What We Do

Cru: Joining In God’s Story

Ryan Berg and Cincinnati Metro Cru

The following document is a creative explanation of our DNA: essentially who we are, what we do, and why we do it.


No one wakes up each day hoping their life counts for nothing. So we seek to write a life story that will be marked by success and significance, one with purpose and satisfaction, one that lives up to our own definition of being something – not nothing.

But what if there is a bigger story than our own, a story – like all good stories – with rebellion, sacrifice, danger, redemption, and a glorious end? What if your life is actually a part of this bigger story? What if your life is meant for something, meant for helping bring about the glorious end?

At Cru, we believe it is. We want to help you step into becoming the person and living the life that is part of this great story. And we want your story to be one of change: you helping to change the world and you being significantly changed along the way.


As a student movement, we want to live in light of the bigger story and help change the world – individually and corporately. We believe that change happens through the power of Christ’s Gospel, for the glory of God and the good of people. Therefore, Cru is committed to three main priorities:


Honestly recognizing personal sin and genuinely celebrating Christ’s grace to us in the midst of it. We never move beyond the Gospel, only into a more profound understanding of it.


Seeking to engage in authentic community without masks by moving forward together. Real, lasting change can only occur in the context of community.


Looking for opportunities to be used by God to impact lives. The three means of extending the Gospel are distinguishable but inseparable.

  • Displaying it by being who God has called us to be – people of Christ-like character.
  • Demonstrating it by doing what God has called us to do – entering into the needs of others: physically, emotionally, relationally, etc.
  • Declaring it by saying what God has called us to say – sharing the good news of Christ’s cross and empty tomb and the wonderful implications of both.

These three core priorities begin with you, the individual: each one is designed to help you become who God created you to be by seeking to understand and live out The Great Commandment to Love God & Love Others (Matthew 22:37-40) – as well as The Great Commission to Go & Make Disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).


One popular author writes that people are like Lego pieces – designed to connect to others but each with a limited number of connection points. So, as a Lego piece, you have a couple of decisions that you need to make: How will you pursue significant connection? And with whom will you choose to connect? How you answer these two questions can significantly shape how you are changed and how you help to change the world.

At Cru, we want to help connect you. First and foremost, we desire to help connect you to Christ, as he is the centerpiece of all life, meaning, and enjoyment. Regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey, we want to help you enter into a relationship with Christ and increasingly connect to him through daily embracing his Gospel.

We also desire for you to truly experience the Gospel in community with others like you; people who don’t have it all together but are seeking to know, understand, and believe Christ and live out the Gospel clearly and lovingly to a wanting world. The best way for this connection is through small groups. Here – as a collection of people who are embracing, experiencing, and extending the Gospel – is where life on life can really happen, engaging in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission together.

To help change the world, you can’t use all your connection points with those who are of like mind. Real change happens by authentically and honestly connecting with the lives of others who don’t yet know Christ. Our hope is that you will deeply connect with others to bring the life of Christ to them through displaying, demonstrating, and declaring his Gospel in your relationships with them.

EMBRACE – Upward Orientation

  • Fervent reflection upon the Scriptures.
  • Honest recognition of personal sin & genuine celebration of Christ’s grace.
  • Intentional pursuit of knowing Christ more deeply in prayer.

EXPERIENCE – Inward Orientation

  • Living in authentic community.
  • Moving toward one another when life is hard and messy.
  • Challenging and encouraging one another in grace and truth.
  • Pointing each other to Christ.

EXTEND – Outward Orientation

  • Display (being): Christ in us by who we are (and are becoming).
  • Demonstrate (doing): Christ through us by stepping into others needs (physically, emotionally, etc.).
  • Declare (saying): Christ spoken by us as we proclaim the Gospel.

* For a detailed explanation of this priority, read Show & Tell.


The influence of a movement to bring about change is only as strong as the individuals who are engaged in the efforts. But as it gathers passionate participants, the movement can become a powerful means through which God brings about His kingdom.

As you individually seek to explore and/or live out these three priorities, it is natural to gather with others seeking to do the same. This is where our small groups come together as a collection of people exploring and/or engaged in embracing, experiencing, and extending the Gospel. From honest discussions about Christ and his Word to various community service projects, small groups accomplish the three E’s and affect change.

As the collection of small groups come together to form a movement with weekly gatherings – to participate in activities ranging from simple worship meetings to large philanthropic events (like organizing a 5K run to help end sex trafficking) – we begin to see the Gospel change society. And as we change societies, we begin to affect change in the world, one life at a time. Starting with yours.

This truly is a bigger, greater story worth being a part of. Come join in.

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