Why Basecamp is Superior to Facebook

May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

People often ask, “Why, whither, whence Basecamp when we have Facebook?” The question betrays a certain naivete about the enormous cost of taking your business to Facebook, but everyone should consider a few basic facts about Facebook before they bow before Mark Zuckerberg (the owner) to kiss his papal ring. Did you know that:

  • Zuckerberg and his child Frankenstein (Facebook, Inc.) are drowning in lawsuits over unethical and unadvertised use of our private info on Facebook? Quite often these lawsuits come from governments, especially the United States, so they are not frivolous complaints.
  • Zuckerberg & Co. own the copyright on anything you post in Facebook? For example, your personal pictures…think about the horror of having Keith pictures suddenly appearing on commercials for AARP!
  • Zuckerberg & Co. will guard our personal info from spammers and advertisers, then suddenly drop those safeguards, depending on economic opportunity? Facebook notoriously leans toward benefiting commercial advertisers at the expense of individual customers (or obvious reasons, like $$$). Protection for individual users occurs only after strong, government intervention (and only as long as the pressure is on). For example, Facebook announced last week they will now keep your personal data “as long as necessary” even after you deleted it from Facebook.
  • People have lost their jobs or lost job opportunities because they posted something on Facebook that Zuckerberg & Co.sold to those employers? This includes the info you deleted after realizing how uncool and damaging your info was. Like Karma, there is no forgiveness at Facebook.

Zuckerberg & Co. is ruthlessly selling info about you, your list of friends and anything you post. That sucks.

On the other hand, at Basecamp:

  • Your personal info and friends are invisible to the outside world.
  • We don’t sell anything to anyone.
  • The only people who see your info and conversations at Basecamp are those in the group you belong to.
  • When you delete something, it’s gone. We do maintain a backup of the data, so it may take a few days before it’s entirely erased, but still Basecamp is immediately silent on your deleted material.

It is highly advised that you discuss any sensitive info face-to-face with those concerned, because once you’ve written it down, it will be used against you, if possible.


Xenos Summer Institute 2011

July 15, 2011 in Announcements

The 16th annual Xenos Summer Institute is just days away. It’s an experience you can’t afford to miss.

Every year, Xenos Columbus gathers some of the best Christian thinkers of our time to share spiritual insights with those who attend. This year’s topic: My whole life for God. The conference is to be held July 20-22.

The main plenary sessions will feature J.P. Moreland, Gene Getz and Ken Sande as guest speakers. J.P. Moreland will talk about Loving God with All Your Mind, Gene Getz will teach on Joseph: Overcoming Obstacles through Faithfulness and Paul: Living for the Call of Christ, and Ken Sande will talk about Conflict as a Stewardship.

Xenos elders Dennis McCallum, Gary Delashmutt, Jim Leffel and Jeff Gordon will teach on the Sovereignty of God, the Stewardship of Affluence, Stewarding our Sufferings and Romans 12- Renewal or Conformity?

At individual workshops, Xenos home group leaders and other guest speakers will teach on a wide selection of topics designed to provide a richer understanding of scripture and helpful tips on leading a Bible study and doing outreach.

J.P. Moreland is a is a major leader in Christian Theology and has authored several influential books including Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview and Scaling the Secular City, Does God Exist?

Gene Getz is the author of a NeoXenos favorite book: Measure of a Man.  The book is used for training in several of our small groups.

Ken Sande specializes in conflict management for individuals and the Church as a whole. He is the founder and president of Peacekeeper Ministries.

You can sign up for the conference here. The conference is affordable, and for students it costs next to nothing. Free lodging is available at local Xenos Columbus ministry houses. The life-changing teachings from these world-renown Bible scholars prove to be invaluable resources for ministry.



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.

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