Speaking at the first Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC) Large Group Gathering at California's EPIC Church, San Francisco Giants GM Bobby Evans shared how God has allowed him to further the Gospel through the game of baseball.
A member of First Baptist Church in San Francisco for 21 years, Evans was saved as a 7-year-old living in Massachusetts, according to the Baptist Press. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, he went to work for MLB commissioner Fay Vincent in New York in 1991 and joined the Giants in a minor league administration two years later.
For a number of years, Evans served in a variety of roles, such as negotiating all major league player contracts, helping acquire free agents and signing minor league talent. In April of 2015, he was was named the Giants' Senior Vice President and General Manager.
Despite his tremendous success, Evans considers his faith his ultimate priority: Speaking at the TBC gathering, he revealed that as a young boy, he prayed that God would put him in the big leagues.
"I was a dreamer, and I worshiped a big God, and I knew that as a young boy, so I prayed that God would put me in the big leagues. My vision was behind home plate," he said. "Years later, as I was working for the Giants, I was at a mission conference and they were challenging us to go into all the world and share the Gospel...I wasn't in the big leagues, but I was trying to figure out, 'How do I dedicate my life to God in a way that will honor Him?'"
However, God reminded Evans of his childhood promise and revealed that in my ways, He had, in fact, placed him in the big leagues -- exactly where he was supposed to be.
"At that point, I realized I should have been more specific," Evans joked. "During my time in baseball and with the Lord, I kept looking for ways that God could use me in the workplace...how could I honor God with my career? That's in a pursuit that I'm in now, every day, just looking for where God is at work in baseball, with the Giants, and my life."
Evans contended that his team, his church, his children's school, and his family are passionate about the city and the people living within the city: "We ask, 'How can we use that passion in different places together to make a difference?' Really, that's my prayer," he said.
To glorify God through his work, Evans regularly partners with the baseball chaplain to make sure that the players are being encouraged in their Christian faith.
"These guys are baseball players, but they're also fathers, husbands, and sons, they have families that have needs, and the last thing I want with the baseball chapel is for the team chaplain to come in and just do a quick devotional for a Sunday game and that's it," he said. "I want our team chaplain to make a difference and impact in the lives of these guys, and I don't wanna have to do a devotional that has a baseball theme to it -- these guys have a deeper need for Christ and a deeper need to be the men of God that they are called to be."
He added, "Our team chaplains have done a great job of getting deeper in the lives of these players and in terms of also having chapel for the kids and wives, and having a Bible study for the wives during the week, and a Bible study for the players during the week. It's an opportunity for players to grow deeper in their faith -- not just in the daily walk in the game of baseball but the daily walk as fathers and husbands."
Evans revealed that today, a number of players share their testimonies with fans: "It's powerful to see God work in the lives of these players .. they share their baseball skills every day in front of 40,000 people, but for the 2 or 3,000 fans that stick around after the game...they open their lives and share their hearts...and part of that is the through work that's been done in baseball chapel."
When asked how God has surprised him over the past few years, Evans didn't hesitate: "We serve a big God, and too many times, our prayers are too small, which I confess," he said. "My prayer for years had been to see my son give his life to Christ, and this year, at the age of 11, I saw him come to Christ...God is powerful."