Tag Archive | Unity

Fear The Right Things

Author: Kyle Yarborough

I struggle with anxiety. At times, it can be severe. It can be debilitating and I can feel trapped or chained to a chair, unable to move. It can bring on nausea and headaches and it can cloud my judgement and thinking. It is also relatively common. About 40 million people are directly affected by anxiety each year in the US. That’s roughly 18% of the population. Less than a third seek out or receive treatment. Anxiety is yet another effect of sin in our world. For me, this struggle is a constant exercise in obedience and faith that my Father has my best interests at heart and that He is using my difficulties and trials to sanctify me.

Matthew 6:26-27 says “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” This is a daily reminder that worrying about moving halfway across the country, pursuing a new job, pouring into a new relationship, and all the other upcoming life changes cannot alter the path that He has determined for me. It is not mine to control. Believing that is difficult, but it brings a peace that only He can provide. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the patterns of this world and to start believing that success is determined by a number in your bank account, by the clothes you wear, or the car you drive.

David wrote in Psalm 27:1 that “the Lord is my light and my salvation — whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” More like, what then shall I fear; of what shall I be afraid? If I am not in control, then it does me no good to spend time fretting. This does not mean, “Don’t act.” It’s actually the opposite. Act in faith knowing that the Lord will guide you in his purposes, not allowing your heart and mind to be consumed by the temptations constantly before you. He is faithful to provide for those who live according to his word.

In 1932, just before the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said in his first inaugural address that the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He sought to embolden his people for what lay ahead and give them the confidence to face difficulty. It would be a trying time but eventually industrial production rose to levels higher than before. The jobs returned but the people’s fears turned from employment to the conflict at hand, World War II.

A lot of our daily worries tend to be about things with very little long-term significance. That’s not to say there aren’t significant things to worry about in life, but each of these is an opportunity to lay our concerns at Jesus’ feet. In Mark 4:35-41 we see the disciples afraid for their lives as their ship struggles to navigate a heavy storm. Jesus, however, was asleep in the stern. Frantically, they woke him and asked, “Teacher, do you not care if we drown?” He rose from where he slept and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” and the storm dispersed. He then asked his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”, and they were terrified, asking each other “Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!” Our prayer should then be “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Too often, we carry irrational fears of things out of our control. We will always be able to find something to be fearful about. The Lord freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt but we struggle to trust him to provide for some of our most basic needs. There is little doubt that the onset of World War II struck fear and uncertainty in the hearts of the American People. So is fear truly something to fear? It is, but only when we fear the wrong things. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” My takeaway? Fear the right things. Fear of my circumstances gets me nowhere. To fear God is to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor him through my actions. There is peace and sanctification in that.

Like the disciples, when we see Christ display His power over our circumstances, we fear them less, and we learn to fear Him more.

Beyond BYX: Brothers leverage fraternity experience to make impact outside of BYX.

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Every day, over 10,000 employees and hundreds of patients and families across numerous healthcare facilities rely on the leadership of Texas BYX alumnus Craig Cordola, who serves as the president of the central and west regions of Memorial Hermann Health System. Cordola, who has been with Memorial Hermann for nearly 13 years, points to BYX as a “training ground for leadership” that helped to shape him into the influential professional he is today.

“Actually being trained up as a leader of men really translates into the workplace to where I really try to show up every day and it’s not about me,” Cordola said. “It’s about how can we make people better and how can I both lead with integrity and as an example of what it looks like to be a leader of the people and for the people rather than over people.”

Craig’s experience as a member of BYX is not uncommon. Alumni brothers look back on their time as members of BYX fondly, acknowledging how the Lord prepared them for their future through the fraternity. Current brothers are in the midst of being shaped into the professionals, husbands, church members and fathers that they will be. While active membership in BYX is intended for a specific time and place, the impact of Beta Upsilon Chi stretches well beyond BYX.

Beyond-BYX-Logo-FB-PurpleBritt Hatcher, a member of the Nu Chapter, also serves as the president of an on-campus service organization focused on caring for underprivileged children in Nashville. As Britt serves beyond BYX, he sees how the fraternity has made him more effective in his other roles.

“It showed me that it’s not about you,” Hatcher said. “It’s not about how it makes you feel. It’s not about how it fits into your schedule. It’s more of a lifestyle of learning to give your self up daily to benefit other people. If I hadn’t seen that example modeled by older guys in BYX, I don’t know if I would have come upon it or if I would still be viewing service something as primarily for me.”

Men walk out of BYX ready to contribute elsewhere. Nowhere is that more evident than in the church. TCU alumnus Cody Dick believes that BYX equips men to make an immediate impact on their church, small group and community.

“It’s invaluable to churches around the country to have men coming in at age 22, 23, 24 who can be a vibrant and active part of their church who have some of this training at their back where a lot of people never get that their entire life,” Dick said.

“I think as men we are called to be leaders of the home and often called to be leaders of the workplace,” Cordola said. “While that’s not the sole purpose of BYX, I do think that that’s an outcome of BYX.”

Learn more about how BYX members and alumni are going beyond BYX to impact their church, home, community and workplace by visiting betaupsilonchi.org/beyondbyx.

National advisors look back on fall semester.

As we close out another semester, the national advisors looked back on the moments that made the fall great. Here are the memories that stood out most to them.

Jayson Fisher
One of my favorite weekends of the fall semester is always National Officer Training. For an entire weekend, we as a staff, with the Board of Directors, get the opportunity to throw all the wisdom and teaching we can throw out to the top leaders for this coming year, and we don’t have many opportunities like it. One of the best times of the weekend for me is worshipping with the 200-plus officers, and I am always encouraged by the passion of these men as they pursue Jesus. National Officer Training is definitely the busiest weekend of the year, and we are always sick for a week after it, but I am always encouraged by the love and passion these leaders have for this fraternity as they pursue Christ.

Blake Hankins
This semester was full of ups and downs, as anything in life is. Every time there was a down, God met me there with a reminder of His faithfulness. Greater highs overshadowed the lows this year. One of my favorite highlights of this semester was National Officer Training. I obviously enjoyed all of my chapter visits but it would be impossible to choose only one to talk about. One of the coolest things for me at Officer Training was being able to spend time with all of my chapters during the same weekend. At National Officer Training, I was able to work with the chapter presidents. This was an awesome opportunity for me to teach and answer questions. Personally, this was exciting for me since just a couple of years ago I was sitting in a room similar to them, learning how to properly lead my chapter.

Dean Tzobanakis
This may be a cop-out, but the highlight of my semester was a chartership ceremony. This semester, I had the honor of chartering the Chi Chapter at the University of Mississippi. It was especially surreal because of the number of dedicated alumni who came back, some shedding tears of joy at the occasion. Working with the Ole Miss Chapter for the past two-and-change years has been an adventure. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but it was a proud moment to see them achieve this level of recognition. All of the National Staff before me invested heavily into this chapter, and I’d like to thank them all. All of the members who helped set the foundation for this accomplishment deserve recognition too. But in this celebration, the chapter must remember that this achievement is not the finish line, but only the beginning of greater things to come.

Zach Van Meter
I attended the Alpha Theta Chapter at Yale University for the first time this past semester and had a blast. Not only was the campus tour really cool but also getting to meet and know the brothers and how they do BYX at their campus was intriguing. Yale is definitely a different campus culture compared to the south, yet these men are furthering the same purpose established for BYX around the nation regardless of the challenges they face. I also had the privilege of getting to see and help set up their new BYX house on fraternity row! This is a solid add to the chapter and has already been productive in hosting brotherhood events for the brothers and open parties for the campus. I’m looking forward to visiting these brothers again and rallying up for spring rush and pledgeship.

Kyle Yarborough
One of my favorite moments of the semester happens to be one that went well off our plan and was changing up until the moment it happened. During the summer, Blake Hankins posed the idea of creating an initiation ceremony for each BYX officers that would take place at National Officer Training. What that conversation led to evolved into an experience that has now set a precedent for years to come and will hopefully serve as a reminder throughout this coming year of the significance of the commitments that they have made before the Lord, to their brothers and to themselves. That feeling I had while looking out at more than 200 men taking their oath in unison around the fires is not one quickly forgotten.

National Officer Training: Preparing the men who will lead BYX into 2016.

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Texas BYX founder Wendel Weaver, who works as a business professor at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, took the stage late Friday night at the opening night of National Officer Training to deliver his most important teaching session of the year.

“Something was missing,” Weaver said dramatically.

There was a tangible weight to Weaver’s words as he began to describe the need that he and the other founders identified on the campus of the University of Texas and challenge the 2016 officers to take the torch on their campus. This is the weekend that would prepare 215 men to lead BYX into 2016.

On November 20-22, the fraternity’s newly elected officers came together for a weekend intended to develop a greater understanding of the fraternity’s purpose, equip officers for their specific roles and generate excitement for the next year. Here is how the National Staff and Board of Directors set out to achieve those goals this year.

Understanding the Purpose
Many of the main stage sessions from National Officer Training provided a deep look into the purpose of BYX. Each teacher looked at our goal of establishing brotherhood and unity under the common bond of Jesus Christ from a unique perspective.

Weaver’s Friday night session set the table for the weekend by helping the men to see the need for BYX on their campus and by painting a picture for how important their roles are.

One of the most emotional moments of the weekend came when TCU Founders Jon Sherman and Kyle Kight took the stage to describe what lifelong brotherhood has looked like over the 25 years they have known each other. During the course of the talk, Sherman described how Kight stood by him through emergency open-heart surgery. He was able to return the favor when Kight’s 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was declared cancer free recently.

Sherman and Kight are living and breathing embodiments of what brotherhood and unity should look like in the lives of our men. Their real life examples pushed the men to lead in a way that cultivates these types of relationships in their chapters.

National Director Brian Lee finished Saturday’s main stage sessions by speaking on the cost of leadership. In order to develop brotherhood and unity, Lee challenged the officer to be together in unity, sacrifice, commitment and love. The officers left the session with a greater understanding of the high calling placed on their lives as officers in BYX.

Equipping for specific roles
Officers went through a number of breakout sessions intended to leave them with a strong grasp on their roles. Board members led sessions on the fraternity’s key success factors, and the officers attended the session most pertinent to their roles.

Each officer attended a series of sessions for their specific roles. They were broken down into four different sessions focused on why their position matters, how to do their job and what other chapters are doing.

A new addition to the officer position breakouts was the size-specific session. For two hours, the officers were broken into smaller groups based on the number of members in their chapter. The groups, ranging in size from 10 to 15 officers, allowed the men to dialogue about the specific issues that chapters of their size are facing. These new sessions allowed the National Staff and Board of Directors to better tailor the information for these officers.

Generating Excitement
On top of leaving National Officer Training with vast amounts of new information, the new officers should leave with a renewed fervor for BYX. Some of that comes from opportunities to enjoy the brotherhood.

Throughout the weekend, brother chapter pairs competed in a series of competitions known as battle of the brethren. The pinnacle of battle of the brethren each year is the dodgeball tournament. This year, dodgeball was held under the lights of the outdoor courts on Saturday night. The team of Auburn and Clemson won dodgeball, and the same pair ultimately ended up winning battle of the brethren.

One of the annual highlights of National Officer Training is the chance to worship in song with a room full of brothers from across the country. This year, the Jeff Johnson Band led worship over the course of the weekend.

Following Brian Lee’s Friday night talk, the men spent time praying and reflecting on his challenge, as well as worshipping in song. Board members spread around the room for brothers who wanted to talk and pray with an older brother.

The weekend proved to be a huge success. The National Staff and Board of Directors are excited to see where these officers take BYX in 2016!

National Officer Training: Walking off with improved vision, energy and preparation.

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The greatest baseball game I have ever attended was Game 2 of the American League Championship Series in 2011. The Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers were locked in a 3-3 game in the bottom of the 11th. Nelson Cruz steps up to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded needing only a single to win the ballgame. The crowd was going absolutely crazy cheering “CRUUUUUUZZZZZ!” Nelson sent a high fastball over the left field seats for a game winning grand slam.

It was the first recorded walk-off grand slam in MLB postseason history. The crowd went nuts and exited the ballpark in a frenzy of “CRUUUZZZZ” chants. It was an incredible adrenaline rush as a fan unlike anything I have experienced at a baseball game.

National Officer Training is lot like this baseball game. Newly-elected officers arrive expecting to learn a little bit about their role as an officer next year and leave with a much bigger picture of the history, vision and future of the fraternity. Over 200 leaders from 33 BYX chapters and 3 prospective chapters will gather this weekend to worship the Lord together while learning from one another. This is the single most important weekend each year for the fraternity. The purpose of National Officer Training is threefold:

  1. To cast vision for the fraternity
  2. To generate excitement
  3. To equip the officers to carry forth the vision in their roles

Casting Vision
Officers will hear from some of the top leaders in the fraternity. Chairman of the Board and BYX Founding Father Wendel Weaver will lead off the vision casting by talking about why BYX exists. He always has some incredible stories to share with the men of how the vision came to be and how the fraternity was founded.

TCU Founders and current board members Jon Sherman and Kyle Kight will share the vision for a lifelong brotherhood through their personal stories of founding the Beta Chapter at TCU and their relationship since the founding 25 years ago.

National Director Brian Lee will challenge the men in their spiritual leadership on Saturday night, and I will finish off the weekend talking about the role of Nationals in the life of our local chapters. Everything we do at National Officer Training will seek to promote and display brotherhood and unity based on the common bond of Jesus Christ.

Generating Excitement
National Officer Training is a working retreat. However, it truly is a ton of fun. Officers get to learn from one another through competition and conversation. Throughout the weekend, brothers will compete in the Battle of the Brethren. The competition allows the men to physically breakdown some barriers between different chapters and between one another in order for each individual to experience the weekend to the max.

Chapters will celebrate the success of BYX together through our annual award ceremony in which we highlight and honor chapters that have excelled in various areas in the past year. All in all, officers leave after building new bonds of brotherhood with men that they never met before but share the same passion for brotherhood and unity in Christ.

Equipping the Officers
As we move throughout the weekend, the focus will narrow in scope. Officers will hear from various board members and prominent alumni about why their role as an officer is important.

They will attend sessions about the fraternity’s key success factors. These are the things that we have identified as necessary elements for successfully establishing brotherhood and unity in Christ. We must do these things exceptionally well.

Officers will spend several hours talking to one another about best practices for leading the fraternity and challenges faced chapters of various sizes. Officers will learn from their training manuals what is expected of them to fulfill each of the officer positions well. Officers will leave National Officer Training with a firm understanding of their role as a leader in the fraternity.

National Officer Training is much more than learning a little bit about BYX. National Officer Training is a catalyst to a successful year in leadership for every one of our local chapters. We have been praying and working toward November 20, 2015 since the last officer training ended in 2014. We are praying for the hearts and minds of our men to come together to grow in brotherhood and unity in Christ together.

We will be blessed with Dove Award winner Jeff Johnson leading our men in worship this weekend. We are praying and asking the Lord to move in the hearts of our men, grow us in unity as a fraternity and that we may leave National Officer Training in pursuit of Christ and ultimately His vision for BYX on our campuses. In so many ways, we desire for National Officer Training to be a walk-off grand slam weekend for Beta Upsilon Chi where our men walk away with a fervor for BYX that they have never had before.

Messy Houses and Hearts

Author: Dean Tzobanakis

As many of you know, I am recently married to a stunning young lady. Before Kelsey and I got married, there was much abrew in her head about what it would be like to live with a boy. And who could blame her? She knew that the standard, in general, was abysmally low for the male living space. Despite my efforts to prove to her that my space was neat and organized whether I knew she was coming over or not, still she worried. Conversely, I was celebrating the prospect of having a roommate of the opposite sex. Ladies tend to be tidier and smell much better than dudes. After six months of marriage, I think I may have finally convinced her that I’m at least in the same conference of cleanliness as she is.

I work with college men. More often than not, they fall more into Division III territory (that means they aren’t exactly earning a scholarship for their cleanliness, for you non-sporty types.) And let’s go ahead and lump in young men in general, because graduating from college doesn’t always seem to remedy the problem. Now, my favorite thing about college ministry is that I can treat my audience like adults. Because they are, whether they act like it or not.

You see, the word “boy” in the opening paragraph is key. One would expect a boy’s room to have toys, clothes and dirty dishes strewn about. It’s simply the manifestation of a lack of maturity (and the law of entropy.) Therefore, it would be fair for Kelsey to worry about the state of her home if she were required to share space with a boy. That’s logical. The problem comes when these “boys” are age 16 and beyond.

The state of your dwelling, believe it or not, is a reflection of your character. In 1 Timothy 3, the Bible says that if a man cannot lead his family well, there’s no way he can be an effective leader in the Church. Likewise, an unkept house or apartment speaks volumes about the overall discipline (or laziness) of the resident. A few things that require discipline: relationship with God and spiritual growth, budget, eating and exercise habits, upkeep of residence, time management and productivity, intentionality in interpersonal relationships, etc.

Discipline in one area flows into others. It’s likewise almost impossible to restrict apathy and sloth to only certain areas of life. The destructiveness of laziness cannot be overstated, and it is proportionately beneficial to be disciplined in everything. Colossians 3:23-4 states:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Put another way, “diligence is excellence over time.” Pursue excellence in all things, and do it consistently.

Finally, as not to neglect the specific impact on BYX men, consider this: The burden that this lack of diligence and consideration places on the brothers around you can breed bitterness and dissension. If trying to maintain a clean home becomes a source of strife among roommates, then that in itself compromises our purpose of brotherhood and unity. Anything that does this, especially something so childish, should be handled swiftly with respectful dialogue and plenty of humility. I encounter this issue at nearly every campus I visit. That indicates that it’s far too common among men who should be striving to sacrificially love one another and pursue excellence for the glory of Jesus Christ.

In the grand scheme of things, domestic tidiness is only a microcosm of a culture that prolongs adolescence and, in so doing, perpetuates a cancerous, childish mentality in men that’s detrimental to ministry and society. But maybe that’s a topic for another devo.

Key Success Factors: Four steps to leading well in your chapter.

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The officers and leaders at the local chapter level have the opportunity to take new peaks with their chapter or lead them right off the cliff. Both the short- and long-term success of Beta Upsilon Chi rely heavily upon the men leading on the local chapter level.

There is a plethora of resources available to grow as a leader in general, and a responsible man will make those a priority. While applying general leadership principles will go a long way, we want to drill down deeper into our specific context. Leadership is the final key success factor of Beta Upsilon Chi, so we have to specifically define what successful leadership looks like within BYX. If you remember and apply these easy-to-remember points, the chapter will thrive under your leadership.

Walk the walk.
As a leader within the chapter, you have to be a living, breathing example of the purpose and identity of Beta Upsilon Chi. You have to epitomize commitment to BYX and all that we believe in by how you live your life. Men buy into a picture more than a statement. You are that picture.

If you are not the picture, they will find someone else to emulate. That can be to your detriment because they may not be leading in the right direction. If they look to the vocal senior in the back corner with a rebellious streak who picks and chooses when he will show up and how he will be involved (I know an image comes to mind immediately of who that brother is in your chapter), you will have problems for years to come. Be the picture they can look to by walking out a life committed to Christ, your men and your fraternity.

How do you walk the walk as a leader? Simply put, you have to stand for what BYX stands for. Therefore you must be a stalwart of brotherhood and unity under Christ. You are a catalyst for bringing men together.

As an outflow of the purpose, a leader who walks the walk loves his men well. He is involved in their lives, lifting them up when they’re down and pulling them back when they’re off track. As John Maxwell said, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care, and you can’t ask for their hand until you have their heart. Leaders will love the men well even when they don’t want to.

Our leaders have to follow Jesus closely for their sake and the sake of their men. The leader not abiding in the vine will die, and his men will suffer because of it. Leading in our flesh will not bear fruit. In the same way that you must show men how to be involved with BYX, you must strive to show them how to follow Christ well.

Talk the talk.
The most successful leaders in BYX will consistently keep the purpose and identity in front of their men. Their communication is laced with the why behind all that we do.

Albert Mohler said:

“Convictional leadership begins with a commitment to truth and a relentless desire to see others know and believe that same truth. But communication is a form of warfare. The leader is always fighting apathy, confusion, lack of direction and competing voices. The wise leader understands this warfare and enters it eagerly.”

The leaders in the local chapter have to step into the conflict and help their men to have a sound understanding of who we are and what we do as a fraternity. They are bombarded with competing messages from poor sources of information, be that disengaged brothers or those outside of BYX, who promote their opinion of what we should be. Communicating the purpose of BYX in a manner that both educates and inspires will be a huge factor in the success of the chapter.

Run in your lane.
Andy Stanley said, “Only do what only you can do.” When our leaders commit to handle the specific tasks that they have been delegated based on their skill set, the chapter as a whole will thrive. Each leader needs to run in his lane, focusing on executing with excellence the tasks that fall under his job description.

Details, logistics and administrative tasks are not always sexy, but they are necessary. By focusing on little things, they can add up to yield big results and impact the big picture. When they get out of whack, other elements of BYX will suffer.

For example, a successful rush week takes a huge amount of preparation. Look at just a few of the responsibilities that have to be tended to prior to rush:

  • Schedule events.
  • Plan out each event.
    • Location
    • Time
    • Speaker
    • Theme
    • Food
  • Promote the events.
  • Purchase materials for each event.
  • Develop a list of potential pledges.
  • Personally invite potential pledges to events.
  • Prepare active members for events.

If those little things don’t happen and the little things that go into each of those little things don’t happen, then there are big consequences. Numbers in attendance at the event can suffer. Potentials who do come may have a diminished experience if the event is poorly executed and the brothers are not engaging them.

All of the sudden, mediocrity with your responsibilities turns into a mediocre pledge class, and you’re left rationalizing it to your national advisor by saying, “We didn’t get as many as we expected, but the eight we got are all solid, quality, legit guys.” Sure they are. Those issues can be avoided by taking care of responsibilities with excellence beforehand.

Bring others with you.
Sometimes, chapters catch lightning in a bottle and bring in an officer corps that far exceeds the standards of previous officer teams. At that point, one of two things will happen when their term is up: the next group will regress to the historical standard or they will continue to drive BYX forward to new heights.

Which of those possibilities becomes a reality is dependent upon the officers’ ability to replicate leadership. Officers, chairs, cell group leaders and other leaders in the chapter need to identify younger men in the chapter that will be stepping up in the future and prepare them for the opportunity to lead.

Leaders can’t pass on opportunities to identify gifts and talents in others. They have a capacity to make a profound impact on a younger brother who may have never understood the ways that the Lord has specifically wired him to impact the kingdom. When you see potential in a brother, don’t let it go unrealized. Bring him with you on your leadership journey, showing him the intricacies of your role and giving him an understanding of what it takes to faithfully lead his brothers.

The chapters that consistently give men chances to lead and make it a priority to invest in them are the ones that experience long-term growth and health. Current leaders have to place a heavy emphasis on building up the next group of leaders. They have to stir up their enthusiasm to serve BYX and equip them to successfully channel that fervor.

Key Success Factors: The importance of leading well in BYX.

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We all know leaders, and chances are if you are reading this you are one yourself. At some level, everyone is a leader and are tasked to lead in one way or another. We are all also acquainted with various types of leaders. Most likely you have interacted with good leaders and bad leaders alike. Leadership is inevitable. So why is leadership so important and why is good leadership essential?

Leadership is the most critical element of any organization. Think of it in terms of a car and leadership is the transmission. Good leadership sets things in motion to move forward, and poor leadership causes the organization to reverse and regress. Then there is neutral leadership, which is tossed here and there by circumstances and environment. It is very crucial to understand what type of leadership you are displaying and how that is affecting those around you. Leading in a manner that promotes forward movement and momentum is a tough challenge but absolutely necessary for success and positive change.

Here are a few reasons for why good leadership is necessary.

Leadership is influence and followers are key.
I am reminded of the ebbs and flows of leadership within “The Mighty Ducks” movies. Coach Bombay was inspiring and engaging, causing the team to follow with reckless intent. On the contrary, there were times when the coach made poor decisions in leadership producing division and angst. In both situations, the leader was influencing; one positively and the other more negatively.

As a leader you must understand who you are influencing how you are influencing them. And if you realize no one is following, then you must not really be leading. If you are really leading and doing it correctly, there should be some type of draw to you. Followers need to want to follow you rather than feeling obligated to do so because it’s their job. In effective leadership, followers choose to follow the leader. This is a much healthier way to meet standards and accomplish goals.

I’m not advocating for you to be best buds with everyone, and, honestly, in leadership there will be times some people don’t like you. But it is important you win people and gain trust of those you lead. How are you drawing people in?

Leadership creates change.
Being an agent of change in leadership is great. We all know stagnant leaders who use their position of leadership as nothing more than a placeholder and résumé builder. The best leaders are the ones who not only embrace change but pursue change. No, you don’t need to change things for the sake of changing. I’m a believer of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. But there is always potential to improve, and being in leadership allows the opportunity to create change for the better. Be creative with how you can add value through change.

Leadership motivates people.
Great leaders are concerned with the success of those around them. Successful leaders fight the urge to act selfishly. Motivating people and pushing them towards a common goal is Leadership 101. Do not simply manage people for the sake of results. Be long-term-minded and lead people towards a goal.

This not only brings you success but also brings success and growth to those following you as well. Ultimately, dividends are paid in large amounts when both leaders and their followers thrive. Motivating people toward a vision and goal for their sake is way different than for your selfish ambition. The latter is what some would call manipulation. John Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Ponder on that quote and let that be a force that drives you to motivate rightly.

Ultimately there are countless reason why leadership is important. I hope you recognized an overarching theme of these reasons for leadership’s importance. That theme is the people you lead. A common thread for the most effective leaders is the healthy view of their followers and the relationships they have with them.

Friday Devotional: Born with a heart that beats out of rhythm.

Author: Jason Hoyt

A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. A-fib, as it is commonly known, is an irregular and often rapidly increasing heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow throughout the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers beat chaotically, irregularly and out of coordination with the lower two chambers. If left untreated, the risk for a blood clot increases, which could cause serious issues that could lead to death.

The treatment plans for a-fib are several. They include electrical cardioversion, cardioversion with drugs, catheter ablation, surgical maze procedure, atrioventricular node ablation. I will spare you the details of each of these procedures, but the heart is very clearly an important part of our body. When someone you know has a heart condition, you become keenly aware of just how important this muscle is to life. If there is a heart problem, it affects every area of your life.

From a spiritual standpoint, every one of us has a heart problem. In Genesis 3, when Eve chose her own heart’s pleasure over the command of God’s and then did the same for her husband Adam, sin was birthed into this world and dramatically altered the rhythm of life. A heart issue was born into them and into every person born since that time. Our hearts are out of rhythm with the natural God-designed flow and function of life.

One of my favorite Bible stories is found in John 3 with the story of Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who came to Jesus in the night to ask some heart questions. He acknowledged that no one not from God could perform the miracles that Jesus has performed. Jesus responds in verse 3 by saying, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus proceeds to ask more questions about how one can be born again if he is fully grown? Can one enter his mother’s womb and be born once again? Jesus responds, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 shows us what happens when the Lord transforms the heart.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you: and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

What Nicodemus didn’t understand is that this wasn’t a physical rebirth. It was a spiritual birth of the heart. Believing in Christ is the rebirth. God would spiritually transform the heart of Nicodemus so that he would be sensitive to the things of God. His heart’s desires would be transformed and that would lead to his physical actions being transformed as well.

In many ways, all of our hearts suffer from atrial fibrillation. All of our hearts beat irregularly and are out of sync with how God designed the rhythm of our lives to be. Our hearts desires lead us to make decisions in life that can and do affect the direction of our life. Those decisions are either going to be out of rhythm with what God desires for our life or they will be in rhythm for how God designed our life. Our hearts are clearly prone to be out of rhythm. The only remedy for the spiritual setting of our hearts is Christ and Christ alone. Let us pursue him with all of our heart and pray and seek opportunities to share Christ as the remedy for man’s atrial fibrillation of the heart.


Jason Hoyt is the BYX National President. He is super cool.


 

Key Success Factors: Building a consistent presence on campus and a good name socially.

15 Byline Kyle

We often talk about the “why” behind each thing that we do as a fraternity, and every bit of it is justified. Knowing our purpose drives us to excel. That is important to keep in mind as we continue. As it applies specifically to our social events, quantity is always important. However, don’t let quantity supplant quality. People will recognize when an event is well planned and executed.

Good events provide greater attention and better attendance; all of which can positively influence future events as well as recruitment. This can seem a little cyclical, and to a degree it is, but it will always require great effort and attention. Point being, if you aren’t active on campus, you are greatly limiting the impact you are capable of making as well as the potential for each member’s personal growth. Each event is an opportunity to build relationships.

If you’re confused at what BYX is supposed to look like socially, use this blog as a resource when brainstorming ideas, deciding which ideas to move forward with, planning, communication and execution. We will also cover what meeting expectations looks like.

Events
Date Functions
A typical semester in BYX should be filled with date parties, mixers, open parties and philanthropy events. Date parties include formal and semi-formal in addition to more frequent and less extravagant date functions. A friend of mine took his future wife to a BYX date function. That was their first date. I’m not saying that’s definitely going to happen to you but hey, who’s to say that it can’t? Be creative too. It is always important to hold events that your members want to attend, so throw your chapter a curveball and plan a grab-a-date event, blind date function or something out of the ordinary.

I can’t stress how important it is to start planning early. This goes for each and every event you throw. Start planning at least six weeks out. Have your venue and entertainment with four weeks to go, and with two weeks to go, you should have all the details worked out: catering, travel arrangements, etc. By getting a head start, you may also be able to work out a deal with a venue or service provider that lowers your cost for the event. Something unexpected will always happen, whether it’s a canceled venue, double-booked band, your date drops out, extreme weather or otherwise. That extra two weeks before your event will give you time to make adjustments.

Mixers
Some chapters also call these socials, functions and swaps. Whatever you decide, they’re a large part of what your chapter should be doing in the Greek community. Each one is a new opportunity to show a different sorority what it’s like to be treated with respect and dignity.

Clemson Rave F15Creativity is a common theme when it comes to campus involvement and you need to be especially mindful of this when mixing with your school’s sororities. If at all possible, don’t repeat ideas/themes. There are plenty of ideas, like an 80’s mixer at a roller skate rink or Cute Dads & Fun Moms, to need to recycle.

Again, timing is your friend. Sorority calendars fill up quickly. Many have a certain number they are able to do and sometimes even have fraternities they must mix with so communicate with them early and set a date. If you give yourself time, you can work out the theme and other details later.

The last thing to keep in mind is avoiding favoritism. Treat every sorority equally and exceptionally. This applies to mixing in particular. It may be easy to always mix with one sorority but make an effort to get involved with as many as you can. 

Philanthropy
One of the ways we can impact campus is through philanthropy events. Whether your chapter is putting on the event or your members are attending a sorority’s philanthropy event, be sure to participate. Not only does this give your chapter other opportunities to be represented on campus, it also strengthens your relationship with that organization.

Though the events may vary from school to school, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. From Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash to Pi Phi’s Arrow Jam, encourage your men to take part. From my experience, there’s not one event that I regret attending or participating in. You’ll be creating memories and increasing the brand of BYX at the same time.

Other Involvement
One of the most overlooked ways to impact your campus is through leadership and involvement in organizations outside of BYX such as SGA, various local ministries, academic clubs and even intramural sports. It doesn’t take a title to make a difference in these spaces; just a presence and intentionality. People take notice when BYX is represented and involved. Expand the potential for BYX to impact your campus and encourage your members to get involved outside of the fraternity.

Open Parties
The way we are capable of reaching the largest audience is through our open parties. These can take many forms, and there is no single right way to go about them. House parties, a campus-wide rave or organizing a concert are just a few of the many ways to host an open party. As with any event, early planning will reduce stress and may provide the possibility for discounted venues or entertainment, depending on the format.

The most notable of these will almost always be your Island Party. It can seem daunting because of its reputation but in reality, it should just be another well planned event that happens to occur annually under the same name. Don’t let it be overwhelming. Start early and nail down the necessary details, giving you enough time to adjust if needed and without stress.

With all campus-wide events, you need to communicate very effectively. As soon as you know the theme, date and venue, begin advertising. Your most valuable resource is your membership. Utilize them and get them involved so make it a priority to communicate all critical details to them. Get the word out on campus by handing out flyers at other campus events, chalk or paint your campus commons and send a few of your well-spoken guys to sorority meetings and personally invite them to your open events. Those are a few of the many ways to creatively get the word out to your campus.

Meeting Expectations
You are expected to be involved on campus and the following should give you an idea as to how a normal semester schedule might be filled. However, do not let these guidelines be limitations. An exceptional chapter will go above and beyond the minimum.

As a general rule, you should be holding two to three date functions each semester. That can include a formal or semi-formal and one to two other events. A normal chapter should aim to have three mixers with different sororities as well as involvement in two philanthropic events, either hosted by BYX or attendance at another organization’s events. The typical chapter will hold two open parties each semester as well. One of these may be your Island Party. Motivate your chapter towards other campus involvement as well, whether that’s through leadership in other organizations or intramural sports teams.

In the beginning, there are no bad ideas. From there, pick your best, most feasible ideas from what you’ve come up with. Determine the essentials: cost, date, time, location and take care of as much as you can as early as possible. Then, effectively make known the event details to your intended audience. Holistically, that may seem like a lot but each part is important in developing and maintaining the impact of your BYX chapter.

Remember that it all begins with preparation. If you lay out a plan for the semester early on, you won’t get to October 28th and be wondering if you’re going to have a Halloween party or not.