The COR Leadership Retreat was an experience that went way beyond my expectations. Coming in, I thought it would be a simple retreat where I would get some insight on leadership, make a few friends, connect with the staff and hopefully be able to remember and apply what I learned when I got back home.
Moreover, my expectations were molded more by the fact that it was the inauguration of COR, not some leadership retreat that has been transforming lives for years. Yet, understanding the reputation of our national organization, I had high hopes. Little did I know that those hopes would be obliterated and replaced with a newfound reverence and gratitude for the experience I had. I feel as though I can type about my experience longer than you would be willing to read (especially about the amazing activities in Colorado like hiking, whitewater rafting, zip lining, etc.), so I will break up what I got out of COR into three main points.
- Wisdom and insight into leadership
- Lasting friendships
- A deeper understanding of the impact BYX has
COR is an opportunity for immense growth. Every session in Dallas and Houston was designed specifically to hit on different topics surrounding the core of influence and leadership. Whether the session was about integrity, discernment, investment, ambition, obedience, relationships or empathy, each was perfectly balanced with applications for my future profession and my personal spiritual life.
And the fact that alumni from BYX were teaching each of these sessions made the experience much more impactful. Every time an alumnus shared his testimony and how God has transformed his life through work, fatherhood or BYX, it relieved a lot of my personal stresses about life now and in the future. Testimonies and sharing life with others is so impactful, and getting to do this with the alumni of an organization I love really impacted my life. Not only did I gain more wisdom and applicable insight, but I also felt a deeper connection to BYX and the men that have been a part of it since the beginning.
The second thing I got out of COR was lasting friendships. Every brother that came to COR was open to connect and pour into one another. I could tell, even on the first day, that each brother was on the same page, desiring to be completely open and ready to be sharpened. We would gain insight and be molded together, and then go back to the hotel or cabin to talk life, testimonies and how we can apply what we learned.
And spending 24/7 with a bunch of guys usually ends up in crazy stuff going down. Basically, we had a blast! I will never forget all the inside jokes that were formed and the fake competition between the Yoke Squad and The Alliance trying to win others over into their group. I will also never forget my initiation into the Alliance. I am still so thankful that Connor Washington, Trent Madden, Cole Crawford and Jon Weiser let me pledge. Alliance until the end guys.
Overall, I will never forget the brotherhood what was formed with these guys. Although we all went back to our respective lives at home, I know I can still call up these guys and share life like we never left COR. Learning together, fighting together, playing together, praying together and growing together really transformed my life.
Because of COR, I gained a deeper understanding of how impactful BYX is. We aren’t just a social fraternity that strives to glorify Christ and influence lives on our campuses. We are a brotherhood of men that should live life with one another, have a blast, make memories, and truly sharpen and spur one another towards Christ.
BYX is a unique collegiate opportunity that can’t be experienced in any other organization. COR showed me the devotion that the alumni and National Staff have towards making BYX and its men better every day. COR opened my eyes to the man of God and leader I can become, and that I am not alone in the fight. The COR Leadership Retreat was an experience I will never forget.