These last several months have been an incredible journey. As my wife and I began the process of becoming a part of the Kensington Traverse City – Bay Pointe Family, we would have never been able to dream up all that God would do during this season of our lives. We knew that we would enjoy living in Traverse City, but we didn’t expect to fall in love with this city and its people so quickly. For us, it was almost immediate. Traverse City felt like home.

I remember coming back late one night after one of our weekend trips and not being able to fall asleep. Around 3:30 a.m., after staring at the ceiling for a few hours, I got up, made some coffee and began to dream about where we were headed. My thoughts didn’t gravitate towards a service, or a program, or an event. They went a different direction. When I dream about where we’re headed, it was about people.

I thought about Lisa who I had met during our trip. Lisa gave me a haircut during the weekend and as I sat there she gave me all of her advice on driving in the snow (which was extraordinarily helpful) and then she went into her story. Lisa grew up in a large family, had recently suffered the loss of one of her close family members, and was, by her own admission, searching for “something more.” She described what her life had looked like over the last few years and she said she felt empty, drained, and had a loss of purpose. Lisa wanted more, but had no idea what she was looking for.

I also thought about Stephen. Stephen was a guy I met who owned a local shop. Wife…2 kids… a mortgage… and a start-up entrepreneur, he was simply trying to manage what felt like a chaotic world of balancing work life and family life. Stephen had grown up in church, but had walked away as soon as he left for college. Towards the end of our conversation, he mentioned that he and his wife had begun talking about starting to attend a church, “for the kids.”

When I think about our future together, my mind goes to Lisa and Stephen and the 52,722 people who wake up every morning in Grand Traverse County with no religious affiliation whatsoever. I think about the 13,231 students in our area, who will leave high school and walk into their next season of life with a view of God and the local church. What will that view be?

God is already doing amazing things in our city through many other churches and we’re excited to join that movement. We imagine a local church who is relentlessly focused on pursing the [One] who has not walked through our doors yet. We imagine a church filled with passionate people who move through their everyday lives intentionally investing in those who are not yet in a relationship with Christ. We imagine a church with leaders who consistently show up in the lives of the next generation to guide, shape, and reveal the awe and wonder of a God who loves them. We imagine a space for questions and doubts and vulnerability. We imagine a church for the skeptic, the brokenhearted, and the person who has walked away from faith.

Kensington Traverse City is here for this city.

Imagine what TC would look like in the next 5 years if the 52,722 people who hadn’t walked through our doors yet, chose to come one Sunday. Imagine if they walked away knowing that God was for them, for their family, and was for our city. Now, imagine if there were a group of people who were united together for the people of Traverse City, focused on ensuring that every[one] had the opportunity to hear and know about who God really is.

Thank you for partnering with us as we move towards becoming Together For Traverse City.

Patrick Holden | Lead Pastor