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Response to the Name Change

I didn't want to change our name. When filling out the survey that asked for my top 3 name choices, I wrote:
1. Campus Crusade for Christ
2. Campus Crusade for Christ
3. Campus Crusade for Christ
Bill Bright gave our organization this name in 1951; it has history, it has an esteemed reputation.
Changing it seemed foolish. Would Coca-Cola change its name? Even Exxon after their fiasco didn't change their name. This, to me, seemed like bad business. 2 of the girls in my summer project group this summer got involved as freshmen because an elder in their church said, "When you get to college, look up: Campus Crusade for Christ." These girls now lead ministries on their campus. There is value in our name.
Then I sat across the lunch table from a fellow staff member who serves in a closed Muslim country. He said that even though they do not use the name Campus Crusade for Christ there, he prays no one will ever see his pay check stub: Campus Crusade for Christ. If anyone saw the word Crusade, surely his ministry would be in danger. He said it would translate to their culture like "Campus Jihad for Christ" would translate in our culture. I thought about my neighbor, a sweet lady from Iran with whom I've recently developed a friendship. I thought about how many t-shirts hang in my closet that to her would read: Jihad for Christ and about how I would never want her to feel alienated because of my faith. And I thought about how I would never EVER want my SAVIOR to be associated with Jihad in her mind.

But a lot of our shirts just say "cru" (a nickname for our weekly meeting on campus since I was a student at Texas A&M (whoop! I can't not "whoop!" when I say my alma mater, even in a serious post)). This word would have no meaning to my neighbor. If I wore this shirt, she would probably ask with a thick beautiful Persian accent, "What-tis ca-roo?" And I could explain about our ministry with college students.
When our CCC leadership began discussing with all our staff (which I appreciate--how many other businesses or organizations welcome ALL staff at ALL levels to enter in the decision-making process?), I understood that many of our staff who serve within ministries not on college campuses, felt limited or misunderstood, and that most donors had no idea just how many ministries exist under the umbrella of CCC.
After hearing the experience of others I thought, "Ok, I can see the need for a change in other venues, but I wish we could still be called the same thing for the sake of consistency." I was so pleased when they announced that "Cru" is our new name. It is consistent and has history, yet it does not offend my neighbor. When our leadership presented us with the name, 2 things resonated with me, giving me confidence in the decision:

1. We have humble leaders. They spent time on their knees, consulted wise counsel, and kept a broken-spirit throughout the process. Having been in ministry for 10 years, I can spot a prideful speaker pretty quickly. There was no pride there.

2. Research and surveys showed that 20% of interested people (non-Christians and Christians alike) walked away after hearing the name of our organization. In business, a 2-3% negative response to a name is a failure. I cannot ignore those staggering results. Previously I thought it foolish to change the name, this was when I was misinformed, making my own assumptions of the name's success rate.

Unfortunately, many people are making their own assumptions. Liberal media-- USAToday, FOX, etc. reports their own slanted view point. Christianity Today interviewed our leaders, here is their take. But here's something even better than a reporter's opinion--here online you can read directly from our leadership, reassuring everyone that the intent is not to "post-modernize" our name, not to make it "PC." Comments that we are ashamed of Christ, have changed to "Chrislam" and the like are misinformed, hurtful, and the opposite of the words in James 1:19 "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."

Our mission has not changed. Our focus on bringing others to Christ has not changed. And really, our colloquial name hasn't changed. At my first CCC meeting as a student, the emcee said, "Welcome to Cru!" Karl and I met on a "Nu tu Cru" (New To Cru) retreat. As we passed fellow classmates on campus, they'd say, "You coming to Cru this week?" When I heard the word, I didn't think: meeting. I thought of friendships based on the commonality of sharing the love of Jesus with others. When surveying people who had been involved with our organization, they made 2 associations with CCC/Cru:

1. Changed Lives for Jesus

2. Friendships

I have no doubt that the name "cru" will continue to embody what we value and the role we play in the body of Christ--laborers with a heart to see The Great Commission fulfilled.

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