All posts filed under: SoHills News

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 …

Summer Beach Project – All Glory to Him

Every summer, Campus Outreach has an event called Summer Beach Project (SBP). SBP is an 8-week discipleship program where college students from schools like West Georgia move down to Panama City Beach, Florida, get a job, live in a hotel with other college students from other universities, and grow in their walk with God together. These young men and women travel down to the beach expecting to learn more about God and grow in their understanding of the Bible. I like to say that SBP teaches college Christians the essentials they need to walk with God. They learn more about God’s character, they are trained in how to study and apply the Bible, and they are trained how to share their faith with others. I went on my first SBP four years ago and I am still reaping the benefits from it today. This past summer there were more than 350 students from more than seven universities in the Southeast. West Georgia had just over 50 students come to SBP – including a handful of …

Our Family on Mission in Nicaragua and at Home

Why do people who go on short-term mission trips love them so much? Is it the exotic destination?  Is it the time away from their own life?  Is it time spent in a different, fascinating culture? Some would think so and they would be right to some extent. These are really enjoyable aspects of traveling. After going on and leading numerous trips over the past several years I believe the reason most people enjoy mission trips (and keep going back) is because they put their faith into action and see it work. On mission trips, we live out our Christianity in a way that resembles how Christian community in the first century church was modeled. We spend every moment of a week living in community, doing projects together, praying together, eating together, sharing our resources, encouraging one another, sharing the word of God with non-believers, and doing extreme acts of generosity for people we don’t know. I’ve never had a mission trip ruined by adversity.  We’ve had flat tires, wrecked vehicles, torrential downpours, illnesses, hospital trips, emergency room trips, …