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10 Questions to avoid moral compromise

Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 under Expression 1

So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall.’  - 1 Corinthians 10:12 
This weekend Gary shared a very transparent situation where he had to deal head on with temptation.  None of us are above moral compromise, but there are ways to protect ourselves and to prevent the small compromises and tiny indulgences from getting quickly out of control. Gary shared 10 questions that he asks himself when dealing with members of the opposite sex.  We’ve listed them here and also created a downloadable PDF so you can print them out and keep them with you.
Ten questions to ask myself to avoid moral compromise:
  1. Am I attracted to him/her?  Yes or no?
  2. Have I flirted with him/her in any way?  Yes or no?
  3. Do I look forward to meetings with him/her?   
  4. Do I fantasize about him/her?  
  5. Do I talk about him/her frequently?  
  6. Do I get defensive if someone suggests I might be infatuated with him/her, or he/she with me?   
  7. Am I unnecessarily prolonging conversations with him/her?
  8. If my spouse could listen in, or if they could view our conversations on social media and email, would they be okay with the content?    
  9. If my kids could listen in, would they feel I’m being faithful to their father/mother?   
  10. If I touch this person, albeit it just a hug, or even a squeeze of the arm…is any part of that touch---for my own gratification?

Bret Foster
Communications Director

Storm, Be Still!

Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 under Expression 1

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God
-No Longer Slaves
When we awoke to a 0% chance of rain on Wednesday, things were looking great as we spent the morning setting up for our first Summer Worship Night. Our 4 campuses would join together that evening to worship and celebrate life-change in the waters of baptism. 
You can imagine our disappointment, and sense of nervousness, as the downpour appeared at 4pm. But the rain subsided and we began to do our final soundchecks and set-up. We began praying the night would remain clear as people started arriving in spite of the cloud-covered skies. 
Then, at 6pm, the clouds cut loose with rain over the grounds of the Moondance Amphitheater as lightning flashed in the distance. Some people pulled out their umbrellas while others returned to wait out the rain in their cars. We quickly covered up our equipment and then gathered in the back to pray. We lifted our hearts and our plans to God and surrendered the evening to Him - only to have the rain increase as we were praying! I can only speak for myself but I felt disappointed and, to be honest, frustrated. How could this be happening on a day when so many people worked so hard to prepare a place for our church to worship the Lord and for people to bury their sins in the waters of baptism? 
Then I remembered that our Georgetown worship leader, Nick Jones, had shared a passage from 2 Chronicles 20 earlier in the day. At the time it was a very encouraging word but I had forgotten about it by this point in what had become a stressful situation. Nick had reminded us that God used the praises of His people on the front lines to defeat the enemy. It was exactly what God was calling us to - and one of our staff was listening to the Spirit and recognized that it was time to step out in faith and trust God.  Jim Cox, our facilities director and all around incredible guy, came backstage and looked at us and asked, “What would happen if you just started? I think you should.” 
As Jim said that, and I looked out at all the people that were standing in the rain, waiting out the storm, I heard the same voice Jim was hearing saying, “Just step out there in faith and worship Me on the front lines - I’ve got this.” So we did. 
As we began to move our equipment back into place the clouds began to break, the rain over the front of the stage subsided, and the sun lit up the sky in the most beautiful orange and pink you’ll ever see. God split the storm once we stepped out trusting that He could and would... and the result was 25 people making decisions to follow Christ! 
God made a way even when I was afraid there wasn’t going to be one and He proved once again that we have nothing to fear in the Lord! We truly are His children and what a joy it was to stand and sing His praises with our entire Southland family.

Mike Vandemark
Programming Director

Parent Sneak Preview - July 31

Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 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!  Here’s what we’ll be teaching next Sunday in the Big Picture Show.  Take time this week to read it as a family.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40 NIrV)
Big Idea:  I Won’t Give Up
Bible Verse:  Don’t give up when times are hard. - II Timothy 4:5b NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Abigail Pleads with David (1 Samuel 25 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God’s Power In Me Helps Me Take Action! 
Bible Verse:  “The One who is in you is more powerful than the one who is in the world.” - 1 John 4:4 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Moses Flees (Exodus 2:11-25 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Whatever God blesses, He breaks. But whatever He breaks, He uses for His glory
Bible Verse:  “Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are 
earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles.” - 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Can You Consistently Love The Next Generation?

Posted on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 under Expression 3

I don't think I’ve met one person who would not agree that Middle School and High School is hard. These years are filled with fun, friends, discovering who you are, pushing limits, staying up really late and eating an amazing amount of food. But it can also be filled with loneliness, hurtful words, confusion, friend and family drama, depression and stress.
It is like a rite of passage.... we all have to go through it, whether it’s easy or difficult. But wouldn't it be nice to not go through it alone? Wouldn't it be nice to have someone who will come alongside you and help guide you through this time showing you a different view. A Godly view versus the World's view?
This is exactly what our Southland Student Volunteers do! Let me introduce you to Candy: She has been a Life Group Leader for Southland Students for eight years. She has seen it all! She is a mom and her oldest child is post college. Candy is one of our best leaders and her group loves her. They love her because she genuinely cares for them. She consistently shows up despite the long hours at her jobs. She listens to them. She shows them the love of Jesus.
Now let me introduce you to Nick: He’s a college student in grad school. He has been a Life Group Leader with Southland Students for seven years. He started as a Middle School Leader after he graduated High School and has followed his group all the way through to their Senior year. He is full of energy and he is always out rock climbing or long boarding. Nick is one of our best leaders and his group of boys are completely dedicated to their group. He is a constant presence in their life and he wants them to know the truth the Bible brings to us about Jesus.
Both of these leaders are completely different in every way! And both of these leaders are phenomenal. It is not about how old you are, how interesting you are, how cool you are, or how much energy you have. It is about consistently loving students the way Jesus loves them.
You see these leaders love Jesus and, because of their love for Jesus, they want the next generation to know that same love. No matter what happens in the life of a student, the love of Jesus and the truth of the Bible will always be consistent.
We need you. We can't do this alone. We have over 1000 students who are involved at one of our Southland Campuses. We need more people like Candy and Nick who are willing to speak love and truth into the life of a Middle School or High School student. We need more people who want to impact the lives of students. We need more people who are willing to sacrifice a little bit of time and consistently be a presence in the life of a group of students.
If this is you and you want to be a part of our team of Southland Student Volunteers let us know! Or maybe you are not sure and you want to hear more information, we’re happy to answer your questions! Just text SERVESCC to 24587 to learn more.  

Caroline Krouse
High School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

Me A Missionary?

Posted on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 under Expression 4

What do you think when you hear the word Missionary? Living overseas, strange food, passports and visas... shots?
While this may be true for some, there are other ways to be part of God’s mission in this world, including serving missionaries when they are home. This summer, 18 people from Southland led a week of professional development here in Lexington for the 15 teachers from Sonlight Academy in Port de Paix, Haiti. During the week the teachers learned how to be creative, how to teach reading and math using new methods, making use of media for their classrooms and a variety of other practical methods for being effective in their classrooms. 
The Sonlight teachers were given gift bags with Kentucky made products, ate lunches from restaurants they miss most while in Haiti, visited with Life Groups in the evenings and wrapped up their time with a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park and a 4th of July picnic.
A few of the teachers shared afterward:
“Thank you” is not enough to say for everything you did to make the Sonlight teachers loved, cared for, equipped and encouraged.”
“I loved, and I think the entire team did, the time for us just to talk and be together apart from being in Haiti. We almost never have time for that.”
Sonlight Academy is one of Southland’s Ministry Partners, and if you’d like to take a trip to work with these teachers this October click here http://southlandchristian.org/global-missions/. If you are interested in working with these teachers next summer (first full week of June) let Myron Williams know.  
You are called to serve. Why not serve as a missionary?

Myron Williams
Global Outreach Development Pastor

Hope, Help and Healing

Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 under Expression 1

Maybe you never thought you’d have to look for information about recovering from a divorce. You might even be angry that you’re having to do so. We know this is a difficult time, but we’re glad you’re here and we’ve seen God provide healing for those broken by this experience.
The next DivorceCare community at Southland will begin on Tuesday, August 16 at the Richmond Road campus. We like to think of DivorceCare as an emergency room for those who are hurting from the pain of separation or divorce. After a few weeks, it becomes more like a recovery room, where healing has started and life seems promising again. You’re welcome to join in at any time during the 13-week session.  
We truly believe that the 3 biggest needs for anyone divorced, separated, or beginning the process are  hope, help and healing. This class shows how God wants to give you these 3 things and more. In this environment you will not be judged. Instead, you’ll find a much needed community of people who you can relate to. You can share as little or as much as you want in this class and you will find a safe place with people who are walking a path similar to yours. You will soon be reminded that you are not alone. The class uses personal Bible study, video teaching, and processing together in groups to help your heart heal.
Does the idea of moving from bitter to better seem appealing? Join us Tuesday nights beginning August 16 at 6:30 at our Richmond Road campus.  Use the Parkside Theater entrance on the north side of the building (opposite Richmond Road.)
We have seen lives changed and hearts healed and it is a beautiful thing.  Register here and we hope you can join us this session and we look forward to meeting you!

Greg Chandler
Care Pastor - Richmond Road

Fall Volleyball League Is Here!

Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 under Expression 1

Some lessons are best learned on the court with a team. Anyone who’s ever played a team sport knows there is a lot to be gained from the experience. It can be humbling, requires hard work and builds strength. It also takes commitment, stretches our character and reveals leadership gifts. 
We’re kicking off our Volleyball Leagues, both recreational and competitive, this fall, beginning on Monday, August 15 and running through Tuesday, October 25. There will also be two additional weeks of exciting, post-season tournament play! The Recreational League will hit the court on Monday nights while the Competitive League will play on Tuesday evenings. Start times will vary with games beginning at 6pm.
Bring an entire team or let us place you on a team; either way there is a spot for you! Come ready to grow in teamwork and discipline, while having fun and building friendships on one of our teams this year. 
Registration begins Wednesday, July 20 and runs through Saturday, August 6. The spots fill up quickly so be sure to sign up today! 

Janelle Earley
Serve The City Coordinator

Mondays Can Be Hard

Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 under Expression 4

Mondays can be hard. They’re hard on adults and they’re hard on kids. But we’re redeeming the Monday! If you have time on Monday afternoons from 2:30pm to 5:15pm and want to have a ton of fun while supporting a student in our city who could use a little extra love, boy do we have the opportunity for you!
The Academy is an incredible one-on-one mentoring program for 2nd through 5th grade students at Breckinridge Elementary school who need extra support. We feed them a full meal, play together, and then spend the second half our afternoon doing homework and sharing a bible study and worship time with the students. The Academy loves to engage students holistically so we bring in Inspire Speakers from the community to share about their careers and how God has changed their lives. 
Contact me with any questions you might have! We will be hosting an informational meeting in a few weeks and we would love to have you there. 

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

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

Parent Sneak Preview - July 24

Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 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!  Here’s what we’ll be teaching next Sunday in the Big Picture Show.  Take time this week to read it as a family.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Joseph Saves His Family (Genesis 42-46 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God Wants Us to Be Kind To Others
Bible Verse:  “...The Lord will keep all his promises...”  - Psalm 145:13b NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Elijah and the Prophets (1 Kings 18 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God’s Power In Me Makes Me A Hero!
Bible Verse:  “The One who is in you is more powerful than the one who is in the world.” - 1 John 4:4 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Moses in the Nile (Exodus 2:1-10 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Whatever God takes, He blesses
Bible Verse:  “The Lord God is like the sun that gives us light.  He is like a shield that keeps us safe.  The Lord blesses us with favor and honor.  He doesn't hold back anything good  from those whose lives are without blame.” -  Psalm 84:11 NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Parent Sneak Preview - July 17

Posted on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 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!  Here’s what we’ll be teaching next Sunday in the Big Picture Show.  Take time this week to read it as a family.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Gideon’s Battle (Judges 6-7 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God Promises to Hear My Prayers!
Bible Verse:  “...The Lord will keep all his promises...”  - Psalm 145:13b NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  The Resurrection (Mark 2:1-12 NIrV)
Big Idea:  When I's Followin Jesus, Me Celebrates Cause He's Alive!
Bible Verse:  “Your promises have proved to be true.  I love them.” -  Psalm 119:140 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  David Chosen as King (1 Samuel 16:18 NIrV)
Big Idea:  If we allow God to “took” us, we see Jesus more clearly
Bible Verse:  “Then he chose David, his servant, handpicked him from his work in the 
sheep pens. One day he was caring for the ewes and their lambs, the next day God had him shepherding Jacob,his people Israel, his prize possession.” -  Psalm 78:70-71 NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Honestly, I Can’t Wait

Posted on Fri, Jul 08, 2016 under Expression 1

As I reflected this morning on the tragic news out of Dallas, and the continued outrage over the shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota earlier this week, I found myself asking, along with many of you, “What’s happening to our country?  And, “Is there anything we can do?”
Of course, ours isn’t the first generation to ask such questions.  Indeed, more than 3000 years ago David expressed those same thoughts when he wrote, The foundations of law and order have collapsed.  What can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3, NLT)
I offer six brief responses to the question for your consideration:
  1. Pray.  If you’re not sure what to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to pray in your behalf (Romans 8:26).  I can assure you that God the Father will always answer affirmatively any prayer that God the Holy Spirit prays through us.  So pray.  Going to our knees in prayer remains our best weapon to combat the evil and darkness around us.  Let’s never give up on America, but let’s certainly give America up to God...through prayer.  Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greatest works; prayer is the greatest work.”   What can the righteous do?   We can pray. 
  2. Learn.  Read widely on the subjects of racism, prejudice and social injustice.  Let’s be sure we understand the past before we offer a lot of commentary about the present.  As Stephen Covey said,  “Seek first to understand; then to be understood.”   Good advice.  .  
  3. Don’t judge the army by the deserters.  There’s perhaps a bad cop or two in many municipalities across America, but the vast majority are wonderful, conscientious public servants here to serve and protect us.  There may be some bad people (of every ethnicity) who incite violence and commit crimes all across America, but the vast majority of Americans are law-abiding citizens.  Let’s not judge entire people groups by the actions of a few misguided ones.  
  4. Respond gracefully.  I’ve often been sorry for what I said, but rarely sorry for what I didn’t say.  We must choose our  words carefully, for the “tongue has the power of life or death” (Proverbs 18:21, NLT).  Social media is abuzz right now with angry and malicious words.  Don’t be co-opted by others’ emotions.  Anger doesn’t change the human heart; love does (James 1:20).  Restraint is one of the highest forms of Christlikeness, and it's quite powerful. If you think otherwise, consider this: "When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He (Jesus) entrusted himself to Him who judges justly." (I Peter 2:23, NIV). 
  5. Let’s put our hope in God.  A man can face anything as long as there’s hope, and in Christ,  there's always hope.  He understands our fears and pain (Psalm 56:8), and we can entrust the future to Him. 
  6. One final thought:  The primary battle is against spiritual, not human forces (Ephesians  6:12).  The answer isn’t politics; it’s Jesus.  The remedy for the fallenness of our world remains the same...the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As soldiers in His army, our message remains this:  “This fallen world breaks God’s heart too, but He has a plan. He sent Jesus to earth so that we could ultimately go to Heaven.  In the meantime, let’s take as many along with us as we can.  Friends, soon we’ll all be Home. Honestly, I can't wait.

Gary Black
Teaching Development Director

Summer Worship Night

Posted on Fri, Jul 08, 2016 under Worship Expression 1

Psalm 145
I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power…  
Did you know there’s something even better than an evening of worshiping together with your friends and family at Southland? Absolutely! When that evening of worship includes people taking the plunge in baptism to follow Jesus with their lives. And would you believe it gets even cooler?! Because we’re going to be celebrating this awesome Summer Worship Night at the Moondance Amphitheater in Beaumont Circle!
Join us on Wednesday night, July 20, at 7pm for this truly unique opportunity for our entire church to come together and, just as Psalm 145 says above, praise the Name of our Lord together. This is an event you don’t want to miss; one where you can grab your lawnchair or blanket, bring a snack, and invite your friends! Come out early, grab a spot on the lawn, and be prepared to join in a great celebration of life change and worship of our great King!
Are you ready to be baptized? Come prepared to jump in the water and be sure to bring a towel! 
If you’d like to discover more - or if you’d like to register to take the plunge - check out our Baptism Page! Want to ask questions or talk with someone about this decision? Contact Laura McIntyre to learn more.

Mike Vandemark
Programming Director

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