News

Xenos is about to expand its Pacesetters ministry, which serves senior citizens. Starting next month it will be adding a bi-weekly daytime Bible study taught by Gary DeLashmutt and tailored to people 65 and older. Gary will start with a series on the Signs of Jesus from the book of John on March 12th.

ElderlyThe backbone of this new ministry is 4 senior-aged Xenos home churches. They’ve been working with Senior Sphere Leader Ben Foust to put together a study that will appeal to older people, and be able to address their spiritual and practical needs. The study will also be an excellent avenue for sharing the gospel with older people.

Ben says it’s very exciting because it’s clear that God is behind the new effort. “God has been bringing together various threads--people, resources, availability, and consensus--to now meet a real need that has existed for a while in Xenos.”

2 Corinthians 9:12Teaching the Bible to people young and old. Sharing the gospel with people who have never heard about God's abundant grace. Training faithful Christian workers how to lead others in love.

God is working through the people of Xenos to bring love and truth to folks from Central Ohio to the ends of the earth. Along with the time and energy of many volunteers, there are also, of course, financial costs to these efforts.

The annual giving campaign is underway, a time to consider how you will financially participate in Xenos ministry. Your generous donations provide power for Central Teachings, pizza for spiritually significant high school events, and time and resources for teachers preparing to share the truths of the Bible.

Please consider how you want to join in the effort this year. A yearly pledge helps Xenos carefully plan its spending. You can enter a pledge or donate online at xenos.org/give. You can also get periodic updates on the pledge campaign on the Xenos website. At xenos.org/give/budget.

 
Xenos elders are excited to announce that our church will be changing its name to Dwell. This was first announced at the annual Vision & Stewardship meeting on 2/7/2020.

Our church began in 1970, when a group of college students founded a Bible study called Fish House Fellowship at a home in the Ohio State University campus area. Since then, we have evolved into a dynamic network of house churches centered on mainstream evangelical theology but often bucking against modern church traditions. Our attendance now exceeds 5,000, and our ministry has expanded to include three schools, an internationally renowned summer conference, medical and community development work around the globe, and more.

We adopted the name Xenos in 1982. Xenos is an ancient Greek word for “stranger” or “alien.” It was intended as a conversation-starter and a way to emphasize that Heaven, not Earth, is a Christian’s true home. But explaining the meaning behind the name succinctly has proven difficult. It sounds weird and off-putting to the modern ear.  The name has become a distraction to some hearing the good news about Jesus Christ and the Bible’s offer of salvation as a free gift. We have been exploring the possibility of changing our name for many years. Now, in our 50th year, with a new generation of elders in place, the time feels right for a change.

This name change does not represent any kind of mission drift. It’s actually at the core of our mission to remove unnecessary barriers to people’s spiritual interest. 

Dwell LogoDwell is a more approachable word. It alludes to the house-church model our fellowship was built on. It can be found in many Bible verses related to our core priorities. God came to dwell among His people in the person of Jesus (John 1:14). God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of anyone who chooses to be forgiven for their sins through Jesus’ death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 3:16) and builds the entire church community into His dwelling place (Ephesians 2:22). Christians are called to dwell on God’s word (Colossians 3:16) and the many blessings He brings into our lives (Philippians 4:8). The famous Psalm 23 concludes, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Full scripture references below)

Put simply, the thought behind the name dwell is:

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.

Epic

TNT Camp is for 4th and 5th graders and runs from June 22nd-26th. Middle-schoolers can go to Blowout Camp July 1st-6th. And Epic is for high-schoolers, and runs June 28th-July 4th. Registration is open now for Epic and Blowout Camp, and registration for TNT Camp will open later this month.

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. 

John Ross will be teaching the Getting Grounded class starting February 22nd. John shares his thoughts on the class, and what he hopes to accomplish through it:

Getting GroundedSomething amazing and supernatural happens when a young believer starts to connect with God through the means of growth. It's like an amp getting plugged into an electrical outlet. Getting Grounded offers a quick-hit introduction to the means of growth, helping the young believer get familiar with the ways God grows our faith. Our church offers amazing classes for workers who want high-level equipping. Those aren't going anywhere. In my mind, this class is a stepping stone to prepare people for more advanced materials, possibly the first stage in a life of spiritual learning. The content is lean and straightforward, with a lot of group discussion, so people can share their experiences and insights from the Lord. 

One of the coolest things about the first run was seeing people from home churches take the class together, using the morning as another time of fellowship. Established believers were taking the class as a refresher alongside younger members, then heading out as a crew for brunch. There's so much opportunity with a quick, low-impact class like this. 

You can get more information and register at xenos.org/classes.  

FST

The annual Vision and Stewardship meeting is Friday, February 7th at 7:30 pm, giving you a chance to learn more about how Xenos manages its money, and its financial plans for the year ahead. Current Fiscal Support Team (FST) members also have a chance to vote on items proposed for 2020.

Because of the large crowd expected, the event will be simulcast to the Warehouse. Please plan on attending the event at the location to which your sphere is assigned:

  • Main Campus: All adult home churches, plus Hilario, Risley, and Hearty spheres
  • Warehouse: Trident and Rochford spheres

This year the meeting is being held a bit later than it has been in the past, and is happening on a Friday night, instead of a Saturday morning. Operations and Administration Division Coordinator Steve Bauer says the timing allows us to avoid bringing up financial talk while hosting many guests during the “Above the Noise” series at Central Teaching. In the past the pledge drive process has lasted well over a month, and this year it will be more limited, running from February 7th to the end of the month.

The Vision and Stewardship meeting will feature highlights of 2019 and a review of planned initiatives for 2020. While the focus is on finances, it is also an exciting presentation on how God is working through Xenos ministries in Columbus and around the world.

The pledge process will be a bit different this year as it will make use of “The Rock,” a new database that Xenos developed over the last 2 years. The process will be further explained in the coming weeks.

 

Call Signs dinnerOver the last year Xenos has launched a new ministry called Call-Sign--a weekly Bible study hosted by veterans, for veterans. It hopes to give veterans the chance to experience a relationship with God and enjoy His healing grace. Since it’s led by vets the teaching and discussions are very relatable, and while it is not designed to be a long-term provision for fellowship (like a home church), it provides a gateway to approach God for veterans who may find it difficult to talk about their experiences with people who can’t relate.

If you know a veteran who might benefit, please consider inviting them. It meets every Wednesday at 7:00 pm in the Main Campus Atrium (1390 Community Park Dr., 43229). You can contact Kim Downs if you have questions at meanderclan@aol.com

Dinner 2Organizers say when people from the military community gather, they experience instant camaraderie, even if they're from different branches. With that unique atmosphere in place for Call-Sign gatherings, it can help make it as easy as possible for veterans to interact with the Bible and ask serious questions of God’s Word.

Tim Downs is a retired USAF captain and one of the volunteers helping with Call-Sign. He says they hope to reach veterans of all ages with the gospel, offering them answers to the isolation and lack of purpose many experience after leaving the military. They also hope to offer friendship and hope as they transition from their time as warriors back into everyday life.

At the direction of Xenos elders over the last few years, Doug Patch has been working to develop Xenos’ ministries to the military community. Xenos member Kathy Vannatta, an Army National Guard captain has played an important role in connecting Xenos with the training and networking necessary to undergird this ministry.