When Scott Chasteen encouraged his small group to register for Centered after he went through Alpha to explore questions he had about his faith, he wasn’t prepared for what God would do next in his life.
Centered is a class designed to help answer questions such as “What does it mean to follow Jesus?” and “What does it mean to be Christ-centered?”–and Scott knew it was the next step in his faith journey. “In Alpha, everyone has questions, and it’s okay to say them out loud,” he says. “You can go to church, be a Christian, love God, and still have questions; I probably will for the rest of my life! In Centered, I had a different experience because I had to embolden myself to ask these challenging questions to some of my closest friends.”
When Scott was asked to share his story, or testimony, during his Centered class, it was eye-opening. “At first, I felt like I didn’t have a story to tell,” he says. “I didn’t think I had a testimony. I didn’t do anything crazy or have a time in my life when I was away from God, but my leaders encouraged me to just share my story and reminded me that it’s not up to me to feel like my story matters; it’s up to the person listening. Telling your story is about the person who hears it and how God can use you in that.”
“It’s not up to me to feel like my story matters; it’s up to the person listening. Telling your story is about the person who hears it and how God can use you in that.” -Scott Chasteen
This desire to continue to learn from others’ experiences and questions about their faith has only grown since Scott’s group completed Centered. “Our small group intimacy has gotten greater,” he says. “Sharing our stories changed our group and helped us become closer. Now, we sharpen each other through our discussions and know better how to care for each other.”
Scott and his small group experienced an incredible, God-orchestrated moment when they chose to serve together during a service for Church Under the Bridge, an organization whose mission is to restore hope to the homeless and hurting. “When we got there, I felt like I had nothing to contribute,” he says. “I thought, ‘I’m not going to lead worship, I’m not going to preach. How is setting up and breaking down chairs going to disciple people?’ But God reminded me my role was important, even if it was behind-the-scenes. Even if you don’t think God can use you, he can, and it might be right where you are.”
Scott’s inquisitive nature and desire to dig deeper into his relationship with God has taken him on a journey from, in his words, “just showing up” to church to check an item off a list to reading the entire Bible more than once, frequently entering into spiritual and theological conversations, and constantly seeking out biblical resources in his everyday life.
One of the greatest ways God has worked in Scott’s life after Centered is through his Bible study. “Centered fed the desire to dig into the Bible,” he says. “Really reading the Bible offers you answers to your questions because you gain context for each verse.” Studying his Bible has helped Scott in his prayer life, too. Scott engages devotions and other tools and tries to make time for prayer every day. “I’m still growing,” he says, “but I have a desire to better myself and continue to grow in my relationship with God.”
Scott believes God is calling him to be bold in sharing his beliefs and talking about his faith in unexpected places. One such example recently happened in Scott’s workplace. “At work, it’s openly known that I go to church on Wednesday, Sunday–as often as I can,” he says. “I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Christian, and that has opened up so many conversations. Through my involvement, God is giving me the tools I need and has opened the door for me to truly live out what I believe as an example to others.”