Dr. Tony Tyrone Evans is a respected pastor, teacher, author, broadcaster, and speaker. He serves as a role model to many, but especially pastors and fathers. Dr. Evans promotes a kingdom agenda that teaches God’s comprehensive rule over every sphere of life—including the family. Known as the chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks, his first chaplaincy has always been as a father. Dr. Evans and his wife, Lois, are thankful for their blessings of family and faith at Thanksgiving, and they have successfully used their dinner table on a daily basis to cultivate their faith in their own children.
Dr. Evans clearly believes the family is God’s design to effectively raise up the next generation. He also believes that the church, not the government, is the best social service program to impact cultural and spiritual change in the community. As the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, a vibrant church he birthed from 10 to nearly 10,000 members, he motivated his church to mentor children through the National Church Adopt-A-School Institute.
Dr. Evans has been married to his wife and ministry partner, Lois, for 43 years. Together they have mentored and parented four wonderful children who all serve in ministry today: Chrystal Hurst, Priscilla Shirer, Anthony Evans, Jr., and Jonathan Evans.
He has also received numerous awards including the Dallas Father of the Year and the Marian Pfister Aushutz Award for “protecting and strengthening the American family” awarded by the Family Research Council. His four children and eleven grandchildren are his greatest evidence to his parenting skills. His wisdom and counsel as demonstrated through thousands of sermons, his personal life, and numerous books is nothing short of powerful.
Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets, including more recently Kingdom Man and Raising Kingdom Kids. In Kingdom Man, he eloquently points to the need for Kingdom men who rule according to God’s rule with these words, “Never has our nation, our world, stood on the precipice of adversity in such dire need of men answering the call to rule well.” Dr. Evans believes it is up to men to lead in raising the standard back to where God originally designed it—with men discovering what it means to be a Kingdom Man. Tony Dungy calls it, “A playbook for life that shows us how to live a championship life.”
In Raising Kingdom Kids, Dr. Evans equips parents to raise their children with a Kingdom perspective in a day when he says, “We are witnessing a generation of parentless people who are becoming parents themselves.” This book also offers practical advice on providing spiritual training as instructed in Deuteronomy Six and giving your child a living faith. Dr. Evans provides practical step-by-step instructions for establishing a Kingdom mindset, cultivating a Kingdom atmosphere, and instilling Kingdom virtues.
Kingdom parenting involves intentionally overseeing the generational transfer of the faith in such a way the children learn to consistently live all of life under God’s authority.
Sonoma Contributor Ginny Dent Brant has admired the life and witness of Dr. Evans and his wife, Lois, for years. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Dr. Evans.
GDB: You believe a Kingdom man is a preserver of the culture. As a result, your church has made a campaign to father the fatherless through mentoring. Briefly, tell us about your Adopt-A-School program.
TTE: We began with one school that needed help at the request of a principal. They were at risk with high numbers of single parents, truancy, gangs, and low grades. My church adopted that school, and we began assigning some men to go in there and walk up and down the halls and show their presence during lunch, and that had a great calming effect. Then we began to offer other services such as mentoring, tutoring, and family support services. The result was a total change in the atmosphere of that school. We began to see that when we as a church got involved, it made a difference. Church, school and family is the heartbeat of a community. After seeing these results, we decided to take on more. Since then, we have adopted many schools in the Dallas area.
GDB: You and your wife have successfully raised four children. As a pastor, this puts external expectations on them. What is your secret to allowing your children to make their faith their own without that pressure?
TTE: We did that by purposely engaging in their world and not by merely asking them to join our world. A lot of pastors try to force their kids into the church world. You carry them into your world, but at the same time they must see that you value their world. Your involvement with them carries a value that makes it less difficult for them to be involved with you.
GDB: Did you ever dream that all four of your children would follow in your footsteps serving God in their own ministries? As a father, how do you raise up children who will achieve their destiny?
TTE: We were hopeful, and I must say it is very encouraging to see. Our dinner table was the main place we used for developing our relationships with our children, investing in their lives, guiding and leading, and sensing where their lives and gifts were going. We ate together as a family on a regular basis. It was our time to pray and instruct them in the Scriptures.
GDB: What advice can you give to the father who grew up without a dad who desires to be the Kingdom father and man to his own children that he never had?
TTE: He must get into an environment that has Kingdom men in it. Just because you don’t have a biological father, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a good father. You can learn from other men. Paul became a father to Timothy, and Elijah became a father to Elisha. So you have father-son relationships that are not biological, but are spiritual, and that is sufficient.
GDB: What advice can you offer to the parents who are raising teenagers in this day and time?
TTE: Parents must establish boundaries and communicate with their children that within these boundaries we are going to give you freedom. If you respect the freedom, we will enlarge the boundaries. If you disrespect the freedoms, we will narrow the boundaries. Therefore, it becomes a reward to obey and not just a demand.
GDB: What did your father teach you about being a Kingdom man?
TTE: I was about 10 years old when my father became a Kingdom Man. I saw the difference before and afterwards. He not only taught us the Word, but he also allowed us to see him modeling what he taught us. Modeling is powerful.
GDB: What are you most thankful for during this Thanksgiving season?
TTE: I am most thankful for my family. We get together often. We have breakfast on Sunday morning together.
In this day and age, we need more than just a few, Kingdom men. Dr. Evan’s Kingdom Man is a great gift for that special father, son or man in your life. Every parent needs a copy of Raising Kingdom Kids. Dr. Evans and his family have built their legacy on serving in God’s Kingdom and communicating with others how they can live life by God’s ways, and promote the values of His Kingdom. After all, His Kingdom and the family is all that really matters in the end.
Dr. Evans and his wife, Lois, model what they preach and teach. They use their dinner table to transfer Kingdom values to their children and grandchildren. It’s all about setting their table with joy, love, and wisdom, not only for a special holiday such as Thanksgiving, but also on a daily basis.
Dr. Evan’s daughter, Priscilla Shirer, commends her parents for working hard to create an environment or bubble where they transferred the faith to her and her siblings. She admits their example has influenced her to do the same:
That’s why I’m sitting these three sons of mine around a dinner table tonight, just like my parents did, and teaching them God’s Word. I’ll not allow myself to be lulled to sleep and disengage from their education, their friendships, their influences. And together with their father, I’ll be intentional and purposeful in their lives every precious day that God gives us to share with them under our roof, until they spread their wings and fly out of this nest—off to their own where, hopefully, the cycle will continue all over again.
For more info about Dr. Tony Evans and his ministry go to Tony Evans.org