What If Attitude

I wrote this 9 years ago for the church parents newsletter:

I like movies but I have a short list that make my “Movies I Love” List and Apollo 13 is one of them. There are many things about the story, both the true version and the Hollywood version, that I am enamored by. One of them is the team at NASA having a “What If Attitude”.

One of the major problems the crew and support staff faced was the rising levels of carbon dioxide in their “lifeboat”. The Aquarius was designed to support two astronauts so by having three in there at the same time the air was going to approach a dangerous level, very fast. A chemical called lithium hydroxide removes CO2 from the air and traps it.

The problem was there weren’t enough of lithium hydroxide canisters onboard to support three people.

There were more on the Odyssey but they were in a different shape so they had to design something out of the materials they had on board to function as a converter for the air filter. They used one of the canisters that didn’t fit, a flight plan cover, a sock, a plastic bag, a spacesuit hose and duct tape to create something that would save their lives.

It’s easier to have an If Only Attitude rather than a What If Attitude.

In the world of student ministry, it can look like this:

The If Only Attitude says things like, If only we had more money in the budget we could do better things, If only more students came then we’d be where we want to be, If only we had more support from the church or families we could . . . . . .

The What If Attitude says things like this, “What if we cancelled the mission trip and used that budget money to go towards. . . . What if we took care of the students who do come in such a great way they . . . . What if we communicated better with parents and the church about our needs. . .

The What If Attitude works with what you have and uses it in ways it was never designed for to accomplish great things.

In your own family which attitude is the norm, the If Only Attitude or the What If Attitude?

What would happen in your family, your marriage, your students lives and your church if you we were dominated by the What If Attitude?

I’m guessing it would look different for each of us and I believe God loves diversity that honors him.

I wonder. . . . . What If. . . . . . . ?

Last NNYM Prayer Update

It has been my highest vocational honor to serve with the National Network of Youth Ministries team over the last seven years. It happened because God brought me here and because of your confirmation of that through your financial partnership.

Though this wasn’t my choice, I’m strangely content with the executive’s team’s decision to release me, even though I don’t exactly what the future holds vocationally.

In my four years as a hospice chaplain I learned people ask three questions when they know death is knocking. The three questions are 1). Am I right with God? 2) Does my family know I love them? 3) Am I loved by my family?

Because those things are my focus, I’m okay facing the unknown. I’m looking into a variety of possibilities that will help me do those three things well.

Here’s how you can help.

Contact Me: There is no secret story, so I will tell you all that is going on with me, my family, and the job search. You just would need to contact me. Call or text me at send an email to “len DOT evans @ gmail DOT com”, or send a Facebook message.

Pray: Pray as you read this and please keep praying. Bonus Points: Get my prayer request via text by texting @pray4len to 81010.

Give: Severance to help me transition is given by NNYM, as long as funds are available in my NNYM ministry account. Depending on that balance, I will be paid full compensation through November 30. So your gifts through November really are appreciated, and of course, are tax-deductible. you can give online at www.youthworkers.net/donate.

I have missed $14,000 (accumulated) in 2016 compensation. Anything given above my regular pay through November 30 can also be passed along to me as severance pay.

So any amount that YOU give will help make the transition easier. It will also be another confirmation that though my time with NNYM is over, you believe in me and the ministry I’ve done.

If you want to give after November, our home address is still the same.

Thank you for being in my corner!

Keep Lovin’ Jesus,


HUGE Announcement and Change

Thank you for your generous support of Len Evans and his ministry with the National Network of Youth Ministries.

I’m writing today to inform you that Len will be leaving the staff team of NNYM, effective November 30, 2016. After months of prayer and conversation with Len, our executive team has concluded that Len’s gifts would be better used in another ministry role.

We are unanimous in our confidence that God has given Len a strong love for people, and a deep love for networking youth leaders. Anyone who knows him will attest to his tender heart and love for both the Lord and people. He’s a pastor; plain and simple.

But we look in part to see if someone’s gifts and abilities are a “fit” with the NNYM team by God working through potential partners to get them to full funding for their ministry. In Len’s case, we’ve concluded that confirmation isn’t there for this particular role. It’s been a difficult decision. Let me assure you that there is no moral issue involved in the decision to release Len to seek other employment.

We want Len to thrive. You can help in this transition time by continuing your prayer and financial support at least through the end of November. This will help Len have time to find other employment.

Better together,

Doug Clark
National Field Director

August Prayer Letter

August 2016 Prayer Update

How can churches best work together for lasting results in their city?

One of the things that I love about my job with the National Network of Youth Ministries is that I get to wave the flag and tell people that we believe that God is more glorified when we are more unified.

We are also one of the few ministries that has biblical unity as one of our main priorities.

Churches have been known to work together to serve their cities though it still isn’t “normal’.

When they do, it seems to be focused on an event or short term need. That’s good, but we need to strive to do the best thing that we can do to have lasting results in our communities.

I’m sure there are many ways to have influence on our cities and the cultures of our cities.

I believe one thing that I can do for Lubbock is to help churches be better at two things. 1. Praying for Each Other and 2. Praying for the Schools that are nearby or they have a burden for.

That’s just the start, but imagine if a good portion of churches were praying for each other and praying for every school (for students, teachers & the administration) in their city.

Prayer makes a difference but we have to be praying regularly and corporately to see Kingdom results.

Christians should be different

This election is a mess. It’s hard to glance at any sort of social media and not see someone talking about how one candidate is worse than the other.

Each side shares the worst news about the opposing side. It’s just a mess and not many people, from what I can see, are thrilled with their political choices.

Despite the difficulties we face and things not being ideal, we should never forget that we are blessed because we are able to have a voice in how and who governs over us.

So whether you are voting for Hillary, Trump, Johnsen or you write in David Ortiz, go vote.

I hold out hope that Christians will be different. Stand up for your convictions but know that if someone disagrees with you politically, that’s okay. I don’t understand how someone can support certain candidates but I’ve come to realize, I don’t have to understand.

I can choose to be honest, nice and loving despite the difference I may have with real life friends, Facebook friends or even internet strangers. You can too.

Christians will be voting for different people this November but we can agree on a few things:

Pray for our national leaders and our country.

Pray for your city and it’s leaders. The most likely way you can make a difference in the world is to make a difference in the world you live in.

Pray for churches when you drive by them. Even if they are not from your tribe, pray for the pastor, leadership and congregation.

Pray for schools when you drive by them or use a school crossing sign as a prayer reminder to pray for the teachers and students. The Christian teachers to be salt and light and for the Christian students to be help the other students to see and know Jesus is a real way.

Some days . . .

Some days are harder than others.

Whether it’s because something happened to you, something distressing on the news, or you’re ambushed by those thoughts that occasionally cross your mind.

Bad days happen, we can not escape them but we can be prepared for them. When you’re prepared for them, they are a little easier.

Acknowledge that it’s reality and there is no cosmic conspiracy against you.

Believe that it won’t last. Depending upon what it is, the time of discomfort, pain or annoyance will vary but it won’t last.

Control what you can yet know that for the most part, you can’t control much.

Decide that you will get through it. You can determine your attitude though anything you have to persevere through.

Embrace it as something you can learn from and eventually encourage others because you overcame your bad day, moment or season.

Friends are necessary to help you persevere. You need them and they need you but nobody can help you unless you let them.

God is with you even when you don’t see it. Trust his promises and know that His mercies are new every morning. Thank you Lord for new mornings!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Chewbacca Mom is still in the news

Candace Payne AKA “Chewbacca Mom” is still in the news. She has redefined the definition of “Internet Famous”.

In a little over two weeks, her original Facebook video has had over 150 million views. She’s gotten gift cards from Kohl’s, been on a variety of tv shows and a trip to Disney World to meet Chewbacca.

The latest and craziest news is her two kids along with herself and husband have been given full scholarships to Southeastern University.

When reading the comments though about the scholarship it was so disheartening because a LARGE majority only responded in how unfair it was and complaining because it wasn’t them.

Some verses of the Bible are difficult to understand but some are easy to understand but hard to apply. Romans 12:15 is one of the later “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

When we choose to rejoice with those who are having good fortune, we win! When we choose to be bitter about perceived unfairness, we lose and risk the danger of becoming bitter over anything and everything.

Choose joy and that doesn’t require an out of stock Chewbacca Mask.

The World Needs You to be the Best You, You Can Be

You are one of almost seven billion people on our planet. You’re not that special, yet, you are.

The world needs you to be the best you, you can be. Not many of us are going to change the world or be remembered by more than friends and family twenty years after we die. We have to make the most of the opportunities and skills that we have and that means becoming the best you that you can be.

Mark Twain wrote, “The only person that likes change is a wet baby.” I think that’s true for most of us. We don’t like change because most of us want comfort and don’t like being inconvenienced. But if we want to be the best we can be, we have to make the necessary changes to continually become better.

You can change the world of your neighbors, coworkers, friends and family though by being the best you possible. Be kinder, think of others needs, more than your own, read more, ask better questions, exercise, set big goals. Your purpose is not to compete and be better than others, it’s to conquer yourself and be better than you were.

What small changes can you make to become better in various areas of life?

Write them down and focus on one area, the one that would make the biggest difference.

After you’ve made progress, add something else but no matter what, make the changes in you and you will make your world a better place.

Youth For Christ MidWinter

Had fun seeing the Morales’ & Vergara’s (The Staff of Parent Life Lubbock) last night during the Youth For Christ MidWinter staff conference in San Antonio.

I’m here for a couple of days working the National Network of Youth Ministries (NNYM) Booth. It’s exciting days because Youth For Christ (YFC) and NNYM now have an official working partnership that is being unveiled to the national staff of YFC.

Renee and I joke that we helped begin the national partnership since we became friends years ago and I joined the board and now serve as the chairman for Parent Life Lubbock. :-)

So please pray for Renee, Abi, Devin & Mike over the next few days, that they’ll be renewed in their calling and have greater clarity and vision for how to best do ministry in Lubbock!