A High School Student’s Account: Hearing from God for the First Time

Melissa Thwing

Melissa Thwing

Social Media & Marketing Manager

It was at SpringHill Camps in the peaceful nature oasis of Evart, Michigan when high school senior George Cutler really talked with God for the first time. It was the first time he set aside any skepticism, doubts and fears and approached the moment with expectancy—believing that God not only listens to our prayers, but he answers when we call on Him.

God answered.

In a life filled with constant noise—the pressure of school sports, fitting in a social circle, achieving good academic standings—George finally heard the voice he needed to hear the most.

This pivotal moment in George’s life happened at the WILD Retreat, Kensington’s weekend away for middle school and high school students. Later that night, he gave his life to Christ.

“They presented me with that opportunity to lay down my life for the Lord,” George said. “There was no doubt I was going to take it.”

Accepting the Invitation
George’s high school girlfriend invited him to attend Edge, Kensington’s high school ministry. He accepted the invitation mostly to appease her, but to also entertain a bit of curiosity. He wasn’t raised in a Christian home and was never introduced to faith, but he knew something in his life was missing. When the leaders invited students to WILD Retreat, George knew the weekend was the answer to the isolation and missing piece he’d been feeling.

He stepped into the retreat weekend not knowing anyone on a personal level, and he left with authentic relationships.

“I felt super accepted,” George said. “It was the opposite of cliquey. Everyone was very welcoming.”

It was that welcoming atmosphere that encouraged George to open up and set aside his preconceived notions that church groups can be cheesy, unfriendly and boring.

“Man, that weekend changed everything,” George recalls. “I started to obey the Lord. I studied the Word, prayed more, and connected with God more.”

Jackson Prepolec, Student Ministries Leader at the Birmingham campus, recalls the night that George encountered Christ two years ago.

“We just threw a giant party for him,” he said. “We were there alongside George as he tried to process what just happened.”

Since the WILD Retreat, Jackson and George have formed a friendship with Christ as the foundation.

“Jackson is like a big brother to me,” George said. “He’s been there through it all to encourage me and make sure I don’t go astray.”

Giving Back: Helping Students Encounter God
Currently, in his sophomore year studying Accounting at Oakland University, George is a both a Breakaway (middle school) and Edge (high school) leader at Kensington’s Birmingham campus.

“It’s a priority that I make time to give back to a ministry that changed my life,” George said.

He encourages students in middle school and high school to prioritize a weekend away at WILD Retreat, October 25-27. He’ll be there, and he knows God will be there too ready to meet students wherever they’re at in their faith journey.

WILD Retreat
Our upcoming fall retreat is filled with wild activities and the truth that a life spent with Jesus is the wildest of adventures. Students will have outrageous fun and the chance to grow in their faith and friendships. Speakers include Central Discipleship Director, Justin Warns, and Traverse City Lead Pastor, Patrick Holden. Registration for WILD and info on all our fall retreats at kensingtonchurch.org/retreats.

Share this post

You Might Like...
helping others
Chris Cook

Bring Jesus Your Pain

Dan and I know each other from the neighborhood, and over the past few years we’ve become great friends. He’s a successful young businessman, just getting into the most productive years of his career. But

women
Rebecca Sassak

What Do You Do For Fun?

No, Really, What Do You Do For FUN? When my son was 4 years old, he delighted in people and greeted friends and strangers alike wherever we went. Although he had spoken very few words

Never miss another blog post.
Subscribe to be notified when new posts are published.

pagination_prv_arrow
December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services

Divorce Recovery

You don’t have to go through the pain and stress of divorce or separation alone. Our Divorce Recovery workshop combines expert speakers, small group discussion and a time of community with people on the same journey.

Divorce Recovery Winter Sessions

Troy campus | Mondays 7-9pm | Feb 5 – Apr 15

Orion campus | Tuesdays 7-9pm | Feb 6 – Apr 16

Cost: $45
The cost includes a workbook, snacks at each meeting (including coffee), and dinner at end of session. Childcare available.

You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Grief Recovery

At Kensington’s Grief Recovery support group, you can find hope and healing after the loss of a loved one. It’s a place where you’ll encounter caring people who can empathize with your pain because they’ve been through it themselves.

Winter Grief Recovery | Feb 6 – April 30 | Orion campus
Winter Grief Recovery | Feb 13 – May 7 | Troy campus (DAYTIME GROUP!)

Find a Grief Recovery group near you: griefshare.org

You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Kensington Visitation

Our dedicated volunteers bring encouragement and prayers of faith to those who are in local hospitals, medical centers, recovery centers and homebound. If you or someone you know would like to be blessed by such a visit, email visitation@kensingtonchurch.org or call the Troy Campus during business hours at 248-786-0600.

Pastoral Care

Members of our Pastoral Care Team are trained by the nationally known Stephen Ministry program and are compassionate listeners who walk alongside others to provide skilled and distinctly Christian care in times of need. They can’t promise to have all the answers, but they can promise their focused support. To receive care from one of our Pastoral Care Team members, call us at 248.786.0600 and ask for a Campus Care Provider – they can get the process started.

Interested in joining our Pastoral Care Team? Email us for more info.

Retreats

Podcasts

Websites

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Books We Love

Preparing For Marriage

Marriage Prep

Before the Last Resort

Marriage Restoration

Vertical Marriage

Marriage Growth

Secrets of Sex and Marriage

Intimacy

Men Only/For Women Only

Marriage Growth

Smart Step Family

Blended families

The Meaning of Marriage

Marriage Prep

The Power of a Praying Wife

Marriage Growth

The Power of a Praying Husband

Marriage Growth

The 5 Love Languages

Dating

Love and Respect

Marriage Growth

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

Marriage Restoration

101 Questions To Ask Before You Get Engaged

Dating

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

Newlywed

365 Connecting Questions

Connecting

Fierce Marriage

Marriage

Children's Programming During Services

Troy

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Orion

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
No children’s programming

11am | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

3pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clinton Twp

5pm | 12/23
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

1pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Birmingham

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming


1pm | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming

Traverse City

2pm | 12/24
No children’s programming

4pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clarkston

10am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

12pm | 12/24

Birth-PreK programming

Marriage and Blended Family

The Marriage Course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Strengthen your communication and gain a deeper understanding of your partner. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.
REGISTER

The Blended Family Workshop addresses the confusing roles and boundaries involved in blending families and identifies why parents so often struggle in blending their efforts. Find a community of people who are contemplating blending a family or are “in the trenches” building and growing their blended family!
REGISTER


Please email 
marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Spiritual Formations

Discover rhythms and practices that can help us abide in the love, grace, and hope of God, where our lives can be transformed. Explore some of these practices together with others who are pursuing the same. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Compass

Financial Compass is designed to help you discover the freedom found in wisely managing the resources God provides. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campuses

Clarkston

Orion

Troy

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Registration coming soon!

Birmingham

Clinton Twp

Orion

Traverse City

Troy

You will then be directed to PushPay for payment.
For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT