Not every basketball player who retires gets a send-off like Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, or Michael Jordan. Likewise, not every preacher gets the national send-off that Billy Graham got or that Charles Stanley will receive.
However, there is another man of God, a meek man of God, whom we should pause and say “thank you” to in a big way before he passes off the scene. That man is Dr. Tony Evans. It is not about celebrating him as much as it is about giving God the glory for how He used Dr. Evans to impact the church, the nation, and the world.
Dr. Richard J. Krejcir said, “Appreciation differs from gratitude because gratitude is a response for what someone has done for us — such as, God’s grace. A gift is given, and we say ‘thank you’ in word and deed. Appreciation is honoring others while also being grateful for what we have. It is being thankful and glad for other people.”
He doesn’t look like it, but Dr. Tony Evans is 70 years old. I doubt that he is thinking about dying any time soon, for I am sure, like all true believers in Christ, he is not looking for the undertaker, but the Uppertaker. However, we need to start showing appreciation for this true man of God as he races to the finished line. Below are some ways in which we all can start doing that. But, before that, here is what I wrote about Dr. Evans in my book, The Lost Souls of Black Folk & White Folk:
After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in 1968, there was a void in the black community and in the nation. For the first time in over twenty years, the black community and the nation was without a black prophet who had the moral authority to speak to both races about the problem of the color line. And then God raised up another Moses by the name of Dr. Tony Evans, who actually has two similarities to Moses. One, he has the greatest quality of Moses and that is meekness. Here is what the Bible says about the meekness of Moses, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Please understand meekness is not weakness. According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, “Meekness is an active and deliberate acceptance of undesirable circumstances that are wisely seen by the individual as only part of a larger picture. Meekness is not a resignation to fate, a passive and reluctant submission to events, for there is little virtue in such a response. [Meekness is] the patient and hopeful endurance of undesirable circumstances that identifies the person as externally vulnerable and weak but inwardly resilient and strong. Meekness does not identify the weak but more precisely the strong who have been placed in a position of weakness where they persevere without giving up.” I personally doubt if there is a more meek man living on the earth today than Tony Evans. Tony Evans has helped so many preachers with serious, major help and most of them don’t know he helped them. Why? Because he doesn’t want any credit.
Another example of the meekness of Tony Evans is, if you notice, none of the preachers who come out of Tony Evans’ church are considered “Tony’s preacher boy” and none of them adopt the mannerisms of Tony Evans as so many of the young preachers from other prominent pastors and churches do. In fact, you will never know they came out of Tony Evans’ church unless you ask them, and that is not a bad thing, that is a very good thing.
Another example of the meekness of Tony Evans is that he should be the president of Dallas Theological Seminary now, or Christianity Today, or World Vision, or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, etc., but Tony Evans does not push himself forward in any way. He does not campaign for titles and positions. He does not play politics to get into certain positions. He waits on the Lord, and if God does not touch people’s heart to give it to him, he doesn’t want it.
And because of this meekness, God has used Tony Evans to help bridge the racial divide more than any man in America since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Evans needed that meekness because both white and black Christians have not listened to him as they should have. Like the prophets of old, he has consistently and lovingly warned the church as a whole, presidents, and America through his preaching, and teaching and through his writing that if they don’t put Christ first and repent of their pride and prejudice, God will judge the church and the nation. Many listened, but few took heed, and here we are.
In my opinion, both black and white Christians, but especially “servant-leaders,” ought to hold one of the biggest appreciation galas outside of his church for this meek man of God so that thousands upon thousands of black and white Christians and others can give God the glory by saying a big “thank you” before he goes on up a little higher.
Dr. Tony Evans is a walking miracle. The second similarity Tony Evans has to Moses is, according to his own testimony, he stuttered growing up. He said: “My elementary school teachers didn’t always have a lot of positive things to tell my parents on my report cards. Apparently, I had a lot of areas that I needed to improve in as a child. One of those areas was in speaking. I stuttered frequently growing up and it was something that I needed God’s grace and a lot of work in order to overcome. But even beyond that, one of my teachers wrote on my report card that I did not know how to express myself orally. You can read her words for yourself. My mom saved all of my report cards so I made a copy of that one to share with others. I share it because expressing myself orally is my destiny. Teaching and preaching God’s Word is my very purpose in life. What God knew when He formed me in the womb was that He was going to raise me up to proclaim His truth in churches, on the radio, in stadiums and across televisions in America and around the world.”
Obeying the will of God takes priority over satisfying cultural expectations.
God is not asking blacks to be white or whites to be black, but for both to be biblical.
I believe that there are biblical positions on every issue, but no party fully represents all God’s views consistently on all God’s issues. Christians are going to vote differently because they will prioritize issues differently. My concern is that we’ve so aligned ourselves with the parties of this world that we’re missing the kingdom of God. The proof of that is that we’ve let political parties divide the kingdom of God. My illustration regarding referees is simply to say that while they sometimes vote for one team and sometimes vote for another team, they’re obligated ultimately to neither team, because they belong to another kingdom called the NFL. So, we should never let the party divisions interfere with the unity of the church, causing the church to lose its influence in the culture.
Biblical truth overrides cultural difference.
Adjust your humanity to your faith, not your faith to your humanity.
Black is beautiful only when it is biblical. White is right only when it agrees with holy writ.
Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.
The first African American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), Dr. Evans served as an associate professor in the Pastoral Ministries Department at DTS in the areas of evangelism, homiletics and black church studies. He continues to serve DTS on the Board of Incorporate Members.
Dr. Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, former chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for over the last three decades (the longest standing NBA chaplaincy on record), and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. He has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1,300 US outlets daily and in more than 130 countries.
Here is how you can glorify God by showing appreciation to this meek man of God, Dr. Tony Evans.
First, we at BCNN1, as God may lead, are calling on prominent pastors, churches, and brothers and sisters in Christ to prayerfully consider renting out a place such as the National Cathedral in Washington DC, Madison Square Garden in New York, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, or the American Airlines Center or AT&T Stadium in Dallas (or all of the above) in the near future to hold a major appreciation gala for this humble, meek man whom God has used as a pastor to the church, and as an evangelist to the nation and the world. Yes, he is a pastor, but he has done the work of an evangelist as his Lord has commanded him to do. And just like Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwyane Wade played in their final games during the appreciation, let Tony Evans preach to the crowd there and around the world live. (Note: This gala should be organized and paid for without any funds from Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship or The Urban Alternative, nor should any bona fide members of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship be asked to pay or give anything. This is about the nation and the world, white, black, red, and yellow, thanking God for this man of God, and showing appreciation for this prophet in our times.)
Second, without Tony Evans’ consent or permission, we want to encourage you to send a letter, card, or email expressing your thankfulness to God for his faithfulness and service to the Lord, the church, the nation, and the world. And if you are so led, please send a major love offering to The Urban Alternative so that the ministry would have millions of dollars to carry on the work long after he is gone.
The Urban Alternative
PO Box 4000
Dallas, TX 75208
Third, we are creating a page similar to what we created for Dr. Billy Graham where you can leave a comment of appreciation for Dr. Tony Evans as he heads to the finish line.
Special Note: Dr. Tony Evans is totally unaware of this call for an expression of appreciation for him. The truth is, he would never think of such a thing; he would never be a part of anything that would call for people to show national and international appreciation for himself. He would simply point to the Savior and give God all the glory for all of it is due his name. We at BCNN1 have not consulted with Dr. Tony Evans or anyone on his staff, just as we did not consult with Dr. Billy Graham or anyone on his staff or Dr. Charles Stanley or anyone on his staff before we gave the call for an expression of appreciation for their lives and ministries. One of the main reasons why we do this is because it is time-out for waiting for people who have been a blessing to us to drop dead before we show our appreciation for them.