All posts filed under: SoHills News

Will You Wither or Glory Under the Heat?

These are some entries written in one man’s “journal.” They may sound like yours. I’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles… I’m not sure what to do… I’ve been spiritually terrorized… I’ve been thrown down… Even if you don’t write in a journal you’ve probably said similar things to yourself. Maybe even out loud. We’ve all felt the heat of circumstances beyond our control. Some of us wither under the heat. Some of us react in hurtful ways—towards others, towards ourselves, towards God. And some of us come through it glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. What makes the difference? The Apostle Paul wrote those “journal entries” above. You can find them in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (The Message). But he, in today’s jargon, did not put a period where God had put a comma. If you look in your Bible you will see that each of the above entries (even if worded differently) is followed by a comma. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not …

The Church Is Not A Building (Even a Really Cool One)

I’m heading to the chicken farm. Are you at City Station? I can’t wait to see our SoHills family this Sunday! During the move to our new facility, you would frequently hear statements like these. Without knowing it, at least among the staff, we made a clear distinction between the two locations and the body of believers who meets there. I pointed this out to my husband and he thought it was awesome enough for a blog post. After a few days though, I started to refer to City Station as “the church,” and Corey would remind me the church is not the building. After he pointed this out several times, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about sharing my observation. Since the beginning, Shannon has said City Station is a tool. We were not building something fancy to provide us comfort. We were not giving towards a facility that would meet all our needs and we would only use on occasion. We were sacrificing to show the community that love does. And now we are here! …

Who We Are, What and How We Do It

If you have been around Southern Hills at all in the last year, you know something new is coming. It has been on the horizon for a while now and we are getting super close to moving to City Station. Obviously, a new building means a new location, new procedures, new habits, new needs, new people.  While it’s been the buzz at SoHills, City Station isn’t the only “something new” that has been going on in our church. Over the past several years, our church family has been intentionally working on becoming disciple-makers. While an old command, we want to approach each day with this mission made anew. Because of Christ in us, we are seeing more and more new people walking through our doors, ready to take on this mission as well. Our mission of making disciples who make disciples is hard to miss when you first come to SoHills. After you have been on campus a few times, you’ll start to understand (or least we hope you’ll understand) why this is what we do. Our mission comes out of …

What Do You Know? Let’s Do Something!

A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool. -Joseph Roux Growing up, G.I. Joe was one of my favorite shows. Partly it was because my name is Joe and I thought somehow I would be able to become one just based on my name.  And, sadly, I’m still waiting for the call. But I do remember watching the cartoons and watching all the Joes fight against Cobra Commander.  After they inevitably won every episode it would always end with the tag “and knowing is half the battle!” Growing up, knowing was the priority for me. I needed to understand why something was important before it became important to me. Knowing was the first step and once I understood, then I would act. I still like to extensively study something and know every possible piece of information about it before I act. I usually live my life by two poignant statements: “Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.” – George V. Higgins …

Working Hard for The Sake of the Gospel

What comes to your mind when you think about working hard? My mind tends to drift to some of my family members. I specifically think about my grandfathers, who both set an incredible example for me in this respect. I think about men and women in the Bible who worked hard; the Apostle Paul always comes to my mind. He endured all kinds of suffering because of his ministry, and yet he persevered to the end. In light of Paul’s suffering, how did he continue to work hard? How did he encourage those under his influence to persevere? We get a good glimpse of Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.” Paul goes on instructing Timothy to teach other men, share in the sufferings of Christ, and to work hard in his ministry. I want to encourage you the same way Paul encourages Timothy (and us) to work hard for the advance of the gospel. But first, a …

The Darkness Can Never Extinguish The Light

So let’s talk about the eclipse for a second… I’m not sure what I expected to happen here in Carrollton, GA at 2:35 PM on August 21, but I know what actually happened wasn’t it. Most of our SoHills staff had been hanging out in the parking lot, watching the moon slowly move across the face of the sun, while sporting our trendy solar eclipse shades (thanks to Pack #2819). The sky was progressively getting darker and darker.  The temperature was dropping. The “eclipse music” was playing (thanks to Andrew Hicks). Right before it was time, we all ran to the other side of the building to get a better view of the sky line. And then… it happened! 95% of the sun was blocked by the moon! It was neat to watch the moon move across the sun. The glasses were definitely styling! The temperature drop was crazy. But the climax… the big moment for those of us not in the “path of totality” was, at least for me, disappointing. But in those moments …

Welcome to the SoHills Family, Neals!

When I was introduced to the church in November, which to me feels like an eternity ago, Shannon talked a lot about where I have worked in ministry and what I will be doing here at Southern Hills.  Being a new member of the SoHills family, I thought you would like to know more about who we are.  So… Hi, my name is Heath Neal, and this is my wife Karen. We have a 5-year-old daughter, Reese, and a 3-year-old daughter, Vivian, and live in Bremen. I grew up in the Atlanta area and am a huge fan of the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks. Although I lived elsewhere for nearly twenty years, it has been fun to come back to Georgia and live so near to where I grew up. I love sports, reading, being outdoors and spending time with people. Karen hails from outside of Nashville, TN, where she grew up on the family farm. They no longer raise cows and tobacco, but every spring you can go and pick fresh strawberries. We always take …

Our Crazy SoHills Family

I love our crazy church family!  It never ceases to amaze me how God so graciously allows us to be a part of His plans.  And make no mistake, God is definitely using His body here in little ‘ole Carrollton, Georgia! Did you know?… our 456 program for 4th-6th graders has experienced tremendous growth averaging 46 kids and 16 leaders the last 2 months on Sunday mornings our Fusion (7th-12th grades) ministry has over 140 students showing up every Wednesday night to hear the Gospel and how it applies to their lives there are currently 26 adults being discipled in the Soul Care ministry, and since January over 80 adults have experienced Soul Care through one-on-one counseling or participation in our Care Groups Campus Outreach (our UWG partner) is experiencing unprecedented growth on campus and we are seeing a rise in college students attending on Sunday mornings new members are joining Southern Hills every month each month, more people get involved in the various ministries of Southern Hills. The Fusion ministry alone has had 7 new volunteers …

Reflecting on Who We Are in Christ

Words that mean a lot to me may have very little impact on you. The name “Linda Lovelady” brings a smile to my face (and makes my blood run hot). Those words may not resonate with you, but she is my wife; the one woman I chose to spend my life with. But if I say, “Nine eleven,” many of you will lean back in your chair and take pause as you reflect on an event that changed our world. We were glued to the TV, horrified at the pictures. Hours. Days. Weeks. Many of us can still see the gruesome carnage as if it happened yesterday.  We still bow our heavy hearts and heads in memory of those who lost their lives in the towers, the Pentagon, and the crashing planes. They had no choice. Work, circumstances, perhaps tourism caused them to be at the wrong place at the wrong time without any suspicion of the sinister forces that would snuff out their lives. But there were others. Firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel—all kinds …

Elvanto: Making the Switch to a Better Tool

After much conversation and evaluation, we have decided to switch to a different church management solution that will allow us to minister to individuals better as SoHills continues to grow. While The City served us well during a time when we needed to build community, it is no longer effective in helping us make disciples.  After months of research, talking with other church leaders, and trying other tools ourselves, we’ve chosen a system we believe will serve us well for years to come. Our new church database and management tool is called Elvanto.  There are two specific aspects of Elvanto we are really excited about and are already implementing. Previously, every staff member and lay leader kept information about the people they serve separately.  Some had spread sheets, some used white boards, some kept up with it in their mobile devices.  There was no sharing of relevant information from one ministry to another.  With Elvanto, information is in one location, available to the proper leaders and delivered in a timely fashion. As we continue to grow, keeping up with information …