Expansion Update: Building up the farm team.

Byline BLee

My forearms are not as big as those of our Communications Director Robert Bember. Nor am I as obsessed with the game of baseball as he is. Having said that, I did enjoy playing the sport growing up (catcher, if you wanted to know) and I do know a thing or two about the game. One thing I know is that, if you want to know what teams in the majors are going to be on the top of the league in 5 years, you need to look at the current farm teams.

Every week I call and text guys on college campuses across the country. Although I do spend some time corresponding with leaders from new and old BYX chapters, more often than not I’m communicating with prospective founding fathers.

I recognize that many of the guys I connect with will not end up becoming founding fathers of a new chapter, but my approach has been to cast as wide of a net as possible in hopes that a handful of the guys that I’m talking with on our expansion “farm team” will get called up to the majors one day and end up becoming founding presidents of a new chapter.

I’ve shared before on the blog that I am a starter. Personality profiles show that I fall under the category of pioneer. And although you don’t really want me in the room when you’re talking budgets and logistics, when it comes to starting new things that have great potential, I will be the first in line to sign up.

Iowa Expansion S15I am constantly trying to inspire young men on college campuses to rally the troops around them to start a BYX chapter. I attempt to cast a vision of the remarkable opportunity they have to start something at their school that will outlive their time on campus. They can be the men that God could use to establish a Christ-centered community on campus, providing a refuge for countless young men to find a safe place in which to enjoy college and grow in their faith.

I believe God is using BYX to change men’s lives, to change college campuses and even to change the world. It is this belief that motivates me to talk to as many young men on as many campuses as possible about the incredible opportunity to establish a new BYX chapter. With that in mind, I’m glad to report that our farm team is as large as it’s ever been, with more potential prospective chapters than at any other time in our history. Here’s a quick rundown of our potential new chapters

  1. Wake Forest – There are currently over 30 guys at Wake Forest that are hoping to start a new chapter next semester. Most of the guys are freshman and sophomores. However the leader of the group is an upperclassmen, and he has been exceptional. The plan is for them to start phase two of our process as soon as students return in the fall. To keep the baseball analogies rolling, Wake Forest is definitely “on-deck,” and unless the bottom falls out, it looks like we will initiate these guys in the fall!
  2. Kansas State – There is great potential for us at K-State, but it has been a bit of an uphill battle to this point. There are 10 guys that are committed to starting a chapter, and they are hoping to bring in at least five more in the fall. At this point K-State is “in the hole” (Baseball term for the person hitting after the person on deck. Try to keep up.) I am holding out hope that they will be initiated this fall!
  3. Iowa – There are currently 8 guys hoping to get something going at Iowa. And, thanks to National Advisor Blake Hankins, a ton of sorority girls are hoping to see a BYX chapter come to Iowa City next semester. There is certainly potential here, but it is still early in the process. Whether or not these guys can double their number in the fall will determine if and when we see a chapter start in Iowa.
  4. Tulsa – There are 10 guys at Tulsa that want to start a BYX chapter. They are committed to recruiting 20 founding fathers in the fall. We will continue to explore Tulsa to determine how viable a BYX chapter could be on that relatively small campus.
  5. Iowa State – Not much going here right now, but there is a small group of guys wanting to see a BYX chapter come to Ames.
  6. North Florida (UNF) – There are a handful of guys at this school not too far from our boys at UF in Gainesville. We are in the early stages of determining if UNF is a school where a BYX chapter can thrive.
  7. East Tennessee State (ETSU) – As you may know, Tennessee has been good to BYX. There are men at ETSU that want to establish a BYX chapter, and we are in the early stages of determining if ETSU is a school where a BYX chapter can thrive.
  8. Middle Tennessee State (MTSU) – Again, we aren’t sure what’s in the water in Tennessee but it’s been good for BYX. There are guys on campus wanting to establish a chapter at MTSU, and we are exploring the opportunity here as well.

That’s just a quick rundown of the current expansion farm team. There have been other schools that we have had to turn away for now, and there are other campuses with a small number of guys considering the opportunity, but the above list rounds out our best prospects.

As I said earlier, not all of these will become chapters. While we will likely lose some of these, we will almost certainly gain some new leads this summer.

We are so excited about the opportunity for BYX to continue to grow to new campuses. Our current members are without question our most effective resource for sharing the vision of BYX with prospective founding fathers. God has and is continuing to write the story of BYX. You are a part of that story and you can play an even greater part by sharing the vision as we continue to expand our farm team.

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