Missions Leadership Team Introduction:
Meet Darrell Evans, our Coordinator for Coaching on the Missions Leadership Team. He is an Area Leader in the Rocky Mountain Region and the Senior Pastor of Oasis Vineyard in Utah. When we talked to Darrell, we found out that he is our “hitchhiking coach” who loves deadlines and adventure. Plus he is just an overall great guy.
VM: Darrell, when did you jump in to Vineyard Movement?
Darrell: I was with Kenn Gulliksen in the Valley in the 70’s. I was attending that church when Vineyard was a part of the Calvary Movement, and we also met weekly at Chuck Girard’s house. Later I hitchhiked to Eugene, Oregon where I joined a commune loosely affiliated with Calvary Chapel, called Shiloh Youth Revival Center. There were about 200 house churches in the US.
I attended Bible school in Dexter, and was sent out to Salt Lake City to staff a house church there. But then Shiloh imploded, so I moved back to California. San Diego is where Lisa lived, I was living in West Covina, CA at the time, we began dating and the rest is history. We then moved back to Salt Lake City in 1980. The church we were part of became part of Vineyard in 1984, and I took over the senior role in 1985.
VM: That is quite a journey!
Darrell: I’ve lived an adventure! I don’t know how my life could have been any better!
VM: What is your favorite memory with Jesus?
Darrell: I was just thinking about this the other day. When I came to Christ I didn’t come because I was at church. I didn’t grow up in church, never consistently anyway. When I went it was for the wrong reasons.
But I had a conversation with a high school friend, and he had just given his life to Jesus. I was so profoundly amazed by the change in his life and the conversation I had with him.
I went home and got on my knees and asked Jesus to reveal himself to me...and he did!
I didn’t know anything about sin or forgiveness, but I knew I met Jesus that day, then I began to go to Bible studies. I don’t want to say I came in the back door, but, I didn’t know I was a sinner. I just said, “If you are who Tommy says you are I want to know” That was 44 years ago. Yep, no back door.
There are other memories that are huge in my life. But those huge things are only possible because of that day.
VM: That’s so good! What is your highest priority for your area of influence this year?
Darrell: To make coaching more available and more understandable. Coaching is such an empowered word. Most people just think of athletics, and it’s not. I believe coaching is such an asset to become all you can be in Christ, to help people discover what God is doing in their own life. It’s a wonderful vehicle to accomplish that, one that God is using.
VM: How do you unwind on your Sabbath day?
Darrell: I jog and run, and I road bike. I call them prayer runs.
VM: I pray when I run too: “Oh God, how long until I can be done!?”
Darrell: (laughing graciously) I used to do that too, before I was in running shape. I’ve had some profound encounters with God while I’m running over the years. My wife and I also like to hike some of the gorgeous landscape here in Utah during our Sabbath rests.
VM: What is the Lord teaching you this week?
Darrell: I’ve always been passionate about servant leadership. It is the core of who we are. The lens by which we see everything. But the Lord has been showing me in the past few weeks, that there is still in my life a place that needs to be cultivated. I’ve had these little “sacred places” in my world. I need to let those go.
VM: A couple of quick preferences: Futbol or Football?
Darrell: I love sports but I really don’t watch it. It still feels funny to me because I love athletics, but I just don’t watch it. Hardly even the Super Bowl anymore.
VM: Steak, chicken, or fish?
Darrell: (no hesitation) Steak! Nothing better than a 1-inch-thick ribeye that I’ve grilled myself.
VM: Sweet or salty food splurge?
Darrell: Sweet! Absolutely! A mound of ice cream!
VM: Sounds delicious especially as a chaser after that barbecued ribeye!
Let’s jump back over to the spiritual side away from all these calories. What is your favorite attribute of God?
Darrell: First thing: loving those sheep. Let me read you a scripture, it describes what I love about the Lord. “Psalm 103.8 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
VM: Do you have any unusual talents?
Darrell: Breathing? No, not really. I’m an average guy. Never been really talented. I have a little bit of talent and a lot of work ethic
VM: Excellent! What book do you recommend to challenge leaders to the next level?
Darrell: I give this book to everybody I come across who doesn’t have it, Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton. Also Spiritual Leadership by Henry Blackaby, and Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
VM: All really great reads! What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?
Darrell: The Gospel of John is my number one! It reveals the deity of Christ for me. I love how it starts and all the “I Am”s. If there was some reason I could only have one book of the Bible, it would be John.
VM: Do you have a favorite new technology or app?
Darrell: Probably my Garmin watch. It’s got GPS to track and map all I just did in my exercise. It can do biking and swimming too.
VM: Oh nice! I have a Garmin too, but I don’t have the fancy version. It doesn’t track me back and forth to the coffee pot; it just counts my steps.
(both: a little too much laughter)
Darrell: (like a good coach!) So here’s another question you could ask in your interviews of the MLTs: “How did you get involved with VM?”
VM: Great one! So how did you get involved with Vineyard Missions?
Darrell: I met Mark (Fields) in Idaho for a conference and we had lunch. At the time we had a Cambodian church connection, and I was asking Mark how do we work globally? One day, the Lord interrupted me, “You’re going to be working with Mark Fields.” I asked, how in the world is that gonna happen? At the time Tri Robinson was Regional Director in my area, and at a meeting Rick Olmstead the new RL said we need a regional task force leader. Nobody wanted to do it...I said, “I’ll do it.” And I’ve been on the team ever since. Because God invited me in, when I think of my roles, I need the Lord to tell me when it’s time to move.
VM: I agree with that statement. The Lord is the One who moves people in and out of roles. Thanks so much for the fun interview, Darrell, and the good laughs. Blessings in your coaching and promoting coaching this year!