GRAPEVINE, Texas (NRB) – NRB hosted an evening worship service on Tuesday which led to a night of deep reflection, conviction, and worship among the thousands of Christian communicators at the convention.
The event featured special speaker Dr. Tony Evans, President of the Urban Alternative and Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, as well as worship from the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship worship choir.
The choir was directed by Pastor Patrick Dopson, the pastor of worship at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.
Dr. Ron Harris, Chairman of the NRB Board, introduced Evans as the founder of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and the first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Evans first spoke at an NRB conference in 1985 and received the NRB Hall of Fame Award in 2019.
Evans was met with thunderous applause from the audience as he approached the podium, and the applause only continued throughout his message. He challenged listeners to be kingdom minded with the purpose of advancing the gospel in their lives and ministry.
Evans shared some of his recent struggles in life with the loss of loved ones and facing personal health concerns.
In the span of almost 3 years, he lost a sister, brother, brother-in-law, father, and wife. His daughter also battled cancer, resulting in a surgery to remove her left lung. All of which, he said, “shook his world.” When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Evans said that it “turned his ministry world upside down.” He then contracted pneumonia followed by COVID-19, both of which were threats to his life.
However, Evans said that God had a purpose in his suffering and for the trials all Christians will face.
“When my world and your world are turned inside out, we are not to dismiss it. Scripture would have us know…God is talking,” Evans said.
He said that God shakes things up to attack idolatry, and when God places heat on our lives, “He’s burning things up so He can restore again.”
“God shakes our physical, human reality to get us spiritually back on point. In your life and my life, in my ministry and your ministry, when God wants to do something different He will create a contradictory crisis,” said Evans. “When God wants to uproot the ordinary and bring about the extraordinary, He shakes things up. When God has decided that we have become too comfortable, He shakes things up.”
Evans concluded with an admonition to the evangelical church.
“Too many have wrapped their faith in the American flag,” Evans said. “God doesn’t ride on the back of donkeys or elephants. He sits on his throne as the King of Kings.”
Evans called Christians to live kingdom minded.
“We are not being persecuted for our faith, we are being persecuted for our foolishness,” Evans said. “We have become too Evangelical and not kingdom enough.”
Evans read from Hebrews 12:28, which says, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (NASB).
“Your community should be able to see that the kingdom of God has arrived because they have seen that the people of God have arrived,” he said. “God is calling on the NRB to have a new program and a new platform. If you want to reach the next generation, you can’t do things the way you’ve been doing them. You can’t be in the good old boys club.”
Troy Miller, CEO of NRB, closed out the event visibly moved by Evans’ message.
“Dr. Evans has called us out and called us to task,” Miller said. “We need to go away, changed, different, and renewed. Let’s be set apart, keeping the voice of the church—the bride of Christ— loud in this culture.”
NRBTV sponsored this event. NRBTV equips you to live differently with programming that inspires deep thinking and provides the practical tools you need to put your faith into practice.
NRB is the world’s largest association of Christian communicators. Since 1944, they have worked to protect free speech and foster excellence in communication.
Watch the full message here.