Jersey Metro Cru is Unique
Students who are and alumni who were involved in the Cru movements of New Jersey (known as Jersey Metro Cru) are unique. These young Christian leaders have been exposed to the Good News of Jesus as expressed through a variety of people and cultures.
A DIFFERENT WORLD
Not many college campus movements are made up of such an ethnically diverse group. Being involved in Cru at just one campus, you can befriend someone from Singapore, dorm with a Filipino American, meet African-Americans, Chinese Americans, first generation Haitians, second generation Dominicans or Puerto Ricans, Portuguese students and even 7th generation Germans. It's not uncommon to see this group having dinner, fellowshipping in the game lounge or going on mission trips together - especially in the northeast parts of New Jersey.In fact, Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ - the worldwide non-churched based organization to which Cru belongs, spoke at Jersey Cru (our statewide Cru meeting) just two years ago. He told stories of people from around the world coming to know Jesus and then looked at the crowd and pointed out the reality of the amazing diversity in the room. We once asked how many people spoke a second-language and 2/3 students stood up. Darryl Smith, president of the high school ministry of Cru also came to speak at this meeting and noted feeling like it was heaven but without the amazing food.
STEP BY STEP
This type of environment didn't just happen overnight. A few students had to make a decision to be uncomfortable in a setting that was for the majority different than what they were used to. These students challenged the band to learn new music for worship, gave the staff different background music to play before and after the meetings, and introduced various Pastors and speakers to the team. Each individual student engaged with as many of the majority culture in the room as possible so that each person they met would know that not all stereotypes are correct and crossing culture isn't so scary. When other ethnic minorities came, they felt more comfortable seeing people who looked like them and sounded like them. This initial group stayed and created space for others to come and continue to create space. The ministry in New Jersey isn't perfect but also hasn't lost it's core values to glorify God but now expresses them through a variety of ways.
Empowered and led by the Holy Spirit, each staff and student strive to advance God's kingdom by making Jesus Christ known in whatever way possible to whomever possible for the sake of influencing the state and the world. These staff and students recognize that there are students attending college on U.S. soil who are citizens of countries in which Christians are not allowed. They also see and seize opportunities to create communities that are ethnically diverse and reflective of their state.
SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
Students, staff and alumni of New Jersey have a unique perspective of the body of Christ.
- We can more easily connect with others across cultures unlike many in our nation.
- So we can share the Good News of Jesus with MORE people.
- We see the spiritual depravity first-hand as we engage in spiritual conversations across ethnic barriers on campus.
- So we can step up in leadership within and outside of our ethnic cultures to bring about positive change.
- We have seen and acknowledged the racism within our own hearts and the relational divide within the body of Christ nationwide.
- So we can challenge our brothers and sisters in Christ here and around the U.S. to grow in building relationships and loving others across cultures.
God didn't just place you in the Jersey Metro ministry of Cru for no reason. Our nation is currently suffering from the lack of knowledge and love for each other that comes with the experiences we've had living here. You know this breaks God's heart. So Have His Heart for our nation.Could God want you to go somewhere, say something, do something, or give something that can be a small step towards the healing of our nation?_________________This was originally posted on Tabitha's personal blog here.