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 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: