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May 29, 2008

What Exactly Is a ’Centurion’?

You hear Chuck Colson mention the Centurions Program on occasion in the BreakPoint commentaries, and read their articles on our website and their posts at this blog. But maybe you still aren't sure what Centurions are all about?

In the current issue of BreakPoint WorldView, Becky Beane offers an inside glimpse of some of the work Centurions are doing "in the field" after their one-year commitment in the program.

To date, more than 400 men and women have completed their first year of Centurions training. They have been commissioned to carry on the teaching and application of biblical worldview. They are particularly challenged to engage others within their existing spheres of influence and branch out from there.

In this and next month’s issues of BreakPoint WorldView, we will tell the stories of four Centurions. In their time after receiving Centurions certification, they have walked into the unknown and made an impact on their communities. And they have taken their learning and transformed it into practical application to renew the world around them.

First, we will introduce you to Robert Mayes and Bill Peel.

That sense of mission, to transform the culture, now drives Robert Mayes, 50, who went through the Centurions training in 2006. The CEO of a money management company in Huntsville, Alabama, Mayes says that the program propelled him out of his comfort zone to live a life of vulnerable dependence on God.

Mayes notes the line in the Lord’s prayer about asking God to give us our daily bread. “I spent the majority of my years building a structure of financial protection around my firm and my family—making sure there was plenty of bread in the pantry,” he says. “So when I prayed that part of the prayer, it didn’t have that much intensity to it. ‘If you miss me, God, I’m covered.’ But when I personally stepped out of my comfort zone, outside the areas I knew I couldn’t control, that’s when I began to experience what it means to live a life of obedience and total dependence on God.” . . .

Every month, Mayes gathers with a group of friends and conversational companions when he helps lead a “Pigfest” (a name linking indulgence in good food with indulgence in animated conversation). About 15 to 20 people gather for dinner and discussion of their worldviews on various topics. . . .

Bill Peel, 58, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, was already a consultant for the Christian Medical and Dental Associations—a national network of 15,000 healthcare professionals—when he participated in the first Centurions class in 2004. As a direct result of his worldview training, he initiated and helped develop an advanced course for CMDA called Completing Your Call.

“Based on the Centurions Program,” says Peel, the 18-month course is aimed at equipping medical professionals “to use their exceptional place of influence to shape the world for God’s kingdom.” A chief goal of the course is to equip the participants to articulate and defend Christian worldview and “to think through worldview issues for personal application, particularly as these issues impact healthcare.”

The course also includes leadership development and helps participants define their God-given gifts and assess how God is leading them to invest their time, talents, and resources. . . .

Read more, and be sure to catch the second part of this article in the upcoming June issue by subscribing today to this free publication.

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