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.
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.
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.
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.