We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name. We were looking for a name that would most effectively serve our mission and help us take the gospel to the world. Our mission has not changed. Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name. We believe that our interaction and our communication with the world will be what ultimately honors and glorifies Christ.
Seven “converts” per campus is the estimate for what they do. I wonder how many of those are already nominally Christian. In other words, does “Cru” really matter for people reared in non-Christian religions? Or does “Christ” just have negative connotations for young people? From a recent PrayTell post, this distillation of research:
In the U.S, we are living in a time when the number of religiously unaffiliated young people is rising. These “outsiders” see Christian believers as, well, unChristian, as David Kinnemon and Gabe Lyons’ book of the same name has it. Kinnemon and Lyons’ research shows that young people (teens through early ‘30s) who are not already religious have a very negative view of Christianity. They see Christians as anti-homosexual (91%), judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), sheltered (old-fashioned, out of touch with reality) (78%), too political (72%) and proselytizers (insensitive to others, not genuine) (70%). They don’t believe that Christians really care about them or accept them. Interest in God is high. The reputation of Christianity, however, is low.
I think re-branding works when you have something to offer. Hypocrisy and pretense–and I don’t mean to single out my evangelical sisters and brothers on this one, because Catholicism has more than enough of its own problems i this regard–will not “sell” a product we should be noticeably living in the first place.