Following God’s Lead
The path to ministry is long and winding. For Becca Runkles, it began in middle school, on the bus ride home from a youth conference.
“I first felt a calling when I was 13 years old, on my way home from a TNT trip to Ocean City,” she recalled. “I remember I was sitting next to Lynn Miller, reading the book A Tale of Two Sons, and asking a lot of questions. Then, I went home and told my mom, ‘I think I want to be a pastor.’”
The feeling persisted throughout the next decade, despite several attempts to chart a different course. “Every time, I would come back to the call to ministry,” Becca explained. In 2021, she was finally ready to fully accept and lean into her calling. “It’s not easy, but every time I look up, I know I’m on the right path.”
Becca is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in religion through Liberty University Online. She hopes to graduate in the fall of 2024 or spring of 2025, enroll in seminary to earn a Master of Divinity, and become an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. Already, she has discovered both challenges and rewards along the path to ministry.
“The biggest challenge is committing myself to actually live into God, follow where he’s leading, and fully rely on Him,” she explained. “The most rewarding thing is the relationships I’ve formed over the past couple of years. I’ve met so many incredible people. Hearing their stories, telling my story, and seeing how God is working through them makes me even more confident about my calling.”
In addition to her studies, Becca works full-time at Saint Thomas United Methodist Church in Manassas. As a Local Relief Coordinator, she manages a food pantry and offers rent and utility assistance to those in need. “Getting this job was 100% God-driven. I would never have applied to it on my own. It’s amazing to see how God leads.” she said.
She also leads a neighborhood church at The Gardens of Stafford every other Thursday at 6:00 PM. “We have about 20 people for worship and communion, and it’s beautiful. When I go there, I feel so rejuvenated afterward.”
Becca’s next project is co-leading a Spiritual Gifts Book Study at Ebenezer with Tara Bain. The 4-session course, based on For the Common Good by Christine Harman, will meet on Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30 PM on June 20 & 27 and July 11 & 18. Participants will complete a personal spiritual gift assessment, guided by key passages in Romans, Ephesians, and Corinthians, and learn how to use their gifts to find greater joy in serving God and others.
“When we lean into our spiritual gifts, serving is rejuvenating. We feel like we’re accomplishing something,” Becca said. “But jumping on any opportunity we see? That’s when we get burned out.”
Click here to register or learn more about the Spiritual Gifts Book Study. In the meantime, please keep Becca in your prayers as she continues along her path to ministry.
“Please pray for continued discernment as I follow where God leads, figure out where he wants me to be, and be the person I need to be to reach others for God the way he wants me to,” she said. “It’s not about me, it’s about reaching others for God.”