What’s in a Name?

    In William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, young Juliet pleads with her love to give up his name so they can be together. “What’s in a name?” she asks. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet . . . .”

Perhaps you’ve heard Campus Crusade for Christ is changing its name to Cru. I’d like to share with you excerpts from a letter sent out by our friend Michael Leary. We worked with Michael and Gay Anne when we were on staff in New York. They’re now working with the Christian Embassy in London.

         New Name, Same Commitment to Christ  In 1951when Bill Bright started CCC, there was only a campus ministry. Today there are 29 different ministries including Christian Embassy, Athletes in Action, Josh McDowell and Jesus Film. We haven’t been exclusively a campus ministry for over 50 years! So “Campus” no longer reflects who we are. Even Dr. Bright was aware changing the name was only be a matter of time.

   Most observers don’t realize the campus ministry has been using Cru as a nickname for over 15 years. In 1951, the word “Crusade” was a positive word associated with evangelical outreach. Today, the word conveys a much more negative image. Billy Graham stopped using the term nearly 10 years ago.

Some have expressed disappointment that “Christ” was taken out of the name. Some of the media suggested it was done in order to be politically correct. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cru is still about Jesus Christ!

The process had nothing to do with eliminating Christ from the organizational name. It has everything to do with creating an opportunity for the overall ministry to have an even greater impact for Christ in the years ahead.

Here’s a quote from Steve Sellers, U.S. ministry VP to the staff:

 “Cru, which will become the name for the ministry in the U.S., was chosen following an extended process of seeking the Lord with our U.S. Leadership and a team of 30 staff representing all levels of the organization. Over the course of the last year we considered approximately 1,600 names against a variety of criteria. What assures me most, was watching how the Lord led all of us to the same conclusion. Cru is the name that will most effectively serve the whole of our ministry.”

At present, the name Cru has little meaning to most people. When you think of Starbucks, you think of coffee. When you think of Google, you think of a computer search engine. Cru will soon be known for the same characteristics Campus Crusade for Christ has always been known for.

For further information, check out the following for FAQs and videos: http://www.ccci.org/cru

(Thanks, Michael, for your input!)

*Note from me: God has blessed Campus Crusade for Christ with abundant fruit and effectiveness. CCC has always remained true to the basics of biblical faith and life principles. Cru is still on the cutting edge of winning and training people all over the world in evangelism and discipleship. That will never change.

In his letter, Michael made this telling statement. “Jesus said, ‘You will know a tree by its fruit,’ (not its name!).”

Consider again Juliet’s question. “What’s in a name?”  The ministry which we call Campus Crusade for Christ, by any other name will be just as effective.

* * * *

In 1970, my husband and I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. We were young believers, wet behind the ears of our faith. Before we left for six weeks of training and biblical studies, we stopped by the home of the couple who had introduced us to Christ, as well as the ministry of Crusade.

Joyce stood in her driveway next to our car, beaming. “You make me think of Abraham.” How in the world did we resemble Abraham? We didn’t feel like Abraham . . . .   (to be continued next week as I invite you to take a stroll with me down memory lane.)

One Response to “What’s in a Name?”
  1. Shirley Irwin says:

    Looking forward to strolling down memory lane with you next week!

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