We had been told a change was coming. Many of our staff -- including Dr. Bill Bright, our founder -- had been debating for years whether to change our name from Campus Crusade for Christ to, well, something else. And this year is our 60th anniversary... sixty years since Bill and Vonette Bright decided that if they could reach the university campuses for Christ today, they could reach the world tomorrow.
But tonight, July 19th, 2011, we were going to finally hear the new name. It had been two years since Steve Sellers, CCC's vice President of the Americas, had told us that this moment would come, and it was finally here. The energy in the room was high, and as Steve started out his presentation you could practically hear the projected thoughts of thousands of staff filling the gym at Colorado State University: JUST TELL US THE NEW NAME.
Steve went on, explaining the reasoning behind the name change, the research, the compelling need to change it if we were going to be effective in our mission to tell people about Christ. Follow this link to watch that moment, and Steve's whole talk.
When he said the name, I was surprised that people clapped. Not everyone, of course, but there was applause. I was surprised because change is difficult and I thought any name would be met with skepticism. But there was, at least for some of us, enthusiasm. Some of us liked the name right away, some will get used to it in time, some will always dislike it. That's not a change... some of us disliked our current name. But I'm hopeful that overall we'll all come to embrace "Cru."
In the midst of change, there's likely to be misunderstanding, excitement, hurt feelings, elation, mourning for the past, optimism for the future and a thousand other feelings. But, as our leadership has pointed out over and over again in this process THERE'S ONE THING THAT WON'T EVER CHANGE. We can all take comfort in that.
Next week I'm going to do a series of blog posts about our name change. For the last year I've been on a "response team"... a small group of Campus Crusade for Christ staff members who have given input, opinions and feedback to our leadership in the name change process. I thought it might be helpful to get an "insider" point of view. In the meantime, I'll do my best to answer your questions or point you in the direction of someone who can answer your questions. Here are some of the frequently asked questions in the meantime... if you have a question you want me to address next week, feel free to leave a comment or question here on this post!
Have a great weekend! If you want more information to fill the next couple of days, here's a statement from our President, another from our VP, and one from the director of the United States campus ministry.