The Xenia gathering has cultivated a wonderful Kingdom Perspective within the community; they want to use every opportunity to step out in faith and use what they have to foster Kingdom work.
When I asked Jay Jackson to talk to me about the Xenia Gathering he quickly laughed and said, “that’s a broad question.” I was attempting to think of a way to narrow it down when he looked at me and dove in to his answer.
“I think the most exciting thing about the Xenia gathering are the people opportunities that are created by having a presence in the community.”
Once a month Jay has the opportunity to meet with city officials in Xenia; at their most recent meeting the city manager opened up about where he was at in this particular season.
“It afforded us the opportunity to rally around him, pray for him, and encourage him,” says Jay. He continues on saying that these moments, these openings in building relationships allow the time and space to ask, ‘how can we love on our city and the people within it?’
He has also had the chance to see others within the Xenia campus being called to step forward and lead within the community.
One of the house churches within Xenia was going to dissolve, but a young, single man, Kyle Fox, felt led to step forward and go through Shepard training.
“He began to feel burdened to lead an outreach for the house church,” explains Jay.
He felt called to One Bistro, in Miamisburg, and began casting a vision to have a second location. Together with his house church, they were able to raise money to begin looking for a facility to give One Bistro a second home in Xenia.
“It’s an incredible thing to see people step out in faith and obedience to bring the community closer together.”
Jay has also been able to really get to know people’s stories and their hearts for ministry through the Xenia gathering. Shortly after the Move Conference Jay and his wife were driving back to Xenia to help clean up after the gathering and stopped at a gas station on the way.
“I saw a woman who was incredibly distraught sitting on the curb with her young son. My wife was able to talk to her and hear her story.”
She was owed money, homeless and living in a shelter nearby; she needed to find alternate housing within two weeks. They drove her back to the shelter that night and returned a few days later.
“She was waiting for a voucher for housing before she could leave the shelter so we helped pay for her and her son to stay in a hotel room until permanent housing was available.”
It was then that Jay sent out emails to the network of house churches and became overwhelmed by the response.
“I shared a need within our community and our house churches stepped up and willingly met the needs of this woman and her son.”
Since then, Amanda has been attending the gathering and the house churches that rallied around her are continually praying that the Lord would continue to create opportunities to share with her and love on her.
“Having the gathering in Xenia brings attention to these situations and allows opportunities to build relationships and breathe into people’s lives,” says Jay.
Another large way that the Xenia campus is connecting with their community is through the large percentage of Cedarville students attending both the gathering and various house churches. Jay and his house church really like to focus on feeding into the Cedarville students a part of his house church.
“The dedication on the students to attend house church regularly and dig into community has been phenomenal,” Jay says. “We have seen some of these kids come in as freshman and we are still fostering relationships that are strong and Gospel-centered years later.”
The Xenia gathering has cultivated a wonderful Kingdom Perspective within the community; they want to use every opportunity to step out in faith and use what they have to foster Kingdom work. In taking that stance they have found that, because they were faithful and God bestows His blessings, the church has grown.
Author: Steph Duff
Photographer: Sarah Maigur