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Why I Do What I Do

Posted on Tue, Jul 29, 2014 under Students Expression 3

In case we haven’t had the opportunity to meet in person, I’m the new guy on the team at Richmond Road. My name is Eric and I’m the Student Ministry Director. That means I get the honor and privilege of hanging out with middle school and high school students and some amazing adult volunteers as we all try to look more like Jesus together.
I’m here because my Youth Pastor and volunteer adult leaders when I was in high school showed me the radical love of Christ and it changed me forever. I put Jesus at the center of my life and He showed me that I have the potential to do amazing things for the Kingdom through Him. I see potential in the next generation to do amazing things for the Kingdom—because Jesus sees each and every one of us with the same potential.
One of my favorite moments from Jesus’ life is when he calls the first disciples in Luke 5:1-11. When we do a little historical background work, we see that Jesus probably could have chosen more ideal candidates to be His disciples. But, when he called Peter, James, and John to be “fishers of men,” he chose uneducated, lower-class adolescents—not exactly the ideal varsity squad of disciples. The truth is, Jesus didn’t choose these guys because of who they were then, he chose them for what they could be.
I believe that if middle school and high school students put Jesus at the center of their lives, they have the same potential to be world-changers. That’s why I’m here: to help students realize that there is a God who loves them and sees them for what they could be.
The Student Ministry team and I will help students at Richmond Road realize that by:
  • Consistently presenting them with opportunities to put more of their trust in God and challenge them to become more like Jesus on a regular basis.
  • We'll provide them with consistent adult leaders who can provide mentorship and real-life examples of what it looks like to put Christ at the center of their lives. 
  • We'll create an atmosphere where every student can feel like they belong and are connected to a community. 
  • We'll partner with families to continue to develop students to become disciples—not just at church, but also at home, in their schools, and everywhere else. 
We'll do all of this while having a ton of fun in the process.
Whether you’re a middle school or high school student, a parent of a student, or someone who just shares our passion of radically investing in the next generation, I’d love to meet you. Feel free to stop by Rochmond Road  on Sunday nights at 6pm for LIFT middle school or on Wednesday nights at 7pm for Amplify high school. Or feel free to get in touch with me with any questions you have about Student Ministry!

Eric Schneider
Student Ministry Director - Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - August 2/3

Posted on Mon, Jul 28, 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!


Bible Story: Daniel and the Lions - Daniel 6

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

Talk About: Read the story of Daniel and the Lions Den. Ask your child what they think it would be like to spend the night with a lion? Would you be afraid? Would you think it was fun?

Worship Songs:

by Studio Musicians

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek

I Can Obey
by Singin' Praise Tots


Bible Story: A storm - Luke 8:22-25

Big Idea: When I’s Followin’ Jesus, I be Fearless!

Talk About: Talk about times that you get scared and then pray to God to help you overcome that fear!

Worship Songs:

by Steve Fee

I Will Follow
by Casey Harper


Bible Story: Moses Flees - Exodus 2:11-25

Big Idea: Whatever God blesses, He breaks. But whatever He breaks, He uses for His glory.

Talk About: Look up 2 Corinthians 4:17. Write it down and stick it somewhere where everyone can see it. Try to memorize this verse before the weekend.

Worship Songs:

What a Savior
by Taylor Harlow

No One Greater
by Holden Fincher

No One Higher
by Ryan Stewart

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

In Community

Posted on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Expression 1

We talk a lot about Biblical community at Southland because we believe that without deepening relationships—with God and others—we won’t become the whole and thriving people God created us to be.

I realize that’s a strong statement, but it’s a truthful one based on God’s Word (Luke 10:25-28). As a church, we believe it so deeply that we work daily to try to provide you with better opportunities to grow in these areas. We love God, we love you, and we want His very best for your life.

So, after hearing all this talk about Biblical community and Life Groups, my question for you is simple: Do you have authentic, life-giving Biblical community?

It may be that the answer for you is yes. If that’s the case, praise God! Keep doing what you’re doing. Continue to love and be loved, bless and be blessed, and live out the life God’s called you to live!

But, if the answer for you is no, let me share a thought with you. Life moves quickly, work can be hard, and our families (as beautiful as they are) are often demanding of our time. We’ve got sporting events to attend, grocery shopping to do, doctor appointments to schedule, and houses that never seem to stay clean. The list alone can make us feel tired!

In these busy and challenging seasons, community can sometimes sound more like a burden than a blessing. But here’s what I’ve learned and what I’d like to suggest to you today: Sometimes, we need to let go of the things that seem most pressing, in order to make time for the things that are most important.

If you don’t feel connected to Jesus or others in the church, I’d encourage you to take a step back, ask God for wisdom, and reflect on your priorities as we prepare for the coming fall season. It could be that the very thing you think would drain you, is the very thing your heart needs most.

If you desire Biblical community, we’d love to see you at our next Launch Night event, where we get people plugged into Life Groups. It’s not just another thing to do. It’s the life we were created to live.

Katie Bodager
Life Groups Administrative Assistant

Start a Group with Us

Posted on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 under Connection Spiritual Formation Expression 1

One of the perks of my job as Formation Team Director is getting to know really awesome people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. One of those people is Rob Williams. Back in October of last year, Rob and his wife Lisa agreed to launch a Life Group. They did such a great job and enjoyed leading so much that they did it again in February—then again in June! Between Couples Groups, Men’s Groups, and Women’s Groups, they’ve launched a total of four Life Groups in nine months!

We’d like some of you to help launch groups, too. Do we expect you to launch four? No way—Rob and Lisa are the exception. But, for extroverts, hospitality junkies, or people connectors, launching one Life Group can be incredibly rewarding.

If you’re wondering why Rob and Lisa made this type of commitment to people they’ve never met before, they’d tell you it’s for the sheer joy they get from seeing people experience real community here at Southland. They love being a part of helping people connect relationally, grow spiritually, and serve together. And we love seeing them make it happen!

So what about you? Would you like to join us and lead your own Life Group? If so, give me a shout. I’d love to talk with you about what being a group facilitator is all about.

Dave Rizer
Formation Director -Richmond Road

Thoughts of Haiti

Posted on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 4

Written by Angela Mullens, Global Missions Volunteer

I recently went on a short-term trip to Ouanaminthe, Haiti. As I reflect, I'm struck by how much the trip has changed my perspective. What a blessing it has been that God has allowed me the opportunity to minister to His people in such a unique way. The Lord has enlarged my world and my heart and I am grateful for it.

It’s difficult to find the words to accurately describe Haiti and the experience that I had. If you find yourself praying about going, I would highly recommend you do. Yes, there were some very difficult things to endure—the heat, seeing the impact of the Chikungunya virus on my fellow mission team members and citizens of Haiti, less-than-comfortable living quarters, and having to deal with the emotions of seeing first-hand the pain and poverty of the Haitian people. Even so, the blessings far outweighed the difficulties...

Read Full Entry

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Why Southland?

Posted on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 under Students Expression 3

Why Southland? I still find myself driving home from work and thinking, “I can’t believe I actually live here.” It comes as quite a surprise to my wife and me that we are not in the intense heat and barren desert of Phoenix, Arizona anymore. I remember when I was first approached about the availability here at Southland and began the interview process. I was continually praying that God would show me why He was wanting me to go to Kentucky, let alone a small town called Danville that is the size of my hometown neighborhood.
As this last month has moved forward, and interactions with people at Southland have increased, I can see why God moved me here. I am so grateful that He has placed me in a community that genuinely cares for and understands the importance of people. It’s not just a matter of numbers and stats, but compassion for others that has intrigued me most. I have seen that even though the church is growing and moving at an incredible pace, they have not forgotten the important things that matter most—those in need of a relationship with Jesus. 
Being somewhat new to ministry, or at least being on staff at a church, I can’t think of a better place where I will get to grow as a leader. Not only will I get the awesome opportunity to pour into students, but I know that on a continual basis I will be invested in by the leaders above me. 
The emphasis that Southland puts on our next generation and their understanding that it’s important to invest in young people in the church was instrumental in guiding me here. There are so many lost students that grow up in broken homes, reaching their lowest points, who need love. They need grace and compassion. They need Jesus. I hope that being at Southland will give me the opportunity to help come alongside parents and students in our community to guide and sculpt them into the Christ-centered students that they are meant to be.
I'm very excited to be a part of helping them understand that they are going to be the difference-makers in their communities, schools, teams and families. All in all, I am extremely blessed to be able to serve in a church like Southland. There is no place that I would rather work.

Justin Doyle
Student Ministry Leader - Danville


Posted on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Worship Expression 1

I was recently reading through Mark 6, and it’s loaded with familiar stories of Jesus. The chapter begins with Jesus being rejected in his hometown. Next comes the story of Jesus sending out the disciples in pairs to preach and drive out demons under His authority. Mark then tells the story of the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod, the feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish, and concludes with Jesus walking on water. It’s a busy chapter with pretty significant stories from the life and ministry of Jesus. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so.
Jesus had been doing lots of ministry—there were thousands of people chasing after Him and His disciples. They were teaching about repentance, healing the sick, and driving out demons. I’m sure it was exhausting! But, tucked right in the middle of the chapter are verses 30-34:
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
In the midst of this endless crowd of people, Jesus put aside some time for His disciples to simply rest with Him. Even though the needs of the people were pressing, Jesus felt it necessary to rest. And, although it appears their break was cut short, it’s almost certain that the disciples learned what was important to Jesus—so they carved out time to get alone with their Savior.
Do you feel like you’re always on the go or like you’re running on empty? I know I often do as well. Try taking a moment to simply spend time with Jesus. Take some time to rest. Even in the midst of doing really important things, focus on the most important thing. Jesus wants to give you rest—but you have to allow Him to do so. Keep your heart and ears open and rest in the presence of Jesus.

Kelly Jennings
Producer -Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - July 26/27

Posted on Mon, Jul 21, 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!


Bible Story: Noah’s Ark - Genesis 6-9

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

Talk About: Draw a picture of Noah and the ark. Talk about how Noah had courage to obey God.

Worship Songs:

Touch the Sky
by Singin’ Praise Tots

I’m Gonna Walk
by Willow Creek

I Can Obey
by Singin' Praise Tots


Bible Story: Twelve Men - Matthew-4:18-22

Big Idea: Jesus is invitin’ me to follow Him.

Talk About: As a family, invite another family over to your house for a dinner or a movie.

Worship Songs:

Happy Day
by Fee

Follow You
by Hillsong Kids


Bible Story: Moses in the Nile Exodus 2:1-10

Big Idea: Whatever God takes, He blesses.

Talk About: What is your idea of the best day ever? Talk about this together. Discuss how God's plans are better than even our best plans.

Worship Songs:

What A Savior
by Taylor Harlow

How Great Is Our God
by Kristian Stanfill and Chrystina L. Fincher

My God Can
by Jordan Sasser

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

This Week’s Homework

Posted on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Weekend Expression 1

We kicked off a new series called The Satisfaction Trilogy this past weekend to gain a better understanding of where true satisfaction comes from. At Southland, we’re convinced that the key to experiencing a satisfied life is by living a balanced life with Jesus, in community, and on mission. 
This past weekend Jon focused on the “with Jesus” portion. If you weren’t able to come out, I won’t spoil it. Watch it online this week! Real quick though, I wanted to remind everyone about the homework Jon assigned to us this week, and a few easy ways you can grow in your relationship with Jesus! 
At somepoint this week find a quiet place away from any distractions and read through Luke and Acts. Grab a highlighter too and mark some places where things really jump out at you. This will prepare us for Jon's next message this upcoming weekend.
And if you’re looking to really get your relationship with Jesus kicked off the ground or rebooted, here’s three easy ways you can get started. 
  1. Check out our Daily Devos written by our staff that supplement and support our weekend teaching. You can read 'em online or subscribe by email to receive a devo each weekday morning.
  2. RightNow Media is an awesome online tool that offers dozens of video Bible studies. If you haven’t signed up for a free membership yet, head over here.
  3. Last week we released an awesome new video series that goes in depth on some spiritual disciplines that can help you grow in your relationship with Jesus.
For more resources, head over to The Triangle page. See you this weekend for week two!

Brendan Harriff
Web Designer


Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 under Care Expression 2

There are few things someone can experience in life that are more difficult than going through the pain of a separation or divorce. At Southland, there's hope and help.

DivorceCare is a 13-week experience offered at Southland to help people dealing with a separation or divorce. It’s a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside someone through what can easily be one of life’s most difficult experiences.

For almost a decade, DivorceCare has been meeting at the Harrodsburg Road campus and has helped people grow into health and wholeness. This year, we're excited to add a class at Richmond Road as well! Participants can choose to attend a gathering at the location most convenient for them.

If you're going through a seperation or dirvorce, or know someone in that type of situation, we'd love for you or that person be a part of DivorceCare. It's a perfect place to help people face those challenges and move toward rebuilding their lives.

DivorceCare meets on Thursday nights, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, beginning August 14 at Harrodsburg Road. And at Richmond Road, we'll meet on Tuesday nights, from 6:30-8:30pm, beginning August 26.

For more information, contact me.

Adaryll Jordan
Care Leader -Richmond Road


Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 under Students Expression 3

One of the hardest things for any student is finding a group of people who truly care for them and will be there when they need them most. Whether it’s in school, on a team, or even in church, finding a true, authentic, Jesus-centered community is one of the most critical things they need.
I got to see just how important this was a few weeks ago. We took a group of 100 middle school students to a CIY conference. Each night we would break up into smaller groups of around 10 students. During our group time, I saw students act courageous and vulnerable in front of each other. Each one shared huge pieces of their lives where they were hurting. I then watched the students surround each other with love and encouragement. Instantly, burdens were lifted through the love of Jesus and the support of community.
I asked one of our students to share her thoughts on the importance of community:
Imagine you’re drowning in the pool because of a bad cramp. You would need a lifeguard to save you. Or, imagine your house catching on fire—you’d rely on the firemen wouldn’t you? Well, what about if you emotionally broke down because of everything going on in your life. You need someone to be there for you. Someone in your own community.
As a Christian, community is one of the most important parts of our daily lives. Jesus says in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We must show God to others in our community, just like Jesus did during his days on earth. Whether it’s the homeless, or our bosses at work. Maybe it’s the strict teacher in your third period or the cashier at the store, we must show love to all and hate to none.
Honestly, you will feel alone in your lifetime. Whether you’re three or 33 or even 63. You will feel alone at one point or another. We have to always remember that God is with us. But, at times, it might be hard to remember. That’s why we need community. People who remind us of Jesus. People who you can cry in front of, or hug for five hours straight and not feel weird or awkward about it.
I was given a verse about three months ago by my youth pastor. The verse was Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no guidance a person falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.” Since I read this verse, I opened up a lot more to my second family at church. If it weren’t for community and God’s love, I have no idea where I’d be today.
Incoming eighth-grade student at Lift Harrodsburg Road

Caroline Krouse
Middle School Discipleship Leader - Harrodsburg Road

A Life Group with a Mission!

Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 under Connection Local Involvement Spiritual Formation Expression 1 Expression 4

As a church, we love taking our faith outside the walls and into the neighborhoods where we live. It’s our mission to unleash a revolution of love to those around us! As we continue to see Life Groups develop at the church, I’ve seen more and more groups fulfill our this in our communities. Groups have been serving in nursing homes, mentoring students at elementary schools; one group even participated in a Relay for Life event together!
I received an email from one of our Life Group leaders that said:
“We feel very blessed that God put us all together in a group. We clicked instantly and have really bonded. It’s so exciting!”
They wanted to help extend hope to the world and God used their passions and Life Group to do just that.
I love hearing about groups who take the initiative and serve together. If you and your group are looking for some ways to serve the community, a great place to start looking is on our Local Involvement page. A few great opportunities this month include our Community Garden and Serve the City ministries!
If you’ve wanted to get plugged in to a community here at Southland but haven't taken that next step yet, don't put it off. We'll be launching some new groups in the fall and would love to have you be a part of one!
If you'd like to process this further, I'd love to chat!

Dave Rizer
Formation Director -Richmond Road

Lend a Helping Hand at the Garden

Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014

Recently, a few guys helped me unload my car at the Catholic Action Center. My trunk was loaded down with fresh onions, raspberries, cabbages, and cucumbers. As soon as the guys saw the food, they started talking about all the tasty meals that could be made with the fresh produce. A kitchen volunteer was most excited about the raspberries and all the delicious dishes he could make with them. The Catholic Action Center feeds three meals a day to anyone in need, so any extra food they can get is a huge help.

The Community Garden provides (literally) tons of fresh, healthy food to people in need in our community. We send food to our Serve the City neighbors, community partners, and individuals in need. By feeding hungry people, we are generously extending hope to the poor in Central Kentucky, from Lexington to Lancaster.

We're entering the busiest season for the garden and could use some extra hands because the food is coming in quicker than we can harvest! If you don't mind getting your hands dirty and want to extend hope to the poor, come lend a helping hand at the garden. Contact me for more info!

Shaun Denney
Local Initiatives Director

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