Everything has a beginning. The crucial time that lays a foundation for the future. As they say, first impressions are everything. Get off to a bad start and there will be trouble down the road. Dating or courtship is the precursor to marriage, but don’t expect even a phone number if you show up to a girl’s house for a first date driving a lawnmower.
If the opening paragraph of this post doesn’t catch your attention you probably won’t keep reading. Communicating expectations, casting vision and setting the tone up front is imperative. In BYX, that takes place in pledgeship, and that’s why doing pledgeship well is key to the success of a BYX chapter.
Pledgeship is the beginning of one’s BYX journey and represents the future of a BYX chapter. The men who are pledging BYX today will comprise the member base upon which a chapter’s success hinges tomorrow. They will be dependable chairmen, committee heads and title-less behind-the-scenes contributors. They will be influential senior leaders and elected officers who will take the reins of the chapter. Most importantly, the generation of BYX pledges you are investing in right now will be responsible for training the next generation, and the cycle continues.
Why is pledgeship a key success factor for BYX? A challenging and substantial pledging process produces committed members who pour into their chapter and community.
The purpose of pledgeship stems from the purpose of BYX. Brotherhood and unity in Christ cannot be achieved if pledgeship is not an uplifting experience that pushes young men toward the Lord. Many would say that BYX pledgeship is “pledgeship turned on its head” by traditional standards. That, of course, doesn’t mean that it’s a fluffy skip through the unicorns that anyone can just glide through.
What it does mean is that BYX pledges will not be hazed, and every activity in pledgeship should have clear purpose and meaning. Most astoundingly, the members of BYX are expected to treat the pledges as greater than themselves and serve them, just as Jesus Christ himself did not come to be served, but to serve. For example, it is the pledges who can call a member at any time for a ride and the pledges who get to enjoy an event without having to worry about setting up before or cleaning up after.
The identity of BYX also plays into this equation. We are a lifelong brotherhood of committed Christian men seeking the bonds of brotherhood and unity in Christ through the avenue of a social fraternity on a college campus. Why does BYX do pledgeship? Well, BYX is for men who want what we’re offering, and specifically those who show a commitment to it.
Pledgeship intersects with our identity statement twice. BYX is a social fraternity, and therefore does things that social fraternities do. Social fraternities hold rush and recruitment, give out bids and have a pledgeship process. So it would follow that BYX does the same. However, BYX is intended to be an alternative to the present fraternal lifestyle, functioning similarly to them while primarily promoting brotherhood and unity under Christ.
Doing pledgeship well is critical to the success of BYX. A sub-par pledgeship only breeds a lack of commitment and apathy in the youngest members of a chapter, which could create a detrimental culture that is difficult to break. Furthermore, operating outside of one’s identity results in a compromise of integrity. In pledgeship, we aim to stay true to our identity by functioning as a social fraternity which exists to glorify Christ first and foremost.