Rock Bridge Ringgold Fam…
At this point, I’m sure you’ve heard the news… My family will be moving to Statesboro, GA here in the next few weeks, to be the College and Student Pastor at the Connection Church, Sunday 
(September 27th) will be my last day serving here at Rock Bridge Ringgold as your Campus Pastor. That being said, I wanted to write one final letter to you, as our friends and our church family. Kym and I love you all very much!

 I stand in awe of what God has been doing in us and through us over these past eight years. I know it has not always been easy and there have been seasons when we’ve scratched our heads, wondering what God is doing, yet I can confidently say that the testimony of these last 3,000 days has been: God is faithful in all his ways and, as Lamentations reminds us, we’ve together experienced the “steadfast love of the Lord [that] never ceases”. This truth alone is something worth shouting about and praising God for!

However, it has also been wonderful to see the way that God has taken hold of us as a church and grown and expanded us: not only in numbers but also in influence and maturity. Rock Bridge Ringgold is such a different place now as a church than it was eight years ago, and this is God’s wonderful handiwork amongst us. As I just pause for a moment, names, faces, and stories come flooding into my mind: people who made massive and radical decisions to commit to x or throw themselves into y, sometimes at great personal cost. Yet the fruit of those risky decisions runs on and on and will have an impact in eternity to come. I also think about those who have faced unexpected and painful life-altering challenges, and yet didn’t allow these to steal the joy that is found only in Jesus. I’m stunned and humbled at the way so many people have poured their time, talents, and treasures into helping us as a church move into the plans and purposes that God has for us. 

 Seriously, church family: you are amazing! I love the sacrificial serving that I see right across this church community. It really is very special. I also think about the many people who have come to know Jesus over these last few years; stories of God wonderfully saving and redeeming people; stories that will be told through all of eternity as a testimony to the triumph of Jesus at Calvary. I’m reminded of the countless faces of those people we have touched with the love and kindness of Jesus through the many HOPE Initiatives, fall festivals etc… There is something really amazing when God’s people get caught up in grace-motivated action. And I’m reminded of those who have carried over and above what perhaps they should have, because there has been a need and no one else was able to jump in and help. Thank you for giving again and again.

 Rock Bridge Ringgold, what I’ve just described in my previous paragraph is wonderfully rich soil for God to come and plant a new season of extraordinary fruitfulness into! Be assured and encouraged that the best is still to come. God’s garden/family is so much bigger than where we’ve gotten to so far. However, for these things to be fulfilled it is going to require similar actions of courage, service, and throwing yourselves into the purposes of God. I recently posted on Twitter a quote from CT Studd, who was Cambridge-educated and tapped to become Prime Minister, but chose instead to become a missionary in China. He said: “Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible”.

 Rock Bridge, may I encourage you over this coming season, in prayer together, to become grabbers of the impossible for the sake of the thousands here in Ringgold/Chattanooga who do not know Jesus as their savior, friend, and Lord.

 I want to take a moment to thank some very special people. My role as Campus Pastor has been filled up with joy because I have been able to serve alongside such a great team of leaders! Casie Dawson, Zech Dallas, Andrew Plisko, Pam Plisko, Joseph Farmer, and Logan Meek. This team is second to none! It really has been very special seeing them serve, lead, and reach out for the things of God together. Church family, you have a great team of leaders who I know are not hirelings (doing it because they get paid), but shepherds who are being schooled by the Great Shepherd! And I know as certain that God is leading us to Statesboro, that God has placed that burning desire in your next Campus Pastor. This next Campus Pastor will love this church and community just as much as I have. He will bring about a new season of creative advance and with this team, again, THE BEST IS YET TO COME! 

 Please do pray – along with me – for these wonderful leaders. We know God is going to add others into this mix over the coming season, but right now let’s pray for God’s wonderful protection, energy, wisdom and guidance to be upon them. I’m praying for a fresh anointing to be upon each one of the Rock Bridge Ringgold Staff and our Elders! 
 Casie, Zech, Andrew, Pam, Joseph and Logan… Thank you for pouring your lives into making much of Jesus and seeing his church grow and flourish. Thank you for living in that place of risky faith. Thank you for giving over and above what you could have. Thank you for working with – and often covering for – my frailty. Thank you for enabling so many other people to find their place in this community. These last eight years would have been so very different without you. I love each of you so much! 

 Finally, let me try to express my love for you. Yes, if you are reading this letter, that means you! One of the joys (and at times heartaches) of leading a church family is getting caught up in Jesus’ love, motivated and saturated in the building of his family. I feel so rich and enriched because of who you are and what God is doing among you, and that you have given me the privilege of leading for these last 8 years. Thank you. 

 So, as you press on together, never lose sight that you were made to delight in God, you’ve been called to be radical disciples of him in every aspect of your life, you’ve been called to demonstrate the goodness of his kingdom by caring for the poor and praying for the sick, and by declaring the unchanging gospel in an unapologetic way. Keep connecting people from ALL walks of life to life in Christ as you Love God, Love Others, and Live Sent! 

Honored to have served you the last 8 years. 
With much love
JC Groves