Author, speaker, pastor, former NFL player, and professional sports chaplain Jonathan Evans recently released his book “Fighting Your Battles” with an eye toward helping readers navigate the landmines of life. Whether it’s communal battles like the pandemic, economic uncertainty, or more personal battles like illness, death in the family, job loss, miscarriage, mental health, or other life challenges, Evans says his new release is a playbook for getting through the many challenges these days.
Tell us a little about yourself. How have you ended up where you are today?
I am married to my beautiful wife and we have five children ages 13 to 3, so I am in the middle of the woods with no navigation just trying to figure it out. I played football in the NFL where I had a tough career on many teams in a short amount of time, but God used that to lead me to become the Chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys. I come from a ministry family and ministry has always been a part of my life. When I really got serious about Jesus Christ in my own personal life, I took hold of what God was calling me to do so now I am the Chaplain of the Cowboys, co-chaplain of the Mavericks and work with my dad in ministry as pastor of Next Gen.
What was the journey that got you where you are today?
The journey to get here was that my parents raised us around the table, meaning every night before dinner we had bible study, great conversation and all the laughs. That built the foundation for everything that I would experience and everything I would go through later in life.
What made you decide to write this book, the timing of writing it?
All the challenges I have gone through in my life, but also what has happened most recently with the death of the members over the last two years starting in 2018 to 2020, and just my story of not making my dream and then my dream coming true God’s way and not my way as it relates to my career. My wife and I dealt with miscarriages and just the constant struggles I have had personally in my life. There were also the things I’ve learned and what God taught me through it all, and the perspective to have and the playbook that is necessary, the guidelines and rules and regulations that are necessary to not fight for victory but fight from victory. So, I have a passion to help people have the perspective that I have gained through all my troubles, trials, and tribulations.
“Fighting Your Battles” expresses your own battles. How do you sum up your fight overall and where you have come out on the other end?
Jesus didn’t lie to us when He said in this world you will have trouble, so everyone has trouble. You will either find a storm on your way to a storm or you just got out of one. Those are your only options in life, and because of that we must learn how to build our foundation so that what we build doesn’t get knocked over. I want to make sure I help people do that in this book. There are also QR codes in the book and those are stories that you can scan or watch videos of as my wife and I talk about our mishaps, our problems, our trials in our lives and what we have learned – the main thing being a steward. Stewardship is not just for money and family or how you steward certain things in your life, but it is also learning how to steward your battles and realizing you are not an owner of those. A lot of times we take too much ownership of the outcome and we carry all the burden, and that is not God’s intention.
What is your number one recommendation for the reader handling their own battles these days?
My number one recommendation is being a steward. Also, really applying the messages that are in this book and really being not just a hearer of the word, a reader of the word, but a doer of it. Also realizing if you trust God there is a dependence there and if you don’t trust Him, you will be independent from Him.
Author, speaker, pastor, former NFL player, and professional sports chaplain, book author – what is next?
What is next for me is we have Stories from the Storyteller as a family. We have a cartoon that is out that can be found at TonyEvans.org and on Right Now Media and even my YouTube Channel. We wanted to do that for families. We wanted to do that to make sure families can get together and learn and grow, and that parents can be there with their kid and the next generation can grow up and know the Lord. My wife and I are also working on a book called “Sex and Oneness” talking about marriage and oneness. We are excited about that. And then just continuing to raise my kids in righteousness and joy so that we can receive the promises of the Lord.
Cover Photo Pharris Photos
Rita Cook is the Editor-in-Chief of “The Insider Mag” and writes for numerous magazines and newspapers throughout the US and abroad about travel, cars and food/wine. She has published 10 books and most recently began painting with mirror and acrylic. Rita currently has a gallery exhibition “Self-Portrait” being shown until Feb. 2023 in the Dallas Design District.