Recent News

Vision & Stewardship Meeting February 7th

The annual Vision and Stewardship meeting is Friday, February 7th at 7:30 pm, giving you a chance to learn more about how Xenos manages its money, and its financial plans for the year ahead. Current Fiscal Support Team (FST) members also have a chance to vote on items proposed for 2020.

Because of the large crowd expected, the event will be simulcast to the Warehouse. Please plan on attending the event at the location to which your sphere is assigned:

  • Main Campus: All adult home churches, plus Hilario, Risley, and Hearty spheres
  • Warehouse: Trident and Rochford spheres

This year the meeting is being held a bit later than it has been in the past, and is happening on a Friday night, instead of a Saturday morning. Operations and Administration Division Coordinator Steve Bauer says the timing allows us to avoid bringing up financial talk while hosting many guests during the “Above the Noise” series at Central Teaching. In the past the pledge drive process has lasted well over a month, and this year it will be more limited, running from February 7th to the end of the month.

The Vision and Stewardship meeting will feature highlights of 2019 and a review of planned initiatives for 2020. While the focus is on finances, it is also an exciting presentation on how God is working through Xenos ministries in Columbus and around the world.

The pledge process will be a bit different this year as it will make use of “The Rock,” a new database that Xenos developed over the last 2 years. The process will be further explained in the coming weeks.

 

Xenos Veterans Share Gospel & Community Through Call-Sign

Over the last year Xenos has launched a new ministry called Call-Sign--a weekly Bible study hosted by veterans, for veterans. It hopes to give veterans the chance to experience a relationship with God and enjoy His healing grace. Since it’s led by vets the teaching and discussions are very relatable, and while it is not designed to be a long-term provision for fellowship (like a home church), it provides a gateway to approach God for veterans who may find it difficult to talk about their experiences with people who can’t relate.

If you know a veteran who might benefit, please consider inviting them. It meets every Wednesday at 7:00 pm in the Main Campus Atrium (1390 Community Park Dr., 43229). You can contact Kim Downs if you have questions at meanderclan@aol.com

Organizers say when people from the military community gather, they experience instant camaraderie, even if they're from different branches. With that unique atmosphere in place for Call-Sign gatherings, it can help make it as easy as possible for veterans to interact with the Bible and ask serious questions of God’s Word.

Tim Downs is a retired USAF captain and one of the volunteers helping with Call-Sign. He says they hope to reach veterans of all ages with the gospel, offering them answers to the isolation and lack of purpose many experience after leaving the military. They also hope to offer friendship and hope as they transition from their time as warriors back into everyday life.

Bolain Home Group Shares the Hope of Christmas with Parkinson’s Group

By Sharon Rich

For many years the Bolain home group has had a heart for people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) because we have seen the challenges faced by one of our members, Dave Hesse. God has graciously given us opportunities to serve a particular group of people with PD, including the chance this month to boldly share the gospel with a large group at a Christmas party. We were amazed to see 30 people join us for dinner, music, games, and a talk on the hope that Jesus has brought to our friend Dave.

Dave was a non-Christian when he was diagnosed several years ago, and he started participating in an experimental program to see if rigorous exercise could help people with Parkinsons. While the program “Delay the Disease” (DTD) offered help with Dave’s symptoms, it could not answer the spiritual questions raised by a difficult chronic condition. Dave also began an earnest consideration of the claims of Christ, and eventually received Christ a few years after diagnosis.

“Delay the Disease” holds a 5K each year to help provide free exercise classes for people with PD, and our home church started helping with planning and race day support. While we enjoyed the opportunity (and continue to help each year), it did not really give us a good chance to share the gospel.

When the Xenos Adult Ministry started challenging home churches to take on a ministry as a group, our home church gathered to consider what ministry we might pursue. We threw out many ideas, but when Dave proposed we dive in more fully on serving the PD community, it was clear this was God’s plan for our group.

We started providing rides for people no longer able to drive themselves to the exercise classes, and started helping in the classes themselves. This opened the door to loving relationships and service.

State of the Church Meeting Gives Big Picture

It’s almost time to come together for the annual State of the Church meeting, Friday, January 10th at 7:30 pm. The event gathers people from all ages and ministries to discuss the successes and challenges facing Xenos. Plan on setting aside this evening to see how God wants to engage you with the work He has for Xenos in 2020.

Unlike previous years, the Vision and Stewardship meeting will not immediately follow the State of the Church. Instead it will be held Friday, February 7th, due, in part, to plans for a shorter Annual Pledge Campaign this year. 

At the State of the Church meeting, Xenos elders will discuss the big picture, allowing people to see beyond their particular circle—the ministries and age groups—they travel in. The meeting started in the early 1980’s as a way to celebrate God’s work and see the road ahead more clearly. As in years past, the elders have been pondering trends and concerns, and those attending will get ideas for how they, and the home church they’re a part of, can contribute to improvement.

Because space is limited at the Main Auditorium, the State of the Church meeting with be simulcast to several venues. Please plan on attending at your sphere's assigned venue:

  • 4th St.: Risley, Woods, and Kate (adult) spheres
  • Main Campus: Lowery/Runk, Trident (including Eastside), Conrad (college), and Hearty spheres
  • Warehouse: Rochford, Sullivan, and Foust spheres
  • 40 Chicago Ave.: Westside sphere

Operations and Administration Division Coordinator Steve Bauer says the State of the Church meeting is the culmination of weeks of planning and contemplation. Every year church leaders participate in fall planning and budget retreats. Steve says, through this planning process, “God works us through the highlights of the last year and then where He wants to see us take new ground in the coming year, and beyond. This process, bathed in prayer and reflection, culminates with a message that’ll get shared with the church at the January meeting. In light of God’s great mercy, we will humbly share a vision of great hope for the Christ-focused work set before us.”

"Navigating your Grief" Offers Biblical Hope

By John Montgomery

Over the past 12 years, the Xenos Grief ministry has grown and expanded, offering various workshops and support groups to help those in grief.

Beginning January 8th, 2020, the Grief Ministry will offer a workshop called “Navigating your Grief” at the 4th Street Pavilion, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. This is a 10-week workshop designed to encourage, educate, and equip individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one. It utilizes select GriefShare videos as well as group discussion to help individuals at all stages of grief understand their grief experience and obtain the tools to move through it.

The workshop presents a Biblical perspective on grief, suffering, and trust in God. It also offers comfort and support to those grieving as well as practical suggestions through interviews with counselors, grief experts, and others who have experienced the pain of losing a loved one. You can register at xenos.org/classes.

While grief is normal and natural, and one of the most powerful of all emotions, it is probably one of the most neglected and misunderstood experiences, often by both grievers and those around them.

Class Starting in January on Spiritual Confidence

Jessica Lowery will be teaching the class "Spiritual Confidence" starting January 8th. Jess shares with us her thoughts on why she developed the class and what she hopes to address:

In the early days of college group, people were very sensitive about anything potentially boastful. Many used (and I would now argue misused) the verse about our “righteous deeds being like dirty rags to God.”

As I started to study the Bible more, I was surprised by the ways that New Testament authors talked about boasting as a positive thing. This got me thinking, and started a lot of interesting conversations. Then I read "God's Strategy in Human History." The authors argued that the verse about our righteous deeds being like dirty rags was being misinterpreted by many Christians. The authors went on to make all sorts of interesting arguments about human agency and the providence of God. This really helped me get some more clarity about a confusing part of theology.

Eventually, these studies and discussions led to the formation of this class, the "Spiritual Confidence" book I wrote, and a yearlong study in my challenge group on this topic.

In this class we seek to explore confidence in a way that goes beyond the worldly idea of self-confidence or "self-esteem." But at the same time, we want to really understand how to have the boldness and the good understanding of human agency that the biblical authors had. This class would benefit anyone who wants to understand these ideas more. In the class we'll have some interesting discussions about “super-spirituality” and man-centeredness, about human agency and the providence of God, and about how we as Christians can be boastful and brave in the right context. Students will look at some examples of devotional writings from modern Christians and evaluate them based on what we learn. I hope in the end that students will come away with a good appreciation for God's part and our part in ministry.

Some parts of our church still tend toward super-spirituality while others have the opposite issue and try to build a personal ministry or kingdom by force. Misunderstandings in this area of theology really affect our daily lives and interactions with people.

"Above the Noise" Series Schedule for your Central Teaching

If you're considering inviting someone to a particular topic in the upcoming "Above the Noise" series, here's a list of who is teaching at different Central Teaching locations:

Main Campus Sunday 10:00 AM:

January 5: Ryan Lowery: Loving Those We Disagree with: the Gospel over Politics
January 12: Mike Sullivan: Authentic Community
January 19: Gary DeLashmutt: Freedom and Flourishing
January 26: Jim Leffel: Think Big: Discover a Life of Purpose in an Age of Cynicism

Main Campus Sunday 5:30 PM:

January 5 Jim Leffel: Think Big: Discover a Life of Purpose in an Age of Cynicism
January 12: Ryan Lowery: Loving Those We Disagree with: the Gospel over Politics
January 19: Mike Sullivan: Authentic Community
January 26: Gary DeLashmutt: Freedom and Flourishing

4th Street Sunday 10:00 AM:

January 5: Mike Sullivan: Authentic Community
January 12: Gary DeLashmutt: Freedom and Flourishing
January 19: Jim Leffel: Think Big: Discover a Life of Purpose in an Age of Cynicism
January 26: Ryan Lowery: Loving Those We Disagree with: the Gospel over Politics

Warehouse Sunday 10:00 AM:

January 5: Gary DeLashmutt: Freedom and Flourishing
January 12: Jim Leffel: Think Big: Discover a Life of Purpose in an Age of Cynicism
January 19: Ryan Lowery: Loving Those We Disagree with: the Gospel over Politics
January 26: Mike Sullivan: Authentic Community

 

Special Series in New Year Addresses God's Answer to Social Disunity

Starting January 5th, Xenos will be offering a special series at all adult Central Teachings called "Above the Noise." The series will explore God's perspective on loving those with whom we disagree, and His strategies for promoting true peace--in our community, our relationships, and even in our own hearts.

Four teachers will be presenting, rotating among Central Teachings at Main Campus, the Warehouse, and 4th Street locations. They include:

  • Gary DeLashmutt: While our culture offers a sense of freedom, God offers true freedom to love others, including those with whom we disagree.
  • Mike SullivanJesus offers a foundation for authentic community that can overcome what pulls us apart. 
  • Ryan Lowery: While our culture is divided, the gospel offers hope and promotes the true value of all people, no matter what their views.
  • Jim Leffel: Our current culture leaves many adrift in an ocean of choices, without purpose, But God offers eternal purpose in Christ, allowing us to make sense of our lives.

Please consider inviting a friend or family member to this relevant series. You'll find printed invitations at CT meetings this month. You can see a schedule of topics for your particular Central Teaching at this link.

Upcoming Class Looks at Christians in the Workplace

Xenos is offering a 5 week class this January on a very relevant topic—“Being a Light in the Workplace.” Adam Spitznagle is teaching it, and shares with us his thoughts on the need to explore this subject.

The average person will spend over 60,000 hours working in their adult career. That much time naturally prompts several questions:

  • Is work a negative consequence of the Fall?
  • Does God really care about how I spend my time at work?
  • Does God have good plans for my time and energy at work?
  • How can God use my work to refine my character?
  • Is this high amount of time “wasted time” for the Gospel and the Great Commission?
  • How can I approach my work so that I am integrating God’s radical gospel?

“Being a Light in the Workplace” seeks to answer these questions and equip us with key elements to incorporate God’s Kingdom Work into our daily work.

In order to achieve this, God will raise our awareness of key needs that we will explore in the class. We need to have a deepening understanding of God’s amazing grace toward us. We need to have a solid vision of the Great Commission and how God wants to weave it into our lives. We need God to help us to understand the landscape of our culture. We need to endeavor to be safe people to our co-workers who are far from God, and we need God to equip us with skills and strategies to build meaningful relationships with our co-workers. We need to be aware of the common barriers to people being open to spiritual conversations. We need God to refine our understanding of work and how we can bring glory to God thru work. We need to believe that since God has "put eternity in their hearts" we can be a part of His divine erosion plans of drawing people to Himself. We need God to empower us to effectively share His word, His worldview, and His gospel of grace to the people we interact with on a daily basis.

As we grow in these key needs, God will expand our ability to see the world the way He sees it, listen effectively to our work colleagues, serve in ways that meet true needs, and embrace eternal values that will help bring people closer to God. This in turn will allow us to be faithful and faith-filled evangelists.

The class starts January 8th. You can learn register at xenos.org/classes/register.

Xenos Eastside Plans Christmas Event December 22nd

The Xenos Eastside Central Teaching invites you and your East side friends and family to enjoy a Christmas celebration December 22nd at 10:30 am. There'll be music, including a kids' choir and sing-a-long carols. And there'll be a message on the meaning of Christmas. If you have kids, there'll be great childcare, and everyone's invited to a free breakfast afterward!

This will be at the regular Eastside Central Teaching meeting place--6623 Summit Rd. SW, 43062.

Pages