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Podcast – 2011 IP Buffalo Retreat – Part II

May 30, 2011 in News

Alex teaches in the middle of the University of Buffalo, surrounded by roman pillars

In this podcast, Keith McCallum, Greg Morscher, Joel Hughes and Alex Herbers discuss the recent Identity Project retreat to Buffalo. New York. The purpose of this trip was twofold, focused on both the teachings and fellowship as well as exploring the possibility of creating a bible study on the University of Buffalo campus.  They discuss everything about the trip, from the teachings, to the possibilities of UB, to the visit to an area megachurch, and their take on college outreach. The podcast is split into two parts, part I here.

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to listen to Part II

 

Podcast – 2011 IP Buffalo Retreat – Part I

May 30, 2011 in News

Bryan teaches on the shores of Lake Erie.

In this podcast, Keith McCallum, Greg Morscher, Joel Hughes and Alex Herbers discuss the recent Identity Project retreat to Buffalo. New York. The purpose of this trip was twofold, focused on both the teachings and fellowship as well as exploring the possibility of creating a bible study on the University of Buffalo campus.  They discuss everything about the trip, from the teachings, to the possibilities of UB, to the visit to an area megachurch, and their take on college outreach. The podcast is split into two parts, part II here.

 

Click here to listen to part I

Podcast – 2011 Servant Team Retreat

May 7, 2011 in News

The location of the 2011 Servant Team Retreat

Joe Allie, Keith McCallum and Kyle McCallum discuss the ins and outs of the Xenos 2011 Servant Team Retreat, near Sandusky, Ohio. Keith interviews Joe and Kyle on their impressions of the retreat, as well as questioning them on the subject matter that most impacted them. Topics ranged from prayer, to discipleship, to what makes a real ‘man of god,’ to materialism, and then to the retreat experience as a whole.

Listen to the teachings at Xenos.Org.

 

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Podcast – Suicide/Pregancy Hotline Ministry

May 7, 2011 in News

The Townhall II building in Kent, on Water St.

Joe Allie, Joel Hughes and Keith McCallum discuss the possibility of NEO Xenos becoming involved and helping in new areas and with new people. One of the possibilities is an organization called “Townhall II,” another is called “Emerge Ministries”

Click here to listen to the podcast!

Podcast – Identity Project Split

April 8, 2011 in Ministries, News

Identity Project on New Years, after eating world-famous Buffalo wings. In Buffalo, NY.

Mike Hudock, Zak Rozler, Kyle McCallum and Alex Herbers discuss the ins and out, ups and downs of the recent Identity Project homechurch split.

Kyle opens with the question “Why the split? Why would we decide to split what we had built?” and the discussion goes from there. Reasons for the split are raised and explained, as well as predictions and cautions of how to proceed being discussed. Their impressions from the first week of the separation are also talked about, both positive and negative.

Click here to listen

Check out IdentityProject’s official website here.

Double Rainbow home church splits

April 7, 2011 in News

By Kyle McCallum

Declining outreach numbers and attendance forced the Hughes/Michalek, a.k.a. Double Rainbow, home church to split back into its

original two Bible studies.

“It was cool getting back to the original relationships when we recombined,” Hughes home church teacher Jake Lagotte said. “But I think God wanted us to reconcile relationships in our separate home churches.”

The post-college Bible study split into two home churches in 2008 when the size of the group was becoming hard to maintain. Three years later, the two recombined when both were seeing a decline in growth.

“The idea was that our separate gifts would complement each other, and we would get more outreach opportunities,” Jake said.

Jackie Leon of the Michalek home church said one goal of the recombination was to establish new joint discovery groups. She said they found out they did not have enough interested outreach.

Jackie said she liked the recombination because she made new relationships with members of the Hughes home church.

“I initially hated the idea of splitting again,” she said. “But I totally understand the reasons we have to. I had to repent.”

Jake described the first meeting of his newly split home church as positive. He said They had a first time attendee, and Joe Allie came through with an excellent teaching out of 1 Corinthians.

Michalek home church leader Diana Michalek said the split  was needed.

“it’s pretty clear that they are better off re-split,” she said. “Each church has people who are ready and willing to lead their side and we don’t want to stand in their way.”

Jackie said it will be important to keep relationships between the two home churches strong after the split.

“As long as we stay united in the Spirit, we’ll be fine.”

FST Retreat rallies support

February 26, 2011 in News

We did it! Our people rose to the challenge and surpassed our pledge goal by more than $2,000!

At the 2011 FST Retreat, Greg Morscher explained our usual goal is to reach 90 percent of our $130,000 budget in pledges. The $117,000 goal was surpassed by the end of the night. This is significant in light of the recent 20 percent budget increase.

The elders said the increase includes a 5 percent annual raise to Keith’s salary and the addition of two interns. Elder Mark Michalek said these interns are valuable because they perform logistical tasks like Website management, writing articles, producing podcasts and videos, and help run ministries, all at a cheap cost. Mark said the addition of church employees is a significant step forward for NeoXenos.

Although the pledge goal has been reached, Greg and Keith said the need for more financial support is still strong. The Lord is opening new doors for church planting in Buffalo, New York, and God is giving us more local contacts every month.

The latest contact, Ryan Kozey, is a seasoned minister working at the Chapel in Buffalo. He is an expert in networking with other churches, and he gave us some helpful information about the University of Buffalo. He was also in hearty agreement with our stance on the Emergent Church, which you can read more about at www.keithmccallum.net.

At the FST Retreat, Keith laid out some burdens the Lord has been giving him. He explained the idea of “Pagan Christianity”. He said churches should focus on pagan (or non-Christian) growth instead of relying on transfer growth. That is what it truly means to reach the lost.

Keith also argued against the emergent church, a post-modern Christian movement rising that denies objective truth. Read more on Keith’s critique of the Emergent Church on his blog.

Prophecy Series Begins Soon!

February 5, 2011 in Announcements, Headlines, Twitters

By: Kyle McCallum

The stage is being set for the most cataclysmic events the world has ever seen— events the Bible promised would come.

The Bible presents more than 900 prophecies on the second coming of Christ. This is nearly three times as many prophecies regarding the first coming! God presents a clear picture of the world in its death throes.

Prophecies in Daniel, Revelation, Matthew, and other books paint a picture of a darkened world in the future. A world filled with unrest, disease, immorality, strife, and war. The Bible says that if the end times were not cut short by the second coming of Jesus, the world would literally destroy itself.

Never before modern times has this even been possible. Nuclear weapons make worldwide destruction not only possible, but a real threat. New diseases are springing up all over the third world and spreading. Recent economic trouble is also a threat to our normal daily life. The story of humanity is speeding towards a dreadful climax and a joyful conclusion.

The Bible has proved over and over again to be a reliable historical source. Hundreds of manuscripts carbon dated hundreds of years before Christ’s birth give specific details about the messiah’s first coming. Jesus was the only one to fulfill these prophecies and could only do so because he is God in the flesh.

Join us as we begin our series on prophecy titled “The Writing on the Wall.” Keith McCallum and others will investigate Biblical prophecy and its relation to modern-day events and prophecies that have already been fulfilled. In a world filled with uncertainty, the Bible provides hope. It’s easy to feel anxious or worried watching these events unfold in the news, but understanding prophecy helps to develop confidence in the Lord in the worst of times.

Some topics we will cover:

  • God’s kingdom come
  • A one-world ruler
  • The re-gathering of Israel
  • Christ’s first coming foretold
  • The last world war

The series starts Saturday, February 19!

IP Unites to Serve India Missions

January 29, 2011 in Headlines, Ministries

By Laura Brown

Barefoot pastor teaching the Gospel in India

As members of the body of Christ, we have the privilege of serving others in the Lord’s name. India Gospel League offers just such anopportunity. IGL’s goal is to facilitate heart change by bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to rural India through indigenous leaders reaching out to others in their own country. (www.iglworld.org)

IGL offers several different sponsorships to choose from, including Bible students, barefoot pastors, child sponsorships, and nursing students. All of these sponsorships are doable for any home church. For example, sponsoring a child is only $30.00 a month and for a home church of 20 people that is only $1.50 a month per person. More than 60 percent of children live on less than this amount every day. That is the equivalent of buying $5 pops at Circle K, one tank of gas, or about half of a foot-long sub. Can you spare things such as these for a lost child?

Identity Project is currently supporting two Bible students, D. Rani and K.M. Immanuel Dhass. $50 per month provides each with housing, food, and the education. They send us letters about their ministry, such as quarterly updates about what’s going on with them what they need prayer for, pictures, and even Christmas cards. It gives us college students a chance to give and appreciate what we have. It helps us realize that we are part of a body of Christ much larger than just in northeast Ohio, and that others around the world need our help.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners

‘New Atheists’ Meet ‘Pagan Christians’

January 21, 2011 in Ministries

Rob (right) patiently explains Hawkings to Keith (left)

The crowd listened in awe as an undergrad student refuted the best arguments from the so-called “New Atheists” like Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins. It was the testimony of Rob Nock, a young, pagan-Christian who once believed in the atheism of  Dawkins and Hawking. After attending the KSU Identity Project, however, Rob was so radically challenged to rethink his atheism, he finally became a Christian. On Christmas break he read Hawking’s latest book, The Grand Design, and announced at the retreat, “I can now say with certainty now that I am a Christian,” Rob said.

The event was an IP retreat, and Rob’s testimony was a sample of the many, new Pagan-Christians changed by Jesus Christ. Jon Ha

Nervous teachers (Richie and Becky) practicing their facial expressions and hand movements.

kes explains more in the following report.

After a brief battle to claim the best sleeping space and everyone settled down, love was in the air—but not that cheesy romantic love that singers sing about—but rather the real love authored by Jesus Christ through godly relationships.

Keith and Paul set the stage for “Reaching Pagans”, the theme of the weekend. Keith taught on Pagan Christianity, which means reaching non-Christians (or “pagans”) with the gospel. Paul taught what it means to witness to pagans. Their fast-paced content sent everyone racing to the dinner table to get the energy to finish off the next teachings by The Bedford tag team of B-Bassett and Richie Fresh. Working from John 3, they taught how to witness to intellectuals. Rob [mentioned above] followed with a moving testimony of his conversion from atheism.

They felt like Peter, 'walking on water'

The teachings kicked up weekend of relating like none other. Everywhere people were enjoying spiritual conversations, card games, and some were performing miracles by walking on water like Jesus did at a nearby lake. [Ed. Note: the water was frozen.]

By Sunday, incredible spiritual momentum was in-motion, and nobody was tired. Mike and Rozler led the morning teachings with different types of people we would expect to encounter when witnessing. Seeing Rozler up front and center for an IP teaching was very touching as he began by stating his weaknesses and reliance on the Lord.

The day was just as exciting as the previous night while relationships were growing. Every teaching was given with power and authority, and even the quiet Becky delivered a powerful punch Sunday evening which caught the audience off guard. Along with Kate, they taught the logic of the Four Spiritual Laws, yet still delivered an amazingly-emotional testimony. The strong teachings of Viking and Craig came next on how to witness to pagans, and Keith finished the teachings with a burden around his neck the size of an albatross. It provided us a glimpse of the future for IP peeps.

Are You a ‘Fundy’ or a ‘Pagan’?

Even Audi was inspired!

That night brought everyone even closer than before, and it was obvious the Holy Spirit was blessing us with the ability to deepen our relations. There was a celebration for Kate and Eleni’s birthday and much joy filled the air. I felt a heavy strum on my heart-strings being witness to such a loving body of Christ.

Finally the moment arrived for the activity developed by gaming geniuses. The game was a practical encounter on the difference between a Holy Huddle and Pagan Christianity. People were initially organized by Cell Group into “mini-churches”, and the  average spiritual age for each “church” determined which group was a Holy Huddle of old, Fundy-Christians, or a group filled with young and exciting Pagan Christians. [Ed. Note: Holy Huddles were the losers, Pagan Christians the winners.]

'Pagans' and 'Fundies' mixed together

The goal was to win by transferring older Christians away, and winning young, Pagan Christians from the other groups. As a result, some groups were transformed into Holy Huddles by church-hopping, Fundy Christians! Other groups succeeded by winning young, Pagan Christians who reduced the average spiritual age. But losing all the older, Fundy Christians would make it more difficult to answer Bible questions, which was required to win younger, Pagan Christians. Such difficult choices sometimes embroiled the groups in controversy.

Surprisingly, the game reflected real-world scenarios. For example, the “Holy Huddle” losers mostly complained and rarely tried to answer questions. The winners were full of energy and excitement, answering questions, taking chances (and sometimes cheating), but they doubled in size through “Pagan Christian Growth.” Overall it was a very pleasant experience to grasp a practical example of how fun Pagan Christianity can be.

Monday morning loomed its ugly head as IP-ers dragged their butts out of bed. We shared communion and very sweet testimonies were followed by the warmest prayer session I was ever a part of. After cleaning up the mess we made, and after the tears dried, we returned to Kent ready to build more Pagan Christianity!

Craig Smith and others had an emotional moment Sunday AM

See more:

  • Retreat pictures on Picassa.
  • Did you upload retreat pictures? Give us the link in the comments, below!