Recent News

Xenos Team Sees Significant Success in Ethiopia

Earlier this month Jim Leffel, Mike Woods and Dave Glover made a field visit to our Global Partner in Ethiopia. They give us this first-hand report of their visit:

Lou and Genet Kassa, sent by Xenos in the fall of 2013, serve as missionaries working alongside Bethel Church to plant house churches in Northern Ethiopia. We were greatly encouraged to see the work God is doing among the Amharic and Tigray people groups of Northern Ethiopia.
 
We arrived on Thursday afternoon and went to work on Friday, spending two full days in the book of Philippians with a group of 35 house church leaders from the eight groups in Addis Ababa. We did an inductive of each paragraph in Philippians including how to prepare an expository teaching. These are very sharp dedicated men and women, and we were impressed with their ability to do high quality inductive study. 

The elders’ from Bethel Church in Bahir Dar joined us in Addis Ababa as well. We spent several hours with them in the evenings discussing the progress of the ministry. They have a highly motivated workforce and they continue to grow and plant churches. In addition, we were very encouraged to learn the house churches in Addis and Bahir Dar received annual pledges of $18,000 to support additional church planters to reach the Tigray people. This is a substantial commitment both in terms of financial sacrifice and to the vision of planting churches among the unreached.

Sunday, we went to the city of Axum, in the far north. We had the privilege of attending a baptism in the underground church among the Tigray people. There are close to nine million in this people group, which remains substantially unreached. These are amazing believers. Each has counted the cost for their faith, risking expulsion from their communities and families, loss of work and even jail. It is truly incredible to see God at work in their lives!
 

With FST Input, Elders Approve Surplus Spending Plan

Last year, thanks to many faithful and generous givers, Xenos received $300,000 more than what was budgeted for spending. Now, with the input of the Fiscal Support Team (FST), Xenos elders have made plans for how to use these “black ink” funds.

As in past years when this has happened, the surplus will not put into the General Fund budget. Instead the elders have allocated $217,300 of it for one-time projects such as equipment upgrades, facility enhancements, projects in our mission fields, and staff training. That spending will happen over the next year or so.

The remaining surplus is going to the church's cash reserves, allowing for future fiscal flexibility.

Last week all FST members received an on-line survey seeking input on what projects to cover with these black-ink funds. We tabulated the survey responses and have funded the highest priority areas accordingly. The elders reviewed the results given the go-ahead for the top seven categories of one-time work.

Here are the areas that will be funded, in order of the survey results:

  • Providing enhanced counseling resources, with in-depth counselor training
  • Funding international missions, with indigenous church support, short-term missions materials and health training programs
  • Enhancing ministry and fellowship areas at our venues, with more cameras for public spaces, repairs and replacements for seating, added lighting and some food options for post-CT fellowship
  • Funding domestic missions, with help for our Youth for Christ/Gracehaven partnership
  • Addressing some Student Ministry needs, with research into an urban high school, Epic camp assistance, College Connection support, and service ministry help
  • Adding capabilities for ministry and fellowship areas at 4th St. and the Warehouse, with outside seating spaces
  • Enhancing meeting projection systems at 4th Street and Building X, with wide screen 16:9 systems, along with simulcast capability from multiple venues and more digital cameras

For now the elders have opted to not fund the options that received the least survey support—adding further fellowship areas for Main Campus and enhancing study center functions.

How You Can Support XSI Anytime, Anywhere

One of the most important volunteer roles for the Xenos Summer Insitute (XSI) can be done from the comfort of your home or the convenience of your office. Consider becoming part of the XSI Prayer Group and you’ll stay up to date on the current prayer needs and the exciting ways God is working.

When you join the XSI Prayer Group, you will receive a weekly email starting in March and ending in July.  You can join today at this link. You must be a Xenos Home Group member to join. 

XSI staff members say having the support of a group of people informed about what to pray for is invaluable.  It’s imperative that people are praying for the speakers, the staff, and the attendees and the logistical components of this event.

This year’s Summer Institute runs from July 11-13, and the theme is The God Who Is There.  Key speakers are J. Warner Wallace and Sean McDowell.  You can register online now and volunteer recruitment starts in April.  Visit xenos.org/xsi for more information.

   

Xenos Plans Special Easter Meetings

The message of Easter--Jesus' resurrection and its implications--offers profound hope in a dark world. You have a special opportunity to share that hope with friends and family members Easter morning at the three adult Central Teaching locations. Many times guests are willing to consider attending a Christian meeting on this holiday.

That morning Xenos teachers will be laying aside their regular series to present the Easter message, with a clear message for those who are not Christians. In addition there will be great atmosphere for guests, including free coffee and doughnuts, and live music.

Please note: There will be no evening Central Teachings that day to put the focus on these morning meetings.

Discipleship Cafe Needs More Volunteers

If you have some free time during the day, consider becoming a volunteer with the Discipleship Cafe. The Cafe offers parents with young children a safe place for their kids to play while they study and talk with friends. Many parents have taken advantage of the service, allowing them to meet for mentoring time or personal study.

The Cafe urgently needs more childcare volunteers at both locations: on Monday mornings at Main Campus (1340 Community Park Dr, 43229) and on Thursday mornings at 4th Street (1934 N. 4th St., 43201). It's a flexible time commitment--you can volunteer once a month or more.

All volunteers are required to pass a background check. They should be able to handle the kids' needs of different ages and ready to have some fun, so it's an enjoyable time for the kids as well as the parents.

Meet the Elders: Bret McCallum

From time to time, we offer a closer look at one of the Xenos elders. This time we highlight Bret McCallum.

Bret is the newest Xenos elder and is also a senior sphere leader in the college ministry. As the son of one of the founders of Xenos, Dennis McCallum, he grew up in the church. But what’s kept him here? Bret says one of the main things is great friendships. “They hooked me early on, and to this day it’s still great to enjoy deeper and deeper friendships.” 

He says an early experience engaged him with a lifelong appreciation for ministry. “When I was in high school I remember playing a role in leading one of my friends to Christ. The experience gave me a vision for how valuable my life could be if I used it to help save other people.”

As a leader in the college and high school ministry, Bret has looked into many churches’ student groups. He says Xenos has the best student ministry he’s seen, with top-notch equipping and discipling, and the sense that every member can make an important contribution.  He also appreciates the deep sense of community at Xenos.

Dates Set for Xenos Summer Camps

If you have a son or daughter, consider making plans for them to attend one of the 2018 summer camps Xenos is offering this year. There's a great camp available for each age group. Mark your calendar--here are the dates:

Xenos VBS Looking for Volunteers

It's fun and rewarding--volunteering to help with Xenos' Vacation Bible School (VBS) in June. Over 200 volunteers are needed for many roles, including classroom teachers, craft leaders, snack organizers, photographers, and many other positions. Older students are welcome, as are adults of any age. And if you know a student with drama or music skills, encourage them to try-out for those positions.

VBS Administrative Director Pam Kinlin says volunteers have a great time sharing the gospel with kids, and many come back year after year. She says one of the joys of the event is that volunteers of all ages--from teens to older adults--come together to serve during the week. And she says student volunteers bring a special energy to VBS that the kids love.

To learn more go to xenos.org/oasis/vacation-bible-school. If you're ready to apply, email Kelsey Shannan at shannank@xenos.org.

 

Conversation and Cuisine Model Opens Relational Doors

By Chris DeVille

Over the years I'd heard of home groups in Xenos hosting outreach events called Conversation & Cuisine (C&C), but I'd never considered organizing one myself until Phil Franck and Sherri Fojas asked me to prepare some discussion materials on freedom of speech for use at future C&Cs. The idea with these events is to invite friends who might not be open to attending a Bible study. Instead, you have a dinner party that includes a discussion on a cultural topic of interest  Developing materials was a fascinating exercise — I liked the challenge of being thought-provoking but not inflammatory, trying to play the role of the objective moderator while also nudging people to think about the bigger spiritual questions beneath the surface of the debate.

"Do You Know Any Good Books On..."

The Biblical counselling staff at Xenos gets this question a lot, and has compiled a list of resources for different life situations and struggles.

You can find it on the Xenos website under xenos.org/counseling. The "Counseling Resources" tab links you to books, movies, and other sources that address particular concerns, and the "Workshops" tab connects you with recordings of workshops presented by Xenos counselors.

Keep these resources in mind as you think through issues, counsel a friend, or prepare a teaching. 

Pages