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Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - September 6/7

Posted on Mon, Sep 01, 2014

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: Exodus 16-17

Big Idea: The Bible tells us about God

Talk About: Everyday this week read to your kids a story from the Bible and then talk about the story as a family.

Worship Songs:

Ha-La-La-La
by Studio Musicians

The B-I-B-L-E
by Singin' Praise Tots

My God Is So Big
by John Delich

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: World Changers Philippians 1:6

Big Idea: God is the star. The Bible is the script. And you get to play a big part.

Talk About: Discuss as a family what it means to be a World Changer for God.

Worship Songs:

Get Down
by Audio Adrenaline

Happy Day
by Fee

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: World Changers Philippians 1:6

Big Idea: God is the star. The Bible is the script. And you get to play a big part.

Talk About: Discuss as a family what it means to be a World Changer for God.

Worship Songs:

Get Down
by Audio Adrenaline

Happy Day
by Fee

Mighty To Save
by Laura Story

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

Hit the Bricks

Posted on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Expression 1

Sometimes I’ll throw out some old-school smack talk while playing at home with my two sons. We’re a highly competitive family and we jest with each other to make it fun. I’ll say something like, “I’m going to light you up” before a basketball game. While getting ready for a wrestling match I’ll shout, “I’m going to lay the smack down, son!” One of my personal favorites to exclaim after I’ve been victorious is “Hit the bricks, kid!”
 
I’m the kind of guy who can get motivated or deflated by words. A little smack talk can challenge me to try harder and push myself. The same is also true when I receive encouragement. Words have a powerful impact on my life. Throughout Jesus’ life, He used words in ways that were both challenging and encouraging.
 
A few weeks ago I was plugging away at my daily Bible reading plan entitled Solid Life Reading Plan. We are mid-way through a full calendar year and it was starting to feel stale.  As I started into the book of Matthew, I noticed a trend in Jesus’ words. It sparked something inside of me. Jesus threw out a lot of challenges to His disciples—not to shame them or guilt them, but rather to encourage and challenge them to strive for more.  Here are three that stood out to me:
 
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)
 
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26
 
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
 
What Scripture has challenged you lately? I’d love to hear from you and process more. If you’re still having trouble getting into your Bible daily let me know and we can talk more about where to start. It will will challenge you, but it will also help you grow.

Dave Rizer
Formation Director -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!

Justin Doyle
Student Ministry Leader - Danville

Helping Others Experience Christ

Posted on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 under Weekend

 
Take a moment and think about how awesome it is that we get to worship together each weekend in three different campuses, across three different cities. It’s overwhelming to think of how God has blessed Southland and how He is setting up His people as He continues to move in power throughout our communities. God is getting ready to do big things! It fills us with so much gratitude and joy that we have the opportunity to do this every single weekend. We’re also very thankful to get to do it alongside wonderful, God-filled people like our production team volunteers.
 
Every weekend, it takes a group of around 40 volunteers across all of our campuses to make the weekend services happen. They're a group of hard-working men and women who sacrificially serve with their time and talents to help others see Jesus more clearly.
 
Everything involved on the production side of the weekend experience—cameras, graphics, stage management, and even the lighting—is to help us and our communities experience Christ and His love. Even if you’ve never had any experience with any of these roles, we’d still love to have you be a part of the team! Most of our volunteers didn't have any experience before serving. We have a great crew of volunteers and staff that will train and help you learn everything you need to know.
 
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.

Liz Barber
Programming Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - 10 After / 608

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - August 30/31

Posted on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

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: Saul and David - Samuel 18-20

Big Idea: God wants us to be helping friends.

Talk About: As a family seek out another family you could help. Discuss what you could do to help that other family.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

Gulp
by John Delich

Good Good Friend
by Yancy

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: The Resurrection - John 20

Big Idea: When I’s Followin’ Jesus, Me Celebrates Cause He’s Alive!

Talk About: As a family make cupcakes and celebrate that Jesus is ALIVE!

Worship Songs:

Happy Day
by Fee

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek

Rooftops
by Shout Praises Kids

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Wise and Foolish Builders Matthew 7:24-29

Big Idea: The Bible is unchanging so we can have confidence in what it teaches us.

Talk About: Look up the word relevant. Discuss how the Bible is still relevant to today's times.

Worship Songs:

Can’t Stop Singing
by Heath Balltzglier

I Will Follow
by Casey Harper

Lord I Need You
by Matt Maher

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

Evangelism

Posted on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

I’m going to throw this out there - sometimes, it’s hard for me to care about those who don’t know Jesus yet. If I’m speaking honestly, there are days when my mind never lands on the importance of sharing Jesus with others. Most days, it’s much easier for me to get wrapped up in my own world - spending time with my friends and family, cleaning my apartment, or catching up on that Netflix queue.

About a year ago, I read a story in the book of Acts where God called King David, “a man after my own heart” and said, “he will do everything I want him to do” (13:22). I knew that God could not say that about me. My heart was after things that made my life feel better, fuller, more organized, more fun, more lazy. For awhile, I just thought that I was I doomed to battling against a heart that wasn’t like God’s heart. I thought it’d always be a painful, dragging my feet type of experience to go and share others with Jesus.

The amazing thing about God is that he has the power to help you understand why things are important to him. The Bible is full of stories where God changed people’s hearts to match his own heart. I learned that if I ask God to make things matter to me, then he will! I prayed for God to give me urgency and joy when it comes to sharing Jesus and he did that for me. I was operating out of guilt and obligation, rather than out of a heart that understands how healing and transforming a relationship with Jesus can be and a desire to share that with others.

If you are like me and your heart is struggling to care about evangelism, don’t let that lack of desire to share Jesus make you feel guilty or unworthy. Ask God to change your heart and give you a sense of urgency to share Jesus and to find real joy in relationships with those who don’t know him yet. Write down the verses below and post them somewhere you can see them everyday and use them to springboard your prayers for a heart that beats to share Jesus!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” Colossians 4:3

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” Luke 19:10

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - August 23/24

Posted on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

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: Ruth - Ruth 1-4

Big Idea: God wants us to be kind friends.

Talk About: Discuss with your child how they could show kindness to one of their friends this week. Maybe have them make a card to thank that friend for being their friend.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

This Is How-
by John Delich

God Gives Us Friends
by Singin’ Praise Tots

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: A dark Friday - Matthew 26:36-38

Big Idea: God always be Good, even when times arrrrr tough!

Talk About: Talk about Jesus dying on the cross for us and why He did that for us.

Worship Songs:

Let’s Go
by Jessica Taylor

I will follow
by Casey Harper

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Rich young ruler - Luke 18:18-30

Big Idea: The Bible is truth so we can trust in it’s wisdom.

Talk About: Make a list of all the things in the world that we can't see or haven't seen yet, but we know they are still there. Discuss how even though we can't see the stories that happened in the Bible we can trust that they did happen and we can learn from the wisdom it teaches us.

Worship Songs:

Can’t Stop Singing
by Heath Balltzglier

Imagine the Impossible
by Riley Biederer

No One Higher
by Ryan Stewart

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

Lunch Break Challenge

Posted on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 3 Expression 4

What if I told you that your 30-minute lunch break could be the most fulfilling 30 minutes of your day? What if I told you that your lunch break—just one time each week—could radically alter the trajectory of a child’s life for the positive? There’s good news—it can!
 
Because of our School Partnerships, we get the opportunity to invest in students at four elementary schools in Central Kentucky. Our goal this year is to double our number of mentors. Imagine the difference we could make in the cities of Lexington, Nicholasville, and Danville by sending 200 committed individuals from Southland to work one-on-one with students. You could be the closest a student ever comes to meeting Jesus.
 
There are thousands of students in Fayette, Jessamine, and Boyle Counties. We can’t help every kid, but we can do for the one what we wish we could do for everyone. And, by doing that, we can make a huge eternal impact in our cities’ schools.
 
If you want to get involved with School Mentoring, head over here to learn more and sign up!

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

We’re Back

Posted on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 3 Expression 4

It’s the first week of school, which means the Backpack Program is gearing up again. Last year we fed 450 kids at Tates Creek Elementary and Warner Elementary, and we hope to feed at least as many this school year. Jesus spent a lot of time feeding hungry people—which is our simple goal for the Backpack Program: to feed hungry kids in our cities.
 
There are three ways you can get involved:
  1. The easiest way to help out is to commit to bringing a couple food items to church each weekend. You can grab a list of needed items at the bins outside the Auditorium at each of our campuses. Or, download one here. Keep the list handy when you’re buying groceries and bring your items with you when you come to the weekend service.
     
  2. Another way you can get involved is by packing the backpacks with us at our Harrodsburg Road campus. On Thursday nights, you can find community by serving alongside people with a common purpose. One of the coolest things is that you can bring your kids with you, too. It’s a great way for Life Groups and families to serve. Our first packing night is on September 4.
     
  3. Finally, you can change a child’s life by being a Backpack Buddy. Backpack Buddies write notes, send birthday cards, pack Halloween candy, and Valentine’s to students throughout the school year. This is a great way to make a kid’s day and show them the love of Jesus.
If you'd like more information on getting involved in the Backpack Program, contact me for more information.

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

It’s worth It

Posted on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 1 Expression 4

When I think of evangelism, my mind doesn’t always jump to strangers with whom I know God wants me to share my faith. In my life, God has been challenging me to reach out to some difficult people—my family. I don’t have an easy time sharing my faith with them. I wasn’t raised a Christian, so my beliefs are pretty foreign to my parents, grandparents, and cousins. On top of that, I’ve been struggling with unforgiveness, which makes it even more difficult for me share the love of Jesus.

So where do we start? How do we share the love of Christ with those closest to us—those who often have the ability to hurt us most? I’ve learned over the past year that it starts by making a choice every morning. One of the first steps I need to make is to forgive the hurt that’s been caused, or the deceit and lies that make me want to cling to anger like it’s my source of salvation rather than Christ. I know there are a lot of people who have been hurt by the ones closest to them, but I promise the daily choice of forgiveness will bring humility beyond what you can imagine.

After making the internal choice of forgiveness, I start to reach my family through kindness. When I read through the Gospels and examine the life of Jesus, the one thing that hits me above all else is that He was kind. Jesus showed compassion to the adulterous woman in John 8, extended forgiveness to the sinful woman in Luke 7, fed the hungry, healed the sick, and was patient with His disciples.

I’ve found that kindness extended toward those who have hurt me—who are difficult to evangelize—has created organic conversations that lead to Christ. It’s really an act of God. We have the option of being a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Our actions can lead people into the church or away from it. We have to resist selfish desires and try to be as Christlike as possible through this process.

Who in your life is difficult to reach? Has someone hurt you but really needs Jesus? God created the human race, was cast aside by mankind, yet sent His only son to redeem us. If He can bring us redemption through forgiveness, surely we can forgive so that others may know Christ as well. It’s not easy. But, it’s a command of Christ. And the day you watch someone come out of the waters of baptism knowing they will join you in Heaven—it’s worth it.

If you’re going through something similar, I'd love to hear from you and pray for you as you evangelize the challenging people in your life.

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

What’s Your Story?

Posted on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 under Global Missions Local Involvement Students Expression 4

I love getting to know people—and I don’t just mean finding out their favorite color. I want to know the deeper things that fill them with joy and passion. 
 
Has anyone ever asked you about your story? This one question can make you feel so inadequate. I’ve heard so many people say their story isn’t special. The truth is just the opposite. Everyone’s story is something special because it's your journey with God.
 
In preparing a group of middle school students for a mission trip to Haiti, I asked one of our students to share their story:
 
I grew up in a Christian home—going to church with my grandparents, and doing “Christian” things—but it wasn’t a big part of my life. It wasn’t until a friend invited me to Southland that I finally understood God—who He is and what He has done for us.
  
Through church, my Life Group, and the Haiti team, I have become closer to God on a whole new level. Month after month the Haiti team has continued to bond, talk, and prepare. Unfortunately this past July I got a notification that the Haiti trip was going to be postponed. I was so disappointed. Why would this happen?
 
Our leaders asked us to do service work in Lexington to touch the lives of local families while we waited for the trip to be rescheduled. We decided to partner with Serve The City in downtown Lexington. I decided that volunteering weekly would strengthen my relationship with God and help me wait patiently for the Haiti trip.
 
As I write this, I'm slowly learning that life has twists and turns that you don't see coming—disappointing moments, happy moments, and blessed moments. I've learned more about myself this year than I ever thought possible. God has a way of making things work out.
 
Everyone’s story is special. Yours is being added to each day as you walk with Jesus.
 
Southland’s Haiti mission story didn’t end just because the trip was postponed—our team’s eyes were opened to the needs of others in our own city. There is always an opportunity to help others and add to your story if you’re willing.

Caroline Krouse
Middle School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - August 16/17

Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

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: Esther - Esther 1-10

Big Idea: God wants us to have courage to obey.

Talk About: Help your child make a crown and discuss how Esther was a queen and still chose to obey God.

Worship Songs:

Ha-La-La-La
by Studio Musicians

My God Is So Big
by John Delich

I Can Obey
by Singin' Praise Tots

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: Bread and fish for everyone - Matthew 14:13-21

Big Idea: When I’s fFollowin’ Jesus, I be generous!

Talk About: As a family, take popsicles to the park and share with anyone you see or take donuts to a fire station.

Worship Songs:

Jump
by Steve Fee

Follow You
by Hillsong Kids

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: The Bible is God’s Word - 2 Timothy 3:16

Big Idea: The Bible is the script that guides our lives.

Talk About: Choose a Bible story and read it as a family. Have your child turn it into a script and perform it together.

Worship Songs:

Jump
by Steve Fee

No One Greater
by Holden Fincher

Our Great God
by Heath Balltzglier

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road


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