CHICAGO—Brian Evans, pastor of North Shore Crossing, was strongly led to leave Missouri for the opportunity to plant a series of churches here.
“My calling belongs to Him – just as I belong to Him,” he said. “In other words, my calling is a gift from God and He still has ownership of it. He will see it become what He wants it to become in His perfect timing.”
God’s timing is something Evans has learned the hard way, especially when it came to finding work after first moving to Chicago. Because of his graduate degrees and sound social skills, Evans thought he would find employment in no time.
Unfortunately, he was wrong.
“The job market in Chicago is really bad due to the economy,” he said. “So, I ended up applying to about 200 places without any success.”
After applying for everything from a grocery store banker to a furniture mover, Evans saw that Macy’s in Chicago was hiring seasonal workers for the 2010 holidays. He applied to be a dishwasher.
“During the interview process they ended up making me a supervisor for the famous ‘Walnut Room’ restaurant,” he said. “It’s a very famous classy restaurant inside of the State Street Macy’s.”
Working in the restaurant led him to even more opportunities within the retail giant, eventually landing Evans a position on the sales side of the company.
“God gave me a retail supervisor position in the second largest department store in the world, second only to Macy’s on Herald Square in New York,” Evans said. “And, I have zero retail experience!”
Evans knows that God put him at Macy’s for a reason. However, working full-time (55-60 hours per week counting commute) is daunting, especially when Evans’ real purpose for being in Chicago is reaching the lost for Christ.
“The stress can be intense and the hours long,” he said. “It can be difficult trying to pastor at the same time. There are nights I get home at 10:30 p.m. and I just want to collapse. But this church is why we were sent here and I know I’ve got to find the energy to do what I’m really here for.”
In those difficult moments, Evans thinks about the story of Joseph and what he had to go through to fulfill God’s plan for his life.
“To be honest, sometimes I feel like Joseph in the Egyptian jail,” he said. “How long Lord? How long? Does anyone notice? Does the Body of Christ even care about me and my family? If so, why have they left me so alone?
“But then I remember that God’s plan for Joseph was the prison experience, one which some scholars say was more than 12 years long! And so, for me to work at Macy’s in ministry obscurity for 10-20 years is a small price to pay for following His plan, right? And also, He is working special doses of humility into me that only this kind of experience can do.”
KAYLA RINKER/contributing writer