rid of your lying. Speak the truth to your neighbor.” - Ephesians 4:25a

The Backlot

Bible Story: The Good Shepherd Meets Our Needs (Matt 6:25-33)

Big Idea: Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows our needs and can take care of us.

Bible Verse: “The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need.” - Psalm 23:1

Sheep Life Challenge

Families, don’t forget to take the Sheep Life Challenge and download your Psalm 23 poster and wallpaper today.

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

2 Timothy Study

Posted on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 under Expression 4

On Monday nights in March, Southland will be offering a mid-week teaching and worship experience through the book of 2 Timothy. This is a powerful section of Scripture that teaches God's people how to stay faithful to the Gospel in the midst of an increasingly faithless culture.
 
Each night Dan Hamel will teach 2 Timothy verse-by-verse, and afterward we'll have a time to respond with worship and guided prayer. This will be a great opportunity to grow more in your understanding of the Bible and also meet new people at Southland. If you're already in a life-group, consider coming together. We hope to see you there!
 
Monday nights — March 2-23
6:30pm-7:45pm
Richmond Road Campus (Parkside Theater) 
If you have any questions, contact Dan.

Dan Hamel
Teaching Pastor

Take a Leap of Faith

Posted on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 under Expression 4

One of the greatest gifts of traveling is the people you meet. That’s what I’ve learned so far in my short 25 years of life. Marie-Claire Charles is one of those people. We met for the first time last June when I visited Ouanaminthe Haiti, after months of back-and-forth emails and her putting up with my rusty attempt at Haitian Kreyol. It felt like we’d been friends our whole lives. We laughed together, talked about what girly things, and shared dreams for Haiti—the country we both love.
 
Marie Claire was in 7th grade when she first started attending Institution Univer, the school started by Hugues Bastien. At the end of 13th grade, her class would be the first to graduate from the institution, and she would be one of the young adults to venture on to the United States to pursue higher education.
 
Her goal was always to go back to Haiti, to improve her country in any way God led her. As people rallied around her love for Haiti in America, it only fueled her fire that she could bring change to a place so many people saw as lost.  
 
When I recently visited Marie-Claire in Haiti, I got to see more of her heart. She loves relentlessly. Whether it is a small child who caught her eye, or an elderly lady walking down the road, Marie Claire noticed them. Here at Southland, we often talk about doing for one what you wish you could do for everyone—that’s what Marie Claire does; she loves the individuals of Haiti.
 
We have so many trips to Haiti this year that would give you the opportunity to meet people like Marie-Claire. Whether you visit Ouanaminthe, venture up to Port-de-Paix, or find your way over to Grande Goave, you’re going to have the chance to interact with some incredible people. Trust me, it’s worth the leap of faith to go to Haiti and make a new friend. For more information, contact me.

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Join the Guest Experience Team!

Posted on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 under Weekend Expression 1

The Guest Experience team loves getting to know people who visit Southland and we take pride in taking great care of our guests. We love helping a first-time family connect to our children's environment. We love assisting guests through the cross-walk safely in our parking lot. We love extending a warm smile as you walk through the door. We love serving you a cup of hot coffee. We love connecting with you when you come find a seat in the Auditorium. Whatever it is, our Guest Experience team values you, our guest!
 
We are inviting you to come learn more about how to get started in serving with our Guest Experience team—we are on the lookout for Greeters that welcome folks at the doors and Section Hosts who meet and hang out with guests in the Auditorium. We have a blast serving together—we have a fun team and an incredible mission! Will you join us?

Michelle Frank
Guest Experience Director - Harrodsburg Road

Evening Programs Canceled for Thursday, February 19

Posted on Wed, Feb 18, 2015

The snow is finally over (for now), but we know there are many roads in the Lexington and Danville areas that are still dangerous to travel on. Because of this, we've decided to cancel all programs for Thursday evening.

Unfortunately, this means that we'll have to postpone Launch Night at the Danville and Harrodsburg Road campuses. We haven't rescheduled just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we have a new date!

We'll also be canceling Celebrate Recovery at the Harrodsburg Road campus Thursday evening. However, our Celebrate Recovery staff, sponsors, and group leaders will still be available by phone if you have an urgent prayer need Thursday evening.

We hope you've been able to stay safe over the past few days and hope to see everyone this weekend! Invite your neighbors or friends to come out with you as we dive into the book of Luke together.

Justin Meeker
Communications Director

The One Matters

Posted on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 under Expression 3 Expression 4

It won’t take long for me to convince you that this statement is true: The One Matters. An entire chapter in Luke 15 talks about this concept—the one coin, the one sheep, the one son. We often get caught up in the thought that unless we affect hundreds or thousands of people, we’re working in vain. The enemy would love for us to think this, but it’s just not true. 
 
At The Academy, a one-on-one mentor program at our Richmond Road Campus, we believe that the one matters. We pair mentors with one student and we love with everything we have. We do for each one what we would like to do for every student in Lexington.

We know that one of the best ways to students hearts is through their stomachs, so this semester we’ve made homemade meals, brought in potlucks, eaten a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and dominated some pizza. Kids can seriously eat! 
 
Among the delicious food we have every Monday, we provide a consistent one hour block of time where leaders can help their student read, work on homework, and share about their day. It’s very tough to pick a favorite part of the day, but this might have to be it: seeing students paired up with an adult who believes in them, encourages them, and tells them the truth of who they are in Jesus. That brings so much joy to my life. Our students are wonderful and unique, but each has a story of more difficulties and triumphs than this blog could capture. Luckily, we have a big Jesus to meet their needs.
 
Lastly, we have fun! That is an understatement. We go on field trips and bring in people from the community to help these students think outside of the box. This semester alone we have:
  • Built rockets
  • Rode roller coasters
  • Visited a working horse farm
  • Built piggy banks at Home Depot
  • Created “The Worlds Largest Ice Cream Sundae”
  • Completed a Crossfit Kids workout
  • Put on our own Christmas play
  • Heard from nurses, MLB coaches, landscape architects, chefs, business owners, non-profit presidents, Veterans, NFL players, and professional videographers
The list could keep going. 
 
We do every bit of what we do in the name of Jesus. We pray before we eat, we finish our day with the study of God’s word, and we worship together. There’s nothing like The Academy and my hope is that more and more people will join us.
 
With every mentor who joins, we are able to bring in one new student. It’s that simple! Would you consider joining us Monday’s from 2:30pm-5:15pm? Contact Janelle Cartner for more information.

Janelle Cartner
Serve The City Coordinator

Take the Sheep Life Challenge

Posted on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 under Expression 3

In a world that gets crazier by the day, our kids need to know that they have a great big God who wants to protect and provide for them no matter what they face. Jesus really is the Good Shepherd who has our back through the all the ups-and-downs of life.
 
To help drive that truth home, we’re challenging all of our Southland families to take the Sheep Life Challenge and memorize Psalm 23 together over the next month.
Here’s how it works:
  1. Download your Sheep Life poster here and start working on memorizing it together. Print it out and hang on your fridge or use this as wallpaper on your phone or tablet — whatever it takes to keep it in front of your family.
  2. Once you memorize it, either take a video of your family reciting it or just take a picture of all of you holding the Sheep Life Challenge poster.
  3. Post your video or picture to Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #sheeplifechallenge. On March 16th we’ll be drawing one of those families to win a cool prize.
  4. For extra fun, you can challenge another family to take the Sheep Life Challenge too.  No ice buckets necessary.
By the way, our poster is in the NIrV version, but you can use any version of Psalm 23 for your family. So, what are you waiting for? Bust out your Bibles and take the Sheep Life Challenge together!

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Be A BannerMan

Posted on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 under Expression 4

Ever seen this guy?  If not, chances are you’ve seen a banner or two at an event prominently displaying “John 3:16”.  There’s a great song by Steve Taylor called, “Bannerman” which is all about this guy and others like him who have made it their mission to purchase expensive tickets to events and at the right time, throw up this most famous scripture in the Bible.  Steve quips in the song, “He ain’t gonna change the world but he knows who can.”
 
We’ve seen this verse so over-displayed we gloss over it’s significance and under-proclaim it.  It’s sad really.  Seriously, read this thing:
 
16For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
(Now, on your own, go read verses 17-21 because they are pretty important too.)
 
Here’s the deal—a banner never saved anyone.  A banner, and BannerMan, ain’t gonna save the world.  
 
But we know who can.  
 
And that WHO is proclaimed in this over-proclaimed verse of scripture that we under-proclaim.  WE know the WHO.  WE do.  So it’s on US to start proclaiming this verse again.
 
You don’t need a banner to proclaim it.  You just need a burden for what this verse means.  If the “everyone who believes” will not perish, what happens to the “everyone who does NOT believe?”  I think we know that too.  Therefore we can’t wait.  We gotta proclaim it.
 
So go be BannerMan, but not with a banner.  Go be BannerMan with your life.  Help those everyones who don’t believe... to believe!
 
When you do, they’ll know that God loves them.
 
That He gave for them.
 
So they can have life.  
 
Be a BannerMan.  
 
It’s worth it.
 
Wanna learn more about baptism so that you can share it with others?  Check this out!

Chris Hahn
Lead Executive Pastor


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