Recent News

Meet Elder Candidate Brian Runk

From time-to-time we profile leaders in Xenos, and this time we highlight elder candidate Brian Runk.

For the last seven years Brian has served as the director of the Junior High ministry, but also works as an adult home church coach and is also moving into the role of an adult sphere leader. He says his time working with middle-schoolers has been both a huge challenge but also a great joy. Brian says, “God has proven his greatness to me by seeing students I never thought would change, become completely transformed and others-centered.”

Brian himself came to Christ as a young person. “As a kid I was always fascinated with understanding how the world worked, and wondered about the Creator.” He didn’t grow up going to church, but had a God-fearing mother. Brian says he was a troubled and rebellious teen but says, looking back, it was mostly because he didn’t know why his life mattered and what his purpose was. “I was at rock bottom when I came to my first Bible study in high school. I had a lot of baggage, and I felt that church culture wouldn't be able to change me, so I was really cynical.  I was amazed at the depth of teaching and people’s authenticity.” He says he quickly surrendered to the cross and was amazed that Christ's death was sufficient to bring him into security with God forever.

Since then, Brian says he quickly became a convinced Christian and wanted to let everyone know about Jesus. In fact he says God has blessed him with a gift of evangelism, and he loves sharing the good news with others. He says he’s seen many people come to Christ (including Xenos elders James Rochford and Chris Hearty), but really enjoys that 20 years later God is still teaching him. “Even though I have lots of answers to give people I still make mistakes, and realize I need God's love to be in me and moving through each and every time, and without that nothing can be accomplished.”

As for his involvement at Xenos he says he sees the emphasis on lay leadership as a two-edged sword: “It's so amazing that we equip and mobilize everyday believers to become teachers and pastors in their own right, but it can also be a weakness because people make mistakes. We need to be a church that is humble and will admit mistakes but at the same time continue to have high standards and improved equipping for volunteer leaders.”

Odd jobs? Rent-A-Student is back!

You can get chores done around the house while you support the short-term missions team going to Cambodia this summer. The team is raising money for trip expenses in part through yard and house work, painting, moving, and other odd jobs. They do the work and you make a donation to the team. The suggested donation is $15 an hour.

If you have a job for them, send an email to RentAStudentCambo@gmail.com. You can also call or text (614) 668-9720. Let them know the job, dates and times that work for you, and the number of people needed for the job.

Also, please share this information with friends, family, and neighbors who might have some work they need done. 

Good Grief Meeting in April

Xenos offers a support group called Good Grief, serving young adults who've lost a parent, helping them deal with the special challenges they face. It meets every other month, and has a meeting coming up Tuesday, April 10th at 3062 Woodbine Place, 43202.

If you have any questions about the group contact John at xenosgriefgroups@gmail.com.

Xenos Team Sees Significant Success in Ethiopia

Earlier this month Jim Leffel, Mike Woods and Dave Glover made a field visit to our Global Partner in Ethiopia. They give us this first-hand report of their visit:

Lou and Genet Kassa, sent by Xenos in the fall of 2013, serve as missionaries working alongside Bethel Church to plant house churches in Northern Ethiopia. We were greatly encouraged to see the work God is doing among the Amharic and Tigray people groups of Northern Ethiopia.
 
We arrived on Thursday afternoon and went to work on Friday, spending two full days in the book of Philippians with a group of 35 house church leaders from the eight groups in Addis Ababa. We did an inductive of each paragraph in Philippians including how to prepare an expository teaching. These are very sharp dedicated men and women, and we were impressed with their ability to do high quality inductive study. 

The elders’ from Bethel Church in Bahir Dar joined us in Addis Ababa as well. We spent several hours with them in the evenings discussing the progress of the ministry. They have a highly motivated workforce and they continue to grow and plant churches. In addition, we were very encouraged to learn the house churches in Addis and Bahir Dar received annual pledges of $18,000 to support additional church planters to reach the Tigray people. This is a substantial commitment both in terms of financial sacrifice and to the vision of planting churches among the unreached.

Sunday, we went to the city of Axum, in the far north. We had the privilege of attending a baptism in the underground church among the Tigray people. There are close to nine million in this people group, which remains substantially unreached. These are amazing believers. Each has counted the cost for their faith, risking expulsion from their communities and families, loss of work and even jail. It is truly incredible to see God at work in their lives!
 

With FST Input, Elders Approve Surplus Spending Plan

Last year, thanks to many faithful and generous givers, Xenos received $300,000 more than what was budgeted for spending. Now, with the input of the Fiscal Support Team (FST), Xenos elders have made plans for how to use these “black ink” funds.

As in past years when this has happened, the surplus will not put into the General Fund budget. Instead the elders have allocated $217,300 of it for one-time projects such as equipment upgrades, facility enhancements, projects in our mission fields, and staff training. That spending will happen over the next year or so.

The remaining surplus is going to the church's cash reserves, allowing for future fiscal flexibility.

Last week all FST members received an on-line survey seeking input on what projects to cover with these black-ink funds. We tabulated the survey responses and have funded the highest priority areas accordingly. The elders reviewed the results given the go-ahead for the top seven categories of one-time work.

Here are the areas that will be funded, in order of the survey results:

  • Providing enhanced counseling resources, with in-depth counselor training
  • Funding international missions, with indigenous church support, short-term missions materials and health training programs
  • Enhancing ministry and fellowship areas at our venues, with more cameras for public spaces, repairs and replacements for seating, added lighting and some food options for post-CT fellowship
  • Funding domestic missions, with help for our Youth for Christ/Gracehaven partnership
  • Addressing some Student Ministry needs, with research into an urban high school, Epic camp assistance, College Connection support, and service ministry help
  • Adding capabilities for ministry and fellowship areas at 4th St. and the Warehouse, with outside seating spaces
  • Enhancing meeting projection systems at 4th Street and Building X, with wide screen 16:9 systems, along with simulcast capability from multiple venues and more digital cameras

For now the elders have opted to not fund the options that received the least survey support—adding further fellowship areas for Main Campus and enhancing study center functions.

How You Can Support XSI Anytime, Anywhere

One of the most important volunteer roles for the Xenos Summer Insitute (XSI) can be done from the comfort of your home or the convenience of your office. Consider becoming part of the XSI Prayer Group and you’ll stay up to date on the current prayer needs and the exciting ways God is working.

When you join the XSI Prayer Group, you will receive a weekly email starting in March and ending in July.  You can join today at this link. You must be a Xenos Home Group member to join. 

XSI staff members say having the support of a group of people informed about what to pray for is invaluable.  It’s imperative that people are praying for the speakers, the staff, and the attendees and the logistical components of this event.

This year’s Summer Institute runs from July 11-13, and the theme is The God Who Is There.  Key speakers are J. Warner Wallace and Sean McDowell.  You can register online now and volunteer recruitment starts in April.  Visit xenos.org/xsi for more information.

   

Register Now for Spring Classes

Grow in your Biblical knowledge and wisdom by taking a Xenos class this spring. The first session of spring quarter starts the week of March 28th.

Several core equipping classes are being offered like Intro to the Bible and Christian Growth (with childcare available at the Saturday sessions). Also several elective classes are available including Ezekiel and Teaching Through Group Discussion.

You can see the full list of classes at xenos.org/classes and you can "register" link on that page. Contact Kim Phillips if you have questions at phillipsk@xenos.org.

Classes are a great activity for friends to share together, so consider signing  up with a friend!

Bring Your International Friends to an Easter Movie

Xenos invites you and your international friends to an Easter-themed movie, dinner, and discussion event, Friday, April 6th. It's at the 4th Street Pavilion (1934 N. 4th St., 43201).

The movie "Risen" will be shown, which depicts the story of Jesus' resurrection through the eyes of a non-believer, Clavius. He has been given the job of investigating and disproving rumors that Jesus rose from the dead.

There'll be a potluck dinner at 6:30 pm, with the movie starting at 7:00 pm. Bring your own drinks!

If you have questions you can email Jill Waterman at jillfwaterman@gmail.com.

Xenos Plans Special Easter Meetings

The message of Easter--Jesus' resurrection and its implications--offers profound hope in a dark world. You have a special opportunity to share that hope with friends and family members Easter morning at the three adult Central Teaching locations. Many times guests are willing to consider attending a Christian meeting on this holiday.

That morning Xenos teachers will be laying aside their regular series to present the Easter message, with a clear message for those who are not Christians. In addition there will be great atmosphere for guests, including free coffee and doughnuts, and live music.

Please note: There will be no evening Central Teachings that day to put the focus on these morning meetings.

Discipleship Cafe Needs More Volunteers

If you have some free time during the day, consider becoming a volunteer with the Discipleship Cafe. The Cafe offers parents with young children a safe place for their kids to play while they study and talk with friends. Many parents have taken advantage of the service, allowing them to meet for mentoring time or personal study.

The Cafe urgently needs more childcare volunteers at both locations: on Monday mornings at Main Campus (1340 Community Park Dr, 43229) and on Thursday mornings at 4th Street (1934 N. 4th St., 43201). It's a flexible time commitment--you can volunteer once a month or more.

All volunteers are required to pass a background check. They should be able to handle the kids' needs of different ages and ready to have some fun, so it's an enjoyable time for the kids as well as the parents.

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