By Robert Bember
Senior Communications Advisor
I managed to give some of the Texas Tech brothers a scare before I even showed up for my visit. Normally my very presence is enough to make college students tremble, but, this time, all it to strike fear into the hearts of the men of the Eta Chapter was a tweet.
While I was waiting to board my plane for Lubbock, I tweeted, “Getting a wild and potentially stressful week started by visiting @TTUbyx. Can’t wait to see my brothers in Lubbock!”
Apparently, “wild” and “stressful” immediately made Tech President Forrest Stovall think I was coming to Lubbock to bust some heads. The fact that the boss, Executive Director Jason Hoyt, joined me on the trip only created more apprehension. I wanted to ask all the officers if they knew why Jason made the trip in hopes of making them squirm, but I had to behave myself with the big guy around.
In reality, my week was wild and stressful because about every second of every day was scheduled with work, church or wedding obligations, all of which are a joy, but the amount of events on my plate pushed me. Jason joining me for the trip was more of a product of the Eta Chapter doing well than anything. He hadn’t dropped in on the Tech Chapter since Fall 2008, so he was due to see the guys again.
The Eta Chapter continues to improve. For starters, the chapter has grown from about 40 men to nearly 120 men over the course of the last three semesters. I haven’t seen anything like that in my time on staff, and I consider myself blessed to have been a part of that boom in membership.
The leadership of the chapter has improved along the way as well. The Lord brought us the right men at the right time. The 2011 officer team, who started this explosion, was filled with engaging men that a number of new men gravitated towards. The 2012 officer team, while also engaging and unified, has been able to maintain momentum and minimize the growing pains with outstanding organizational skills. They are on the ball.
When a chapter grows as quickly as the Eta Chapter has, growing pains are inevitable. Larger chapters face issues that smaller ones don’t, and chapters need to learn how to adapt when you hit a certain number of members. The leaders within the Eta Chapter have rolled with those punches so well. They have listened to my council and applied it to the chapter, making what could have been a difficult season of change far easier.
Chapter meeting looks so different from my first few visits. The chapter grew to the point that they needed to find a new room, which is an upgrade to their previous meeting space. Jason addressed the men, so I was off the hook for speaking this time around.
Following Jason’s talk, the brothers broke up into their cell groups to share prayer requests. They used to do it as a full chapter, but they’ve outgrown that method. The cell group leaders now report their groups’ requests to the officers.
On the last night of the trip, we gathered up all the officers for dinner. The officers each come from different circles of friends, but you wouldn’t know it by spending time around them. The officers have a distinct chemistry. Secretary Ryan Lincecum told me that the men often come to meetings with different perspectives, so they apply those perspectives to refine their ideas and examine them from all angles. As he put it, if they agree on something, then they know they have a good idea.
Lubbock may be a flat, barren wasteland, but my brothers in the Tech Chapter make it worth the trip. The effects of the boom in membership will hopefully continue create impact and refine the chapter. They have more resources at their disposal than ever before, and I look forward to seeing how the Lord utilizes those resources.