Recent News

Follow Xenos on Social Media

We've been updating and consolidating Xenos accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Please connect with these new accounts so you can stay up-to-date and hear amazing stories of how God is working here and around the world!

Here are links for different outlets:

 

Register Now for XSI

Registration is now open for this year's Xenos Summer Institute, July 10-12. This year's theme is "Christ Over All," with most teachings centering around the topic of what it looks like to give Christ our all and to reject the world system.

Registration is quick and easy--go to xenos.org/xsi and you can take care of it. By registering early you'll skip the line on the day of the conference. You'll also have the earliest access to sign up for breakout sessions.

This year's conference will bring in Saturation Church Planting International founder Dwight Smith and Houston Baptist University apologetics professor Nancy Pearcey.

The cost to attend the Summer Institute is far less than you would pay for the same speakers at other conferences. XSI is only $20 for Xenos members and $5 if you're a student--comparable seminars cost a couple hundred dollars! Folks from outside Xenos can register for only $60 ($20 for students). Christians of all levels of experience and ministry will find theological teachings to stretch their minds and practical information to fuel their ministry.

Gracehaven Celebrates New Facility

Xenos ministry partner Gracehaven recently opened a new residential facility, fulfilling a long-term plan to help underage victims of sex trafficking in Central Ohio. Annette Vasulka with Gracehaven shares with us more about the journey to this achievement.  

Gracehaven actually began in 2004 with a phone call.

Dr. Jeff Barrows, an OB-GYN in Bellefontaine, learned about the dire plight of young girls in Asia who were victims of child sex-trafficking and wanted to help.  But during a phone conversation with Adam Freer of the Salvation Army he learned that there were girls in Ohio--as many as 1,000-2,000--who also were victimized for sex. And very few people were doing anything about it.

“What do they need?” Dr. Barrows asked. The answer surprised him--a residential home where these girls can live and take time to heal and receive therapy for their trauma.

“At that moment God called me to start a home here in Ohio for girls under 18 who were victims of sex trafficking...and He wanted the home called ‘Gracehaven.’"

Xenos played a critical role during these early years. Bev DeLashmutt joined the first Board of Trustees and was a passionate advocate for this mission. Many Xenos members provided the funding to get the work off the ground. And we are so thankful for the many volunteers, supporters and Board members from our fellowship who have served through the years.

New Session of HEART Starts Soon

H.E.A.R.T.--Healing the Effects of Abortion Related Trauma--will be starting a new session on Saturday, March 2nd at 9:00 am at the Xenos Main Office (1340 Community Park Dr., 43229). After that first week, the group will meet on Wednesday evenings.

The workshop runs 7 weeks, and addresses some of the difficult thoughts and emotions raised by an abortion, including guilt, shame, grief and secrecy. It offers a confidential, caring atmosphere and uses God's word to gain a deeper understanding of His mercy, grace and forgiveness.

Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for students. If you have questions or want to register, email Jill at jillfwaterman@gmail.com or Kim at kphillips1351@gmail.com. You may also call or text Jill at 614-309-6853.

Register Now for Xenos Summer Camps

Summer is a few months away, but now’s the time to make plans for your child to attend one of Xenos’ summer camps—camps that are fun, but can also serve as a spiritual turning point in their lives.

TNT Camp is for 4th and 5th graders and runs from June 17th-21st. Middle-schoolers can go to Blowout Camp June 2nd-7th. And Epic is for high-schoolers, and runs June 30th-July 6th.

Student Ministries Director Joe Botti says getting kids away from distractions helps them turn their focus more completely on God and consider His role in their life. As kids hear challenging Bible teachings, there’s time for them to think and respond, and they’re given the chance to trust their lives to God.

Joe says the camps also offer a great opportunity to build healthy relationships with their peers. Because they spend a lot of time together, new friendships have a chance to start and existing friendships have a chance to deepen. Sometimes the time together creates conflicts, and kids learn to work these conflicts out.

TNT Camp, for 4th and 5th graders, is built around discovering what God is doing around the world--with a unique focus on world missions. It’s a full-day program at Building X, including one optional overnight.

New Ministry Team Works to Keep Xenos Secure

By Gale Flowers

"A prudent person foresees danger and takes precaution." Proverbs 22:3

You may have noticed some new activities in the last year on our campuses.  From simple things, like locking external doors that we used to leave unlocked, to more complicated things like more security cameras in our venues. Our approach was to take incremental steps to provide a safe environment during CTs and special events. To that end, we formed the Xenos Safety Team (XST).

Mission & Scope

The XST started in response to a dramatic increase in crimes at faith-based properties over the past decade. However, “church safety” IS NOT just about violent intruders. Criminals know that faith-based organizations are typically "soft-targets" for all manner of mischief. Because of this, local law enforcement agencies encourage churches to remove opportunities for crime and create safety teams to keep watch over their meetings. To that end, the current scope of the Xenos Safety Team includes:

  • Monitor parking lots to deter burglary or vandalism.
  • Help oversee and protect OASIS classes and children.
  • De-escalate guest or domestic disputes on church property.
  • Mitigate groups who may protest on church property or guests who disrupt a Central Teaching meeting.
  • Assist in medical emergencies.
  • Respond to a violent intruder.

Two Xenos Elders Step into Lead Roles

The new year brings a new look to the Xenos leadership team. With Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt stepping away from their roles as elders, Conrad Hilario and Ryan Lowery are stepping in as senior pastors.

Conrad and Ryan have taken over those roles effective January 1st. Their selection was overwhelmingly approved by the Servant Team in the fall.

Ryan Lowery

Conrad Hilario

Meet Senior Sphere Leader John Ross

John is a new senior sphere leader in the college ministry, co-leading with Bret McCallum and Josh Benadum in the newly formed Trident Sphere. Here’s more about John’s story:

When did you come to Christ? I came to Christ in 2008 through the friendship of Chris DeVille, who is a leader in the adult ministry now. He was my co-worker at a magazine and loved me a great deal. He shared his faith with me and modeled the joy of walking with Christ. Around that time, I hit rock bottom in a number of ways, and it was unbelievable to feel Jesus Christ standing there waiting for me, arms open. Pretty soon after receiving Christ, I decided I wanted to live for him.

What do you love about Xenos? Right now, we've got a social-media discussion going about the best rap of 2018. It's probably 300 posts deep. These are the guys in our sphere! I've been reflecting on this for a while. I never thought I would meet so many spiritual people who were also so interesting and cool. Now, let's be honest: Some of the opinions are just wrong. Kid Cudi's album is way overrated. But the larger point stands: God has made our community amazingly unique, diverse, tight-knit and engaged with culture. That is a special thing. I have never seen anything like this anywhere else.

What is exciting/interesting about leading a sphere? First of all, I get to lead side by side with two of the guys who have played a huge role in my life -- Josh Benadum and Bret McCallum. They've been praying for, encouraging and teaching me even before I met Christ. They were role models for me from my first HC. I really appreciate the aspect of teamwork in leadership, and getting to be on a team with these guys is incredible. Also, being in this role allows me to serve my friends -- scores of people who I care about and know well. My parents and I were talking a while back about this new role, and they expressed shock at how many leaders we had in our sphere. "How can you work with so many people?" they asked in disbelief. "Well, I like them," I said. "It's a lot easier when you like them."

Do you have a favorite book of the Bible or verse? Not really. I like the whole thing a great deal.

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 why 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.

Pages