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Latest Blog Posts in "Students"

Serve With Southland Students

Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 under Students Expression 3

As you can see in this video, God is moving powerfully in the lives of Southland Students! And we are looking for adults who can come alongside these students and disciple them in their spiritual journey. If you’d like more information about what it means to volunteer in student ministry, or if you’re ready to apply to become a volunteer, contact Stephanie Boxx, our Volunteer Coordinator. Let her know what campus you’re from, and she’ll connect you with the right staff person!

David Hausknecht
Student Director

Winter Retreat 2016

Posted on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 under Students Expression 3

We have an epic weekend experience in store for both middle school and high school students called Winter Retreat. Here are the details for both weekends!

Middle School Winter Retreat
February 5-7, 2016. Cost = $45.

Middle School Winter Retreat is all about Life Group bonding and growth together! Students will stay with their Life Groups in a host home from their Life Group to create fun memories and have in-depth discussion about what God is teaching them. We will have main sessions in Theater 81 at the Harrodsburg Road campus, as well as insanely fun games and epic moments, like the annual Talent Show! Leaders and host home parents will provide transportation back and forth between the church and host homes. You will leave this weekend more confident in your faith, and closer to your Life Group and Life Group leaders than ever before! Open to all 6th-8th graders, even if you’re not in a Life Group. We’ll find a group just for you!

Register for Middle School Winter Retreat

High School Winter Retreat
February 19-21, 2016. Cost = $99.

High School Winter Retreat is all about taking next steps in your spiritual journey. There are so many distractions keeping us from encountering God on a daily basis. So we're taking a weekend away from normal life to spend time together at Cedarmore Camp in Bagdad, Kentucky (Check out their website here). We’ll have the camp all to ourselves. This camp is incredible! It's nestled in a beautiful area of Kentucky with gorgeous lakes and fun options to keep you entertained during free time! We'll stay in lodges and worship with the band as we learn how to take intentional steps toward Jesus as high school students. It will be an unforgettable weekend!

Register for High School Winter Retreat

Feel free to send any questions to me or our Student Ministry Administrator Mallory Rohach.

David Hausknecht
Student Director

The Struggle Is Real

Posted on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 under Students Expression 3

Throughout the last few weeks in Student Ministry we’ve been examining all of the different kinds of relationships in life—whether it’s friendships, family dynamics, or the standards that God has for relationships between men and women. Middle school and high school is a really foundational time in the lives of students when it comes to decisions they will make with dating relationships and their own sexual purity. And, for most of them, it’s not exactly something students think of wanting to talk about when they make the decision to come to church.

Sex is a topic that consumes the minds of teenagers and seemingly infiltrates every corner of our culture, yet too often the church only gives weak, tepid responses and teachings on sex. Students desperately need guidance, wisdom, and truth and that’s what we hope to offer students as we finish out this series. Last week, we talked specifically about God’s plan for relationships between men and women (marriage) and how that should shape the way they pursue dating relationships, if/when they start to date. Dating should always happen with the purpose of identifying the standards in a person that you would want to spend the rest of your life with and ultimately guarding your own heart throughout the process (Proverbs 4:23).

This week, on all of our campuses, we’ve established panels of adults with couples who have been married for a long time, couples who have been recently married, college students who are in dating relationships, and single adults to answer questions that students may have when it comes to sex, dating, and relationships. We do this so we can help offer a wide variety of guidance, wisdom, and truth as students navigate through the struggle that is being a teenager trying to live up to God’s desires instead of giving into the world’s desires.

As always, parents and guardians have the biggest platform of influence with their own students. We encourage you, as uncomfortable or as awkward as it may be, to sit down and have some real conversations with your own son/daughter about sex, relationships, and purity and to always be praying for them as they navigate through the struggle of being a teenager in the world which we live.

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

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
Student Director

Recharge

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
Student Director

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

O Come All Ye Faithful

Posted on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 under Students Expression 3

“O Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant...Come and behold him, born the King of Angels. O Come let us adore him.”  -O Come All Ye Faithful, John Wade 
 
We wrapped adults in wrapping paper and stuck bows on their faces. There were special appearances by Buddy the Elf. We ate a lot of snacks and Christmas cookies and hot chocolate (but, let’s be honest, those cups had more marshmallows than hot chocolate in them). If you’ve ever had the privilege of sneaking into a Student Ministries Lift or Amplify Christmas party, you’ll know that what I’ve just described is the milder stuff of the night. 
 
After it’s all said and done and every kid is safely home, once we’ve cleaned up wrapping paper that was stuffed into every conceivable corner of the room, and when we’ve scraped red and green frosting off the floor, I get to drive home, alone and in silence for the first time all day. This year, as I was driving home, the song, O Come All Ye Faithful, came on the radio. And as I sang along, I realized that with every word, I was thinking of our students here at Southland.
 
Whether you’re a parent, a volunteer leader, or just know someone who is trekking through adolescence, you know that the pressure to want good, holy things for them can be immense. We want them to make the right decisions, to avoid all the mistakes we made when we were their age, and to never have to deal with the pain or loss that we’ve dealt with.
 
But let’s be honest—while we can guide them and provide wisdom, we can’t control the lives of anyone. What can we do? We can pray for them every single day. And I can’t think of better words to pray over any student in your life than the lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful. Isn’t that what we’re really hoping for? We want students who, no matter what circumstances or choices are present in their lives, can be called faithful, adoring followers of Jesus.

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

It’s like driving a car

Posted on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 under Students Expression 3

A friend of mine drives race cars. Really fast. Around lots of tight turns. He told me that the secret to controlling a car is all about your eyes. Really? I would have thought the secret to controlling a car was all about the steering wheel. Or at least your hands. But here’s the thing: the steering wheel follows your hands. And what do your hands follow? Your eyes. 
 
Eyes are a pretty big deal in the body. They take in all sorts of information that gets transferred to your brain. And we all know that the brain rules the body. If the brain is the quarterback, your eyes are the playbook. If you need a real-life example of this, just check out the nearest teenager. Teens take in everything and act accordingly. They see other kids wearing a certain style of jeans or shoes? It won’t be long before those styles show up in their closet. They see everyone tweeting about a movie or a new album? You can bet they’ll be downloading from iTunes as soon as their allowance money comes in. They see other kids drink a beer or do drugs? How long do you think it is before they take a sip or pass a joint? They start watching pornography? It’s only a matter a time before they become sexually active or have violent or unhealthy views about sex. But what if your teen saw other kids who spent their time serving or being kind to others? Or saw adult men and women navigating faith and life with Jesus?  Where would that take your child? 
 
If you’re the parent of a middle or high school student, then you can help guide the eyes of your kid. What your child sees will influence his life. Take time over the next couple of weeks to identify where your child might be exposed to negative influences. Do this with your student—conversations can build trust. Ask your student where they’re seeing alcohol, drugs, pornography, unkind attitudes, gossip, materialism, selfishness, etc. Together, identify where you can replace seeing negative things with seeing Godly things.
 
We’re not crazy. We know that you may have to have this conversation more than once. And we know that there will be some eye-rolling and refusal to talk. If you need help getting the conversation going or finding ways to help expose your child to things that will influence them in Godly ways, connect with anyone from our Student Ministries team via the staff contact page. We’d be happy to help!

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - November 15/16

Posted on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 under Students Weekend Expression 1

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!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: David vs. Goliath I Samuel 17:1-51

Big Idea: God helps me do hard things.

Talk About: Read the story of David and Goliath from I Samuel 17:1-51.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

This Or That
by John Delich

Never Give Up
by Hillsong Kids

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: David and Jonathan 1 Kings 17:8-16

Big Idea: Friends of God love others.

Talk About: Talk about a way you can show love to a friend this week.

Worship Songs:

Happy Day
by Fee

Live It Out
by Steve Fee

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Bezalel and Oholiab Exodus 35:30-36:7

Big Idea: God gave us talents to serve Him.

Talk About: Make a list of different talents your family has. Talk about different ways you can use your talents to serve the Lord.

Worship Songs:

Spin
by Steve Fee

Chase the Light
by Pat Barrett

Not As Strong
by Steve Fee

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Parent Night @ LIFT

Posted on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Parenting middle schoolers is tough.
 
There’s no doubt about that. Even the best parents will confirm that something happens during puberty that changes the landscape of their parenting approach. 
 
Here in Student Ministries, we want to partner with you in discipling your student. We want to see your student live with Jesus, in community, and on mission. We also know that you as a parent have the most influence on your student, and we want to do whatever it takes to encourage you in your role as the spiritual leader of your home.
 
That’s why we have Parent Night @ LIFT every year. We want you to come and check out what we do in middle school ministry, meet your student’s Life Group Leader(s), and hear more about all the crazy things we have going on this year. We want our Life Group leaders and parents exchanging contact information and working together to help their student feel the incredible love of Jesus.
 
What does Parent Night look like? Glad you asked! For the first hour we invite all 6th grade parents and new parents to come observe our large group program. We want you to get a feel for the worship, teaching, and fun environment we create to get middle schoolers excited about their faith. At the one hour mark, we will have a “Meet & Greet” with all parents (6th-8th) and Life Group leaders. You’ll locate your son and daughter’s leaders and have a chance to get to know them and have a conversation. After 30 minutes, we’ll dismiss the leaders and students to their Life Groups while the Student Ministry Directors have an important informational meeting with the parents about everything we’re doing this school year.
 
We’d love to see you at Harrodsburg Road on Wednesday, October 15th, 7-9p, in Building C.
 
If you have any questions, be sure to contact David for specific information!

David Hausknecht
Student Director

#TBH

Posted on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 under Students Expression 3

I’d like to think as a guy in my mid-twenties that I’m still pretty fluent in the trends happening around me, in our culture, on a daily basis. If I’m falling behind in any of those areas, the Middle School and High School students that I work with help keep me in the know, especially to what’s the latest in social media. One trending hashtag has caught my attention recently, and maybe you’ve caught onto it as well. The hashtag is three simple letters—TBH.
 
It stands for “To Be Honest” and it’s a pretty common trend that I see on Instagram and Twitter feeds, especially among our Middle School and High School students. People may post a selfie and they’ll throw a #TBH hashtag onto the photo to ask their followers about how they honestly feel about them (even if they would never say it to their face in person). Here’s just a sample of some basic #TBH responses from my social media feeds this week among Middle School and High School students:
 
  • “#TBH you’re cool and you seem pretty funny”
  • “#TBH I don’t really know you, but you seem good at baseball and I like your hair.”
  • “#TBH You are really pretty and nice, and we used to talk but we don’t anymore and that makes me sad.” 
 
This “honesty” might seem really surface-level and might be motivated more by finding identity in the opinions of others. But, I think that this “trend” might be on to something. The fact that this practice has become a worldwide trend shows that on a deeper level most of us crave truth and honesty in our lives. No matter what stage of life we’re in, we need people that can be be brutally honest with us and speak the truth in love.
 
Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesian church in regards to unity among the believers: 
 
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (Eph 4:15, NLT)
 
I hope and pray that we can have our own #TBH moments with the people around us in our lives on a regular basis. Not only behind the safety and anonymity of a keyboard, but with boldness and love with the people that God has placed around us in each of our lives.
 
  • As students: Don’t keep your #TBH moments with the people in your life just online. Be a truth-teller who models honesty all the time.
  • As a spouse or as a parent: Give your husband or wife, or your son or daughter, honest encouragement and affirmation on a daily basis.
  • In the workplace: Be willing to stand up for truth and honesty with integrity in all situations.

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

The BASH

Posted on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to hit a car with a sledge hammer? Me, too!
That’s just one of the many amazing things we like to do at our BASH event for middle school students.
 
What is the BASH?
 
Glad you asked. The BASH is an event we have every fall to kickoff the new school year. It’s designed specifically for middle school students. That means it’s high energy, fun, messy, and of course there’s food involved!
 
We’ll have lots of inflatables for students to run challenge courses and maybe do some jousting. For the really adventurous we even have a mechanical bull. You can't have an event called BASH without "bashing" some stuff so of course we’ll have that, too. Students can bash a car or try bashing some tomatoes at our Tomato Home Run Derby. We will have all of this and so much more!
 
Still not sold on the BASH being the most amazing event ever?
 
Really? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words—check out this short video of our BASH event from last year:
 
You can't tell me you’re not excited!
 
OK, when is the BASH?
 
The BASH 2014 is open to any and all middle school students (current 6-8th graders)
 
  • Date: Friday Sept. 19th
  • Time: 7-9pm
  • Location: Building F, Atrium, at the Harrodsburg Road Campus
  • Cost: $5 entry fee
  • Food: Bring money for food trucks
 
If you know a Middle school student invite them to BASH they are guaranteed to have fun!
 
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or Mallory!

Caroline Krouse
High School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Solid Community

Posted on Tue, Sep 09, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Last semester I met Ashley. She wandered into our high school ministry alone and immediately sat in a corner away from where all the other students were playing games. I went over and started up a conversation with her. She was shy and awkward and was going through some pretty tough times at school and at home. I introduced her to one of our adult volunteers, Jessica, who invited her to be a part of the Life Group she led. Over the next several months, I watched as Ashley went from sitting alone to joining her friends in a game of 9-square. She went from barely uttering a word to running up to the girls in her Life Group to blurt out the details of her day. And the sadness around her lifted as she began to radiate joy. At the end of the semester, Jessica baptized Ashley and helped her get connected to a ministry at the college where she started this fall. Ashley met Jesus and met the Church through her Life Group.
 
Our Student Ministries invest 50% of the time we have with students each week into Life Groups. The Life Groups are intentional and structured groups of 1-2 adults and 6-10 students of the same gender and grade. We believe that these groups are the very heart of our ministry. They provide each student with a solid community to encourage them throughout their middle and high school years. 
 
If you’re the parent of a middle or high school student or know a student, we’d love to help connect them with a Life Group. Visit our Students page for more info on how to get connected with Student Ministries and view our upcoming events at each of our campuses.

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

And so the School Year Begins Again!

Posted on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 under Students Expression 3 Expression 4

The school year is upon us again! Students are beginning to cringe, knowing that homework, tests, essays, and studying will soon consume their lives. For those of you who are parents, a sense of peace and relaxation might be present, as you can now find some time to breathe and relax. Maybe this means you can pick up a book again, get back to your daily routine of cleaning and working out, or simply sit and enjoy the silence of an empty house. Whatever it is, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to this year and what God has in store.
 
One thing that comes to mind every year is activities. These countless events fight for your student’s attention. It’s only a matter of time before something gets left out; then you’ll have to choose what is most important in your child’s life.
 
More often than not, church is something that slowly gets forgotten and left as a last resort. I can honestly say I lived this way for a long time. I was a sports fanatic, playing soccer through college, and church became something I went to if practice was canceled or we had a day off. If there is anything that we want most for our students, it’s that this would not be the case for them.
 
We don’t want church to be a weekly event that becomes another check on the list, a forced interaction, a boring pastime, or a forgotten event. We want our student ministries to be a place your kids want to be. Most importantly, we want students to understand that their relationship with Christ is more important than any sporting event, band performance, or other extracurricular activity. 
 
When it comes to deciding where they are going to spend most of their time this year, we hope our students choose strengthening and growing their relationship with Christ. The only way that will happen is if they are focused on making Jesus the number one priority in their lives, rather than a touchdown, perfect grades, or a well-rehearsed symphony.
 
Let’s be a church that wants to radically invest in the next generation and push our kids to be the Christ-centered difference-makers that we know they can be!

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