By Dr. David Schuringa
Over the last almost fifteen years of service as CBI’s president, I have had the privilege of preaching in more churches and meeting more Instructors than I can count. I am always stunned by how CBI Instructors thank me for the opportunity to disciple people in prison. I always say, “No, thank you. You are the ministry!”
Over the years, I have heard many reasons given for why CBI Instructors are so grateful to serve. As we approach our thirtieth anniversary and, again this year, celebrate the ministry of our Instructors in a special issue of Crossroad Network News, I thought I’d share those reasons with you.
I love serving as a CBI Instructor because . . .
1. It provides me an opportunity for hands-on ministry to the least of these.
2. I experience that helping others helps my faith grow.
3. I receive training and support for confident participation.
4. The opportunities are placed in my lap, as it were.
5. It puts my biblical knowledge to use.
6. Participation requires no meetings for me to attend.
7. There are “levels” of discipleship depending on how deeply I want to get involved.
8. Participation is highly flexible and adaptable to my lifestyle and responsibilities. I can even take a sabbatical if I need one!
9. People from their teens to their nineties can participate—old people like me or young people like my grandchildren.
10. It provides me a gateway to a whole new world.
11. Correcting lessons keeps me immersed in the Word.
12. I get to see how God is powerfully working in the lives of others.
13. I am given opportunities to learn more about criminal and restorative justice through students’ testimonies as well as through newsletters, free seminars and web TV broadcasts.
14. I have an opportunity to share my faith with those who are eager to listen.
15. I enjoy special Christian fellowship between the church on the inside and the church on the outside as we build each other up in faith.
16. I get to use my ministry gifts of discipling, teaching, pastoring, evangelizing, prayer, etc.
17. I get to focus on and pray for the needs of others.
18. I am fulfilling the Great Commission by sharing the good news of salvation with the lost.
19. I feel that I am even more blessed than the students, as it is better to give than to receive.
20. I am challenged to search for and find answers to tough biblical questions.
21. Discipling inmates has helped me focus on the important issues of the church rather than on minor issues not worth fussing about.
22. I can disciple one student or as many as I want.
23. As an Instructor officially approved by my church, I get to be a missionary from my own home.
24. I get to teach students who really want to learn.
25. I feel I am really doing what God wants me to do.
So there you have it. I’m sure I missed some. If you think of any, write me and I’ll add them to the list.
Dr. Schuringa serves as the president of Crossroad Bible Institute.
Learn more about becoming an Instructor.