We have an enemy

Greg Gibbs

Greg Gibbs

Director of Organizational Advancement

We have an enemy, but that enemy isn’t other churches.

If you have any kind of a church background, there is a good chance that you came from a “we are right, and they are wrong” perspective on other churches in your town. I was raised at a time when churches defined themselves much more by what (and who) they were against than what they were for. Maybe you can relate?

While our parents and pastors were well-meaning trying to protect us from what they perceived as a threat to a true relationship with God—the problem was that many of us were raised to think the church down the street was on the wrong team.


A refreshing perspective
What has been so refreshing about my almost 16 years at Kensington is that the men and women who lead this movement model a different approach when it comes to views on other churches. The modeling is made up of both belief and behavior.

The belief around here is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of everyone. That He is God who became human so that He could save us from broken and lost humanity and offer us forgiveness and eternal life. It is classic Christian theology.

Theology is important, and our view of Jesus is in the center circle. And there are other critical beliefs in the circle. But much of what people believe and practice is quite debatable, and not in the foundational center of our faith. Center circle stuff is locked down—not up for negotiation. But, what you believe about styles of music or versions of the Bible, or what to wear, or whether you should get baptized in a church or in a river—these are all quite negotiable.

I quickly learned that Kensington leaders celebrate all of the other kinds of churches! If a church is focusing on Jesus and encouraging people to give Him their lives, we are rooting for them. Period. No sideways remarks about Lutherans or Charismatics or Baptists or any other stripe you can imagine. Heck, one of our most talked about videos featured Steve Andrews and Father John Riccardo celebrating the similarities between the Protestants and Catholics in regard to Jesus!

There is an evil one that the Bible describes for us. This one was created by God but rebelled and now roams the world trying to discourage good, promote evil, destroy families, dance on people’s addictions and do everything that is opposite of the love and peace of God. That is our enemy. But, the church down the street that follows Jesus but does church differently than us is not our enemy.

Practice what we preach
We believe in this philosophy that it takes all kinds of different churches to reach all kinds of people so much so that we have invested in churches who practice church in a different way than Kensington. There is a beautiful diversity in the churches we helped launch, most recently in the East Bay of San Francisco, in the suburbs of Boston, and two nearby churches in St. Clair Shores and Grand Blanc. To date, we’ve invested resources to fuel 58 churches both near and far!

All four churches are gaining momentum and have exciting updates, all in their own unique ways:

Eastown
Clint and Michaell Dupin’s church start-up in the East Bay region of San Francisco recently made headlines with Ousted Raiders coach Todd Downing’s support and relationship with Eastown. They just officially launched on Jan. 21 and are embracing every step of their new adventure.

Movement Boston
With a dream to see the spiritual landscape of New England transformed, Liz and Colin Harfield are forming a launch team, raising support, and meeting new people in one of the least evangelized regions in the United States.

Antioch Shoreline Church
Meeting in St. Clair Shores, this growing vibrant church is all about making disciples. People are getting baptized and experiencing freedom in Christ for the first time!

Grumlaw
Meeting in Grand Blanc, this new church start-up is on a mission to lead people toward Jesus. They just launched January 14 and are going strong!


The way we tend to behave that reinforces this belief is by:
1) Speaking highly of other churches, embracing their leaders and celebrating their successes
2) Partnering with other churches (different denominations, different ethnicities) on projects like church planting and large events
3) Praying for brand new church startups and giving them coaching, resources, and encouragement
4) Inviting anyone we know to attend any church that focuses on the truth about Jesus—not just Kensington—and celebrate it when they do
5) Focusing our efforts on reaching people that are disconnected from God and the church, not attracting people to leave other churches to come to Kensington

Given my degree in Systematic Theology, I love the nuances and details of belief, doctrine, and denomination. In that way, I am a bit of a church nerd. But I don’t worship doctrine. And I don’t worship the church. I worship Jesus Christ and am on the same team with anyone else who does. I do not want to spend my emotional energy being mad about another Christian church. There are way too many people out there disconnected from God on whom I would rather spend my energy. And that’s how we roll around here at Kensington. It’s way more fun.


-Greg Gibbs is the Director of Organizational Advancement at Kensington. He is on the Advisory Team and leads Church Planting. In addition to strategizing ways for Kensington to advance the gospel through developing leaders and new church startups, he spends a bulk of his time on the road as a Lead Navigator for Auxano, the company founded by Will Mancini. He coaches churches around the country on Vision Clarity, Long-Range Planning, and Developing Generosity. He and his wife Andrea have four children and a dog named Walter.

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Titus 1

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness– 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless– not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. 10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach– and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

Other Helpful Passages:
Ephesians 4
1 Corinthians 12-13
1 Peter 5
2 Timothy 2:2

December 24 Services
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December 24 Services
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December 24 Services
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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 Summer Sessions

Troy campus | Tuesdays 7-9pm | May 28 – Aug 13 | Register here

Cost: $15
The cost includes a workbook, snacks at each meeting (including coffee). Childcare is not provided in the summer.

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.

1 Timothy 3

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. 14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Other Helpful Passages:
Ephesians 4
1 Corinthians 12-13
1 Peter 5
2 Timothy 2:2

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Before the Last Resort

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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.
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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!
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Please email 
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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.

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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.

Clarkston

Clinton Twp

Orion

Troy

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.

Orion

Troy

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