winter conference & campus crusade for Christ, part II

I had the neat opportunity during the past week to attend the local Campus Crusade Winter Conference, one of ten college student conferences put on by Cru around the country. And as I began describing yesterday, the DFW Winter Conference did a great job of reflecting on Crusade’s ministry as a whole.

Today, I note a few more ways this conference mirrored the Campus Crusade ministries I’ve come to know around the country.

smoothness

Another way the DFW Winter Conference reminds me of the various Cru meetings I’ve attended is the “smoothness,” “excellence,” “streamlining,” or however you might choose to characterize well-assembled presentation. The speakers were solid, the schedule flowed nicely, students were consistently pointed to next steps of involvement (as described yesterday) without seeming heavy-handed, the band on stage (a student band from LSU) was superb, the many videos were professional-quality, etc.

It’s obviously hard to convey “smoothness” in a post, but the presentation of everything was simply done well. It wasn’t “amped up” like I imagine participants in the Passion Conference experienced. But it was certainly far from rough.

basics

Another characteristic of Campus Crusade that seemed to show up at Winter Conf was a devotion to basics, in both theological discussion and methodology. Crusade’s methodology mantra is “Win. Build. Send.” – and that simple pattern (especially in the latter two areas, in this case) is simply and concretely taking place at Winter Conference. Meanwhile, Crusade’s discipleship focuses tend to be the basics of the spiritual walk; at the conference, themes rarely strayed far from foundational concerns like prayer, evangelism, Bible study, and being “on mission” for God. Even the presentation style of large group meetings (as described above) is smooth and simple – both at Winter Conference and in probably every Cru large group meeting I’ve ever attended.

commonalities

Finally, another element of Campus Crusade for Christ that I recognized within the Winter Conference might not be abundantly apparent to a casual or one-time observer. But having seen and discussed Cru ministry all over, I was reminded of how well the official Cru Methods are transferred throughout the organization.

The terms I’ve mentioned yesterday and today – like “Winter Conference” and “Summer Project” and “movement” and “Win-Build-Send” – are elements that one will hear anytime they hang around Cru folks long enough. I heard other “commonalities” in the conference, too:

  • “Ministry Partner Development” (Crusade’s term for fundraising)
  • the Four Spiritual Laws (along with newer, widespread evangelistic techniques within Crusade)
  • emphatic claims that Crusade encourages students to be “sent” in whatever calling they have, even if that’s not to join staff (the in-house term for this push is “100% Sent”)
  • encouraging students to take the initiative to start Crusade chapters at new campuses (either now or later)

Each of these ideas, methods, or themes is a major commonality shared throughout Campus Crusade.

Without attending the other Winter Conferences, it’s hard to say how similar they are; I have seen first-hand the uniformity shared by the local campus ministries. So I’d be surprised if the DFW Winter Conference “felt” terribly different from any other. (The most interesting difference I did notice was the use of “background technology” – like blogging and Twitter – between the various conferences.)

I’ve written before about Crusade’s masterful building of this kind of national commonality, if you’re interested. But the point here is that this commonality, which showed up at Winter Conference as easily as it might anywhere, is one more major facet of Crusade as a national college ministry.

You can find all the Winter Conferences online here. To see other reflections on my time at WC, you can read back through my tweets from Saturday and Monday, or see the dozen or so I tagged.

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5 Comments

  1. It’s helpful and encouraging to get an inside of glimpse of the various campus ministry organizations, Benson. Thanks for being eyes and ears where we can’t all possibly go! This pushes me even more to reach out to local leaders from these other ministries.

  2. Jessica

    I enjoyed reading your take on the WC in Fort Worth. I’ve worked with CCC for years and found myself at a different conference this year (having been a part of two others over the years of my involvement – student and staff years – attending, staffing and then starting one). During the conference I thought how exciting it is that students across our ministry are exposed to virtually the same conference. The processes/systems/structures in the background may look different, but VERY similar results are achieved. It’s neat to hear your perspective.

  3. the common language and basics are huge–in fact i just listened to a talk from one of our national leaders and he was intentional in pointing us to the basics and using common organizational language.

    from a ccc insider i certainly don’t appreciate this reality enough–as i’m sure it’s extremely important in aligning and motivating our staff.

  4. Pingback: a big moment in college ministry history: campus crusade gets a new name « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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