Fort Worth, Texas (September 22, 2016) – Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX), a premier national Christian fraternity in the United States, announced today it has joined the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), a move that will provide BYX with access to advocacy and resources that will facilitate its continued growth, while maintaining its distinct purpose of establishing brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ.
The NIC values with high priority the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and supports the right of fraternities and sororities to exist as single-gender organizations under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the exemptions given to fraternities and sororities under Title IX.
“Joining the NIC will allow BYX to receive the same benefits and recognition from colleges and universities that other fraternities and sororities enjoy,” said Jason Hoyt, president & chief operating officer of Beta Upsilon Chi, “and will open additional opportunities for many BYX chapters to be more involved in fraternity and sorority life on their campuses without changing who we are at our core.”
“BYX has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past three decades, and aligning with a prestigious trade organization now will enable us to continue growing even as the collegiate environment becomes more challenging for men of faith,” Hoyt said. “Membership in the NIC will allow BYX to learn from the collective experience of dozens of other fraternities while maintaining our unique identity and our strong commitment to a Christian brotherhood, which reflects our purpose, values, mission, and goals.”
Founded in 1909, the NIC is the trade association representing 70 international and national men’s fraternities comprising 6,220 chapters on 800 campuses. It serves to advocate the needs of its member fraternities through enrichment of the fraternity experience, advancement and growth of the fraternity community, and enhancement of the educational mission of the host institutions.
Since its founding at The University of Texas at Austin in 1985, BYX has grown to include 2,500 men in 34 chapters on campuses in 16 states. It is building a lifelong brotherhood of committed Christian men bound together by the common bond in Christ.
Author: Jayson Fisher, Texas A&M BYX Alumnus, Former BYX National Advisor
One of the most misunderstood aspects of the Christian life is placed on display across our campuses. The idea of living a consistently spiritual life in the midst of what might look to be consistently secular greatly hinders how we are to redeem the time we spend doing the things we need to do in order to graduate. We segregate our lives into two silos—the sacred and the secular—and we miss out on countless hours of being able to worship because we are solely focused on that psychology exam tomorrow.
God calls us all to a career, and a vast majority of us will not work full-time in ministry. We will be placed in a place where we are filling out spreadsheets, attending meetings and working on projects that will take up a vast majority of our life. We will spend five out of seven days at work, and if we do not understand that the Christian life is meant to be spiritually lived in a secular world, then we are missing out on a crazy amount of opportunity to worship God in the midst of the mundane day-to-day life.
Brother Lawrence lived in a monastery, and you would think that being a monk would entail spending a vast majority of his life in prayer or copying some portion of Scripture. The job that Brother Lawrence received was to be a full-time dishwasher in the monastery kitchen. His job couldn’t be more mundane, and he did that for hours upon hours every week. Instead of seeing his job as just washing dishes, he redeemed his time working by praising the Lord and worshipping him while standing over his sink. He even wrote a hymn about his experience washing dishes,
Lord of all pots and pans and things,
since I’ve no time to be a great saint
by doing lovely things,
or watching late with Thee,
or dreaming in the dawnlight,
or storming heaven’s gates,
make me a saint by getting meals,
and washing up the plates.
Warm all the kitchen with Thy Love,
and light it with Thy peace;
forgive me all my worrying,
and make my grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food,
in room, or by the sea,
accept the service that I do,
I do it unto Thee.
Right now, you are most likely on a campus and are majoring in something that seemingly has nothing to do with the spiritual life. What often happens is that you rely on your spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible or praying when you can, often being inconsistent because of your crazy schedule. Then Sunday comes along and you want to have some type of great experience at church to keep you going for the rest of the week. That is not how the Christian life is meant to be lived. Chapter meetings and church services are meant to be times where we as believers come together to worship Christ, and then are released to worship him individually in our daily tasks. You will not have any sort of depth in your relationship with Christ if you rely solely on weekly experiences to drive it. You have to be able to worship him in your daily tasks. Psalm 150 is the final psalm in the book, and it begins with,
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens! Psalm 150:1 (ESV)
This verse means we praise God everywhere, not solely in his sanctuary. God is ruler of all things, and not isolated to a building. In John 4, Jesus meets a woman at a well and explains to her where God will be worshipped:
19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:19–26 (ESV)
We do not just worship at our coffee table or in a service, but when we sit down to study the history of the world and see what God has done in the past. Or when we study thermodynamics and see the complexity of God’s design, or the anatomy of the human body and see his most cherished creation on display. That approach to studying and working towards getting a degree not only should boost your grades because you can see a purpose in what you are doing, but it will also invigorate your relationship with Christ. Be faithful in the mundane tasks, and let the services and experiences be an overflow of how you have been walking with him this past week.
We as believers need to double-down on this aspect of worship because the mundane tasks of life are so frequent and our time set apart for solely focusing on Christ in relation are so few. Watch what happens to your faith as you engage with the world with eternal lenses, and worship him in the mundane work that is studying on your campus.
 Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
BYX has been the avenue God chose for my growth and transformation as a man in college, and BYX is going to leave a never-ending impact on my life. I’ve traveled the country, met business professionals, seen my family members’ lives changed, learned how to pray, all because of the men in this fraternity. After experiencing what this fraternity can be and is meant to be, I wanted to do all I could to create unforgettable experiences for other men around the nation who are desiring God and Christian brotherhood. Not only that, but I desire men around the United States (and world) to know and grow in Christ so the world can be blessed and flourish because we are answering God’s call on our lives.
I knew if I did not take this chance right out of college, I would grow into an old man filled with regrets, and I don’t want to be Old McRegrets, so here I am working for BYX. Ay, whoop.
2) What did you study at A&M and how will that help you in this job?
I majored in business management with focuses on entrepreneurship and consulting. Focus meaning I took some classes in entrepreneurship and consulting.
I believe learning about the intricacies of business such as evaluation, strategies, and development is going to help me come alongside local chapters and develop them towards growth and expansion. The business background will also help me as I work with BYX on a national scale with administrative responsibilities.
The consulting focus has developed my examination skills, allowing me to assess situations, ask good questions, and make a game plan in various situations.
The many adventures I have been on with roommates and BYX brothers. Arkansas Spring Break trip; forming a band and performing downtown; the rainy day we ran around with our shirts off, Jake put a frog down his pants, and girls thought BYX was hazing us; OH, maybe the best: Texas A&M University B-ingTHO Alabama and all of C-Stat going insane.
I chigaroogarem the heck out of everywhere I go. Thanks and gig ’em.
1. Why did you want to join the BYX National Staff?
I wanted to join the BYX National Staff because I think that BYX is a unique ministry opportunity in that I get to pour into college men on a day to day basis. I grew as both a man and a Christian during my time in BYX and I hope to be a part of that growth in the lives of other men.
2. What did you study at Baylor and how will that help you in this job?
I studied finance at Baylor. So far my degree in finance has helped me with getting stuff with Billhighway ready for guys at the chapter level and has also helped in making decisions related to National Leadership Summit.
3. What is your favorite memory from college?
My favorite memory from college is the Baylor v. TCU game in 2014 when Baylor came back from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat TCU 61-58. It was the most intense sporting event I’ve ever been to and the atmosphere was insane.
4. What do you like to do in your free time?
My favorite thing to do in my free time is watch soccer. My favorite teams to watch are the U.S. Men’s National Team, FC Dallas in the MLS, and Liverpool F.C. in the English Premier League.
5. You were on staff all summer. What were some big things you learned in that time (about anything)?
This summer I learned some new recruitment techniques that I can take to chapters and help them apply to their existing recruitment plans.
6. What do you hope to do after your time on BYX Staff?
After my time on staff I would like to use my finance degree to pursue a career in financial consulting or real estate investment and development.
7. You don’t have to name any names, but give us your most deplorable roommate story.
During college I had a roommate for three years that was really into weightlifting and bodybuilding. So, every week he would do meal prep stuff for the coming week, which isn’t a big deal, except that he wouldn’t do his dishes until the next week when he needed them again. This meant that our kitchen would stay dirty for the entire week at a time.
8. What’s your favorite thing about Waco, TX and why?
Anyone that’s been to Waco, TX knows how hard this is to answer…. But if I had to pick my favorite thing about the city it would probably be Shorty’s Pizza Shack near Baylor’s campus.
9. Be honest, how often did you frequent Magnolia Market while you were there?
Unfortunately, I only had the pleasure of visiting Magnolia once.
10. Who was your favorite national advisor while you were in school?
Gabe McKinney. Definitely not Dean Tzobanakis if that’s what you’re asking, Dean.
Bonus: Who would you choose to be your partner in the Amazing Race and why?
I would probably choose either of my brothers as a partner. I think we’ve known each other long enough that we would be able to work well together.
Author: Christian Pinkston, Texas BYX Alumnus
AUGUST 19, 2016 — As a communications strategist with experience in crisis communications, I’m used to getting unexpected calls from public figures who find themselves under harsh public scrutiny. Even so, I was a little surprised Thursday to receive a call from an unfamiliar Florida phone number.
It was a representative for Ryan Lochte, the American Olympic swimmer caught up in the midst of a crisis of his own making.
For those who’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Lochte and three of his fellow swimmers made waves when they reported having been robbed at gunpoint on the streets of Rio de Janeiro by men posing as Brazilian police officers.
The story quickly unraveled, with Rio police offering a different account — seemingly backed up by security-camera footage — that accused the Americans of trashing a gas-station bathroom and being confronted by an armed security guard when they tried to leave the scene.
With the story spiraling out of control, Lochte’s rep asked a simple question: “How do we make this go away?”
My advice was equally simple, and the same kind of advice I’d give to any other person in similar circumstances. Get the truth — the whole truth — out immediately. Apologize and take responsibility instead of offering excuses. Then, change the subject.
(Lochte’s team didn’t take my advice, issuing an “apology” Friday morning that attempted to justify his lack of integrity rather than apologize for it. As I write, the story is once again churning as observers pick apart the language. That’s the price for issuing an excuse instead of an apology.)
Even though they didn’t take my advice, it’s good that Lochte’s people called me, because I’m exactly like him.
It’s easy to criticize Lochte for making up a big, ridiculous lie in an attempt to cover up his own bad behavior. And it’s fun to pile on because he got caught in a lie of such grand scope on such a global stage. But at most points in my life it wouldn’t have been beyond me at all to craft a similarly outlandish story to get myself out of a bind.
The lies I told to make myself look better (or to prevent looking as bad as I deserved) are at their core no different than Lochte’s big, ridiculous lie to get out of a fairly minor jam. The only real difference is that Lochte got caught, while I usually got away with it.
I hope what Lochte really got here is a catastrophic a-ha moment which requires a sober look inward. I got mine several years ago, when I almost died on a business trip to Egypt.
It’s a cliché to have a near-death experience that makes you reevaluate your life, your priorities and your principles. But that’s what happened for me.
The injury and the long months of recovery required me to realize that so much of my life was a big lie. My priority had been to do what it took to make sure people had a positive view of me, even if that meant stretching the truth to make a good impression. More significantly, the efforts and lies to cover up my sin which belied the image I coveted were damaging to me and my family. Worst of all, they caused the Lord to grieve.
Why did Lochte do what he did? Why did I do it for decades? Why it is still my daily struggle?
When your image is paramount, every decision, all your language, everything you do is passed through the filter of perception. It gets to the point where you don’t even notice it. Worse, you lose sight of who you really are. All you know is who you project yourself to be.
Before we casually cast off Ryan Lochte for sport, perhaps each of us should search our own lives for the kind of systemic deceit that betrays who we are and who we were made to be. And more importantly, we should work to determine our true identity (and worth), which has nothing to do with status, wealth, power, appearance, or whatever your identity of choice may be. We aren’t, in the end, Olympians. Nor are we business people. Nor stay-at-home moms. Fill in your own blank here …
As believers we are, rather, sons and daughters of the one true God. We’re the ransomed sinner, redeemed at the highest cost imaginable. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We’re forgiven, we’re loved completely, we’re worshipers. That’s who we are.
Lochte’s most recent statement alluded to “some valuable lessons” he’s learned. I hope one is that lying to protect your image will, in the long run, have the opposite effect. It’s not an easy lesson to learn. I still occasionally lie to make myself look good. I’ve done it today, in this very piece. Lochte’s team never actually called me for advice.
I’m sorry for lying. I just wanted to make myself look good.
Author: Kyle Yarborough
I struggle with anxiety. At times, it can be severe. It can be debilitating and I can feel trapped or chained to a chair, unable to move. It can bring on nausea and headaches and it can cloud my judgement and thinking. It is also relatively common. About 40 million people are directly affected by anxiety each year in the US. That’s roughly 18% of the population. Less than a third seek out or receive treatment. Anxiety is yet another effect of sin in our world. For me, this struggle is a constant exercise in obedience and faith that my Father has my best interests at heart and that He is using my difficulties and trials to sanctify me.
Matthew 6:26-27 says “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” This is a daily reminder that worrying about moving halfway across the country, pursuing a new job, pouring into a new relationship, and all the other upcoming life changes cannot alter the path that He has determined for me. It is not mine to control. Believing that is difficult, but it brings a peace that only He can provide. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the patterns of this world and to start believing that success is determined by a number in your bank account, by the clothes you wear, or the car you drive.
David wrote in Psalm 27:1 that “the Lord is my light and my salvation — whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” More like, what then shall I fear; of what shall I be afraid? If I am not in control, then it does me no good to spend time fretting. This does not mean, “Don’t act.” It’s actually the opposite. Act in faith knowing that the Lord will guide you in his purposes, not allowing your heart and mind to be consumed by the temptations constantly before you. He is faithful to provide for those who live according to his word.
In 1932, just before the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said in his first inaugural address that the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He sought to embolden his people for what lay ahead and give them the confidence to face difficulty. It would be a trying time but eventually industrial production rose to levels higher than before. The jobs returned but the people’s fears turned from employment to the conflict at hand, World War II.
A lot of our daily worries tend to be about things with very little long-term significance. That’s not to say there aren’t significant things to worry about in life, but each of these is an opportunity to lay our concerns at Jesus’ feet. In Mark 4:35-41 we see the disciples afraid for their lives as their ship struggles to navigate a heavy storm. Jesus, however, was asleep in the stern. Frantically, they woke him and asked, “Teacher, do you not care if we drown?” He rose from where he slept and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” and the storm dispersed. He then asked his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”, and they were terrified, asking each other “Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!” Our prayer should then be “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
Too often, we carry irrational fears of things out of our control. We will always be able to find something to be fearful about. The Lord freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt but we struggle to trust him to provide for some of our most basic needs. There is little doubt that the onset of World War II struck fear and uncertainty in the hearts of the American People. So is fear truly something to fear? It is, but only when we fear the wrong things. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” My takeaway? Fear the right things. Fear of my circumstances gets me nowhere. To fear God is to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor him through my actions. There is peace and sanctification in that.
Like the disciples, when we see Christ display His power over our circumstances, we fear them less, and we learn to fear Him more.
Author: Jared Lyda
The past month, for whatever reason, has brought death into the forefront of my Facebook and Twitter feeds and therefore my mind. The airport bombings in Brussels were about a month ago. There was an earthquake in Ecuador that killed over 500 people. 8 people died recently in the floods in Houston, TX. Aggie Muster, a ceremony that happens every year at Texas A&M to honor the lives of fallen Aggies, was Thursday night, April 21. One of the Aggies honored this year was Major Shawn Campbell, Texas A&M BYX Alumnus 2001. A junior on the drumline of my high school alma mater died a few days ago. An Oklahoma State BYX founder was killed in a Tulsa apartment fire within the last few weeks. Merle Haggard died about two weeks ago. Prince died last Thursday. And the list goes on.
We tend to behave in one of two ways when it comes to death — obsession or denial. Neither is helpful. Death is coming for everyone. So how does the Christian think about death? Why does the Christian think about death?
Death is not something people in their twenties like to think about. No one that young thinks they’re going to die soon. Death is something that we push out of our minds. Every now and then a celebrity dies and we start to think about death only to quickly push it out of our minds again. But let’s take a moment and not run to Netflix or Xbox or social media or friends and consider death.
Why should we think about death? Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The Bible says your life is a mist. You are here for a little time and then you vanish (James 4:14). Carrie Underwood sings about how this is our temporary home. This is just a stop on the way to where we’re going. Death is coming. It is universal. And it’s coming for everyone. No one is exempt.
Let’s not try to pretend that death isn’t sad or scary — it certainly is. It is right to be sad, it is right to mourn and to weep. But just like everything else in life the Christian has unshakable hope in life’s scariest and strangest times. For the Christian, to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). When we die we get to be in the presence of our God for eternity. My mind doesn’t really have categories to understand the idea of eternity. Don’t read that sentence quickly and move on. We get to be in the presence of our God for eternity. Our hope is in Christ and being with him forever.
“We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
—2 Corinthians 4:18-5:1
We know how the story ends. In the end we win. We look forward to the day when He will wipe away every tear, when death will be no more, when mourning, crying, and pain cease, when the former things have passed away, and when God makes all things new (Revelation 21:4-5). The Christian understands what caused Paul to write, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
You’ve probably been asked, “How would you live your life today if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?” It sparks some interesting thoughts and a lot of fleeting motivation to change your behavior that typically fades within a few hours, but that’s not very helpful. And most likely you won’t die tomorrow.
I’m not interested in asking myself questions that will get me super motivated for an hour or two and then let me go back to what I was doing before. I’m interested in life-changing questions. I’m interested in life-changing sentences and paragraphs. I’m interested in thinking deeply about things that will change my perspective forever, things that will shape my worldview, and things that will alter how I live. I’m not interested in obsessing over death. But I am interested in allowing the fact that it’s coming to shape the way that I interact with those around me.
I want to remember how small I am compared to a big God.
I want to remember how fragile I am compared to a God who is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46).
I want to remember how limited my scope is compared to a God whose judgments are unsearchable and whose ways are inscrutable (Romans 11:33).
I want to remember how weak I am compared to an omnipotent God who does what he pleases (Psalm 115:3).
I want to remember how short my life and legacy is compared to a God whose name will be remembered throughout all generations (Psalm 102:12).
I want to remember these things and have them stir up worship in my soul. It is right to think on death because its reminder to us that we are small and fragile fuels our worship of a God who is eternal and all-powerful.
For now death does sting, death is sad, losing loved ones is painful. We cry. We mourn. We hurt. But we are not hopeless. We have a hope that is unfading and a joy that never ends. We serve an almighty God. Through him death is defeated.
Jared Lyda is the National Advisor for the Texas State, Kansas, Ole Miss, and Tulsa BYX chapters. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2015 with a degree in Leadership and Development. He currently lives in Fort Worth, TX.
Author: Jason Hoyt Topic: BYX, Awards
God Causes Growth
“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
In 2004, I began this journey of leading the fraternity of Beta Upsilon Chi with a vision for strengthening our existing chapters and growing BYX to new campuses. We have largely succeeded in that vision because of the favor the Lord has graciously shown us. Texas Tech BYX came into existence as our seventh BYX chapter in the spring of 1998. By 2004, the chapter had just begun elementary school. They were a little known chapter of about 30 guys who were just beginning to understand the vision of BYX and struggling to execute much of that vision. Leadership was struggling to keep their commitments at times, recruiting and pledgeship was a struggle, and campus and social presence was very limited.
They were learning the routine of having to get themselves out of bed, make their own lunch, brush their own teeth, put their own shoes on, and get to first grade on time. The chapter continued in this routine for about the next 5 years of existence as their numbers fluctuated between 30 and 45 brothers in any given semester. From the outside looking in, I struggled to understand how a major university in a giant conference with conservative roots in one of the most conservative states in the country was struggling to make an impact for the Kingdom through BYX. I considered Texas Tech BYX to be one of the largest kept secrets on campus and in the world of BYX.
But God caused it to grow! After a trip to campus in 2009, I began to sense the Lord moving in the chapter greatly. The leadership began to talk about how BYX can make a bigger impact on campus. They began to build better relationships with sororities and campus organizations. The men made a conscious effort to get involved in other campus leadership opportunities. One of the catalysts for that is the student orientation camp called “Foundations.” Several of our brothers began to invest in Foundations and it became an incredible opportunity to network with other young men who share a common bond under Christ. BYX began to grow and grow and grow from that point forward in all areas.
The 133 Award
The 133 Award is a special award. It’s given to the chapter that exemplifies success in all five of our Key Success Factors. As a result of the success, the chapter’s impact on the individual brothers lives and the campus at large are clicking on all cylinders. The success factors are leadership, chapter meetings, cell groups, pledgeship, and campus and social presence.
Leadership in the Texas Tech chapter has been stable year after year. Each officer unit is operating at a high level while keeping the vision of brotherhood and unity in Christ at the forefront of their minds. Chapter meetings are well-run with chapter members looking forward to them each week. There’s not another place any of the brothers would rather be on a Monday night than investing into one another through chapter meetings. Cell groups are focused on Christ-centered community where brothers are breaking down the walls of small talk and pressing into each other’s daily challenges. Recruiting and pledgeship have improved dramatically over the last five years, with the chapter growing in vision and growing in numbers. The chapter currently has 158 members this spring semester which is the largest in their history. The chapter’s campus and social presence continues to grow with many brothers serving as leaders in other campus ministries and organizations. Their annual Barn Dance open party is one of the largest events thrown by a fraternity on campus.
Overall, the chapter is hitting on all cylinders right now and that’s the primary reason why the chapter is set to receive the 133 Award in an official ceremony on Monday, April 25. It’s been a privilege to see the Texas Tech BYX Chapter grow to maturity where they are executing the vision of BYX at a high level and making a Kingdom impact on their campus.
“But God who causes the growth,” says 1 Corinthians 3. The Lord has graciously grown our BYX chapter at Texas Tech University through the young men who have committed their college experience to the fraternity. It truly has been an honor to play a small role in what God is doing in the life of BYX at Texas Tech, taking it from one of the chapters with the most potential to now being rewarded for best accomplishing the purpose of BYX in establishing brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ. Well done, brothers!
Jason Hoyt is the National President and COO of BYX. He graduated from Texas A&M in 2000 and because the National President in 2004. He and his wife Ashley live in Keller, TX with their four children.
Author: Jayson Fisher Topic: Christian Living
Being a Part of a Local Church Matters Now
Here is another BYX buzz phrase. No, not “intentional” or “accountability” or “heart-level,” but rather “BYX is not the Church.” BYX believes that we do not replace the calling given by Christ to the Church (Matt. 28:19-20), but if we are honest with ourselves as college students, we often live our lives like BYX has done exactly that.
Too many men in BYX think the local church is something attended on a Sunday morning, not something you are a part of throughout your time in college. This can be extremely detrimental to your walk with the Lord after college when BYX, or any other parachurch / campus ministry, is no longer a part of your life. You will spend time filling a seat on a Sunday, and then Monday through Saturday you will feel the aches and pains that come with a relationship with Jesus that does not involve his bride. Before long, you will realize that being a part of the local church is critical to your spiritual health. Trip Lee, in a blog at Desiringgod.org, says this:
“And so we [as Christians] can’t say: ‘God has adopted me. He is my Father. I am glad he is, but I am just going to ignore his people altogether.’ That doesn’t make any sense, because if you are adopted in his family, you now have brothers and sisters.
This is a very similar thing to when we get saved. We can’t just think about things individually anymore, just like when I get married and now I am one with another sinner. We have to wrestle with things together. When we trust Jesus, not only do we become one with Jesus, we become one with his people. There is a unity that Jesus has already won for us, and we are now beginning to fight for it. It is just like how I can’t get married and then decide to ignore my wife. In the same way, you can’t just be adopted into a new family and ignore your brothers and sisters. It makes no sense. It is illogical.
So not only are you robbing them of the ways that you can edify them; you are robbing yourself of the ways they can edify you — and it is core to what it means to follow Jesus. So I encourage young men strongly: Do whatever you can to find a church that preaches God’s word, that is centered around the gospel, and where people want to fight to love him more.”
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:18-22:
“18 For through [Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
The Church is something that all who have put their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ are a member of, and that does not start after college.
By not being a part of the local church, you are missing out on the single greatest plan God has to spread the gospel to those who do not know Christ. And by replacing the Church with BYX, you miss out on community with any other person who is not a college-aged male. Seek out a local body of the Church and serve on Sunday mornings, and you will be surprised at how quickly you feel a part of that local church. The writer of the book of Hebrews exhorts all of us to get involved with the purpose and mission of the local church in Hebrews 10:23-25:
“23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Community is difficult, and some have found it easy to punt on the responsibility to meet together as the local church. Do not take that bait. Get involved, and not only will you reap the joys, but you will also be able to impact the lives of other believers. We all know that BYX is important, but if BYX is the only “spiritual feeding” you are taking in, you are doing the equivalent of eating a single Clif Bar and saying you eat healthy. BYX is a supplement to the local church, not a replacement for it. Continue to find ways to get involved with what the local church is doing in your community.
Jayson Fisher is the National Advisor for the Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, and Tennessee-Chattanooga BYX chapters. Jayson is studying at Dallas Theological Seminary for his ThM. He and his wife Kylan live in Dallas, TX.
By Allan Thompson
Missouri Chapter Founding Father
I was on a bus riding through the rough, Zambian countryside when it happened. The clouds cleared and I felt a calling from God like I had never felt before, or even since. You see, it was 2007 and I was a sophomore at the University of Missouri. My dream at that point was to be on ESPN someday as a famous sports broadcaster. But working with orphaned children in Zambia changed everything. I knew I wanted to tell stories and now it was clear that God was calling me to leave the ESPN dream behind to tell stories of his people doing Kingdom work around the world.
In this same season, eight friends and I had a crazy dream of bringing BYX to Mizzou. We had worked tirelessly the year before to found the Sigma Chapter and it was beginning to grow slowly but surely.
For me, BYX and this new calling to tell Kingdom stories have always been intimately connected. God used my opportunity to lead in BYX to form lasting friendships with men who deeply care for and believe in me, and to build the entrepreneurial spirit I would need when finally, in 2011, my wife and I founded One:Eight Productions.
Our goal is simple: to tell the stories of God’s people around the world making important strides for the Kingdom. We want to connect inspiring people with people in need of inspiration. This journey has taken us around the country and around the world, and we’ve been humbled by the things we’ve seen at each step.
This past January, we began work on a film with Dr. Faiz Rahman of Good News India. The purpose of the film is to shed light on the issue of bonded slavery, a toxic system that impacts millions of the poorest children in India. What happens is tragic: an already underprivileged family finds themselves in debt, or a child loses a parent and he or she cannot afford the meager expenses necessary just to live. These children are then conscripted into hard labor jobs to pay their debts. They miss out on the opportunity to get an education and are unable to provide a better life for themselves and their children.
Good News India works to intercept the most susceptible kids before they wind up in slavery. Under GNI’s care, kids are provided with stable housing, healthcare, education, and an understanding of their intrinsic worth and capabilities as God’s beloved children. Acres of Diamonds is a film we want to finish so the voiceless children of India are heard.
This is not a story of desperation but one of hope. The first time I heard Dr. Rahman use the term ‘acres of diamonds’ about these children I asked him what he meant. His answer was simple but profound enough to work its way into my heart.
“Diamonds are made under pressure; so are the kids of GNI. Diamonds are hidden away deep and need someone willing to dig deep to set them free. Diamonds needs work before they are presented. Diamonds sparkle in the sunlight; so do the GNI kids. Diamonds are multi-faceted. So are the GNI kids. And diamonds are treasures. So are these kids. At GNI we have the opportunity to collect acres of diamonds and set them free.”
We have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to complete this film and we need the help of the BYX community. Your generosity will allow us to share the story of millions of children trapped in a life of slavery and give them the opportunity to be set free. All gifts to this project are 100% tax deductible. Thank you for your support.