Dr. Bright Was Brilliant. And Some Of Us May Have Forgotten That

A recent Christianity Today article took the ministry of Cru to task over issues of how the ministry is handling social justice issues and Critical Race Theory. I’m no fan of CRT, though I understand why some people are attracted to it and even want to use it to judge a ministry’s principles and effectiveness. But I think that goes too far. When it comes down to the Gospel and the Great Commission we should be laser-focused on spreading and fulfilling it. Dr. Bill Bright, the co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, was laser-focused, and he never lost that focus.

Back in the late 90s when I was handling marketing for Dr. Bright’s radio program, WorldChangers Radio, he and I had a conversation about the movement of Crusade. He said something that at first hearing sounds manipulative. But it wasn’t meant that way. He meant it as a way to keep a global movement like Cru laser-focused on the task at hand. He said, “Tom, if you want to control a movement, you have to control the materials it uses.” He could not have been more right. Change a movement’s materials and delivery and the movement transforms as a result, whether it grows contrary to its founding, or refocuses on it’s core principles of the Great Commission.

Dr. Bright wasn’t afraid to challenge people with big things, things bigger than life. Like challenging churches to dedicate 50% of their budget for missions. His unashamed challenges drove the ministry in a direction that has seen hundreds of millions of people come to faith in Christ. Hundreds of millions. Let that sink it. If we change our materials or direction will we become more effective or less effective to the bottom line of our existence—the fulfillment of the Great Commission?

Below is an article from Dr. Bright touching on the need to re-evanglize America. If we want to remain the sending nation that we have been, then we must be laser-focused on serving our first love and evaluating everything according to the Great Commission. Once, when giving a presentation to Dr. Bright about new ideas for his radio program he asked me point blank, “Will this help us fulfill the Great Commission?” I stumbled over my answer and he stopped me. “If it doesn’t help fulfill the Great Commission, then I’m not interested.”

I hope that Dr. Bright’s words, and his bold challenges in the article below will challenge and motivate you as it does me.


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