This summer was the most eventful of my life. In late June I packed up all of my things and moved 3½ hours away from my friends and family for a position in ministry I could have never predicted. This wasn’t how I imagined my life would be, and I’m beyond thankful, my plans could never have matched where God has taken me! When I think about how I got to be a part of this Kensington launch, my first thought is of Nick Twomey.
I remember last fall when Kensington announced that we would be launching a campus in Traverse City, but it would be launched in a way unique not only to Kensington, but to churches everywhere. The lead pastor of Bay Pointe Community Church, Nick Twomey, offered his healthy church to Kensington for God’s Kingdom and purposes. In our world today this is almost unheard of. We build up our own little kingdoms and, when we receive a good thing, cling on to it as tightly as we can. Letting go of things and people that we love, accomplishments that we’re proud of, our way of life, it’s not easy. However, God asks us to be openhanded to Him with all that we have because He gave it. Whatever He places in our hands He asks us to care for, seeking Him on how to care for it, until He asks for it back.
My journey here required me to open my hands to God. Back home I had an amazing community of friends, a family of believers who loved me better than any friends I had ever known before. God allowed me to be there for their engagements, their weddings, new jobs, new houses, tough times, and the birth of children. I felt like I belonged for the first time in my life. When I realized that God was calling me to move away from them and from my family I was reluctant. I finally had a community I’d always hoped for, and they were more than I could’ve imagined because of God’s goodness. Finally I had to surrender them to God, realizing they were His before they were ever mine. It was one of the hardest prayers I’ve ever prayed.
It wasn’t until I started being a part of the Kensington TC launch and moved up to Traverse City that I began to see one of the reasons that God brought me through that. When I saw what the people of Bay Pointe were going through, following Nick’s lead and being incredibly openhanded with their church, I realized that I could empathize with them, that I could understand their desire to serve God along with the pain of losing something they loved dearly. And through it, their patience and faithfulness throughout the transition and launch has been a beautiful blessing!
Nick Twomey and Bay Pointe Community Church set an incredible example of openhandedness for Kensington and others, and because of their faithfulness we’re excited to see how God will respond!
Jennifer Bander | Associate Service Director