It’s the one time of the year at Xenos where people from all ages and ministries come together to discuss successes and challenges facing the church—the annual State of the Church and Vision and Stewardship meetings. The State of the Church meeting will be January 11th at 7:30 pm and the Vision and Stewardship meeting will be the following morning at Main Campus (1390 Community Park, 43229), January 12th at 9:30 am. Plan on setting aside these times to see how God wants to engage you with the work He has for Xenos in 2019.
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 the venue to which your sphere is assigned:
- 4th St.: Risley, Rochford, and Sullivan spheres
- Main Campus: Lowery/Runk, Trident (McCallum/Ross/Benadum), and Kate/Conrad spheres
- Warehouse: Foust, Woods, Hearty, and Arnold spheres
Each meeting serves the purpose of honoring and acknowledging the work God has been doing through members of Xenos, and serves to evaluate and respond to current issues and concerns. But each meeting serves that purpose in a unique way.
Through the State of the Church meeting, Xenos elders will discuss the big picture, allowing people to see beyond the 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.
The Vision and Stewardship meeting gets practical, with open discussions about the cost of running Xenos and its ministries. Each department offers a short presentation on its achievements and plans for the coming year, and presents some wish list items to be considered by members of the Fiscal Support Team.
Current members of the Fiscal Support Team (FST) will be allowed to vote on optional initiatives presented at the Vision and Stewardship meeting. As with last year, those attending the meeting will get a code that will allow their vote to be weighted as 150%. They will have until Sunday night to take advantage of this extra weighting. FST members who do not attend, or do not meet the Sunday deadline, will have until Wednesday night to have their unweighted vote counted. These members will receive an email after Sunday with instructions for casting their vote.
Operations & Administration Division Coordinator Steve Bauer says the Vision and Stewardship meeting helps put forth Xenos’ open book policy, through which anyone involved in the church can review how contributions are used. “This meeting allows us to share openly about what it takes, in terms of finances, to run this incredible church. From keeping the lights and heat running, to reaching our lost culture, to supporting work around the world, our work runs on donations from motivated people.” He says the meeting calls on contributors to thoroughly understand the financial issues at stake so they can give informed feedback about the coming year’s budget.
If the thought of a budget meeting sounds unexciting, Steve says that’s definitely not the case. Presentations are brief but complete, so in a short period of time you get both a comprehensive and practical understanding of how God is working through different divisions. You also get a vision for exciting plans ahead. Steve says, don’t miss it—“We hear every year from people who attend for the first time, that the weekend is one of the most motivating and informative time of the whole year, even though they didn't expect that when they decided to come.”
These meetings are the culmination of weeks of planning and contemplation. Every year church leaders participate in fall planning and budget retreats, leading to a final proposed budget in December. Steve says this budget includes the basics of what it takes to continue existing ministry, along with new initiatives the church will consider for funding in the new year. Through the fall 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 meetings. In light of God’s great mercy, we will humbly share a vision of great hope for the Christ-focused work set before us.”
Please plan on attending these important meetings January 11th and 12th to get informed, understand the elders’ vision for 2019, and to have your say on new initiatives.