Staff Spotlight: Lauren Becker
When Lauren Becker prepared to transition from part-time counseling to a full-time job, “I said that if there was anywhere in the world I could work, it would be at Gordon College, and if there was anything I could do, it would have to do with spiritual formation,” she says. In August 2014, Lauren (pictured above, center) began serving in the Chapel Office as Gordon’s director of discipleship.
College students are Lauren’s favorite group to work with because she loves “this infusion of youth and vitality and fun and silliness—all along with the really important, critical things.” Discipling students to grow in Christ-likeness, pointing them to Jesus, equipping them to develop rich prayer lives, encouraging them to spend time in the Word of God: these, Lauren says, are the critical things.
The balance of humor and seriousness is needed in her responsibilities, which include spiritual care for students, contributing to Chapel gatherings, managing local outreach with Director of Local and Global Missions Sarah Snodgrass, and running the Equip and Wood Fellows programs with Chaplain Tom Haugen.
Through these and other new initiatives, the hard work of the Chapel Office has led to a nearly 32 percent increase in Gordon’s total ministry hours in recent years, including discipleship groups, local ministries and mission trips. And student involvement in spiritual small groups, which Lauren oversees, increased from 18 percent to 26 percent between spring 2014 and fall 2015.
Lauren also runs the updated and growing program, Mentored Life. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if every Gordon student had a mature, Christian mentor who they could go to and talk to about anything?” she asks. She’s now partnering with various departments on campus to help students find mentors.
This focus on mentoring reflects Lauren’s interest in Christian formation (sparked during her days as a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and desire to be present with others, which she carries into daily life as well as work. This year, she and her family moved to Haverhill “and bought a huge, old fixer upper of a house, and we just feel like the mission is hospitality. We want to be there in our community,” she says.
Lauren’s husband is a pastor at West Congregational Church in Haverhill, and they have four children—Avery, William, Gavin and Bentley—aged 4 through 11.
“We want to be able to say yes a lot. Relationships matter.” As they juggle full-time jobs, four kids and a host of house projects, Lauren says, it’s “a lot of people and a lot of—I think it’s chaos but a good kind of chaos. Full life.”
Lauren says the best part of her job is “when I work with a student and they get excited and they start to be passionate, they start to think, ‘What can I do? What’s my mission? What do I want to work on? Maybe I want to lead a group on this.’”
Then, what’s most important is “inspiring people and bringing them back to the core,” Lauren says. “If you’re getting back to the basics of reading the Word, spending time in prayer, spending time in reflection and solitude, then Christ is going to change you through these things.” She loves seeing “the work that God’s doing and the passion that these students are developing for God.”
By Morgan Clayton ’19, history