Last updated: September 24, 2019
Lindsey Runyan seeks God in the daily rhythms and spaces of life. While a student at Asbury Seminary, she spent 10 months as part of the St. Anselm Community in England learning the priorities of prayer, evangelism and reconciliation. Now, as the Pastor of Community and Spiritual Formation at Evergreen Church, she helps others grow to know more about themselves in Christ.
Evergreen Church, pastored by Asbury Seminary graduate, Derik Heumann, seeks to build the church around discipleship and community. The Evergreen vision is “to be a people who gather and scatter living out the hope of Jesus.” The church gathers one to two times per week to learn to be everyday missionaries where they live and work, but then scatters to live out the daily rhythms of Christ.
“Formation is a journey,” Lindsey said. “I want to meet people where they’re at and to challenge and encourage them in their walk with Christ.”
Lindsey oversees the curriculum and the Wesleyan bands, encouraging people to gather and equipping them to live Christ-like lives after they leave.
“We’re different because of the way we approach worship,” Lindsey said. “We engage in three streams of worship that incorporate and embody the sacramental, evangelical and charismatic expressions. We incorporate intentional discipleship with sending people out because they go hand-in-hand.”
When Lindsey was an undergrad student at Texas A&M, she never thought of planting a church. Instead, she dreamed of being a neurosurgeon. During her final year of undergrad, she discerned that she was becoming too competitive and worshipping school too much.
“I discerned that I should set this dream aside and see if the Lord would resurrect this dream another time,” Lindsey said. “Either way, God wastes nothing that we do.”
After graduating from Texas A&M in 2012, she interned at the Wesley Foundation. Her boss and Asbury Seminary grad, Max Mertz, encouraged her to come to the Seminary to grow in community and be transformed as a whole person. Lindsey prayed, applied and was accepted.
During the fall semester of her second year, the depth and tradition of church history stole her heart.
“It started with a passion for a church history class where I had the opportunity to explore the ancient traditions of the church, the heroes and heresies, the Popes and the Church Fathers,” Lindsey said. “They all leapt off the page and into my heart. I fell in love with the Church and everything it stood for. Then I fell in love with monasticism and the courageous men and women who could deny themselves so much; they abandoned everything they knew and simply followed Christ.”
In 2015, Lindsey joined the Community of St. Anselm, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in London, England, for 10 months to share life, study, serve and pray within a community of 16 other young adults from around the world. Lindsey was part of the first Community of St. Anselm. Since then, Asbury Seminary has had one student join the community each year, including, Michael Lindsay, Esther Kwang, and M’Kenna Gillespie.
Through her experience, she learned what unity in Christ looks like and to see time as a gift from God.
“In our culture today, time is a resource because it’s taken, made, or used” Lindsey said. “I’m trying to live my life in God’s time.”
Lindsey attends Eucharist, participates in morning and evening prayer and sets aside time to rest in silence with the Lord. She’s also part of a Wesleyan band that started meeting while she was at Asbury Seminary.
“The sacraments are important because my faith needs something to touch,” she said. “[Participating in the sacraments] is a way for me to stop and slow down, receive the Word and respond to the Lord in a tangible way and receive the mystery of Christ.”
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