Resources Resources

Resources for Growth

Exploring your faith and getting answers to your questions are important to your spiritual growth. To help you, Kensington has put together a number of resources than you can explore.

  • Books We Love

    In addition to our online Pastor's Reading List, we've compiled a list of recommended books that have been categorized into the following topics:

    Exploring Christianity

    Here are some great resources, whether you've never attended church before or have been coming to Kensington for a while. Each helps explain fundamentals of the Christian faith.

    Secrets of the Vine

    Take a journey John Chapter 15. That text says Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Learn some rich truths through this word picture in easy-to-understand language.

    Reaching for the Invisible God

    How does a relationship with a God we can't see, hear, or touch really work? Yancey tackles this tough question is his Gold Medallion Award-winning book.

    Love Beyond Reason

    Move God's love from your head to your heart. Ortberg uses personal stories and thought-provoking illustrations to help replace misconceptions about God with an accurate picture of Him - a God that wants his love to touch your heart and transform your life.

    Life on the Vine

    Kenneson examines each fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, explores what each one means in its biblical context, then investigates how key traits of American culture inhibit the development and ripening of each fruit.

    Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

    Rob Bell is the lead pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI. He offers a fresh take on Jesus that allows room for doubt. Bell is well-versed in Jewish teachings and draws from rabbinic wisdom and stories freely. His casual, hip tone is easy to read.

    If You Want to Walk on Water You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

    Ortberg teaches essential elements of faith like discerning God's call, transcending fear, risking faith, managing failure, and trusting God.

    Case for the Creator

    Strobel, a former atheist and legal editor for the Chicago Sun Times, launches a personal investigation to resolve personal questions about God, Jesus and the Bible. He interviews a variety of scientists, debunking popular beliefs to build a case that scientific evidence points toward Intelligent Design. Book sites further reading on science and faith.

    Case for Christ

    A journalistic presentation of credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God. Through a series of interviews with biblical scholars, Strobel asks probing questions: "Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted... Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?" As evidence builds, he encourages readers to reach to their own verdict.

    Bible Study - Methods, Tools, Tips

    Kensington believes the Bible is not like any book - while it was written by human authors, it's contents ultimately originated in the mind of God. Here are some great resources to start exploring the most important book you'll ever read.

    How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

    Understanding the Bible isn't for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. It's meant to be read and comprehended by all. A few essential insights can clear up misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning and application to your 21st-century life.

    How to Read the Bible Book by Book

    Designed to get you reading the Bible knowledgeably, you'll be walked through the Scriptures step by step. Overviews of each book introduce key concepts, themes, and important landmarks, plus pointers to help put the book in context with circumstances surrounding its writing.

    The Bible Jesus Read

    The Old Testament makes up 2/3 of the Bible yet it tends to be avoided. Back when Jesus lived, it was the only set of Scriptures that existed; it was the Bible Jesus read. Discover the rich treasures of the OT that many Christians leave buried.

    Shaped by the Word

    Discover how to allow scripture to shape your spiritual life. Learn to listen for the voice of God in the Bible, move from informational to formational reading, and give up "control" over the text, letting God lead your understanding.

    Adventuring Through the Bible

    Understand the Bible one book at a time. Contains summary outlines of all 66 books; theme and lessons of each; text summaries and icons in the margins; historical anecdotes that make Scripture accessible and applicable in a readable and entertaining way.

    The Essential Bible Companion

    In this full-color Bible companion, each book of the Bible is presented on a visually engaging 2-page spread that includes background info, timeline, and important biblical characters.

    Spiritual Disciples/Practices

    Since Jesus walked with us on Earth, Christians have learned that certain spiritual practices help them open their hearts to God. These disciplines are not what save you, nor do they earn you any spiritual "brownie points." They can, however, help deepen our feeling of connectedness to God. They give you an intentional way of turning a specific part of your life over to Him.

    There are many spiritual practices. Two of the best to start with are prayer and Bible reading. Below are some great general resources about a variety of spiritual disciplines:

    The Life You've Always Wanted

    Discover some spiritual disciplines for ordinary people - those of us with jobs, families, and hobbies. Learn to become "great" in your walk with Jesus by doing what Christians have been doing for 2,000 years.

    Sacred Pathways

    "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's spiritual walk." After all, it's not yours! This book explains the nine Spiritual Pathways and how to find the route God intended you to travel.

    Celebration of Discipline

    Explore twelve key Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian faith. Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path of spiritual growth can be found.

    The Spirit of the Disciplines

    Bible study. Prayer. Fasting. Meditation. These and the other "spiritual disciplines" weren't designed for monks living in monasteries but for people living in the real world. Learn the disciplines and the spirit behind them - not one of obligation, but of passion.

    The Practice of the Presence of God

    Millions have learned to live in the presence of God through this simple book written by a humble monastery cook. Noted for his serenity and joy during the most menial of kitchen tasks, cardinals and theologians sought his secret.

    Prayer

    Prayer is simply talking to God and learning to listen for his response. There is no special formula, limits or requirements on what to say. Simply, God longs to hear from us daily - even hourly. Browse the books below to learn how prayer can jump-start your spiritual growth.

    Too Busy Not to Pray

    Life can be frantic. The news tells us of civil war, poverty, broken families, and crime. The urgent need for prayer is clear, but busyness keeps many of us from finding the time. Read practical, time-tested ideas on slowing down to make prayer a priority.

    Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

    If God knows everything, why pray? Yancey explores this mysterious aspect of our relationship with God with questions like: Is God listening? Why do prayers go unanswered? Why doesn't God intervene in the world more? Does prayer really help with physical healing? Can prayer be more satisfying?

    Hearing God

    Being close to God means communicating with him - telling him what is on our hearts and listening for His response. But how do we hear his voice? How can we be sure what we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? Willard explores these questions and more.

    Prayer

    Widely considered the best modern work ever written on Christian prayer, this book explores the three spiritual "movements" of prayer, offering a sensitive, warm, and compelling primer that helps us understand and practice the many forms of prayer.

  • Podcasts

    We've compiled a list of speakers our staff loves to listen to from a spectrum of viewpoints and geographic locations. Browse the recommends and enjoy on the go.

  • Links

    These are a few websites we consider the "best of the best" for helping you grow. If you have a favorite to recommend, email us.

    General Spritual Growth Links

    crosswalk.com

    Christian living resources, Bible study tools, more

    pluggedinonline.com

    Movie, TV, & music reviews

    reasons.org

    Reasons to believe...know what you believe and why

    family.org

    Features & resources for the entire family

    gospelcom.net

    Vast site with news, information, and features

    christianity.com

    Great all around site with worldwide links

    Faithunderfire.com

    Lee Strobel debates hot potato faith & moral issues

    hollywoodjesus.com

    Pop culture from a spiritual viewpoint

    biblegateway.com

    Designed to allow easy searching of the Christian Bible in various versions and translations. Search by book, chapter and verse, or by topic. There's a mobile app, links to Bible commentaries and dictionaries, plus reading plans.

    christiancourses.com

    Study the Bible and enrich your spiritual journey with quality, media-rich, free online training "classes." Their free non-certificate program includes topics like Old and New Testament Surveys, Know Why You Believe, Bible Basics, and First Steps in Effective Ministry, and more.

    RBC.org

    RBC Ministries, publisher of Our Daily Bread is online! Find sections on tough questions, the reliability of Bible, and developing Christlikeness. Through their "resources" link at the top of their home page, you'll find downloadable, easy-to-read booklets to share with friends and family. Free subscription to daily devotionals, too.

    Apologetics (Defending the Faith)

    carm.org

    This is the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry site. The word "apologetics" comes from the Greek word "apologia" which means "to give a reason or defense." (See 1 Peter 3:15) Packed with just about any "tough question" there is, this site can help you learn to explain your beliefs thoughtfully and logically.

    tektonics.org

    Though not glamorous in appearance, the Tekton Apologetics Ministries website is committed to bringing you scholarly answers to serious questions about faith. You'll find a great search engine for looking up more info on scripture passages and other topics.

    Science and the Bible

    www.icr.org

    The Institution for Creation Research (ICR) provides evidence for a "young earth"

    www.reasons.org

    Reasons to Believe provides evidence for an "old earth"

  • Extra Help

    These are some miscellaneous resources we wanted to make available to you. Please email us if there is something you would like to see here.

    Spiritual Gifts Assessment

    Find out how God uniquely wired you up.

    The Mirror (Kensington's Core Values & Me)

    As a church, we refer to our core values as "L3" (1. Love God & others, 2. Lock arms in community, 3. Live open-handedly). "The Mirror" is a self-evaluation on how you're embracing these values and putting them into action. Once completed, email us if you'd like feedback or next steps.

    Bible Buying Guide

    Ready to buy or download a Bible but not sure which translation to get? Check out these suggested guidelines to ensure a good fit.

Video Answers

Tough Questions

We all have questions about God, the Bible, and our faith. At Kensington, we feel this is a normal, healthy part of spiritual growth. And we should seek answers from reliable resources. We've provided some documents below to help you out. Just click on your tough question to download a thoughtful explanation. Feel free to read and share with friends or family. If you don't see your tough question listed, there are more coming soon, so check back to see what new content we've added.

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