Our second annual COR Leadership Retreat is now officially in the books. As we look back, there is so much to reflect upon. To say that our second year was a success doesn’t begin to describe what took place among 20 brothers from 16 different universities throughout their 12-day journey.
A few years ago, the Board of Directors made the decision to devote time and resources towards investing in some of our top leaders from across country. And after being a part of leading this retreat for the past two years, it is clear that the men who made the decision to launch an annual leadership retreat made a wise decision. And now, after two years of playing a key role in the retreat, one of those faithful board members believes COR is one of the best things we do as a fraternity.
Our COR Leadership Retreat is worth every penny that is raised to support the development of our fraternity’s leaders. It is worth every minute the staff takes in planning and preparation (and I won’t even begin to guess how many minutes that is.) It is worth the costs because God radically changes lives through COR.
For two years now I have watched guys as they arrive in Houston, TX, excited but not knowing quite what to expect. Each of these young guys is a leader in their own right. Most of them have served or are serving as officers in their respective chapter. These are solid young men who have gifts and callings as leaders. And for two years now, I’ve also seen the difference in these guys as they prepare to get on their flights back home from Denver, CO. There is no question in my mind that God has used COR to change the lives of many of our fraternity’s leaders.
We expect guys to walk away from COR changed. That’s what happens when the standards by which we view life in God’s Kingdom are raised. That happens at COR as these young men sit at the feet of older men that have gone before them simply to receive wisdom, vision and perspective.
The first half of our trip is chock full of meetings with some of our most prominent alumni. In so many ways these notable alumni have blazed a trail and have laid a foundation from which our current members have the opportunity to build. Throughout the nation, our members are the benefactors of the alum that have gone before them, the difference is that our COR participants get a first row, 50 yard line view into the lives of these men that have gone before them. They get to look through a window of what life looks like in 10, 15 and 20 years. And for the second year in a row, these young men have walked away inspired.
As we transition from the city to the backcountry of Colorado, guys continue to be changed, but in a much different way than they experienced in the city. Something happens when we get immersed in God’s creation. Especially when we are forced to take it in because we can no longer be reached by the outside world. There is no cell service or internet at our base camp. It’s amazing what comes to the surface when we get a chance to quiet our soul before the God of all the heavens and the earth who desperately wants to communicate with us.
In Colorado guys get a chance to really know each other, and perhaps more importantly, they get the opportunity to know themselves better. I laughed with guys throughout my time in Colorado… a lot. I also was able to cry with guys as they opened up and shared things they had not been able to share with others. As guys began to deal with their hearts, I watched them get freed up in a new way. I believe they will carry that freedom back with them to their chapters and fight for that same freedom in the hearts of their brothers.
As each guy walked away, I believe they left with something deposited deep within them that will help them to become better leaders. Not simply better leaders in their BYX chapters but, more importantly, better leaders for their future wives and children, better leaders in their future workplace or ministry, and better leaders in the churches they each will serve one day.
Is COR an investment? Yes, it certainly is an investment of both time and money. What do we get in return? Well, we hope that some of our COR participants will consider joining our staff upon graduation and spend the first year or two after college in one of the best jobs in the world! We hope that some of our COR participants will one day serve on our board. We also hope our COR participants will one day use their own time, talent and resources to faithfully support BYX in the years ahead.
But having said all that, the return that we get by simply getting the opportunity to pour into the lives of these young leaders is worth it. I believe the men that come to COR will change the world, each in his own way. And to have an opportunity to come alongside them and bless them on their journey is worth everything it costs us!