Meet the Elders: Jody Kear

As part of our Meet the Elders series, we would like you to get to know Jody Kear. 

Jody Kear has been involved with Xenos since 1981, when he first attended a Central Teaching at the church’s former location in the building 4 warehouse. “I first came with my friend, Jeff Gordon…I was a Christian who wasn’t in any fellowship, Jeff wasn’t yet a believer”, he recalls. “We were unsure of visiting a home church but wanted something more, so we started our own bible study. It grew from 5 to 15 or so people over the summer”. After visiting Dennis McCallum’s home church that fall, joining cell group in January and then being raised up to lead a home church with Jeff Gordon by May was an exciting time.

Find Healing Through VICTORY Ministry

The Xenos VICTORY Ministry is a ten-week workshop that seeks to aid women who have experienced sexual assault come to a better understanding of the effects that this trauma has had on their lives and bring healing to these areas. While Xenos GRACE ministry is designed for women who have been sexually abused as children, VICTORY serves a similar purpose for women who have experienced sexual assault.

Meet the Elders: Dennis McCallum

Dennis has seen the remarkable means by which God has challenged and grown Xenos over the years partly because his involvement with the church precedes even the name itself.

He was there in the very beginning when the church went by a different name, the Fish House Fellowship. “I was just hanging out with friends, trying to reach our non-Christian friends, going to Bible study…the fact that it grew into Xenos gradually became apparent during the 70’s [under the Fish House Fellowship identity]”.

But, Dennis contends, it was never a direct choice to establish Xenos. “By the time our group became self-aware- that we were a significant-sized group - all the other people who were there at the beginning had left, except me. That’s why people say I started Xenos. Not really true. I like to say I was there when it started.

Amazing Growth in Ethiopia

Ethiopia missionaries Aklilu (Lou) and Genet Kassa are seeing fantastic growth in their home church movement among unreached people groups in the Amhara and Tigray regions of northern Ethiopia. Just in the last 2 years, the number of home churches rose from 11 in 2013 to 27 in 2015. The growth is even more impressive when you consider the people impacted increased from 112 to 279.
 

Meet our Elders: Ryan Lowery

Through this series, we have introduced you to James Rochford, Conrad Hilario, Scott Risley and Gary DeLashmutt. This week, we talked with Ryan Lowery, sphere leader and elder.

Ryan has a heart for student ministry at Xenos because he came to Christ through a high school group back in 1994. "I was a rebel at heart and wanted nothing to do with God," Ryan said. "I was pursued by friends who attended multiple churches, but I didn't see a compelling reason to become a Christian. At the end of my senior year of high school, I got invited to a Bible study at Dave and Amy Merker's house. I was intrigued by Xenos' casual style and intellectual honesty. I used to come and grill Den (Dennis McCallum) and Gordy (Jeff Gordon), trying to poke holes in the Bible... The Bible won."

Meet Our Elders: Gary DeLashmutt

Want to learn more about Xenos’ elders? Well here’s your chance! So far we’ve introduced you to James Rochford, Conrad Hilario, and Scott Risley. Featured this week is Lead Pastor and Elder, Gary DeLashmutt.

“We didn’t have any kind of plan to establish Xenos,” Gary replied when asked what led him to help establish the church. “We just started Bible studies when we got opportunities.” They were eager to establish a biblically-rooted group founded on the dynamic of the New Testament church. More than forty years later, God has grown Gary, and Xenos, in amazing ways.

At 18 years old, Gary was fairly new in his relationship with Christ, excited and ready to be used wherever God led him. His friend Dennis McCallum and his mother, Martha, encouraged Gary to realize that God could work through him to lead others to His truth. After walking with the Lord for about a year, Gary came across a book that entirely realigned his walk with Christ. In reading “Presenting Ourselves to God”, a chapter from Christian apologist Watchman Nee’s book The Normal Christian Life, he realized he needed to submit his whole life to God. He did, and shortly after, God’s calling for his life grew even more evident.

Meet Our Elders: Scott Risley

In a continuation of our series to introduce you to Xenos’ elders, the spotlight this week is on Scott Risley.

An Elder and Senior Sphere Leader at Xenos, Scott Risley has been a part of the church since 1996. At that time, Scott migrated from a small town near Mason, Ohio to Columbus to attend the Ohio State University. “When I came to Ohio State for college in 1996, my parents had some friends who knew about Xenos and they got me to go out to a college home group.” Impressed by the spirituality and relationships of those within the group, he was motivated to continue coming out. But Scott remained only partially involved for several months, until some of his friends in the church challenged him to open up and seek to develop much deeper, more meaningful relationships. Their encouragement led to him moving into a ministry house soon after.

I grew up going to church near Mason, Ohio, but I don’t think I actually became a Christian until the beginning of my senior year in high school...I grew up hating church because I never felt I could be real.” Scott explained that an essential factor in Xenos’ strength as a community is the emphasis placed on not settling for spiritual superficiality, but rather striving for excellence in biblical equipping. Aside from the Holy Spirit, the expository Scriptural teachings at Xenos were a nourishing means of helping Scott encounter God on his own, impelling him in his growth as a believer and church leader.

How to Make a Study Center Book List

Have you checked out Xenos’ new Study Center website yet? Well, you should!

The list-making tool is one aspect that is incredibly useful in keeping track of the various books available at the Study Center you’d like to read, or ones you enjoyed and want to remember. You can choose to make your lists private for individual use, or public so others can also enjoy them.

Interested? Here's how to get started:

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