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Parent Sneak Preview - July 5

Posted on Mon, Jun 29, 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:  Review all the days of creation (Genesis 1-2:1-3 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God Made Everything
Bible Verse:  “In the beginning, God created the heavens, and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1 NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  A Brave New Leader (Judges 4:1-8,14-15 NIrV)
Big Idea:  I Can Be A Leader Who Goes First!
Bible Verse:  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live.” - 1 Timothy 4:12a NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Generosity and Giving (Philippians 4:10-19 NIrV)
Big Idea:  We can make a difference in people’s lives by giving our resources, time and abilities
Bible Verse:  “You should each give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver.” - II Corinthians 9:7 NIrV
Worship: 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Backpack Food Challenge

Posted on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 under Expression 3 Expression 4

How often do you head to the pantry or refrigerator to grab a snack? I’m in and out of the pantry several times a day grabbing cookies, trail-mix, chips, cereal, and whatever else I might be craving at the time. It’s almost too easy! I forget that not everyone has such easy access to something as simple - and essential - as food.
 
We are a church that generously extends hope to the community. Last year, we fed over 300 students every week through the Backpack Program. These children had access to little or no food on the weekends. Because of your generosity each week, we were able to provide a full backpack for each student in the program—including breakfast bars, microwavable dinners, peanut butter crackers, and snacks. It was a great year! But because we gave so generously through the year, our shelves are now empty and it’s time to refill them for the fall!
 
Over the next few weeks, we are asking everyone to bring in at least 10 items for the Backpack Program so we can start off the 2015-2016 school year with a full pantry. Having a full pantry frees us to send some extra food home on the weekends, support additional kids throughout the school year, and dream about expanding our program!
 
All you have to do is take a look at our food list, head to the store, and drop off your items in the bins when you come to the weekend services.
 
Every item you bring from our food list will go right into the hands of a child who may not have the pantry you and I have. With your help, we can feed more kids in the upcoming school year than we ever have before! If you have any questions, please contact me!
  • Challenge your Life Group to bring items to the next group meeting. Or, better yet, how cool would it be to go grocery shopping together as a group?
  • You can do this with your family as well! Head out to the store and use this as an opportunity to teach them to serve!

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

A Day In The Life

Posted on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 under Expression 1

My first day as an intern with the outreach team led me downtown. My new friend Max Appel told me to meet him at Jubilee Jobs early Monday morning. I didn’t know much other than this was an orientation held every Monday morning to start the process of finding jobs for people. The director of Jubilee Jobs, Carrey, spoke to the crowd with dignity and respect. “We are on your team. We will work for you as long as you are willing to work for yourself.” The empowerment offered here is real and it has Jesus’ fingerprints all over.
 
Next, Max wanted to show me New Life Day Center, located downtown. This building offers a safe place where good choices can be made during the day by the homeless community, and gives a roof over their head to stay out of the elements. Max also told me that giving people a locker is a big deal because most people who are homeless don’t have anything permanent to call their own and to keep their belongings safe during the day. 
Then, we met Miss Simpson. This little lady was as full of Jesus as she was of sas. I mean, really - what a woman. Originally, Max met her during Serve the City, but continued to love Miss Simpson in real, tangible ways even many months later. We all went out to eat and there Miss Simpson prophesied over me and challenged me on my theology and Bible knowledge (not really the relaxing lunch I had planned for). In between small bites of her cheeseburger, Miss Simpson would proclaim truth to our table and bring us each a little closer to our Lord. 
 
That same night, I met at Richmond Road for Serve the City. During the meeting, and as we are leaving, Janelle kept telling me we are going to a “book club,” but I have no idea what that is or even what’s going on at this point. We headed out to Panera for “book club” which consists of 4 high school girls and 3 leaders. Then we started the book; this week’s chapter was on cyberbullying. One of the girls openly reacted, “That’s stupid; if they wanna say somethin’ why don’t they come out from behind the screen and I’ll show ‘em what a real fight looks like when I knock ‘em out in the streets.” I love how real her answer is, even though I may not agree. I was reassured with the way the leaders not only de-escalated the dialogue, but started to ask hard questions in order to challenge the cultural thinking. “What would punching someone solve? Wouldn’t that just create more problems?” Just being a consistent presence each week teaches these girls things. The way the leaders interact with each other only using kind and encouraging words teaches these girls things. 
Having real talks and thinking of hard questions teaches these girls things.
 
That was all in one day, people. Southland outreach is the real deal. It’s also not for the faint of heart or those who really love sleep (this wasn’t really clarified during my interview process). But serving the community is something I’m seeing being done well by Southland in so many ways. It’s tiring, sometimes awkward, but always full of spreading Jesus. 
 
Blog written by Andrea Holderman.

Praying For Charleston

Posted on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 under Expression 1

3 Things We’re Praying for Charleston
 
In the wake of what happened to our brothers and sisters in Jesus this past week in Charleston, SC, here are three things we’re praying:
  1. Father, comfort and heal those grieving terrible loss.  (Job 5:11, Romans 8:37-39, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
  2. Father, help us stand courageously in the face of evil.  (John 16:33, Romans 8:18-21, 8:28)
  3. Father, as Jesus has instructed we pray for our enemies and those that persecute us.  (Matthew 5:9-12, 43-44)
If you are in need of comfort and prayer, please let our staff know.

Nathan Head
Executive Pastor of Ministries

Parent Sneak Preview - June 28

Posted on Mon, Jun 22, 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: Creation Days 6-7 (Genesis 1-2 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God Made Everything
Bible Verse:  “In the beginning, God created the heavens, and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1 NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story: David Respects His Father (1 Samuel 17:12-20 NIrV)
Big Idea:  I Can Be A Leader Who Shows Respect!
Bible Verse:  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live.” - 1 Timothy 4:12a NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control (Galatians 5:22-23 NIrV)
Big Idea:  When we show goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control we can make a difference in the lives of others
Bible Verse:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.”  - Galatians 5:22-23 NIrV
Worship: 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Orphan Care

Posted on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 under Expression 1

There are so many great ways to help care for orphans! Consider extending hope to a child by praying, providing respite support for adoptive families, taking in a child in need for a few short weeks, fostering a child or even adopting. There are so many ways to help and you may be surprised how simple it can be to join in the work God is doing all over the planet to care for His kids.
Have you been praying about how you can participate in extending the love of Jesus to orphans? Here are a couple of fantastic ways to discover more!
  • Stop by Connection Point to let us know you’re interested in learning more and someone from our team will contact you!
  • Join us for our “The Best of Orphan Care” class at our Richmond Road Campus at the Cafe Classroom on Tuesday, June 23, 6:30pm to 7:30 pm and at our Harrodsburg Road Campus in Room F205 on Thursday, June 25, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
  • Check out our Adoptive Families Care Group the second Thursday of every month. Find out more here!

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Who led you to Jesus?

Posted on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 under Expression 1

There were many who were part of leading me to Jesus. Which of these roles would you have most naturally played?
 
Matt - Christ follower. Matt was a committed Christian. He didn’t do the things I did. He simply befriended me. Sometimes he’d share his concern about some things I was doing but he wasn’t preachy. His life was convicting to me. He prayed for me. He spent time with Jesus daily. Bottom line: Matt was a friend who valued me as a person, accepting me as I was.
 
Nate - Campus ministry worker. Nate started a Bible Study in my dorm. I recall him asking us, “If you walked into the road and were killed by a bus, how certain are you that you’d be in heaven?” We discussed how we could know for sure where we stood with Jesus. Bottom line: Nate was a ministry leader who asked the hard questions, listened to my opinions, and shared his thoughts on truth.
 
Neil and Kevin - My roommates. Neil, Kevin and myself were all raised in church. But we felt that what we had experienced wasn’t quite the real deal. We were searching. Together. Bottom line: There’s power when people search together, when they’re not alone in the journey.
 
Chad - Christ follower. My friend Matt moved away during my second year of college. That void was filled by Chad. He was someone I could just hang out with and not feel like I had to pretend or be any different than who I was to be accepted. Bottom line: Chad was a great friend who loved Jesus and lived like Him.
 
Sara - Christ follower.  Sara was beautiful in a totally different way than I’d ever noticed beauty in a girl before. She loved Jesus in a vibrant, fun, and energetic way. To hear her pray was to hear someone talking comfortably with a close friend. I fell in love with her and eventually married her. Bottom line: Being vibrant - but being yourself - is a captivating expression of Jesus.
 
Lynn - Campus Minister. When I asked Lynn about following Jesus with my life he put the scriptures in my hands. I read what the Bible had to say about knowing God through Christ. At a follow-up connection we talked about scripture, what I was learning, and how God might want me to respond. I was baptized that week. Bottom line: Lynn trusted God’s Spirit and His Word to lead me without telling me what to do or what to believe. 
 
God - The Father, Son, Spirit. God wanted me to be part of His family forever. And He did what it took to draw me to Himself. He used lots of people in the process. Bottom line: All of the above happened because God invites all of His kids to participate in the process of bringing others home.
  • Who were the people involved in leading you to Christ?
  • Which part could you have most easily played in my story?
  • For whom are you a living reflection of Jesus in your world?

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - June 21

Posted on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 under Children 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:  Creation Days 4-5 (Genesis 1-2 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God Made Everything
Bible Verse:  “In the beginning, God created the heavens, and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1 NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Being a Servant Like Jesus (John 5:1-15 NIrV)
Big Idea:  I Can Be A Leader Who Serves!
Bible Verse:  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live.” - 1 Timothy 4:12a NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness (Galatians 5:22-23 NIrV)
Big Idea:  When we show love, joy, peace, patience and kindness we can make a difference in the lives of others.
Bible Verse:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.”  - Galatians 5:22-23 NIrV
Worship:

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Extend Hope

Posted on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 under Expression 4

If you’ve been around Southland very long, you’ve probably heard us use the phrase “generously extend hope…” and have seen us use #ExtendHope in quite a few of our posts to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Here’s the deal: it’s not just something we like saying—it’s actually part of DNA. It’s one of the defining pieces of who we are as a church.
 
Back in 2012, we had a weekend series called DNA of a Dangerous Church where we defined our mission as a church and laid out four statements called Expressions that help us focus our attention:
  1. Relentlessly Pursue a Transforming Relationship with God
  2. Sacrificially Serve our Families
  3. Radically Invest in the Next Generation
  4. Generously Extend Hope to the Poor
That fourth expression, Generously Extend Hope to the Poor, is the heart behind our Global Missions team. It’s also why, as a church, we re-invest over 10% of everything you give each weekend back into outreach and our partner ministries in Kentucky and around the globe. But the word poor isn’t just about money. We want everyone who calls Southland their home to also extend the Hope of Jesus to the emotionally, relationally, and spiritually poor. That’s why we encourage everyone to not only give with their finances, but also give with their time and their talents. And one of the ways you can do that is by going on a mission trip to serve alongside one of our amazing partner ministries.
 
One of those partner ministries we love supporting and serving alongside is Sonlight in Port de Paix, Haiti. Since education is such a major need for Haitian children, Sonlight operates a Christian school to serves kids from preschool through twelfth grade. And on August 22-29, we’re going to be sending a team down to Haiti to help them prepare for their fall semester and serve along their teachers and staff. Whether you’ve gone on a mission trip before or this would be your first time, we’d love to have you be a part of the team! It will be a perfect opportunity to serve with your time and talents and share the love of Jesus with the kids who attend Sonlight!
 
Contact me to learn more and sign up for this trip. I would love to answer any questions you might have and talk more about what it means to generously #ExtendHope to the poor by serving with our Global Missions team!

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

Operation Parent Resource

Posted on Tue, Jun 09, 2015 under Expression 3

Parenting is hard. 
 
Parenting teenagers is even harder. 
 
When your kids reach adolescence, they start to chase after independence and autonomy more than ever. They want to test new looks, new personalities, new friends… and do it all on their own. Or so they tell you. The true test of parenting is seeing through the external façade and into the heart of your child. To understand what they really need - not just what they want - is no small undertaking.
 
Here at Southland we want to help you in your journey. We can never replace you as spiritual leaders of your children, but we can be your biggest cheerleaders. We can also play the role of coach if you need us to. 
 
We’d like to introduce you to a great resource: Operation Parent. This is a group of people dedicated to equipping you for the hard conversations along the way. They offer an excellent “Parent Handbook” that covers everything from drinking to aggressive behavior to ADHD. They offer information on trends, what the Bible says about various topics, tips and advice to consider, and so much more. 
You may have heard the old adage: It takes a village to raise a child. Well maybe you should consider inviting Operation Parent into your “village” as you seek to lead your teenager spiritually.
 
Let’s eliminate the parenting culture of being reactive and replace it with a culture of being proactive. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 remind us, “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
 
Be sure to check out Operation Parent! And, of course, if you’d ever like to speak with a staff member, feel free to contact Richard Weese for high school or David Hausknecht for middle school . We’re here to partner with you!

David Hausknecht
Student Director

What is keeping us on the sidelines?

Posted on Mon, Jun 08, 2015 under Expression 1

Why do some people who participate in evangelism - not to mention the people who have evangelism done to them - seem to despise the process? Maybe it’s the sense of pressure to close the deal with people - kind of like selling vinyl siding. Or maybe it’s that nagging feeling that we don't know enough about the Bible. Let’s face it - evangelism is just too hard for normal Christians. Am I right?
 
But what if…
  • You didn’t have to make a speech in order to share your faith?
  • You could use everyday experiences to nudge others closer to Jesus?
  • The things you’re already doing “counted” as evangelism? 
People aren't shopping for religion; they are looking for something real. Jesus is at the center of reality and has commissioned us to invite others into His reality by living it and loving them. So, when all else fails, be yourself and focus on others! 
 
Evangelism can be as normal as paying attention, friendship, kindness, concern, and listening ears. When Christians show genuine interest in others, people sometimes begin to believe that God may actually be for them. The great part is that being unusually interested in people doesn't require special expertise and hours of training. In fact, it involves nothing more than living your normal life and simply beginning to practice the art of noticing the people around you. 
 
Jesus was a master at showing interest in others. Jesus knew there isn't a right way or a wrong way to listen to a friend talk about their hurts, doubts, and struggles. It just takes a Christian who is willing to stop long enough to pay attention. 
 
This week try paying attention by:
  • Asking someone, “How are you?” and then actually listening.
  • When you see a neighbor you’ve waved at for two years from across the street, go introduce yourself.
  • Ask your server in a restaurant about his or her life outside of work.
  • Call a friend you’ve not seen in a while and see how they're doing.
  • Hold the door open for a stranger as an act of kindness. 
When we do these things, God notices. He sees you bringing your friend slowly, gradually across the starting line toward Jesus. God sees your heart. And He will reward you with even more connections and opportunities with the people He misses most. 

Gordon Walls
Harrodsburg Road Campus Leader / Outreach Director

Parent Sneak Preview - June 14

Posted on Mon, Jun 08, 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:  Creation Days 1-3 (Genesis 1-2 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God Made Everything
Bible Verse:  “In the beginning, God created the heavens, and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1 NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Nehemiah Rebuilds the Wall (Nehemiah 2:2 - 2:18; 4:4-6 NIrV)
Big Idea:  I Can Be A Leader Who Includes Others!
Bible Verse:  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live.” - 1 Timothy 4:12a NIrV
Worship: 
 
The Backlot
Bible Story:  God’s Grace (1 Corinthians 15:1-8 NIrV)
Big Idea:  We can make a difference in other’s lives by telling them about Jesus
Bible Verse:  “God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift.” 
Worship: 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor


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