Cell groups make all the difference.
What is it that makes BYX different from anything else on the planet? It looks similar enough to other fraternities, right? We wear boat shoes and Croakies, we dance our faces off at rave parties, we hold chapter meetings and we have socials with sororities. The obvious difference is the focus and purpose.
Beta Upsilon Chi exists to glorify Jesus Christ, not to worship self. Our men are commissioned with representing Christ fragrantly to their campuses in everything that they do. The key word there is fragrant. How exactly does that happen?
Cooking up Ramen and perfectly poaching a lobster are two completely different things. One shows that you have years of experience painstakingly preparing one of the most sophisticated dishes in the world and the other shows that you have thirty cents in your pocket and four minutes to kill. The work that goes on in the kitchen before the product is served to the public matters.
Are you following the analogy? The internal brotherhood and leadership development that takes place in BYX is where brothers learn how to serve a quality product to their campus.
There’s not a place where this sharpening and development takes place more than in cell groups. You see, cell groups make BYX different. We require our men to meet once a week in a small group to get personal. This is a time for men to laugh and cry together, to confess failures and celebrate victories, to break down walls and be real with one another, and to know you have a circle of men who love you and are praying for you no matter what. It is in cell groups that I learned how invaluable vulnerability is. The Christian life is absolutely not meant to be lived without the support of close community.
By no means should cell groups become cliquey, but your cell group should definitely be your inner circle. These are the guys who know about your junk and are willing to help lift you up out of it. They agonize over sin struggles with you and offer encouragement in any situation. This is a group who will throw you a party when you’ve experience a victory or success. They’re the ones who put together that surprise party for your birthday or pool their money to get you a sweet gift to celebrate acceptance into grad school or an engagement.
In my last semester at Florida, I experienced a traumatic back injury that kept me off my feet for four weeks and dramatically impeded my overall functionality for the better part of ten months. When this injury happened and I needed to be taken to the emergency room at 1:30 a.m., it was none other than Larry Davis, a brother from cell group, who drove me to the hospital and stayed with me overnight, twelve-and-a-half hours in total, and kept my mind off of the fact that I couldn’t make a single movement of my trunk or legs without pain. This dude loved me so much and wanted so desperately to be by my side through this trial that he was willing to lose a night’s sleep and even get a parking ticket for staying too long.
These are the relationships that cell groups can and should build. But it takes hard work. This is especially true if there are one or two guys in your cell group with whom you don’t particularly see eye-to-eye. What an opportunity to grow in humility and understanding! Simply being assigned to a cell group with a guy isn’t magical, but it does give you an opportunity to build relationships like I have with Larry.
That means you have to invest into your cell group. Be present, be attentive, ask the tough questions and offer encouragement. And cell group is not something that is constrained to one weekly meeting. Go bowling with your cell group, take on a group service project, take a group camping trip, go do an awesome food challenge together. Cultivate these relationships creatively and intentionally.
All this to say, man, if cell groups are on the periphery of your priorities, you’re doing BYX wrong. Brotherhood and unity in Christ is our number one goal. Take every chance to pour into others and be poured into during your time in BYX. You have an opportunity to form relationships that will last much longer than college. I hear stories of brotherhood and unity all over the country and I would hate for you to miss out on something so precious. Invest in your cell groups; they make all the difference.