Recent News

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.

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 Josh Benadum

The Xenos Servant Team has approved Josh Benadum as a Xenos 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.

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.

Life Coaches Helping Set Young People up for Success

By Liz Sweet

Are you competent with life skills? Do you want to make a difference in the life of a young person? Do you want your practical knowledge to have an eternal impact? If so, Life Coaching may be for you.

Life Coaching needs responsible, dedicated people who are willing to help others who need guidance in the functional aspects of life.

Xenos is reaching an increasing number of people with difficult backgrounds. Many people coming out of low-income backgrounds have not had the support that they need to tackle some of the practical skills in life. With a little help and encouragement, students can live in a ministry house, land a good job, and go to college. But without help, simple things, such as not being able to get a driver’s license, impede their progress toward these goals. Life coaches provide practical guidance that is crucial to helping students take the next step toward becoming independent, self-sufficient adults.

Student candidates are pursuing a life centered on Christ: spiritually responsive, engaged in fellowship and discipleship, and living in a ministry house or aspiring to live in one. They are in their sophomore year of high school or older; students under 18 need parental permission to have a life coach.

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