Recent News

Xenos Founding Elders' Lasting Impact

On January 1st, Gary DeLashmutt and Dennis McCallum stepped back from their roles as Senior Elders of the Church. Both continue to lead and serve in new and exciting roles.

In the early 70's Dennis and Gary felt called to use their lives to help other people understand Christ's love better. Little did they know, God would take that decision and use it to influence thousands of people in Columbus and across the globe, through fifty years of loving service. Words are inadequate to express our gratitude for their many years of humble leadership!

Some thoughts from a few of their close friends:

Ryan Lowery: "The most exceptional thing about both Dennis and Gary is their willingness and eagerness to be under God's authority.  Their ministry, their accomplishments, and their spiritual fruit has never been about them, and no one believes that more or understands that better than they do.  This is why Xenos has not fallen into the trap of being a man centered church.  This is way God has been able to use them so powerfully in so many people's lives, and this is why they have been able to raise up so many other leaders around them.  As God has honored them with fruitful ministry they have directed that honor right back to Him and He has been glorified." 

Conrad Hilario: "It's difficult to describe the impact Dennis has had on my life. He has been like a father to me, he's been my spiritual mentor, and he's one of my closest friends."

Phil Franck: "To hang out with Gary even for a few minutes, usually translates into walking away with some fantastically usable nugget of spiritual wisdom. Gary's steadiness and insights have helped me so many times when ministry situations felt like rats' nests, to gain a principled way to untangle them."

Josh Benadum: "Dennis and Gary shaped my theology, not by telling me what was right or wrong, but by insisting I go to the Bible myself and giving me the tools to interpret it."

We've made an easy way for you to offer your congratulations and express your gratitude to Dennis and Gary. You can send them your thoughts at xenos.org/thank-you.

Meet Sphere Leader Kate Mizelle

Kate has been co-leading a combined high school/college/adult sphere since last June. Learn more about her and how God has worked in her life:

When and how did you come to Christ?
I understood what Jesus did for me in elementary school at Calumet and through conversations with my parents. I think I knew I wasn’t a perfect person and needed forgiveness directly from God. I continued attending Xenos, but throughout high school, I was self-centered and not that interested in spiritual things. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I really surrendered my life to Christ. Realizing that God’s grace didn’t just mean forgiveness but a completely new identity was life changing for me.

What do you love about Xenos?
I love that this is a church centered on the Word and discipleship. I’m really grateful that we take Biblical commands seriously to equip people to be able to study the Bible on their own and help them learn how to apply Biblical truths through discipleship. Discipleship has been the most challenging and gratifying thing that I’ve gotten to be a part of in serving God. It’s sweet to see that Xenos places such a high value on discipleship because Christ made it clear that’s how he wants to reach the lost.

Xenos Elders to Lay out State-of-the-Church

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.

Share an "Old Time Christmas" on Christmas Eve

Join us December 24th for a special Christmas Eve program, celebrating the beautiful message of Christmas. The program will feature music with the flavor of bygone holidays, including Bing Crosby and bluegrass, and Ben Foust will speak on the meaning of Christmas. Please join us, and consider inviting friends and family to this joyous celebration!

The program will be at 2:00 and 4:00 pm December 24th at the Main Campus Auditorium (1390 Community Park Dr., 43229). Music will include performances, sing-a-longs, and a children's choir, plus the Hallelujah Chorus. Since it's Christmas, there will also be cookies!

Organizers are looking for singers with choir experience for the Hallelujah Chorus. There is a rehearsal December 23rd at 1:00 pm at Main Campus. If you'd like to participate, please contact Tom Maxwell at jrt.maxwell@gmail.com.

An Easier Path to Finding a Home Group

While the large Central Teachings are great for learning about the Bible, Xenos home groups are the best place to experience the full Christian life. Their small size allows you to make deep friends and have an impact on their lives. They allow you to discover and develop your gifting, while receiving the benefit of others’ gifts.

And now, thanks to a new feature on the Xenos website, it’s easier to connect with a home group. The new page (xenos.org/home-groups/find) allows you to search for groups by the age ranges of members, and by meeting day. You can also sort out which groups offer childcare.

The results are then displayed on a map, making it simple to see what group might work for you geographically. And for each, there’s a longer description of each group, giving you a better sense of it, and a form for contacting the group.  

Previously the website only displayed all possible options. With close to 100 home groups to choose from, these new features can help you or a friend narrow down your options for finding the right fit.

 

High-Schoolers Sample What's Next at College Connections

The transition from high school to college is a time many Christian students abandon their involvement in Christian fellowship. That fact is one of the main motivators of College Connection, an annual event to give high school juniors and seniors a taste of the Xenos college ministry. This year the event runs the week of November 5th, and allows high-schoolers to attend college meetings, spend time in a ministry house, and make new friends within college home churches.

According to researchers at the Barna Group most high schoolers involved in a church—around 70%—drop out of their church involvement when they transition to college. College Connection gives them a vision for following God during their college years and beyond, and motivates them to choose that path. Historically, it’s helped persuade hundreds of high school students to pursue their walk with God in college.

The impact of the week goes beyond students who are currently involved in a high school home church. Xenos College-High School Administrator Brian Adams says, as a high-schooler, the College Connection meeting was one of his first experiences with Xenos. He says he was hostile toward the church but found people were sincerely committed to God’s work, and developing deep, loving relationships. Brian says, “I was sold from going to College Connection that I wanted to continue coming to Bible studies, which lead to me coming to Christ and choosing to follow God. I’m really thankful our church practices this. That first meeting was a huge part of my salvation and my decision to follow God.”

Meet Elder Candidate Josh Benadum

Xenos elders recently proposed Josh Benadum as a candidate for elder. Get to know Josh, and how God has worked in his life through the years:

What is your history with Xenos, and what has engaged you to connect here?

My parents were introduced to Christ in Xenos during the 1980's while my father was in medical school. We moved around a bit before eventually coming back to Columbus, but then moved again to Cambodia as missionaries when I was 14. During high school I struggled with my faith, uncertain if the God of the Bible was real. Going into my senior year of high school I had no real plans to follow Him after I graduated, but a summer spent in Salem, India doing Tsunami relief work with the India Gospel League changed that. I was so impressed by the authenticity of the Indian Christians and the other high school students I met from Xenos on that trip that I decided it was worth giving God a shot after all. Once I graduated, I felt no particular connection to Columbus, but finally chose to move back because this was the only place where I knew of people my own age living radically for Christ. I have remained here for that same reason: I have found this to be an incomparable community of people living radically for Christ. I also believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God brought me here to both learn and serve.

Send a Shoebox of Hope this Christmas

Christmas is still weeks away, but now's the time to think about putting together an Operation Christmas Child box. Fill a shoebox with small gifts, and Samaritan's Purse will take them to a child in a region in need, sharing the gospel with them as well.

Xenos will be collecting the boxes November 11th and 18th at Main Campus (1390 Community Park Dr., 43229), the Warehouse (600 Oakland Park Ave., 43214), and 4th Street Pavilion (1934 N 4th St., 43201).

Please note: There are only two collection weeks this year.

Kim Aebie is helping organize the effort for Xenos. Kim says, "Over the last 10 years Xenos has sent over 5000 shoeboxes to children around the world. I can't wait to see the fruit of these shoeboxes in heaven!"

Oasis Rolling out New Check-in System

You may have seen a change in the lobby of your Central Teaching--Oasis is launching a new iPad-based check-in system at all adult Central Teachings starting October 14th. Oasis Director Jeff Risley says the new system moves away from a paper to a digital system, and will allow for better security and reporting.

When bringing your child to Oasis, first go to the iPad stations in the lobby. You'll use those to locate your child's information, check them in, and get 3 printed labels--one for the child, one for the classroom, and one for the person who will pick up the child after class. As part of the system the adult checking the child in will see a list of classroom options, based on the child's age or grade.

The check-in system will also be used at Main Campus for the PAX (Playgrounds at Xenos).

Jeff says the system can easily accommodate guests and first-time visitors. Oasis staff members and volunteers will be on hand to help them get their child registered. They'll also be there to help get you started with the changes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Jeff Risley at risleyj@xenos.org.

Hope for Those Greiving as the Holidays Approach

By John Montgomery

As the end of the year approaches, soon everywhere we turn someone will be telling us we should be happy.

“Happy Thanksgiving!”  “Merry Christmas!”  “Happy New Year!”

This can be difficult when you are in grief. Grief can steal the joy from your holiday celebrations.

The Xenos GriefShare ministry will present “Surviving the Holidays” on Sunday, October 28th, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at the Warehouse (600 Oakland Park Av. 43214). This informative seminar can help those who are grieving find God’s hope and comfort during the upcoming holiday season.

Please encourage anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one to attend. There is no cost. To RSVP or ask questions, email xenosgriefgroups@gmail.com.

This seminar is presented every fall at Xenos because Thanksgiving and Christmas present special challenges. Holidays evoke strong emotions during the best of times, but, in grief, they force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by loss. No matter how long it’s been since your loved one died, grief can make the holidays a painful time.

Grieving takes energy and you may not be up to the physical and mental challenges of the many activities in which you usually participate. You may find yourself in social situations that now are uncomfortable because of your different circumstances.

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