Portraits of Growth: Spencer Gaston

At NSCBC, we believe that multiplying disciples who make disciples is crucial to seeing a gospel movement on the North Shore. Throughout the year, we want to highlight encouraging stories of our people growing through discipleship groups and preparing to multiply their faith.

Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Spencer Gaston, and my wife Sarah and I started attending NSCBC about three years ago after we got married. Two years ago, we moved to Ipswich and we welcomed our baby boy Milo this past September. I’m currently working as a software engineer.

Who is in your discipleship group, and what led you to want to join a D-group?

I joined Ben Friedman’s discipleship group along with Caleb L. and Josh D. I decided to join the group after being asked by Ben because I wanted to grow in my understanding of and closeness to God. I am a relatively new Christian and I want to be able to lead my family spiritually. I saw this as an opportunity to meet Christian friends and to be encouraged to learn more about God at the same time.

What has been the most impactful part of your discipleship group experience so far?

This group has shown me the real impact of Christian fellowship. I learn so much each week from our scripture reading discussions, but I really appreciate the openness of our group prayers each week and updates for how things are progressing. I have really grown to appreciate having a group of friends to rely on and share my life with. This has been different from friend groups that I have had in the past because of our covenant and commitment to studying scripture and praying for each other each week.

What is one way you’re growing in your love for God and his word so far this year?

I am growing to appreciate how every piece of the Bible has relevance to my life. I continue to learn how all the stories and lessons have relevance to my life today. I am excited to learn more of what the Bible has to teach because I have never read through it all before.

What is one area of your life where you’ve been spurred on to fresh obedience to Jesus, from being part of your discipleship group?

I have been encouraged to immerse myself in God’s word through my discipleship group. Before joining my group, I was attempting to read through the Bible, but I was not consistent. Since joining the group, I have been setting aside time almost every day and we read sometimes up to 25 chapters a week (depending on the book). I feel a huge difference from how much I am able to learn from the Bible since before joining this group.

What is one way that your discipleship group is helping you to love others well (family, friends, co-workers)?

We always end our weekly meeting in prayer time where each member of the group shares things that they would like prayer for. Often, I will share a little about what is going on in my life and the areas in which I am struggling. If I can’t think of a specific prayer, my group will help me to frame my issues in the form of a prayer – for self-control, patience, leadership, or otherwise. I feel the benefit of these prayers multiply into other fruits of the spirit allowing me to love others better.

What is one thing you’re learning in your discipleship group that you want to take with you when you disciple others in the future?

In my group we start off with some fellowship time and then move on to talking about the chapters we read. We always start by asking what the reading revealed to us about God’s character. I’ve learned that it is important to share not only the things that you have learned from a passage, but also the parts that you struggle with or didn’t understand. This opens up a discussion for the group and leads to greater understanding and knowledge about God’s character. In the future I would like to bring a welcoming environment so that others feel comfortable showing vulnerability about what they don’t understand.