So, I was trying to think of a smiley for this week and was having trouble. Jesus has just been showing me some amazing stuff lately. And then, when I thought a bit deeper, I realized that Cru has been the tool he has used a ton to speak into my life during the past few years. At the end of last summer, I wrote this post about Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ (it was officially renamed this past year). That post is pretty cool, so you should check it out. But here and today, let me share a bit why Cru is my smiley this week. (These are numbered, but they are in no particular order. Just the order I thought of them, I guess.)
1. Friends. Some of my best friends, I met in Cru or are also involved in it. There is something more genuine and authentic when Christ is the center of a friendship. Even if he is all you have in common, you have way more in common than if you root for the same NASCAR driver or share a major. Also, Lifegroups (a Bible Study that does life together) have a pretty good atmosphere and authenticity because Christ is talked about most when we meet! It’s great!
2. Speakers. Some of the speakers I have heard at Cru or at conferences have spoken directly to my heart. I think it is so awesome that the Lord speaks through other people, be it speakers (which could be anybody, but Cru has gotten mostly local pastors or staff, which are great. Most of the speakers are adults who have way more knowledge than any of us), peers, or “disciplers” (mentors that meet with you one-on-one and talk about the Word or life or whatever).
3. Opportunities. Cru gives many opportunities for growth. There are three-ish life-altering conferences throughout a school year: Fall Getaway (which meets during October during a weekend), TCX (a Christmas Conference that meets over Christmas Break), and PCB’s “Big Break” (a spring break trip that goes to Panama City Beach). During the summer, though, is when the biggest life-transforming opportunities are given through something called Summer Project. Summer Projects are located all over the world, but my campus mostly sends students to North Myrtle Beach, SC; Ocean City, NJ; or overseas to East Asia, France, Australia, “4th Journey,” or Uruguay (that’s where our partnerships are). Last summer, I went on a summer project to Inner-City Milwaukee, WI for 8 weeks with 16 other students. God did some pretty amazing things in me, and the summer was only the take-off point for the way my faith has been growing since.
4. Resources. Cru has some websites with awesome material to help you out if you are leading a Lifegroup, meeting for Discipleship (for the discipler), or just want to read some Christian topics on your own. My two favorites are CruPress Green and EveryStudent.com.
5. Growth! Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, was really on to something. The idea is to get freshmen involved, so that the next year, they could become leaders and pursue freshmen. “Win, build, send.” No matter how long one is involved in Cru, be it one year or four, they become part of the “build.” The Cru leaders are trained to be in charge of a Lifegroup or some other aspect. Another part of the “build” for leaders and non-leaders alike can be achieved through conferences or summer projects. One learns how to share their faith. Then when a student graduates, he or she is ready and equipped to share their faith in the workforce, wherever it will be. (“Send”)
God has done so much through Cru in the lives of millions of college students, and not just in the US, either. Cru is just a tool, but it is my smiley this week! I praise God for all that he has done through it and all of the lives that have been changed from encountering God through it!