Mar 13

An Example Worth Copying

Posted in: Vision

Have you ever made a bunch of photocopies for a special project only to later find a mistake in the original?   If you’re a perfectionist like I am, this kind of thing drives you crazy because then you have to decide if you’re willing to live with it or if you need to take the time to go back, fix it and make the copies all over again.  The bigger the copy job, the bigger of a deal it is to go back and fix your mistake.

If you’ve spent any time at all at Southland, you know that we are in the replication business.   First and foremost we want to replicate the life of Christ in each and every Jesus follower who is a part of our church.  This is why we’ve rolled out a new mission, expressions and challenges – so that we can make sure that, by God’s power, our lives are matching up to Jesus’ perfect example as closely as possible.

But it doesn’t stop there.  We’re not just replicating disciples.  We’re also replicating campuses.   Of course multi-site campuses, just like disciples, are not identical photocopies.  They are unique expressions of the body of Christ in multiple contexts.

Our Danville campus does not and should not look just like Harrodsburg Road.  The Richmond Road campus will not and should not either.  However, even though they have their own unique identity, each campus shares identical DNA.  We are replicating the core of who we are and how we function as a church.

In Children’s Ministry this means we are replicating our leadership culture, programming and safety procedures in a way that works on all three campuses.  Since we are copying these core practices, we know it’s a big deal that we get it right.  You don’t want to copy a flawed original.

That’s why we’ve spent the last several months putting our Children’s Ministry under the microscope, evaluating, modifying and tweaking to make sure we’re replicating the best possible model.

Lately you’ve seen us make a lot of changes in the area of safety and security.  We’ve asked leaders to wear ministry shirts, assigned people to specific check-out duties, reminded everyone of specific policies and on and on and on.

I’m sure some weeks it feels like we’re throwing a lot of new expectations your way on top of everything else you do.  I want to be clear that it’s not because anyone has done anything wrong.  We are simply trying to take the ministry to the next level so that our future campuses will be able to copy and enhance the best original model we can create.

I just want to say thanks for your patience and flexibility as we try a few new things to make sure we are creating the safest environments possible for our kids.   As a staff team we recognize the huge contribution you make week after week, and we are your biggest fans.

Kids will be in heaven because of the time you invest.

Let that sink in for a minute.  Kids will be in heaven who wouldn’t have been without you.  Wow.  That’s heavy.  That’s big.  That’s what God is doing in you.

That’s an example we definitely want to copy as God expands our church to Richmond Rd and beyond.


Feb 29

Want to Be a Part of Something Magical?

Posted in: Weekends


Can you imagine what it would be like to walk around Walt Disney World knowing that you helped build it?  Imagine if you’d been one the artists or construction workers who helped bring Walt’s incredible vision to life.  Well, we don’t exactly have a Disney-sized budget, but over the next couple of months we are going to be creating some fantastic environments for families here at our Southland campuses.

As we prepare for the launch of our Richmond Road campus we are completely overhauling the large group stages for our three Children’s Ministry environments, and that’s where we need your help.

We need skilled woodworkers, artists, painters and any adults willing to donate some time to help us to build the new sets for Children’s Ministry.  We are going to be creating whimsical set pieces and theatrical props to bring our new themed environments to life.

Each week those interested can volunteer to serve at the Harrodsburg Road campus during one or more of our set building sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. or Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  All volunteers must be 18 or over.

If you’d like to be a part of the magic, please contact Tobi at or by calling 859.224.1680.

Jan 18

What does it take to be effective with kids?

Posted in: Weekends

The most effective Children Ministries are both kid-geared and God-focused.   It takes the best of both worlds to really be able to have an eternal impact on the kids we serve.

In our January Children’s Ministry team meeting we talked about what this looks like at Southland.  Here’s the same content put together in a simple whiteboard video.

The Best of Both Worlds Video

Check it out and see what you think.  Are our weekend Large Group and Life Group times more kid-geared, God-focused or do they hit the sweet spot by bringing the best of both worlds together?



Jan 11

Exclusive Richmond Road Preview for Children’s Ministry Leaders

Posted in: Multi-site

Hey Children’s Ministry Leaders,
First I want to say thanks for letting God use you in such a huge way in the lives of our kids at Southland.  Entire families are falling in love with Jesus because of you.   That is no exaggeration.  If you could see the spiritual impact you’re making from God’s point-of-view, you would be absolutely blown away.
What you do each weekend matters . . . BIG TIME!  
Just as Children’s Ministry is mission critical here at Harrodsburg Road and at our Danville campus it’s also going to be a vital part of what Southland is about at Richmond Road.  Some of you have already told me how excited you are about the opening of the new campus in January of next year, but you probably also have a lot of questions.  
What’s Children’s Ministry going to look like? How will it be structured? What are biggest opportunities? How can I get involved?
Well, now it’s time for some of those answers.  
I want to invite you to join me for a special event just for current Children’s Ministry leaders on Wednesday, March 7th, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  We will meet in our 3rd-5th grade environment on the second floor of Building F, Room 205 for a sneak peak of Children’s Ministry on the Richmond Road campus.  
At this event you’ll get to see floor plans, stage designs and hear how Richmond Road will be similar to the Harrodsburg Road campus and what will be unique.  Richmond Road Campus Pastor Gary Black will be on hand to share his vision for the great things God has in store for families on the new campus.   
If you’re thinking about serving at Richmond Road or just want to learn more, we’d love to have you there.
My favorite part about all of this is that our team is the first one to get to host this kind of preview event.   That shows you how highly the church values your leadership.  You are game changers for the kingdom of God!
Please RSVP to Wende at as soon as possible if you plan to attend.  We’ll have childcare available, but please let us know how many children you’ll be bringing in advance.
I’ll see you there!

Jason Byerly
Children’s Pastor

Nov 8

The 411 on 411

Posted in: Vision

What’s the big deal about 411?  That’s the number of people – kids and adults who’ve been baptized at Southland so far this year.  So what’s that mean to you?  Well, first of all, we celebrate 411 new brothers and sisters joining us in God’s family.  But above and beyond that, you were a part of each of those 411 baptisms.

Here are three ways I’ve watched amazing Children’s Ministry leaders like you contribute to people crossing the line of faith this year:

1. You reach kids’ with God’s love.

There are kids who have made a decision to follow Jesus this year because of the love and attention you’ve shown them.  Whether it’s through a direct conversation you’ve had with them about salvation or you just showing up and pouring out kindness, you have been Jesus with skin on to the children God has sent your way.  Even if they can’t articulate it, kids see God in you and want what you have.

2. You make it easy for parents to go to church.

Because you make church fun for their kids, most of our parents don’t have to struggle with dragging their kids to church.  In fact, many of our parents have told me that their kids get upset if they have to be out of town and miss a weekend.  A lot of our kids drag their parents to church, which is huge!  That means parents can attend worship and classes without being distracted or feeling guilty that they just ditched their kid.  This frees them up to be fully present and do business with God.  Parents have come to faith this year because your ministry enabled them to go experience being a part of the church.

3. You’ve inspired contagious faith.

Parents have also come to faith this year because of #1 and #2 working together.  I’ve seen parents show up at our Kid Splash events thinking about baptism for the first time, because their kids are asking questions.  I’ve watched the faith of children spread through entire families.  That all begins with you building relationships with kids and creating an irresistible weekend experience in Children’s Ministry.

So there you have it, three reasons why you can feel good about playing a HUGE part in 411 baptisms this year.  Remember, there’s no such thing as JUST Children’s Ministry.  What you do opens the door of heaven to entire families who may otherwise never be introduced to the love of God.   Pretty mind-blowing, huh?

Thanks for letting God use YOU to rock the world and build His kingdom!



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