A Church Planting Movement

Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews

Kensington Church, Founder

The Journey So Far

I was at a church growth conference 30 years ago, where Rick Warren said “we need all kinds of churches for all kinds of people.” I loved this idea of diversity. I loved the idea of helping many kinds of churches get off the ground and running. I was hooked.

Now, decades later, I have learned a few things. Some lessons were learned the hard way. Others were learned through the amazing men and women that God has brought to my life to teach me. Some lessons were about God and his ways. Many were about my own weakness.

But, here is what I know: there is something powerful about people uniting. Sweeter than doing something on my own, is the phrase: “we were able to do this together.”

Here are some highlights from my church-planting journey:

EACH AND DETROIT

In 2011, a visionary leader in metropolitan Detroit began with the dream to reach everyone with the gospel. It was called Everyone A Chance to Hear or E.A.C.H. and it was an amazing movement of God’s Spirit. What started as an evangelistic crusade became something more. I had not seen a city-wide gospel effort like this since Billy Graham was in Detroit in 1976.

God was working on Bob Shirock, founder of Oak Pointe church, to fan into flames the conviction that each day he drove by the houses of neighbors who need to know the love of Jesus Christ. One day he thought, “Why do I drive by lost people every day to be with the people at my church and why don’t I have a strategy to explain the gospel to the thousands of people I pass every day?”

We saw a city-wide collaboration of churches that maybe has never existed before. This new cooperation was between large churches and small, black and white, urban and suburban, and churches representing all denominations.

One of my favorite moments was when we were doing the preparations to have about 500 churches all do a common preaching series. The rally for the sake of both planning and a show of unity had thousands in attendance. My friend, Scott McKee, of Ward Presbyterian Church, asked the crowd how many churches were represented in the room. The lively crowd began shouting guesses as to how many hundreds they believed were in attendance and Scott quietly raised up one finger and said nothing for awhile. He then said, “There is one church represented here today. Just one. We are all the one church.”

WALLY’S OPEN HANDS

It was a little over 20 years earlier that the spirit of collaboration was indelibly burned into my heart and forever became part of our philosophy of ministry here at Kensington.

When Wally Hostetter called me to work with Faith Church, he had a multiplication mindset from the first conversation. In 1986, he said to me “come for three to five years and help me build this church. Then I will send you out to start something fresh. We will reach 10,000 people through church planting.”

I remember being moved by Wally’s faith. And inspired by his ridiculous prediction. Ten thousand was an audacious number as the largest church in Michigan was four thousand people in the late eighties.

In 1989, Wally asked me to start building my core team.

I asked him, “Who can I recruit from the church?”

Without hesitation, he answered, “Everybody.”

GIVE IT ALL AWAY

Jesus said that whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it (Luke 17:33).

The statement is thick with meaning, but the application for me has always been to open my hands. I want to live with the recognition that I do not own nor control anything – even when I wish I could or think I do. My life is not my own. Churches don’t belong to anyone but the Lord. I may be the caretaker and investment advisor – but I am not the owner.

So, for a few decades we have continued in the spirit of the open hands that gave me the people and resources to start a church near Detroit.

How do we get this upside-down truth, the give-it-all-away mindset into our strategy? It requires a handful of changes, but in short, it requires these commitments:

We have nothing to lose – Jesus gave it all. Jesus held nothing in reserve. He risked everything to bring us home to the Father. This makes us completely loved and called into this family of risk-takers. Why wouldn’t we? Why shouldn’t we be the most fearless people in the world? We have nothing to lose.

We need to reject fear and protectionism – fear motivates most of us most of the time whether we choose to admit it or not. I speak from experience. The older I get, anxiety becomes more palpable in the dark night hours. It is that fear which tries to crush faith, risk and adventure for the believer and leader in the kingdom.

We commit to having nothing of our own – stop believing the lie that our churches and people “belong” to us. We own nothing. Holding on to something that doesn’t belong to us is a tool of Satan as well. Stop saying “my congregation” or “my church” or “my staff”. Our call is to join Jesus in becoming nothing. Excel in the gift of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
We believe abundance – have you heard of “abundance mentality”? The opposite is scarcity mentality. Scarcity says that there are a limited amount of resources and people who will participate in church, so giving something away always means loss for one and gain for another. What about a win-win? What about the idea that God wants to multiply his church and build his kingdom in unfathomable ways?

We think church planting should be normal – after helping over 60 church start-ups (in the U.S. alone), we have seen thousands of people come to faith in Jesus because these churches exist. We, of course, had nothing to do with these conversions other than a little helpful push at the beginning. What a privilege!

These are snapshots taken at our last Church Planting Event which we Kensington regularly hosts in order to encourage and equip those who feel called to plant a church. Want to read more about Church Planting, check out a previous blog by Greg Gibbs, here.

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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

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