Tag Archives: College

A Guy Named C.H.A.D.

From The Goodbye Party –


A Guy Named Chad


I want to tell you a story about A Guy Named Chad.

My first year on staff This Guy Named Chad came into the Champaign Chapter.

I was assigned to work with A Guy Named Chad a few times.

One of those times was at the Urbana conference. We had a student leadership track and Chad was in my track there. I think my impression of Chad then was he was a good guy, missional student, going to make an impact on the Champaign chapter. But I did not get a sense then of the passion and commitment to communication and in particular with large groups that A Guy Named Chad had.

My next episode of Chad was at the Metamorphosis conference, which most of you know as Fall Conference now. Chad was working with his events team and talking about what should happen at large group and Chad just gets…enraged. He was so mad! He was so upset because the large group team was not understanding a vision he had. It was a missional thing, it was something he wanted to be done and done well and the other people just weren’t on board.

So I ran into Chad pacing outside the room and I’m look “oooh, what’s going on there?”

So I ask Chad “Chad, what’s happening?”

And Chad proceeds to be this far away from me (about 18 inches) yelling about what’s happening. “Well this is going on and this is not happening and..!”

And I’m like “Whoa!”

But luckily I don’t mind a good fight. So I stepped in. So that was the beginning of the bond between Chad and I. And it was the beginning of understanding how passionate Chad is about the things he cares about and how invested he is. His ability to work with others has increased quite a bit – and his ability to hold the rage in and process it differently has changed. But that passion is still true.

And so that’s my favorite memory of Chad, him sort of letting loose in that argument created a bond.

So in honor of Chad I’ve created a little creative communication myself. Hopefully it will be a memorable one. It’s an acrostic to help us remember things about Chad.


First of all…C
Chad is Creative in Communications.

So, I told you of his passion for large groups. At one point while he was a student Chad actually dressed up as a wrestler and was so committed to that theme that he wrestled at large group.

Chad goes on adventures and takes lots of pictures.
Chad has and maintains a website.

I remember one particularly creative communication he made about how all romantic comedies are basically one, making a concept map between romantic comedies.

And I just have to tell you – I’ve known Chad to be interested in a few different ladies over the years, and seen his creative communications in dating. Chad is quite a pro of thinking of creative ways to care or invest. One particular time, a certain girl he was interested in, had some sort of problem with the plumbing at her house she was renting, and Chad actually – wait! This isn’t creative communication!

But that leads into my next one…

Hart’s Got heart.

Chad is quite the romantic. So Chad waited at this house until the technician came and did the work and everything went okay. In another incident he purchased a pizza without any cheese or other things that this person was allergic to so that this person could enjoy Papa Del’s pizza, too.

He’s also – I suppose romantically, too – but he’s also so loyal. Once Chad is on your side and Chad is your friend he is your friend forever. He’s totally committed that things go well for you and that you stay connected.

And Chad cares very well for students. This student David became a Christian in the ministry and Chad discipled over the years. It’s just one example of a relationship Chad invested in and expressed deep empathy and compassion. It’s not always readily on the surface but it’s there and students that get to know Chad can feel it and know that Chad is on their side.

Chad Hart is A True Individual.

What ways don’t we know this?

First of all the affinity for Guns N’ Roses. Other people have that, too, but he’s held it for a long time. People make Christmas cards and birthday cards, but what does Chad do? He makes New Years Cards for people. Also who socializes, but Chad, by bringing his computer to a table and doing other creative communications late at night at retreats while people play games around him? An individual. And who shows their emotional agreement at a talk or something else by grunting?

That is Chad. A True Individual.

And finally…

Chad Hart is Dedicated To A Quality Product.

I remember Chad when he was a student leader being at The Loft all night editing video for large group and wanting to see these things turn out perfectly.

I remember Chad putting into a ton of work into something we still use, which is our Chapter Events Team Manual. He wanted everyone else to learn how to do the structure and use it well. Brittany says thanks and Sam would, too, if he were here. All the people following Chad have picked that up and learned how to do it because of Chad’s work on this quality product.

He really has a huge commitment to doing things well and doing whatever he’s doing all in.

All which we appreciate and Guns N’ Roses appreciates… and we’re so grateful for A Guy Named Chad.



Thanks, Katie. I appreciate it.


So I Used To Be An Athlete. Sort of.

I was once an athlete. No, not someone who won games or races. Not someone who broke records. Not somebody who made the top fold of the local sports page. Not somebody in a high school “hall of fame”. If someone threw a ball at me, chances are I couldn’t catch it. If I tried to throw a ball to you, chances are it wouldn’t get to you – either short or just way off the mark. But I did have a meager collection of certificates, plaques, varsity letters, newspaper clippings, and probably a medal or two.

That was a long time ago.

Something happened. A transformation.

175 lbs to 260 lbs.

So how does this happen?

I’d always been pretty active. As a child I played outside. I was also proficient with the VCR and TV at three or four years of age. I was the first generation on the Internet. I was the first person in my neighborhood with broadband. I also played football (for a time), did cross-country, ran track, and did all the pre-season and off-season workouts for those sports. When I was younger my brother dragged me to the weight room summer after summer. When I was younger still I had bouts of Karate and even tumbling. Yes, tumbling. Through all of that I learned to mimic and emulate some professional wrestling moves and how to fall (take a bump).

Not to say that I was particularly good at these sports. I had poor coordination and was not a good kinesthetic learner as far as that goes, so remembering how to throw and catch a ball was troublesome. It always was. That sort of thing is a reoccurring source of shame in my life -not really being able to throw or catch. I also never gained much muscle mass – at least, just not enough – despite the dedication of off-season lifting and workouts I’d never be what I wanted to be as a football player.

I ended up with some athletic asthma. So, while I worked out harder and smarter and did everything I was supposed to, I only ended up getting slower and slower when it came to running in races. Despite this I did what I was supposed to day in and day out, week in and week out. I did the workouts hard. I did the practices hard (except when goofing off with the team). I raced hard.

In return? I ate everything I wanted. Not that I ate poorly – mom generally had home-cooked, balanced, not-too-much-not-too-bad meals. I did have a 3-4 cans of Pepsi or Coke habit, though. But my activity combined with youthful metabolism meant that it didn’t really matter. But that all changed.

See, after my last track meet, I stopped running. Then I went to college.

The first semester at college nearly killed me. Homesick. Depressed. Long-distance girlfriend. Since I wasn’t on a team, why workout? Why practice? Instead I had food anytime I wanted. For free. Because at 11PM or 1AM a Philly Cheese Steak is an awesome thing to have, especially if it’s right downstairs. A credit-card paid-by-mom could keep my fridge stocked if and when my summer-job-paid-for-debit-card got low. I ate because I was bored. I ate because it was time to eat. I ate because South Park was on. I ate because it was Friday. I ate because I was sad. I ate because I was happy. Because I’m special!

It really didn’t even bother me. Sure, a few months in and I had an aunt say “Wow, you got fat!”. My face was filled out. More water. More fat. Homecoming photos from my still-in-high-school-long-distance-girlfriend proved that, yes, I had gained weight. Most of it probably inevitable. It wasn’t that bad. There were other signs, too. At some point I noticed some shirts I had were a little tighter than they used to be. Actually, all of them were. I wondered if I shrunk them all. At some point I decided to try and start running again.

“Wow, this is harder than I remembered! I should be able to run farther and faster than this! What’s wrong?” I thought to myself. I think that shocked me into inaction. It was easier to keep believing “I can run whenever I want to run as well as I did before!” than it was to keep working through the difficulty. I probably gained 15 pounds that year.

But things didn’t really go bad yet. I still walked to class most of the time. My dorm room was on the fourth floor of a four floor building.

Because getting your heart broke will either kill a man or make him fat, my sophomore year started off worse. I was more depressed, more lonely, and more desperate for control over something. I gained another 10 pounds. It could have been worse. But the real problem was that the patterns I started the year earlier continued. I was out of shape, but not fat. Not yet. I tried running again and guess what? It was still hard. Why run when I can eat and watch TV and study?

For a period of time later on in college I started running again. Consistently. Nothing serious – no marathons, no, just running. Why? I think because I was in love.

But I’d still have that Philly Cheese Steak and watch South Park on Wednesday nights and eat Goldfish crackers like a maniac whenever I was studying. So, I maintained.

When I graduated I lost the magical ability to swipe a card and have a wonderful assortment of fresh and ready to eat food. I had to grocery shop. So I did. Mostly. I was never too intricate with my “cooking”. But I did okay. But gradually things got worse. And worse. Again, when life feels out of control, at least I knew I could have whatever I wanted to eat.

Ten pounds more here. Ten pounds more there. Ten pounds more again, and again. Then twenty more.  Size 31-30. Size 34-30. Size 38-30. Medium. Large. X-Large.

“You need to take care of yourself!” my mother would tell me. That just made me want to stuff food in my face even more. Year after year. Visit after visit. It didn’t help. She tried, she cared, but it didn’t help because I gave up. I gave in.

I hated how I looked. Even thirty pounds ago, I hated how I looked. I did everything I could to avoid being in a photograph. I did this for years. I still do, honestly. No pictures, please. Postcards are available in the gift-shop.

But I’m not 17 or 18. And I can’t keep pretending old pictures represent reality, my clothes shrunk, and my body is working just fine.

And I can’t keep avoiding the pain of hard work.

So I’m going to the gym. And I’m going to stay there. I’m sure if I find that sort-of-athlete again I’ll be okay.

The guy that did all the workouts.
The guy who didn’t take shortcuts.
The guy who was all business in the gym.
The guy who was DAMN good looking in a tux.


But mostly I’d like to not be ashamed of my body. I’d like to not be afraid of what my body can and can’t do. I’d like to not feel exposed when lifting a box or two for a friend. I’d like to be able to walk up stairs and not resent myself each step. I’d like to be physically healthy and attractive for a wife, honestly. I’d like to be alive for my nieces for a long time.

So here’s to the sort-of athlete I used to be.
And here’s to the man I need to be.