July 22, 2011

A New Name

On Tuesday night, the President of the U.S. ministries of (formally) Campus Crusade announced our name change. We have known for two years that this was coming and we were eagerly (and anxiously) anticipating the new name. We had outgrown the name of Campus Crusade for Christ in several ways.

First, since its beginnings 60 years ago, the ministry has grown far beyond just campus ministry. There are ministries in the army, in workplaces, in orphanages, on the radio, etc. Thus the word campus needed to go... it's confusing.

Secondly, I think its been a no-brainer for awhile the the word "crusade" is offensive at worst and confusing at best. No one uses the word anymore outside of its most terrible historic connotations. 

Our leadership embarked on a two year journey to pray about, seek the Lord's guidance in, and do research on a new name. What they found in the process is that 9% of Christians and 20% of those who are not Christians were turned off by our former name. 

What they came up with was the name "Cru Global" legally and just "Cru" in the context of ministry. While it seems to be more of a nickname of our former name, it is meant to be arbitrary... a non-word that hopefully the Lord will create a meaning for through us. The whole reasoning behind changing the name was to remove any barriers from anyone hearing the name of Jesus Christ.

When we were in South Africa, we talked with a lot of Muslim students. I remember one in particular that I sat down beside on campus and asked if I could do a spiritual survey with her. I introduced myself as being with a ministry but I knew there would be no way I would tell her the name of the ministry (I was so embarrassed!) I got the chance to share the gospel of Jesus with her, pray with her as she asked Him to be Lord of her life, and connect her to believers in Durban. I think if she heard our name then, a barrier might have been put up and she might have never had the chance to know Jesus.

We are excited about the new name and our renewed vision to give everyone the chance to be introduced to our Redeemer. If you would like to know more about the name change, you can go HERE.

Just as a side note, we think it's rather ridiculous to hear the ruckus from other Christians about taking "Christ" out of the name. If these were here at our conference to see how Christ-centered the ministry really is I think they would have a different perspective. Our mission and our values have not changed. Jesus remains at the center of everything we do. And how many churches or ministries actually have "Christ" or "Jesus" in their name? Does that make them more spiritual than anyone else? We would like for all of our supporters and curious onlookers to know that while the name of Jesus is no longer in our name... he continues to be the heartbeat of what we are about. Always. If He was not at the center, Andrew and I would not continue with this ministry.

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