A group of students in front of a frozen waterfall at the end of our hike

We kicked off the third day of Summit listening to Dr. Rick Lytle, Dean of the College of Business, talk about inspiring a shared vision. Outside of the guest speakers who we got to listen to, this particular lesson on leadership was probably my favorite. One of the biggest things I walked away from was the simple idea that,

“We don’t think big enough, often enough.”

This is an incredibly difficult concept to grasp, because often as leaders we try to cover all the bases and make sure we don’t have any obvious liabilities. However, in this process it is very easy for leadership to lose sight of any big goals it may have.

One incredible example of a group who never lost sight of its big goals is Mission Lazarus, a nonprofit relief organization located in Honduras. Mission Lazarus was founded by ACU alum Jarrod Brown; luckily for us, Jarrod and his family were actually at Summit, where we had the opportunity to listen to Jarrod speak and then to work through a case study with him and his wife, Allison.

Jarrod Brown, of Mission Lazarus

Jarrod began his speech by talking about the kind of person he was when he was here at ACU. He explained that he’d been completely consumed with the idea of making money, and that God really had no place in his life. Immediately after graduating, he jumped on the corporate ladder and landed an unbelievable consulting job that most COBA grads would love to attain.

However, he began to realize he wasn’t fulfilled, and after visiting Honduras on a short-term mission trip, Jarrod began to feel God leading him towards permanent residence in Honduras.

Jarrod’s story struck a chord with a lot of the students at Summit. After all, most of us are currently studying business here at COBA, and a lot of us would like to get a great, high-paying job straight out of college. Because of the parallel that Jarrod’s story had with many of our own, the points he made about living for Christ really struck home:

  1. The most important investments you will make are those in your family.
  2. Don’t settle for the status quo.
  3. Live what you claim to be.

Listening to Jarrod, I was reminded of the unique opportunity that I have to be a part of COBA. I can’t imagine studying business anywhere else, and if I do anything but use that opportunity to bring God glory, then I am making a lesser choice. Instead of allowing myself to do what I want to do, I need to seek God’s will for my life and my calling, something that I can begin working on right now. As Jarrod pointed out,

“You need to decide who you are and what you stand for today.”

What do you stand for?