Evans was no stranger to men’s ministry when he was approached about The Journey. From the moment he was a college student, God had used other key men in his life to come alongside him and help him on his Christian walk. Men invited him to go to Kanakuk Camp to be a counselor. Men invited him to join him for Bible studies. When life had hit bumps in the road, Evans always had men in his life who were there to point him in the right direction.
When he was asked to Co-Guide a Journey Group, he immediately said “Yes.” He had over 30 years in studying the Bible, teaching Sunday School, mentoring men and being a part of men’s ministry in one form or another. If this was an opportunity to teach men about studying God’s Word, he knew he could do that. He and his Co-Guide poured over the material and diligently prepared. Evans had pages of extra notes he could use which would accentuate the points made in the curriculum.
However, once the Journey Group started, Evans saw a dynamic appear which he didn’t really expect. The Holy Spirit showed up in such a powerful way that men’s hearts were unlocked and poured open. Evans looked at his Co-Guide, and they both knew this was not going to be just another Bible study. Evans’ heart was touched as he saw God’s Word come alive amongst the group. He put aside his need to teach or to be useful, and he yielded to what the Holy Spirit wanted to do.
It wasn’t long before Evans took off his teaching hat and he joined the group on The Journey. It didn’t seem to matter how vast his Scriptural knowledge might have been. The Holy Spirit wanted to take Evans to a special place where he could begin to really know Him in a fresh way. In the midst of this Journey, Evans was dealing with some financial anxiety, and he was transparent with the group about his struggles. He shared with them his jubilation when God brought him a great career opportunity, and he allowed them to help carry his burdens when that opportunity disappeared as quickly as it came. At one critical point, during his own dark night of the soul, Evans really understood “intimacy with Christ,” for at that moment, only God could give him what he most needed.
This great Bible teacher, this leader in his church, this leader of his family with a lovely wife and 3 grown children, all walking with the Lord, was being pruned and stretched like never before. Evans, who thought he was going to lead The Journey for other men was he, himself, being transformed through the trials of life and the love of the Father. He had experienced some tough times as a young man, and he began to see how those experiences might have caused a hardness in his heart that he didn’t even realize existed. Those who knew him jokingly called him, “Sarge,” for he could be a taskmaster with the best of them. This intimate journey with Christ, however, was tenderizing Evans in the way he viewed life and in the way he treated others. The Holy Spirit soon started helping him take a hard look at the way he treated his wife. He was abiding in Christ, and the fruit was really starting to show. He even became the biggest hugger in the whole group.
Evans came out of this Journey a different man than the one who started. He went on to lead several more Journey groups, and he has become a leader in the Influencers ministry. All of his vast scriptural knowledge is still there and it continues to grow. God gives him opportunities to share this with other men, with business associates and with his kids and his grandchildren. However, now this Word flows from his heart and not from his head, and he is assisted by his friend, The Holy Spirit, who walks with him daily.
Evans is following the Spirit and has seen his finances blessed, relationships healed and purpose renewed. He is living his life with personal abandonment and absolute trust and is on the Journey of a lifetime.