Why we chose adoption…(My wife’s blog)

Originally posted on kymgroves:

We are adopting! Wow!! The things God did in my heart to bring me to this point amaze me daily. afa99dbabd0dde33917092f264b1b153

Adoption is something we have talked about since we got married. Jc has always said he wanted to adopt and I would always agree and say “yeah let’s do it,” thinking we never would. When we were newlyweds we agreed we would have 4 children, close together and then be done. Since Kenzie was born in December 2013, I had it settled in my heart that our family was done. We would move out of the no sleep, baby phase and just enjoy watching our children grow.

About 6 months after Kenzie was born JC started asking me to pray about more children. I responded with, “I prayed about it 5 years ago, God said 4, I’m done!” He asked me to pray about it again and I decided to…

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Mothers day 2015

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Being a mother can seem unrewarding at times…changing diapers, late night feedings, helping with homework…the list goes on & on. However, my encouragement to moms is to hang in there and understand that because of your willingness to do what you do that you are setting your children up for miracles.

Take the boy who’s lunch Jesus used to feed the 5000… Could it be that his mom made that lunch for him. Little did she know that what she was doing behind the sense Jesus was going to use in a great way (it’s the only miracle recorded in every gospel)

Mothers—everything you do matters. And I want to say thank you for the “behind the scenes” work that you do!

To my Mom… Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do! I am so thankful for your persistence in taking us to church…your willingness to meet with God every morning…and the time you spent as not only my mom but as my teacher (you learned me everything I know). There have been miracles that have taken place in my life that God used you to set the foundation for.

I Love you mom. Happy Mothers day! ‪#‎marvelousmom‬

What it means to have a “big” family in today’s world

jcgroves15:

My wife Kym’s honest, raw and real take on our lives!

Originally posted on kymgroves:

My husband has been begging me to blog for some time now and so here it is. This blog is going to be completely raw, honest and real. I am going to share struggles, triumphs, funny moments, recipes, etc… I would love if you would take the time to read and share in this wonderful life that God has blessed me with!!

So let’s lay it out there, I have 4 kids. 4! My children range in ages from 5 to 1. This does not make me a crazy person, although at times I feel my children have sucked all the brains out of my head! When I was a child it was my dream to have 12 kids. As I got older, got married and started having children that number got less and less. What happened?

When we announced 9 months into our marriage that we were expecting our…

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Daddy Daughter Date #1

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It will be best for my daughter’s future boyfriend if someone hides this picture from me, because if I should happen to see it on the night that he comes to fetch her for their first date, I’m not sure what will happen….. Just kidding. I think. 

Kenzie and I had our first Daddy & Daughter Date night tonight at Chick-Fil-A. An10991414_574541648564_4831700078677014613_nd I loved every second of it!  As I sat there and had small talk with my 1 year old daughter. She danced, looked at the flowers on the table, knocked over my sweet tea, screamed when I didn’t get the oreo shake in her mouth quick enough and then just started laughing so randomly that everyone sitting around us was in tears from laugher at the little kid so full of life and laughter. 

I just sat there and took it all in. I know she won’t remember this night. But, I will. I will remember the nothingness of our conversation, it was the best conversation I had in a day full of meetings. As we sat there part of my heart was happy but hurting all in the same moment … because it occurred to me, as I was carrying her from my car to the Chick-Fil-A, that she will someday (possibly) go on a date with a boy, and when that day comes, she will likely remember very little, if anything, about the night that her Daddy and her had their first little date.

But that’s OK … because I’ll never forget it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have something in my eye.

6 Ways to Lead a Church When You Don’t Get To Preach

I read this Blog today at gavinadams.com Gavin is the Lead Pastor of Watermarke Church, a campus location of North Point Ministries in Georgia.

How do you publicly lead a church when you’re a Campus Pastor, not the Senior Pastor?

That’s an ever increasing question. With the rise of multi-site churches, more Campus Pastors are added to leadership circles every day. But leading as a Campus Pastor presents unique challenges. I want to address one of these challenges in this post:

How do you cast vision for your church when you do not preach weekly?

As a Senior Pastor or primary Teaching Pastor, there is a 30+ minute segment each and every week to cast vision, set direction, and encourage missional engagement. But without the sermon spot, it becomes much more difficult to be an out-front leader. A good Senior Pastor will fill in some of these gaps with his leadership, but each campus location presents unique challenges that require unique leadership solutions. A Senior Pastor can cast a compelling organization-wide vision, but it is often up to the Campus Pastor to localize and conceptualize the mission and vision.

So how can a Campus Pastor publicly lead outside of the weekly sermon? Here are a few ways I try to lead at Watermarke Church:

1. Leverage the weekly communication opportunities.

Every week in our services, we have two opportunities to lead during the service outside of the sermon. The first is the welcome segment. I posted how we structure the welcome here, including an example. The welcome is more of a navigational spot than a vision casting spot, but it still presents a great opportunity to be the point leader over the location.

Second, we have a weekly offering segment, which is a perfect moment to engage our audience with vision. Whether we follow the worship set or a baptism, this spot allows me the opportunity to connect the dots between our engagement and our mission.

Side Note: As a Campus Pastor, I typically leverage both of these segments every week. It is very rare that I am in the building and not communicating these segments. And at times, I’ll even dismiss the service to add a final leadership moment.

2. Join volunteer orientations and regular meetings.

As often as I can, I drop into our new volunteer orientations and ongoing, regular volunteer meetings just to share a win or thank the volunteers. It’s a great way to stay connected to the people on the front lines of our ministry environments and presents a perfect opportunity to keep the vision out front.

3. Walk slowly down the isles.

I have the pleasure (and complications) of leading a pretty large church, so it isn’t often I get to meet with our average attendees. That provides an important opportunity for me on Sunday mornings when our auditorium is full. Since I am not preaching most weeks, I can spend time in the auditorium rather than secluded in preparation. I try to walk slowly down the isle. I look for people holding a first time guest gift. Engaging in conversations before and after the service is a great way to lead out front in a campus location.

4. Walk around DURING the service.

We have hundreds of volunteers serving during each service, and since I’m not preaching most weeks, I leverage this time to walk around and connect. Again, when you do not have the luxury of casting vision or setting direction during a sermon, leverage the sermon time to connect with those not in the auditorium is a simple solution.

5. Preach every time you can.

Ironically, I love to preach. I hope to one day do it a lot more. But for now, I leverage every open date in the message calendar to preach at my local campus.

This is important for our church. I know what is happening in our location and community. I understand our people and their needs. As I publish this post, I’m in the middle of a four-week message series we created just for our campus.

I believe preaching at least 10 sermons each year helps our church and allows me a larger platform from which to lead.

6. Write “thank you” notes.

This is a discipline, and I’m not always disciplined to do it, but sending hand-written thank you notes to our contributors and insiders provides a great option for vision casting and encouragement. Not to mention everyone loves getting a thank you note! Almost every time I send a note, the person thanks me the following Sunday. It’s meaningful – and easy.

I’m sure there are many other ways to effectively lead when you are not the primary preacher. What other ideas have worked for you? I’d love to hear so I can be better, too. Leave a comment below and feel free to share this post so others can join the conversation.

They Call me “DAD”

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It’s 8 days before Christmas. 12:24am. and finally everyone is asleep! We have traveled up to Nashville to meet my sister-in-law who is flying in to meet us to make the rest of the 10 hour drive with Kym and the kids to TX were we will spend Christmas this year with her family. I’ll be flying to Dallas on Monday as I’ve gotta work the rest of the week.

As I lay here in the Baymont Inn in Nashville, TN with two kids in my twin bed and two in Kym’s twin bed and I can’t help but get a little emotional.

Yes, It’s been a absolutely HORRIBLE night. As one could imagine. 6 Groves in 1 hotel room = Insanity! 20 min in the room and the phone was broken, toilet had a slice of pizza put in it that caused it to over flow and I decided the best place to stick the boys, because their sister was screaming her head off and Kym was out trying to find a microwave to warm a bottle up was of course, in the bathtub. (probably hasn’t been cleaned in who knows how long) And the only thing I could find for them to play with was three recycled paper cups. After ten min it looked like a dadgum paper-mache project on the bathroom wall. (Recycled paper cups dont really last long in the water)

After the screaming, jumping from bed to bed calmed down we all laid on the bed and watched a youtube video cartoon called “The story of Christmas” as I laid there watching my little kids (4, 3, 2 & 1) take it in I thought to myself “Take a mental picture of this” these are the moments that matter. These are the moments that I will think back to and say were some good times. These are the moments I don’t want to forget. And then my little Bubba, Corbin (2) got within a inch of my face and said in his not so clear speech “Lobe uo daddy” and then goes to sleep on my chest. It’s that moment I want to remember.

You see before I became a dad I placed a high value on my time. I had my hobbies and my vices, the things I liked to do — mine.

4 years ago when we learned that Kym was expecting our first kid, I was initially resistant for all the obvious, “how will I afford/manage/handle this?” reasons and also because if kids require anything, they require TIME.  Not only do they require it, they deserve it! I was faced with having to give up that which I consider very personal.

However, now that I’m a dad with some years on me, I can barely remember what I was doing with all the time I had as a kid-free man.

I don’t regret the “freedom” and “my time” that I’ve traded for becoming a dad. If anything being a dad is what makes up “My time” now.

In losing my time, I’ve experienced the following:

  • Being a protector, teacher and provider to your kids it way more rewarding than anything else you can achive
  • Hearing “Daddy!” screamed with excitement when I come home each day and being the recipient and giver of the most genuine hugs in the world. (Money can’t buy that)
  • Hearing the word “Daddy”, and knowing the different meanings behind it based on the tone when it’s being said and knowing how to respond accordingly.
  • The excitement that comes with watching my kids grow and learn and the outlook on life they gain every day.
  • The particular strength and tenacity gained from becoming Dad that no trainer, gym nor any other life experience would have been able to teach or provide.
  • Being blessed with the opportunity to continue the cycle: to pour wisdom into my boys as they quickly grow and will approach manhood before I know it, just as my father poured his wisdom into me often.
  • Relearning to appreciate the little things, just as my kids do.
  • Realizing that the “big things” aren’t really all that big because some of the biggest things in life are the little ones who call you Dad.

These are just a few of the unexpected joys that have come my way since I became a father. They make the hard work of being a parent feel like a cakewalk most days. And on those challenging days when it’s not so great or easy I think of the joy, privilege and honor of it all, and that really makes it okay. Because I get to be DAD to four awesome humans.

I read this blog post (Click link to read) PerryNoble.com a few years ago before I had kids and I remember thinking “wonder if that is true” Well. 4 kids later I cant honestly say…. It is.

You will have a lot of titles put on you in your life. The best title any man can ever have is to be called DAD. So if you are a Dad stop and enjoy the moments. The little moments, the big moments. Don’t get consumed trying to capture it. Just live in it. Take it all in and enjoy the fact that there is child who calls you dad.

Goodnight.