When God has another plan.


About two weeks ago Kym and I drove to North Carolina to the memorial service of a friend 30 years old who passed away, as I drove that road that I had driven so many times before I couldn’t help but thank God for all that He has done and brought me through. I’m not going to do into detail on this blog post… But, it’s been an amazing journey so far and the title of this song has really rang true in my life these last 33 years.

 “When God Has Another Plan”

The Lord’s ways are not our ways! I am learning that it is when I cannot rationalize or deal with things in my own strength that the Lord is asking me to truly surrender.  It is surrender because it’s not what I want, and I can’t convince myself of any good reason for what is happening.  And I’ve come to realize this is exactly where the Lord wants us – fully dependent on and surrendered to Him.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  – 

You see four months ago Kym and I through prayer and surrender knew that in our hearts we were to take the path of adoption and so we announced that we were taking the steps to begin the adoption process…

Almost immediately after we announced it it seemed the brakes were slammed and everything slowed way down. To be honest we have been frustrated as to why the process wasn’t happening (Not just in our timing but at all)

Well, this morning we have a better understanding as to why it seemed to be that way… God has another plan!

We are still praying about pursuing adoption but it will not be in the near future as we learned this morning Kym is pregnant with child number 5! (This is unless we are suppose to adopt and have #6)

Needless to say we are shocked/excited that Groves baby number five will be arriving early next year. We never planed on having 4 kids in 5 years and surely not 5 kids in 6 years! However, God knew this all along!

The plan. We all have one. Right? This idea in our head about how our life is going to be. My plan was awesome. I was going to marry the love of my life. We were going to get pregnant soon after with our first child and then every two years or so after that we would add another little person to our family until we felt complete. Perfection right? But, you see, that was JC’s plan, not God’s!  

I know letting go of “the plan” is so incredibly hard and downright scary. But honestly, plans are boring.  And when you chose to trust, you will find this incredible sense of purpose and fulfillment. Without a single doubt, throwing that stupid old plan out the window is the best decision I/WE ever made. I love the life God is allowing me to live. I LOVE MY BIG FAMILY!

So With that being said, just to clear the air… Here are a few answers and facts for you in case you were wondering: 

  • No we are not those type of people who don’t believe in birth control. 
  • The Duggar Family… Not even close to us. Please don’t compare us! (However we could have one heck of a reality TV show… Scratch that the kids would have to wear clothes) 
  • Yes we do know how this happened/happens – LOVE this question! #1 response.. Cracks me up every time.. The answer is always YES and we rather enjoy it!!!
  • Just because we lived in Utah doesn’t mean we converted to the Mormon mentality of family 
  • Yes we have cable. 
  • Yes we understand the burden it’s gonna be to feed these boys who are seemingly bottomless pits…. Grocery bills are not for the faint of heart. Seriously. I’m convinced that the only way I’m going to afford them all once they hit their teen years is if we’re growing our own food. Including a head of cattle.
  • NOT one of my children are a mistake or a oops! 

  • I am married to one of the most amazing/selfless/steady/hardheaded/courageous/dedicated/ beautiful/Godly woman I’ve ever met or known. 
  • We choose to celebrate the life that God has blessed us with. Please know we don’t post things on social media to rub it in the face of our friends and family who can not have children. Our hearts are often broken and sometimes question why having children is so easy (and often) for us and so hard for others. I’m sorry. I really do hurt for you. 
  • ‘Large’ is a subjective term. For some folks, more than two children is ‘large’. For myself, having five children at home, I think seven or more is “large”. It’s all a matter of perspective. I’ve come to accept that to most people, five is a large family. I think it’s kind of the same idea of what “old” is. It’s always at least twenty years older than your current age. Or thirty.
  • Say goodbye to private time. YUP. 
  • Laundry is never-ending. I shutter to imagine how crazy it will be when they actually start wearing clothes all the time! 
  • Dreams change. Where once my winning lotto dreams consisted of traveling to exotic places and owning a nice house, now I dream of industrial grade appliances. A double set of industrial washers and dryers. A walk in freezer. A room for every child, Soundproofing. A kitchen large enough for a massive table that we can all fit around and share memories with. That Kym and I will live in such a way they see Jesus through us and not just from us! 
  • Forget gas mileage. To haul around a crew our size, gas economy isn’t an option. I’ve yet to see an affordable vehicle that fit our family that isn’t a complete gas hog… And I’m not driving a Ford Transit! 
  • Early bedtimes = A must.  7:30PM bedtime. It’s a survival skill. The peace and quiet that happens once the kids are finally down for the night is our sanity saver. 
  • Get used to noise and chaos. There is no way I can think of that you can have this many people in one house and not have noise and chaos. Especially when those people are Groves! Our house might never be picture perfect but it’s home! 
  • Doing Roll Call. Just get use to it! 
  • Getting asked “Are you going to get a vasectomy/your tubes tied?” It’s None of your business! Thanks for asking. 

When God has another plan, walk on and just say yes!


Mothers day 2015



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


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


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”


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.



Oh, You are a “Campus Pastor” what do you actually do?


After 10 years in Full time Student Ministry God moved me into a new role. The position I gladly stepped into a little over two years ago is that of a Campus Pastor at Rock Bridge Community Church Ringgold Campus. I LOVE MY JOB! However, when I tell people I’m a Campus pastor they always seem to ask the question “So, what do you actually do” Because I don’t preach every week it seems like a strange roll. What I’ve learned is that because I don’t preach every week it frees me up to pastor and live life with people that I normally wouldn’t have time to. Also, communication happens in relationship and not just using the sermon to preach at people! 

I was reading some blogs this morning I came across paulalexanderblog.com he had this post called “What is a Campus Pastor? Hopefully this will help you understand a little better just exactly “what” we that call ourselves “Campus Pastors” actually do!

In August, 2012, Leadership Network released a report stating that over 5,000 churches are now multi-site churches (churches that meet in more than one location for worship) It’s a growing trend that first began with mega-churches, but has now expanded to churches of all sizes. With this new trend a new staff role has emerged, that of “Campus Pastor.” While a lot churches are still trying to figure out this new role, here are 6 things that great Campus Pastors do:

1. Reproduce Culture

In a multi-site setting you’re not building culture as so much as you are reproducing it. Somewhere along the line there was a decision made that the church had a culture worth replicating. That’s a big reason you’re multi-siting in the first place. Great Campus Pastors know how to reproduce culture in the context of the community of the new campus location.

2. Build Organizational Alignment

A Campus Pastor doesn’t have to come up with the mission, vision, values, spiritual maturity pathway, leadership distinctive, campus constants, and doctrinal statement. Again, those things already exist. But they do need to know how to build alignment around them and through them.

3. Big “I” Implementer

A great Campus Pastor makes things happen. They know how to see ideas through from concept to completion. They know how to set the staff up to succeed in the implementation of the goals, calendars and budgets of all ministries on their Campus in a manner that moves the campus towards the vision.

4. Cooperation

Great Campus Pastors know how to work with others. They know how to work with “Central Services” such as a centralized Business or Creative Arts Department to get the right things done.

5. Build a Leadership Culture

They know how to recruit, train, coach and mentor a Staff Team. They provide leadership and oversight to the Campus Staff and in so doing create a healthy staff team environment and leadership culture.

6. Shepherd the Congregation

At the end of the day great Campus Pastors love the local church. They have a shepherding gift and care about people becoming what God has dreamed up for them to look like. They know how to problem solve and shepherd through congregational matters.