I respond to the recent article about Xenos Christian Fellowship and the accusations of their controlling behavior. While I am not a member of the Xenos church, I am a church pastor in Columbus. I know all too well that often, despite our best efforts, there are times we fail and we disappoint people.
We all are mere mortals, flawed with the ability to hurt people.
The feelings and experiences of former members of churches should never be minimized or dismissed, but instead used as growth opportunities for the ministry and, when needed, a catalyst in a process of accountability.
In ministry, one of the things we come to accept is that people leave churches all the time. The focus should be on the prayer that their journey leads them to a church where they can grow, thrive and lead healthy lives.
I have seen Xenos be a very loving and welcoming church. They have been incredibly successful at introducing people into a relationship with Jesus, teaching people God’s word and helping many broken people find acceptance and love. Xenos has been working in the Linden community for more than 25 years, investing in children’s education through the Harambee Christian School and Urban Concern.
They also took the lead in helping run and maintain one of the only sex-trafficking shelters in Ohio.
And while Xenos is an accepting church, they take very seriously the depth of commitment to God’s word as outlined in their specific doctrine.
Through God’s guidance, I believe Xenos as a church organization will continue their good works for our community, but also, importantly, will work toward healing those relationships that have been broken.
Timothy J. Clarke, pastor, First Church of God