Hi. I’m Shaun – a storyteller and musician trying to live generously. And here’s way too much more about me.
MY FAMILY & HOW I FEED THEM
I’m married to Becky, the most sociable and fun accountant you’ve never met. We have four kids – one by adoption and three by the traditional way. (For the record, I’m a big fan of both methods.)
My kids are 12, 14, 16 and 18 now, which means the picture below is sorely outdated. It’s not the only picture I have of my kids, but it’s the only picture I have of them all smiling and sitting still simultaneously.
How do I keep these kids fed and clothed? Well, I was a recording artist once upon a time. But these days I mostly speak. Because public speaking is still America’s number one fear, there aren’t a lot of folks who want to do it for a living. That’s called “job security.”
I travel to churches, colleges and conferences all over North America speaking on behalf of Compassion International.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How did you and Becky meet?
This is the most frequently asked of the frequently asked questions. The year after graduating from high school I interned at a church in Tyler, Texas. Becky’s dad was my pastor. She was working as a secretary at the church at the time and we became friends. I told my mom Becky was the kind of girl I wanted to marry. Mom said I’d never find another Becky. And she was right. Five years later we were married by her dad in the church where we met.
Where do you live now?
Becky and I moved from Texas to Nashville in 1997. We’ve missed brisket and Tex-Mex every day since. We all have our cross to bear.
How often are you away from home?
Women, very concerned for my wife’s sanity, ask this question a lot. She appreciates your concern. I’m in 80 to 90 cities every year. But when I’m home I’m my own boss. And my boss lets me play with my kids, and sip coffee on the porch while getting schooled in Scrabble by my wife…and even take an occasional nap.
What kind of Christian are you?
I’m a theological mutt. I was raised by Southern Baptists and got a fair amount of Baptist theology in my studies at Baylor University as well. But for the last 18 years I’ve been criss-crossing the globe worshiping alongside Pentecostals, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Lutherans…and dozens more flavors of Christian. Every one of them has taught me something. Maybe this next section will help answer the question?
What I Believe
- I believe in the Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- I believe in One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- I believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and His Personal return in power and glory.
- I believe in the salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
- I believe in the unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ.
- I believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- I hold to these beliefs as central to the Christian faith, providing unity within the Church. And in everything else I grant liberty, celebrating and learning from the great diversity of thought within the Church on all other matters.
THE EMBARRASSINGLY BRAGGY THIRD-PERSON BIO FOR USE BY MEDIA TYPES
Shaun Groves is a communicator who’s known by a lot of titles: Singer/songwriter. Speaker. Blogger. Husband. Daddy. Friend. He feels and thinks deeply and laughs easily. And he’s helping Christians discover what they were saved for, and being a voice for children around the world, desperate to be saved from poverty.
A Fearful Beginning
Shaun’s own salvation story began at the age of six with a dash down the aisle during an altar call given by a fiery revival meeting preacher. Shaun’s decision that day was fueled by fear; he knew he needed to be saved from eternal separation from God. But that knowledge alone didn’t bring Shaun peace.
At age 12 Shaun found the peace he was missing when he learned that God actually loved him. That basic truth turned Shaun’s world Technicolor. And living in that light, Shaun developed a love for music that propelled the weakest member of the school band all the way to the first chair, and on to a full music scholarship at Baylor University.
Change of Plans
The life plan Shaun created at Baylor made sense: marry his sweetheart Becky, become a church minister and write Christian songs on the side. But an internship with a Nashville music publisher led to a job, and that led to interest around town in his singing and songwriting. Shaun signed a recording contract at the end of 2000, just a week before the birth of the couple’s first child.
“One CD,” he thought, and then he’d get back to his original plan. But Shaun was surprised by success. His 2001 debut “Invitation to Eavesdrop” scored five songs on the charts and a half dozen Dove Award nominations, including New Artist and Song of the Year for “Welcome Home.” He was soon touring coast to coast and around the world with Bebo Norman, Jars of Clay and Michael W. Smith. “New plan,” he thought.
That success led to a second CD in 2003—the introspective “Twilight.” By the 2005 release of his third CD “White Flag,” based on his study and teaching of the Beatitudes, Shaun was questioning what his calling really was. He knew he was made for more than just entertaining audiences, and he was getting uneasy about his family’s comfortable lifestyle.
During this time, Shaun traveled with the Christian child development organization Compassion International to El Salvador. Shaun had been a fan of their work and wanted to see it up close. And he wanted to meet Yanci, the little girl his family sponsored.
The reality of life in El Salvador changed his own: Large families wedged themselves into one-room, corrugated metal shacks. Children competed with dogs to pick through trash heaps for food. But life for Yanci, because of Compassion International, was completely different. She went to school, had plenty of food and what she learned about God in the context of her own language and culture gave her hope for the future.
Shaun came home from El Salvador with a greater passion and renewed sense of purpose. He invested himself entirely in spreading a new message: salvation is not just about being “saved from” something, as he’d learned as a child. It is about being “saved for” something.
And with a sleeping Yanci in his arms, Shaun had come to realize that he was saved for doing what he could to release children worldwide from poverty, and release Christians at home from purposelessness.
Partner of Compassion
After El Salvador, Shaun and his family began to live more simply, so they could afford to help others simply live. Shaun continued to speak and sing, but at no charge to the public or promoters, and only if he could do so on behalf of Compassion International.
Now, when he lovingly talks about his kids, Shaun could just as easily be referring to his young son and daughters as he could the million-plus children sponsored through Compassion. More than 8,000 of them have received the spiritual and physical help they need as a result of his shows, speaking engagements and trips he leads to developing countries with fellow bloggers to show them Compassion’s work in action.
Shaun jokes with audiences about his “gift of sarcasm” and often turns the “gift” inward. When he calls himself a “soft rock star,” it’s to mock himself, and to make you laugh. And anytime you’re with Shaun, or follow his adventures on Facebook or Twitter, in his magazine articles or on his blog, you’re going to laugh a lot. And you’re going to think. The quick wit that keeps him bantering with an audience from the stage is the same wit that drives him to stare down the easy answers and to ask the hard questions.