Aug 302010

Big Idea:
God uses one another to transform and complete us in Jesus!

Scripture Memory:
Romans 12:15–16 (ESV)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Action Step:
Decide where you will connect in Community and Commit to it!

At the end of every series, almost, I feel like I am beating a dead horse!  Understand that I have been planning, studying, pouring over sermons, plans and how to apply them for weeks.  I have felt a little the same way this past week but I need to say that I am wholeheartedly convinced that our focus on COMMUNITY GROUPS is the right direction.  We must connect relationally to move forward in what God has called us to do!

I feel that yesterday’s text from scripture and our focus on ONE ANOTHER is so needed.  We are family and we must learn how to do life with one another.  Here is the recap from yesterday:

God uses one another to transform us and complete us Jesus. Through:

Authentic love for one another.
This is the type of love that loves with a natural affection that characterizes members of the same family.

Second mile Hospitality toward one another.
This is hospitality that is FIRST to lead out in honor others.  Chick-Fil-A does this better than any other fast food restaurant in this business.  They create a culture of hospitality second to none.  This is why we place a premium at Church at the Grove on “First Impressions”.

Unity and Harmony with one another.
The Apostle Paul explains this great here:
Philippians 2:2 (ESV)
2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

God uses our flaws and all to grow us toward maturity in Jesus.  That is why we must not reject the biblical principle of connecting in Community.
Anne Rice has made news for loving Christ but walking away from the Christian community.  Check out this great article that explains why we must stay connected to ONE ANOTHER to continue to see Jesus impact the world around us.

Random Thoughts:

  • We have the best leaders, volunteers and servants in the world at Church at the Grove.  We could not do what we do without them!  I love hanging out with them at Lenora Water Park on Saturday night, rain and all!
  • I am ready for some College Football!
  • I love what is happening in the life of Church at the Grove right now.  Great unity, spirit and Community right now!  God is preparing us for a great Harvest coming.  Get ready.
  • I am so proud of our Community Group leaders and host and the job they did putting on the Community Group Block Party!  I loved the atmosphere created on the last two Sundays.  I am thankful for Bernice Wood’s idea.  Check out her blog.  She is a great and thoughtful writer.
  • We need more people to volunteer and step up in these areas: Preschool, children, Breakdown!  Please let us know where you can serve.
  • God is at work!

Keep praying, Keep investing, keep inviting.

 Posted by at 12:02 pm
Aug 262010

I mentioned this past Sunday that a couple in our church (Tony and Tonya Nelms) reached out to their family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to raise money for our partnership ministry in Romania with Belief In Motion.  Below is a copy of the letter that Tony and Tonya wrote to their circle of relationships.  What an example of God at work in the lives of people in and through the life of Church at the Grove.  I am so thankful for the Nelms and their willingness to step out on faith and be a part of what God is doing around the world!


As most of you know Tonya and I lost our son Chris earlier this year. It was the most devastating experience parents could ever face. We are blessed with a neighbor that brought us to the Lord. With all of our family, friends and the Lords help, we are working thru this. We presently go to a little church in Walnut Grove called Church at the Grove. We don’t actually have a church; we meet at Walnut Grove High school for our worship. It is our belief that helping others in need is more important than a fancy building for worship. Tonya and I both have been involved in helping people in our community thru the church as much as we can.

But now, we are on a mission to help a couple from our church that has been living in Romania for the last five years. This couple is amazing; they met with us this past Saturday. In Romania it is pretty much standard practice for the fathers to put their daughters 12 and above on the street for prostitution in order to feed the family.

When these girls become pregnant, they can’t handle anymore burden on their family so they end up just leaving their babies at a local orphanage and the cycle just continues.

We are asking anyone that can help with a donation to please do so from the bottom of your heart. Tonya and I both would love to go to Romania and help for 8 to 10 days, but everyone knows we are unable to because of our trucking company. We ask you to please donate to the following:

Belief in Motion
P.O. Box 2013
Loganville, Ga. 30052

Or you can send the check to our address
3352 Sean Way
Lawrenceville, Ga. 30044

We are trying to collect as much as possible over the next two to three weeks and present it to the church. There is no designated amount, please send what you can. Make checks payable to: Belief in Motion

Also if you can take time to say a prayer for our friends from the church and the ones they are trying to save.

 Posted by at 4:49 pm
Aug 262010

I told someone today that I feel refreshed and renewed!  I am ready for the fall!  I was blown away by the kindness and generosity of Church at the Grove on Sunday Aug. 15.  Jill and I have laughed and cried as we read all the notes written to us from so many people that have become part of The Grove.  THANK YOU!  We are ready for the next chapter in the life of Church at the Grove.  I am more excited than ever about this fall!  Here are a few thoughts regarding the last few weeks and what we have to look forward to this fall.

  • We are excited about our opportunity to partner with the Bruski’s and the Hardins and the ministry they are doing in Romania!  Our team of 16 had an incredible trip to Romania and we were able to contribute to “Belief In Motion’s” ministry in Romania.  One of our couples, Tony and Tonya Nelms shared with many of their friends, co-workers, and family what God is doing in Romania and collected almost $3500 toward the work the Hardins and Bruskis are doing in Romania.  YES!!!
  • We have the best volunteers and leaders in the world!  I am so proud and excited about our volunteers and we are celebrating them and their families this Saturday!  We have reserved the Lenora Park Water park for this Saturday night for our volunteers, leaders and their families to celebrate all they do to make Church at the Grove a great church!  6:30-8:30pm.  I can’t wait to see them their.
  • I am blown away by what is happening with our Community Groups!  We set some aggressive goals for our Community Group ministry this fall.  We wanted to start 15 Community Groups for this fall and we have reached our goal!  We also have set a goal to have at least 75% of our adult attendance in Community Groups this fall.  Please help us reach this goal.
  • I loved our Community Group block party this past Sunday!  Thank you to all our hosts and leaders and their work to make it awesome!  I loved seeing so many people out in the hallways hanging out and talking!
  • I am so excited about Michael Houk coming on board with us this fall to lead our Children’s Ministry for our elementary students.  He has some exciting plans in place.  Please consider joining Michael and serving as a leader in our children’s ministry!
  • We had almost 40 students at our fall kickoff last night at our Student Gathering!  Awesome!  I love our students and I am so thankful for Nathan, Katelyn and Michael Houk and their leadership with our students!
  • I love the name-tags on Sundays!  I love being able to see everyones name and it helps me to remember names and put them with the right faces.  It builds community!  Thank you to Leo and Monica Shababy for leading the way and the being flag-wavers for Community at The Grove!

Please reach out to a few friends, family members and neighbors and invite them to our Sunday Gathering this coming Sunday.  Who can you invite?  Who can you be praying for?  Who do you need to have a conversation with?

Keep praying, Keep investing, Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 4:34 pm