It’s hard to believe that Chuck Colson went home to be with the Lord almost two years ago. As hard as it was for me to be on the stage with him when he was stricken, I’m so thankful that the Lord allowed me to be there with my friend and mentor.
It was the next day, actually, when the folks at the Colson Center asked me to fill in at BreakPoint, as we all hoped, temporarily.
And when it became clear that Chuck wasn’t going to return to the microphone, they asked me to stay on, with of course, my dear friend John Stonestreet.
It wasn’t a hard decision for two reasons. First, I loved Chuck, and I’d have done anything for him. Second, and this is important, I wasn’t being asked to fill Chuck’s shoes.
You see, Chuck never wanted anyone to fill his shoes. He wanted people to stand on his shoulders. Just as he’d been standing on the shoulders and work of men like C. S. Lewis, Abraham Kuyper, John Calvin, Martin Luther, and of course Augustine of Hippo.
That’s exactly why, nearly ten years ago, Chuck launched the Centurions Program. Each year, we take up to 100 people who are eager to live out the Gospel and defend Truth in the public square, have them study under some of the best minds in the Christian world, read the great Christian classics together, view and critique movies, and then link everyone together online, and gather them for intensive weekend teaching residencies two to three times a year.
But the Centurions Program is not an ivory-tower experience. What mattered most to Chuck was what the Centurions do with their training. Each Centurion develops a plan to impact their particular sphere of influence in their communities.
While we’ve had film producers, legislators, and even religious leaders join the Centurions, Chuck was always most enthusiastic about what he called the “extraordinary ordinary” people who came, learned, and went out to apply what they learned.
People like Bethany Woodcock, who’s the founder of “Not In My Backyard” (NiMBY), a grassroots organization dedicated to ending human trafficking in our own back yards and beyond.
And there’s Leigh Littrell, who’s the founder of Refuge of Grace, a residential home for women and children in crisis that offers Christian counseling in a nurturing, safe environment.
And Stuart Kellogg, who during the day applies a Christian perspective to his work as a television station manager, and who disciples inmates at night in a nearby prison.
Or how about Brett Fischer, a pediatric physical therapist who founded Victory Lane Camp for special needs children and their families, combining physical rehabilitation with a fun family vacation and education for caregivers.
So could the Lord be calling you to apply to the Centurions Program? And consider this: To make the program even more accessible and affordable, we now have regional Centurions Programs in seven areas around the country.
Please, come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll give you information about this life- and culture-changing program.
And by the way, from May 2 through 4, we’ll be holding our 2014 Wilberforce Weekend Conference outside of Washington, DC. In addition to hearing great speakers—including Wilberforce Award winner Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad—you’ll be able to go through hands-on worldview training at our challenging “innovation stations.” You’ll also meet and interact with a number of folks who’ve gone through the Centurions Program. John Stonestreet and I will of course be there as well.
Again, for more on the Centurions Program and the Wilberforce Weekend, please visit us BreakPoint.org.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.