The following is a guest opinion from Grady Toews, who serves with Cru internationally and cares deeply about the ministry. I’d been following the story of the organization’s name change in the past days and some of the controversy that ensued, so I was very interested in a perspective from within the venerable ministry…
By now you have probably heard that Campus Crusade for Christ is changing its name to “Cru”. I have read many comments and articles criticizing the name change, so I would like to provide you with some resources to help you make a well-informed opinion on the name change…
- FAQ’s such as “Why is ‘Christ’ no longer in our name?”
- Well balanced article explaining the name change
- A blogger with a good perspective on the name change
As for my opinion on the matter:
Let me first begin by telling you about my involvement with Campus Crusade for Christ. I got involved with CCC at Montana State University where we began calling our movement “Cru” in 2007 or 08. I won’t get too detailed, but in the summer of 2008 I went on a Summer Project (short term mission) to Croatia where CCC goes by “SvakiStudent” (Every Student in Croatian). As you know, I have served the last 19 months here in Australia where we call the campus ministry “Student Life” (CCC Australia is the umbrella organization). In each of these instances we refrained from calling ourselves “Crusade” because of the negative connotations derived from the name, and our vision of “Building spiritual movements everywhere, where everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus” is the same, even without “Christ” in our name.
The name needed to be changed. Period.
I see people’s body language and attitudes change when I mention that I work for Campus Crusade for Christ. It definitely does not help me go deeper into spiritual conversations. I know many staff members who avoid saying Campus Crusade for Christ, when asked by a non-Christian…or they sidestep the question and answer, “I work for a nonprofit Christian group.”
I try to be bold in proclaiming that I follow Jesus regardless of whether or not I have to say that I work for Campus Crusade for Christ. The name change will make it easier for me to share my faith. You see when people ask me who I work for, I can say, “I work for cru.” It then gives me an opportunity to explain that I am a Christian and what I do without people putting up “walls” by hearing the word “Crusade”. I know others who will do the same.
Cru will never change its mission of preaching the gospel to all nations as Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
Please email me with any questions or comments about the name change or whatever else you want to know. I am always happy to hear from you!
Until every knee bows,