In the Centurions Program—BreakPoint’s year-long, intensive worldview training program—we like to say that we’re turning the world “right side up” for Christ. When Christians study the principles of their faith and learn to apply them in the world, amazing things happen. Lives end up being transformed.
That’s why I love hearing from the Centurions themselves about how they’re using their training in groundbreaking ways. Recently we got a letter from Jim Quattrone, a Centurion who is starting an ex-prisoner reentry program in Jamestown, New York.
Jim’s group, the United Christian Advocacy Network, will be teaching and mentoring former prisoners as they reenter society, helping them to stay crime-free and reducing recidivism in the community.
Jim told the Jamestown Post-Journal, “We would like to eventually create a residential transition house for people coming out of jail and prison, but we are starting with a day program that will teach people life skills and work on cognitive development.” Jim also explained that while the program will be “based on Christian principles,” it will be open to ex-prisoners of any or no faith.
You can see why I’m delighted over this. Jim’s thinking here reflects the reason that I started a Christian worldview ministry in the first place.
Years ago, even as Prison Fellowship grew across the country, reaching more and more prisoners with the Gospel, the nation was undergoing a prison population boom. But why? Economic times were good.
That’s when I came across a study by Samenow and Yochelson that determined the cause of crime wasn’t poverty or other environmental factors. It was wrong moral choices. And after reading Herrenstein and Wilson’s book, Crime and Human Nature, which posited that crime is caused by a lack of moral training in the morally formative years of young people, I finally had figured it out.
Crime was rising because our nation’s moral fabric was unraveling. We were no longer teaching our kids right from wrong. We had failed to instill in them a morally sound, Christian worldview. That’s when I decided to start BreakPoint and began to speak about worldview.
Today Jim Quattrone is taking this truth and putting it into action in a way that will benefit ex-prisoners and the community as well.
Jim wrote us, “It really was my involvement in the Centurions that [led] me in this direction.” Jim also noted the irony of a sheriff’s deputy like himself being led to establish a program for ex-prisoners. “This is a great work of the Lord,” he told us.
This is why we do Christian worldview teaching. This is what it looks like when people learn more about their faith, and then go out and apply it within their spheres of influence. I’d even say that it’s what the Christian life is all about.
To be a part of our Centurions class in 2011, visit the Centurions website. Enter your name and e-mail address, and we’ll get back to you in the fall when it’s time to apply.