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Maddison Berciunas

Why Your Story Matters

Not all of us have the gift of evangelism. But we’re all invited by God to share the hope and love that comes with knowing Him (Psalm 105:1). Not because He needs us but because He wants to use us for both His and our joy. Therefore, any woman in your life who follows Jesus is an evangelist whether she has stepped into it yet or not. Everyone is encouraged and motivated differently, but God created all of us for community ‒ to participate in our calling together.

Personally, I am an evangelist by gifting. I am also an extrovert. All personality/gifting tests I’ve taken point to how my life’s joy revolves around people and their stories. Yet I still need to be encouraged to invest in relationship and share my faith.

Generally, we all can get focused on our own struggles quite easily. If you’re someone who tends to isolate when things get tough, this makes the inward focus even harder to avoid. We live in a time where it’s easy even for extroverts to stay home and binge on TV shows, obsess over what’s happening on social media, and in politics. We forget that these things do not satisfy us, but temporarily numbs us out or even breeds discontentment.

I desperately need the Holy Spirit to speak to me when I get to this point because He knows if I would simply show up to connect with a friend in person, I’d find I’m not alone in my struggles. He also knows that as I focus on the needs of others and pray for them, it helps me, too. Being with those who don’t know Jesus gives me a boost life is about so much more! Jesus wants to use me in powerful ways so that others would become curious about who He is and what He’s done in my life (Mark 1:15).

I desire a community of women who will remind me of the “why.” Why I pray for friends to know Jesus; why I am intentional to meet with them and ask tough questions; why I step out and share what He has done and is doing in my life.

People are hurting and feel like they are alone. People are without peace. People are committing suicide, families are falling apart. People are struggling with addictions. Men and women are being sexually abused. And people are searching for answers and anything that will meet them in their pain to  make it all go away. People long for love and relationship ‒ where they are fully known and fully loved.

Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the One who can give us peace, set us free, forgive us and heal us from the inside out. We are the bearers of this hope.

I need to be reminded that it is not on me to convert people. That it is God’s job to draw hearts to Himself (John 6:44). I’m here to share my story and His story and invite others to discover Jesus for themselves (Acts 22, 26). In Breaking the Huddle by Don Everts, Doug Schaupp, and Val Gordon, they describe five thresholds a nonbeliever typically goes through before deciding to follow Jesus.

The first one is “From Distrust to Trust.” How many people do you know who don’t trust Christians or the Church? I know a lot. The pressure comes off when I realize the first step in friendship is to gain trust. This requires me to be a good listener, ask good questions, and care for others well.

We all need to be reminded that our stories matter and we all have a story to tell. It doesn’t matter if yours has this incredible movie-like plot, twists and turns, or is one of a straight path to Jesus. He can use it all and He does! As you become vulnerable with your friends about the struggles you’ve faced or are facing, let them know how Jesus is real to you in and through them, then they will become curious about how Jesus can be real in their struggles too.

If a woman evangelist in your life needs encouragement, start with prayer, together. Pray for God to give her a heart for those who don’t know Jesus, pray over specific names of those in her life who need Him, pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to her about what she should do next in her friendships, and pray that her friends would say “yes” to following Jesus.

Maddison Berciunas
I am a follower of Jesus who desperately needs His help to keep following Him. I live in Kansas City with my husband Caleb, and our sweet and sassy daughters, Mia and Flora. I love people and finding ways to have meaningful and vulnerable conversations.