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Parent Sneak Preview - November 29

Posted on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  Life of David  (Psalm 23, NIrV)
Big Idea:  God freed me from all my fears!
Bible Verse:  “I looked to the Lord, and he answered me. He saved me from everything I was afraid of.” - Psalm 34:4 NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Nehemiah and the Wall (Nehemiah 2:17-18, 6:15-16  NIrV)
Big Idea:  Work As A Team ...
Bible Verse:  “The people worked with all their heart.” - Nehemiah 4:6 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Elijah Starts A Fire  (1 Kings 18:16-39 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God is the only True God so we will choose Him
Bible Verse:  “Do not put any other gods in place of me." - Exodus 20:3 NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

This Week’s Dollar Club

Posted on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 under Weekend Expression 4

We have the opportunity each week to be a part of something amazing. Just by giving an extra dollar every weekend, we get to take part in generously extending hope to families in Central Kentucky and care for their financial needs.

A couple weeks ago we received a Dollar Club application for a single mom with three kids. Over the past five years, she's been working as hard as she can to provide for her kids since their dad doesn't provide any support.

Back in July, she was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Since then, she's continued to work full-time to provide for her family even in the midst of radiation treatments and two tissue removal procedures. Through everything, her children have stayed her priority and she's stayed strong to make sure they have everything they need.

Unfortunately, the treatments have become more intense in recent months leaving her exhausted and unable to work. And at the end of the month, she'll be undergoing surgery to remove the tumor and is unsure of how she'll be able to provide for her children while she recovers. That's when we get to step in.

Through the Dollar Club, we're going to cover the family's living expenses for a few months while she finishes up what has been an exhausting journey. We're going to make sure her children are provided for so she can focus on recovering and getting the rest she needs.

Keep this and all of the other Dollar Club stories from this year close in your mind as we come together on December 6 for our Unleashed year-end offering. If we're able to radically bless families like this each week just by giving an extra dollar, imagine what's possible if we all come together and give sacrificially!

Justin Meeker
Communications Director

The Bumps, Dents, and Scratches

Posted on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 under Expression 4

Remember how cool it was when you got your last car? In the first few days there was a giddy joy in that new toy. You were careful pulling into parking spaces. You felt great driving down the road. But then, one day, the moment you’d been dreading actually happened… your car got its first scratch. Later it got dented. Then you backed into another car and your insurance paid for the other car’s repairs but your bumper cover still bears the scraped paint and crushed corner. You washed it more frequently way back at the beginning than you do these days…
Sometimes life is like that. The bumps, dents, and scratches start to pile up and become so commonplace that you feel like giving up. But the amazing thing is that God offers us a new start at any point along the way when we turn to Him and ask for Him to jump in and do the work in our hearts, minds, and lives to revitalize us from the inside out.
At Southland, our Care Team would love to come alongside you in this process of renewal. Whether you need someone to talk with, pray for, or listen to you, or you’re looking for a community of people who gather to process the same stuff you’re walking through, there is a great step available for you.
Want to learn more? Or would you like to get involved serving on the Care Team? Contact Adaryll Jordan to discover the different pathways to God’s restorative work in your life at our Richmond Road campus.

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Changes at Richmond Road

Posted on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 under Expression 1

Things change from time to time.  I think we can all agree that change can be good.  So with that in mind, we have some exciting changes to share with you!
Gary Black, who has served as the Campus Leader for the Richmond Road Campus since the beginning, will be changing roles and transitioning into a Central Support position as our Teaching Development Director.  In this new role, Gary will lead and manage the teaching team for Sunday services working directly with Jon.  He will also invest in the spiritual preparedness and development of those who teach in any environment of our ministries and will regularly develop and deliver video teaching series to be used by individuals and Life Groups.  We are excited about Gary’s new role and know that he will continue to contribute to The Kingdom in mighty ways.
Assuming the role as Campus Leader is our own Kelly Jennings (KJ).  KJ has been on staff at Southland since 2004 serving in various capacities including his current role as Worship and Programming Director for the Richmond Road Campus.  He will continue his duties in Worship and Programming but will add the responsibility of overseeing the campus.  We are excited to welcome KJ to this position and look forward to all the great things that are in store for the Richmond Road Campus.
These transitions will officially happen on December 1.  So please join us in thanking Gary for his leadership at this campus and welcome KJ to his new role!    

Charlotte Ewing
Human Resources Director

Just Keep Sowing

Posted on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 under Expression 1

Ever since my wife and I bought our first home, I’ve spent a ton of time in the yard planting grass seed and helping her put in different kinds of flowering bushes. I’ve learned that for anything to grow there is a specific process to follow. It may seem obvious, but that process becomes completely irrelevant if you don’t plant any seed. The seed is the catalyst for the new life that will follow.
In Luke 8:4-15, Jesus was teaching a crowd who had gathered around Him to talk through this same idea. In this parable, the “seed” represents the good news of the gospel and how it’s received by people in the world around us. Some may be so hardened to God or the Church that it is difficult for it to take root in their hearts. Others may represent a shallow soil - people who receive and live out the Word of God when things are going great, but quickly lose it when life gets hard. And others represent good soil. They take the Word of God, apply it to their lives, let it take deep root in their hearts where growth occurs and fruit is produced.
I’ve been challenged recently to look at my life through the lens of this parable. All of the people around us in our everyday life represent these different kinds of soil. And if we’ve surrendered our lives to Christ, it’s our turn to be planters who “sow the seeds” of what Christ has done for us and share that with the people God has put in our lives. Some may be ready to receive it, others might be hardened to it at first… but ultimately it’s our job (and our privilege) to tell them! 
Even if we never get to see the fruit of what it is that we’ve sowed with the people around us, we are still called to be sowers all the time. And we can have full assurance that God will be faithful for the work we have done in sharing and showing Jesus’ love with the world.
  • Who do you need to be more proactive in sharing Jesus with? 
  • Regardless of how they might receive it, reach out to those people this week and pray that God would “prepare the soil” of their hearts to receive it. And just keep sowing! 

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

Parent Sneak Preview - November 22

Posted on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  God helps Gideon  (Judges 6:12-14; 7:19-21 NIrV)
Big Idea:  When I am scared, God helps me!
Bible Verse:  “I looked to the Lord, and he answered me. He saved me from everything I was afraid of.” - Psalm 34:4 NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Daniel and the Lion’s Den  (Daniel 6:11-23 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Follow God First ...
Bible Verse:  “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” - Exodus 23:2 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  David’s Heart  (1 Samuel 16:1-13 NIrV)
Big Idea:  We can prepare our hearts for God by loving, trusting and following Him
Bible Verse:  But the Lord said to Samuel, ”...man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart." - I Samuel 16:7b NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Waiting At The Well

Posted on Mon, Nov 09, 2015 under Expression 4

Someone said, “The most compassionate thing you can do for someone is tell them the truth.”  
In John 4, Jesus encounters a woman, not just any kind of woman, but a Samaritan woman.  And not just any kind of Samaritan woman, but the kind of Samaritan woman who goes to the well in the evening when the other kind of women don’t go to the well.  This go-to-the-well-in-the-evening Samaritan woman had her routine down where she would avoid others because she was carrying more than just a water jug.  She was carrying shame and embarrassment.
Jesus sits down and initiates a conversation.  No one wanted to have a conversation with a woman like this.  But Jesus did because Jesus was kind.  Romans 2:4  says “... God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (HCSB)  Through the kindness of a compassionate, truth-delivering conversation, Jesus helped this woman hear the truth about her standing with God and she left her jug and her shame at the well and went back to town to tell others.
In verses 39-42, we see that “many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said.”  Then, after spending time with Jesus themselves, “Many more believed.”  Jesus’ kindness and compassionate conversation led a woman who no one wanted to associate with to bring salvation to a whole town.  Without that conversation she would have continued to live in hopelessness and shame and her town in darkness.
Jesus told His disciples in verse 35 to, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.”  The fields in Central Kentucky are ripe and there are women and men and towns who desperately need the kindness of your compassionate conversation.  
Who in your world do you need to pull up a seat next to at their own well of hiding?  Who needs your kindness and conversation so they can leave their jug behind for the hope of eternity?  
In the last 22 months at Southland over 1500 people have given their lives to Jesus in baptism.  Every single one of them took that step because someone was kind enough to share the truth with them in a conversation.  Join the revolution of world-changers and unleash love through kind conversations with those along your path.
If you have a friend who you would like to be baptized at Southland, call our offices at 859.224.1600 to schedule a time.  The water is always warm!

Chris Hahn
Lead Executive Pastor


Posted on Mon, Nov 09, 2015 under Expression 1

Years ago while beginning the journey of parenting a toddler, I decided that rather than putting my child in time-out, what really needed to happen was I needed a time-out. At my son’s school, they call this intervention a “time away.” That sound so much nicer. Whether you call it time-out or time away, we all need these moments from time-to-time. 
Life is frantic. Sometimes simply to exist keeps us clipping at a pace we never planned to run. I know for some of you that Night of Worship seems like one more thing to do this week. What we all need is rest, not Netflix rest, but true rest that comes from being in the presence of God. For some of us, resting may be, as odd as this sounds, to not come to Night of Worship. (Wait, isn’t this a blog inviting people to Night of Worship?) Go with me here. For the rest of us, I would offer that maybe even though it would be one more thing, it might be the right thing for you to add to your plate this week. Realistically, this may be the only time you set aside this week to be in God’s presence for a solid hour or so. 
Sometimes we have to call time-out. I think Night of Worship gives us a chance to blow the whistle, find a seat,  and simply take a break. We have the opportunity to receive the benefits of belonging to God. Worship has the ability to heal us. Worship helps us to stop and remember God. God does not like us to forget Him and oh, we do so often. Night of Worship this month will direct us to let go of things we need to into God’s care and to be thankful for how He works on our behalf. You will have opportunities to respond to God through singing, Scripture reading, praying, or perhaps, just sitting and being in His presence. Come join the team at 6:30pm at Richmond Road tomorrow night, November 10. 

Amanda Carter
Worship Leader

Parent Sneak Preview - November 15

Posted on Mon, Nov 09, 2015 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  
This week:
  1. Read the story.
  2. Talk about the Big Idea.
  3. Memorize the Bible verse.
Animation Station
Bible Story:  A sick boy is made well  (John 4:46-53 NIrV)
Big Idea:  When I am scared, Jesus can heal!
Bible Verse:  “I looked to the Lord, and he answered me. He saved me from everything I was afraid of.” - Psalm 34:4 NIrV
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  David and Goliath  (1 Samuel 17:40-45 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Have Courage ...
Bible Verse:  “Be strong and courageous … for the Lord your God will be with you.” Joshua 1:9 NIrV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Samuel Hears From God  (1 Samuel 3:1-10 NIrV)
Big Idea:  God is always speaking to us, our part is to listen and communicate back
Bible Verse:  “Remember that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself. The Lord hears me when I call out to him.” - Psalm 4:3 NIrV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Jesus Prom 2016: A Night at the Museum!

Posted on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 under Expression 4

Jesus Prom 2016: A Night at the Museum was an amazing event! Just like every year, it was a massive shindig that just oozed joy, dancing, laughter, fun, and some fabulous attendees walking that red carpet! Friday night, we welcomed over 1,000 guests who were served by nearly 2,000 volunteers as Jesus Prom 2016 was in full swing. 
Prommers got dolled up in their best formal attire and then shared a meal, danced the night away, played games in our huge game room, had their nails and hair done, posed for snapshots with the paparazzi and more during the biggest, grandest, most spectacular night of the year!
If you were to stop and look around you long enough, you might have been privileged to notice Jesus Himself walking the halls at Southland on Friday. And you can just imagine the huge smile on His face, as every Jesus Prom attendee and volunteer experienced His welcome, His love, His embrace while they dove into being all about what He is all about in a time of celebration that could only happen thanks to His goodness to every single one of us!
  • Did you attend Jesus Prom 2015 this year and want to get connected year-round at Southland? Check out our Celebrate Jesus Class at…

    • 9:30 a.m. Sundays, Building F (The Atrium) at Harrodsburg Road
    • 10:40 a.m. Sundays, Building F (The Atrium) at Harrodsburg Road
    • 11:15 a.m. Sundays, Café Classroom at Richmond Road.
  • Did you serve at Jesus Prom 2015 and want to discover how to continue to invest in our Access Ministry year round? Or maybe you missed out and want to learn more? If you’d be interested in more information regarding serving at any of our classes, contact Amy.

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

Thanksgiving Opportunities To Serve

Posted on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 under Expression 4

In just a few weeks, most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family members. We'll eat more delicious food than we should ever eat in a day. Most of us will spend the day with the people we love most. And we will take a moment to stop and consider all the good things God has given us in life. As we do that, there will be many people, right under the shadow of our church, whose pantries are empty, who have no one to share the day with, and who are going through hardships that we could never imagine.
The good news? We have a chance to shed some love and hope into the hearts of those who are struggling this holiday season. This Thanksgiving, we have two great opportunities to share with the lonely in our communities. In Lexington and Nicholasville, we'll be partnering with Sal's Chophouse, and in Danville, we will partner with Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. Both places offer great food and, more importantly, people to share the day with. 
If you would like to get involved at either location, click on one of the links below to see how! This Thanksgiving, let's allow our gratitude for all God has done in our lives drive us to make a difference in another person's life. 

Registration for Sal's will open November 16th

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

Orphan Sunday

Posted on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 under Expression 3 Expression 4

Churches around the world are highlighting Orphan Care this Sunday, November 8. Making an investment in the care of orphans is not just close to our hearts but to God's heart as well. Take a look at one way Orphan Care has played out in the family of Southland's Georgetown Campus Leader, Dan Jackson…
Yes and Yes Again: Our First Foster Placement
On a Wednesday afternoon in January, I received the phone call I had been praying for. After many, many weeks of conversations and visits, Southland Christian Church called to offer me a position as the Campus Leader for their new venue that would be launching in the Fall. Erica and I had known for a few months that God was leading us somewhere new, but this phone call would confirm the exact direction. As is often the case in an interview process, I had moved through stages of increased emotion regarding the potential change: intrigue, optimism, excitement, and, finally, expectation. Receiving the job offer and the call to ministry was the penultimate stage in the whole process, and by far the most elating - and relieving - moment of all. The only thing left to was accept the position, which I wanted to do immediately; nevertheless, I calmed myself enough to say that I'd take a few more days to pray about it. I'd call back on Friday to let them know. 
When Friday morning rolled around, I stalled for a couple of hours, not wanting to seem too overly eager about joining their staff, as if that wasn't the only thing on my mind. Sometime in the late morning, I picked up the phone and said "Yes," making it official. A new job. A new church campus. A new community. All of this was imminent on the horizon now, and I was thrilled.
Less than an hour later, my phone rang and my wife's picture flashed on the screen. Assuming she was calling to offer some final congratulations, I answered, "Well, babe, it's official. Looks like everything is about to change."
"You have no idea," she responded.

Erica had just received a phone call herself, this one from our local R&C worker. She wanted to know if we could take a child into our care. Since getting our foster care certification and signing the contract in November, we had received a couple of calls with possible placements, but they had all fallen through for various reasons. This placement, it seemed, was real and it was happening. All we had to do was say, "Yes."
It is important to note that I had spent the better part of the last decade convincing myself - and trying to convince my wife - that we were done with babies. Going through the diapers, the sleepless nights, the potty-training, the Terrible Twos, (not to mention the Terrible Threes and Fours), and all that nonsense - it was all quite enough. We had done it twice already. There was no reason to go back. During the foster care training process, our family had processed together about the kind of children we would be able to take in. We discussed age rage, gender, ethnicity, language, medical needs, learning disabilities, different kinds of abuse....everything. In the end, we specified that we would be open to taking care of children ages 3-10, and who were not considered "medically fragile." Infants and extreme medical needs were situations we did not feel equipped to care for at this time. 
Apparently neither God nor our social worker cared about my preferences or plan. This placement we were being asked to take was a newborn infant. Erica shared with me what little detail she had about the child. "I need to let her know immediately," she said. "So....[long pause]....what do you think?" I could hear the hope and excitement in her voice.
Though I couldn't discern it at the time, I also heard her heartbeat. She wanted desperately to love more and again. She wanted to pour herself out on behalf of a child who was powerless in his or her situation. She wanted to be a mother to the motherless. Erica had cried each time one of the previous placements fell through. All of this was hanging out there over the LTE network in the silent milliseconds following her question. And for me, it was no question at all. The answer was "Yes" and it was "Of Course." We didn't have time to take a few days to pray about it, to consider the implications, nor did we need to.
Yes and Of Course.
"We will need a few things for the baby," I said. "Like...all of the things." 
We were totally unprepared. There was no nine-month gestation period leading up to this. We went to work that day a family of four; we would go home as a family of five. Erica hit up a couple stores and quickly stocked up on diapers, wipes, clothes, and a car seat. Some good friends brought us a vacant crib. Over the next days and weeks, we were showered with gifts for this tiny boy. It turns out we didn't need to be completely prepared, we just needed to be willing. God and friends have a way of filling in the gaps.
I always knew that God makes all things new; what I didn't fully realize until that morning is that He literally means ALL the things (new job, new church, new city...why not add a new baby into the mix as well?), and that He is already at work doing this. The Kingdom of God is already at hand, and the work of heaven is already breaking into this world, and into our lives. Our family was about to go through some radical changes in almost every way imaginable, yet fear and doubt were noticeably absent in our hearts. We knew that in all these things we were ultimately saying "Yes" to God and His ways. Though it took those two phone calls to clarify the specifics and the circumstances, the truth is that we had long ago said "Yes" to all of these things in our hearts. Through faith and a pursuit of God in Christ, our desires and dreams had already been shaped for all of this. 
We were totally unprepared, but completely ready.
What is your next step?
  • Join our Adoptive Families Care Group the next time they meet!
  • Serve along with Southland Ministry Partners, Orphan Care Alliance, at their Orphan Sunday 2015 event at local Zaxby's restaurants.
  • Begin praying regularly as a family about God's desire to use you in caring for orphans in Kentucky or beyond through foster care, adoption, respite care, fundraising, and more!

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

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