Archives For July 2011

Cru-10-24-11-MASTER-TMYou’ve probably heard by now that Campus Crusade for Christ has changed it’s name to Cru. I am strongly in favor of the name change as I think it will help us be more effective for Christ.

I am honestly shocked by the very harsh criticism of the name change (by a vocal minority) from inside and outside of the Church.

I welcome honest, fair critiques but most of the critiques have been slanderous and mean spirited – helpful comments like, “you might as well be Campus Crusade for Satan now” (seriously) and “they took Christ out to appease the Muslims”.

 

Cru has responded with this, New Name – Same Commitment to Christ.

 

I wanted to provide a thorough list of posts and articles on the name change to provide accurate information (from those outside the Cru organization and those within).

A couple quick thoughts and then a bunch of links.

  • It is bizzare that the name change is getting such attention from the mainstream media. I remember thinking it strange, when Bill Bright (one of the 3 or 4 most influential Christians of the 20th century) died, that none of the media even reported it. But the name change has been covered by all large newspapers and news channels and was even trending on Twitter (meaning it’s one of the 10 most talked about things in the world).
  • A friend on Twitter pointed this out: why do Christians take their cues on the church from Glen Beck and Fox News instead of respected, proven leaders in the church: John Piper, Tim Keller, Louie Giglio, Mark Driscoll, Intervarsity, The Navigators, Ed Stetzer, the Gospel Coalition, Francis Chan, David Platt. . . (the list could go on and on of Godly men and organizations that support both Cru and the name change)?
  • Rest assured:

God is moving in and through Cru and I’m really excited about what the next years hold for an organization that is on the leading edge of reaching young professionals, families, faculty, and college students of every ethnicity, and people in every tribe, tongue and nation with the gospel

You will be hard pressed to find a more committed organization to sharing Christ in every corner of earth

Here’s some thoughtful posts on the name change . . .

From outside of Cru:

Campus Crusade now Cru; Angry bloggers still angry bloggers

I saw it as a softening of the principles that defined the ministry for 50+ years. And I was wrong.

 

From within the organization:

“I find it highly ironic that our organization, which for 60 years has carried the reputation for often being too pushy and upfront about Jesus, has now, overnight, become too wimpy.”

“Alas, I digress. I think what I want to say, what I want to plead for, is to ask my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to not fan the flames of dissention. Ultimately, the name and reputation of Campus Crusade for Christ/Cru is not important. But the name of Jesus Christ is. Please help us lift His name high by giving our ministry the benefit of the doubt.”

“I know this might sound a little backwards, but it’s Jesus renown that led our leaders to make this choice.

Our name has been a significant hindrance to the Gospel. As CCC looked into the possibility of changing our name over the past three years, there was one fact that stood out that made us know that we had to change it – of people who said they were willing to have a conversation about Jesus 20% said they would no longer be interested when they heard the name “Campus Crusade for Christ.” That means that 1-in-5 people who might be open to the Gospel became closed to the Gospel when they heard our name. That is an incredible loss in effectiveness.”

  • Shawn McGrath has a helpful post looking at popular brands/names (Christian and secular). The article was written before the name change, before he knew what the new name would be. Especially helpful on why a non-descriptive name is good (very few corporate names describe the majority of “what they do” with their name).
  • Scott Crocker with some good wisdom:

“For those that identify themselves as Christians and are critical of this decision, I ask you to do a heart examination. If you have never personally stepped out in faith to share the gospel with another person, if you’ve never had the privilege to see another place their faith in Christ, if you’ve never personally invested your life into the spiritual life of another or have never left your family and home for the sake of the gospel, then may I suggest that you seek the Lord on how you can personally be involved in His mission rather than criticizing those that are already doing it.”

  • You can join the (maddening) “conversation” on the official Cru site

What are your thoughts on the name change and the backlash?

Since we just passed the halfway mark of the year, I thought I’d share my favorite albums from 2011 so far.

Down below I’ve linked to several other sites’ “Best Albums of 2011 so far” lists.

I’d love to hear your favorites of 2011 in the comments.

 

My top 3 albums of 2011 so far:

3) The Antlers – Burst Apart – Not an upbeat album (uh oh – all of my top 3 are downers) – but still a great, moving album. $5.99 on Amazon

You can listen to the whole album for free here.

Get the two most popular songs off the album for free on Amazon:

I Don’t Want Love

Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out

Here’s my two favorite songs on the CD:



2) Wye Oak – Civilian – Reminds me of a female version of The Nationals – dark, moody and great. But as one reviewer put it: “This is definitely an album that doesn’t give away anything on a first listen and really requires the listener to sort of explore it and feel their way around it.“ Give it a few listens and you’ll be hooked. $5 on Amazon

Listen to the whole album online for free here.

Get the best song on the album for free on Amazon.

 

1) Bon Iver – Bon Iver – By far the best album of the year. A beautiful album. (and this isn’t coming from a Bon Iver fanboy. This is my first Bon Iver album. Heck, I still pronounce it like it looks instead of the pretentious correct pronunciation of Bone Ee-vair’). $7.99 on Amazon
Get the best song on the album for free from Pitchfork.
Click below to listen to the entire album for free (so you can be convinced you need to buy it):

 

Honorable Mention (Albums that are probably worth buying but aren’t consistently amazing from open to close):

Cults  Cults  Some phenomenal songs (Go Outside (get it for free here), Abducted, and You Know What I Mean) but I haven’t grown to love the whole album. Yet. Stream it free here (on MySpace! Go MySpace!). $5.99 on Amazon

Bright Eyes – The People’s Key – if you can get past the spoken word weirdness of the album, it’s actually a pretty decent album. $6.99 on Amazon.

Get the best song on the album for free from Spinner

Cut Copy – Zonoscope – Fun summer-y music. These guys win the 2011 Nostradamus award for releasing their record on the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned with back to back tracks called “Pharaohs & Pyramids” and “Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution”. $5 on Amazon

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues – Definitely easy on the ears with incredible harmonies. My take on the album: one amazing song (Helplessness Blues – get it free on Amazon) and a bunch of songs that sound alike and not unlike Crosby, Stills and Nash. $5 on Amazon

Get the second most popular song for free too.

The Dodos – Percussion driven, fun music. $6.50 on Amazon. Get the two best songs on the album for free on Amazon:

Black Night

Going Under

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow – A little too folky for my taste but it may grow on me. $5 on Amazon

 

Here’s a rundown of good “Best Albums of 2011 so far” lists from around the interwebs:

  • Spinner has a decent list.
  • Stereogum at least gets #1 right
  • Paste Magazine has good Top 20’s from 3 different writers:

Paste – Bonnie Stiernberg

Paste – Sean Doyle

And their best list is from Josh Jackson

 

What are your favorite albums of 2011 so far?

Image via Paste Magazine

Whenever you have access to great leaders, take advantage of it by getting time with them and taking copious notes.

Is it OK that I quoted myself from a previous blog post? : )

 

Yesterday I interviewed a long-time Cru Campus Director and furiously took 9 pages of notes (which I’ll be sharing on a future post).

I cannot think of a better way to have spent an hour. His insight will change how I lead our team (and staff meetings!) and our ministry. I learned more in that hour than I could have from reading every Andy Stanley leadership book. He may not be a better leader than Andy Stanley but I guarantee he is a better College Campus Director than Andy Stanley.

 

My boss, Tim Norman, was aware that our movement would like to grow in the area of evangelism. He emailed me yesterday to let me know that one of the preeminent evangelism experts in the world is living right around the corner in our apartment complex (up here at CSU). John Nyquist, who is a living legend in Crusade, was recruited to staff by Bill Bright, helped launch Campus Crusade in Western Europe and now serves as the head of the Evangelism Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (replacing Robert Coleman).

So next week, a few members of our team are going to buy John Nyquist some coffee and try to absorb his wisdom on building movements of evangelism (something he’s been doing and thinking about since the 1950’s!).

 

Cru staff – you will be in Colorado for 10 days with some of the best leaders in the world at what you do. Take advantage of it!

How have you benefited from seeking time with Great Leaders?

 

photo courtesy of Steve Rhodes

 

Part 1 of a series on Godly Ambition

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

I Peter 5:5

 

I came across that verse in my quiet time last week and somehow for the first time I deeply considered that God might actually be actively opposed to the things I’m doing for Him.

Because the things I’m doing for His name devolve quickly toward what I’m doing for my name.

 

Specifically I’ve really wrestled with making a name for myself in 2 areas:

Blogging and Directing a college ministry.

I haven’t seen too many Christian bloggers write about pride, but I guarantee every blogger struggles with it. Because one thing blogging (and Twitter/Facebook) will do to you is make you incredibly narcissistic and concerned about “Brand You”. How many people are following me? How many are reading my blog? How do I extend my “reach”?

The pure motive of why I care about my blog and extending its reach is seeking to share resources/ideas and get invaluable feedback on ministry/leadership. It’s poor stewardship of my time (taking the time to write) if only 3 people read every post. And the more voices that can weigh in on any topic, the better off all of us are.

But is it inherently prideful to care about extending your influence?

 

In leading a college ministry, our goal is to build a big enough movement so that every student on campus hears about Christ from a friend. That’s no small ambition. We’re striving to have 1000 college students involved and aligned to reach the campus for Christ.

How do you seek to build something of that size without slipping into building a Cru-kingdom or Tim-kingdom?

 

So what does it look like for you?

How do you strive for excellence, success, and growth in ministry while remaining humble and God-honoring?

 

photo courtesy of www.dafyd.me.uk 

Part Two of my Summer Free Songs

Great legally-free music for your summer playlist

If you missed Part One, you can check it out here (it’s even better than part 2).

 

Spinner has 30 free songs from bands playing at Lollapalooza (Lykke Li, Wye Oak, Bright Eyes, Manchester Orchestra among others) and 35 songs from bands playing at Coachella (The National, The Swell Season, etc).

 

Stereogum has put together a Summer Mix (25 songs).

 

July means a new set of free songs from Amazon’s Artists on the Rise.

Good songs from Memory Tapes, Friendly Fires, and Washed Out

Amazon has a bazillion Indie songs for free (Samplers from 24 different Indie Music Labels).

If you want to save yourself some work, just download this list of the 20 best songs culled from all of the Indie Samplers by Amazon’s Editors (best in their opinion, not mine).

Here’s a list of all 24 Free Indie Music Samplers.

 

Here’s the albums I think are worth downloading:

(in order of awesomeness – #1 = 5-7 good songs on the Sampler. #9 = maybe 1 or 2 good songs on the Sampler)

1) 23 This Year: The Sub Pop Amazon Sampler

Low, Handsome Furs, Fleet Foxes (amazing song!)

2) French Kiss

Two great songs each from the The Dodos and The Antlers

3) Secretly Canadian Summer Sampler (worth it if only for the GREAT Yeasayer song)

Yeasayer, Suuns

4) Barsuk Sampler

Ra Ra Riot, Phantogram

5) Merge Sampler

Telekinesis, Destroyer, Wye Oak (maybe best song of the year??), The Mountain Goats,

5) A Touch and Go Records Sampler

TV on the Radio, Pinback, Calexico

6) Partisan Sampler

Dolorean, Middle Brother, Warm Ghost

7) Kill Rock Stars Sampler

Decemberists, Deerhoof, Elliott Smith

8 ) Vagrant Sampler

Pete Yorn, Eels, City and Colour

9) Carpark Sampler

Toro Y Moi, Beach House, Dan Deacon

 

photo courtesy of josemanuelerre