At our Centurions Program here at BreakPoint—our year-long 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—even lives that might have seemed hopeless.
That’s why I love hearing from the Centurion graduates themselves about how they’re taking the training we provide and putting it to good use. Not long ago, we got a letter from Jim Quattrone, a Centurion who is starting an ex-prisoner re-entry program in Jamestown, New York.
Jim’s group, the United Christian Advocacy Network, will be teaching and mentoring these former prisoners as they re-enter society, helping them to stay crime-free and, in turn, helping to reduce 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 went on to explain 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’d be delighted over this. Jim’s line of thinking here reflects the reason that I started a Christian worldview ministry in the first place.
Years ago, just 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, I asked? Economic times were good, yet crime and prison populations were rising.
That’s when I came across a study by Drs. Samenow and Yochelson that said the cause of crime wasn’t poverty or other environmental factors. It was people making wrong moral choices. And then I read Professors Herrenstein and Wilson’s book, Crime and Human Nature. It posited that crime is caused by the 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, or in our culture, a morally sound, Christian worldview.
Well, today Jim Quattrone is taking this truth and putting it into action in a way that will benefit not just the ex-prisoners involved, but their entire 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 apply to be a part of our Centurions class in 2011—that is, to study with me and other faculty—come to BreakPoint.org and look up our Centurions Program. Enter your name and e-mail address, and we’ll get back in touch with you when it’s time to apply in the fall.
Almost every year, we’re over-subscribed and very competitive, so start early.
If you want to help “turn the world right side up” for Christ in ways that you might never have imagined possible, why not give it a try?