Staff Conference 2011: Big News

The mayhem is beginning……

Lines are getting longer for meals, elevators, registration, the gym, Starbucks, FroYo and other delights of Fort Collins as our numbers slowly swell to 5,000 staff arriving for the conference.

All over campus I see people reuniting with old friends, meeting new friends and for some, the hopes of meeting their “special” friends. 😉 I have been doing much of the same – joyfully re-connecting with my Berlin team friends, new staff training friends, fellow former STINTers, summer project friends, staff from the Great Lakes region, etc. It is really quite amazing how small the Staff family is, and yet at the same time how amazingly large it is. And yes, I too am one of those open to meeting someone “special” during this conference. I invite you to pray towards that end with me if you so desire. 🙂

This is my first all-staff conference, and I am really excited. Francis Chan, David Crowder*Band, Tenth Avenue North, our 60th anniversary celebration, and Tim Muelhoef are only a few of the awesome highlights coming in the next few days.

The biggest news of the conference though, is happening tomorrow night. For the past two years our leadership has been in the process of re-branding and re-naming our organization, and tomorrow night’s session will be the Great Unveiling of the new name. It has been a long process by our national leadership that has been washed in prayer and seeking the Lord, getting help and guidance from a national branding agency, over 2500 name options, and finally a survey that whittled down the last five names.

After 60 years of being “Campus Crusade for Christ”, one can hardly fathom the various reactions of staff members when we learned that this change was coming. Hurt, anger, excitement, relief, frustration, and more. It seems like everyone has their own opinions and attitudes towards the name change, especially after the 5 final options were revealed. The most common denominator among people I talked to was the hope that there was a “secret” 6th option somewhere and it wouldn’t actually be any of the ones on the survey.

Change is never easy, especially when you have thousands upon thousands of people with diverse opinions in the mix. Everyone is not going to be happy, and that is ok. I admit that I have experienced frustration over the names that were being chosen from, but there are several things the Lord has reminded me of over the past few weeks.

– One, the ultimate goal is not for our staff to be happy. The goal is for God to be glorified through our ministry, and if changing our name to something more globally socially acceptable (the word “crusade” has an amazingly bad connotation pretty much everywhere in the world these days), then we should by all means change, even if it means we will be unhappy for a time as we adjust to the new name.

– Two, the heart motivation of our leaders is to do what is best for our organization and to bring the Lord ultimate glory. Their motivation/goal is not to destroy the ministry by choosing a name that isn’t good, or to make the staff angry and hate the new name. They have been transparent with us as they have sought the Lord on this issue, and have been grace-filled and patient in responding to the many emails and phone calls they received after the name-options survey was sent out to the staff.

– Three, change takes time. It will probably take more than one hour to get used to whatever name is revealed tomorrow night. It is going to be a process, and for several years we will most likely be saying “I serve on Staff with X, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ”.

– Four, who we are as a ministry is not changing. Our core values, mission, vision and focus on fulfilling the Great Commission are staying the same, and our hope is that changing our name will reflect that we encompass so much more than just a campus ministry. There are over 70 different ministries within Campus Crusade for Christ, including Family Life, Military Ministry, the Jesus Film Project, Athletes in Action, Keynote (music ministry), Josh McDowell ministry, Bridges (international students), Student Venture (high school), Valor (ROTC ministry), and so, so much more.

Please take a moment to pray for our staff as we prepare to enter into this process together tomorrow night. Pray that we all will be gracious, loving and believing the best of our leaders. Pray that we will not react on our emotions, but will first take them to the Lord and allow Him to work on our hearts. Pray for Steve Sellers as he prepares to lead the unveiling tomorrow evening. Pray for wisdom as we move forward in communicating this change with ministry partners, students, family, and others outside of our ministry.

Thanks, and I look forward to coming back tomorrow and giving an update on what the new name is!

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