A Much Greater Reward

“I was the guy who lived to earn promotions and ‘atta boys’ at work. I would show up at work at 7 am and stay until 11 pm. Even if the last reward seemed fleeting and empty, I’d jump in again just to get ahead. But every accomplishment left me with the desire for the next thing. Nothing ever satisfied." - Nick Evans

“I was all talk and no action when it came to Christianity. I hadn’t gone to church at all when I was in college, and initially I was hesitant to get involved at Watermark after I moved to Dallas. It was very different from my past church experience.

“After attending for a year, I decided to see what community was all about. I went to GroupLink, where the community team helps you form a group. I started meeting guys who were pursuing the faithfulness I desired. My relationships up to that point had been shallow, materialistic, and empty. Getting plugged into a single men’s community group was a lifesaver.

“At first, I was fearful of being fully transparent with the men in my community group. I didn’t think I needed a support system. A big ego told me I could take everything myself. But the truth is, I needed help as much as anyone else. I was out there, climbing the corporate ladder and finding my identity at work. I wasn’t at a breaking point, but I had lost perspective.

“The reality check regarding my schedule hit home when I joined a group. I said I wanted to grow spiritually, but working all the time meant I was never available. I also said I wanted to follow Christ, but I wasn’t devoting time to my walk with Him. So, I scaled back my work hours from 70-80 hours to 40-55 hours a week. That was a huge change for me, but God used it to make me more available to my friends and family.

“The guys in my community group loved and encouraged me from day one, with no caveats or conditions. As we got to know each other better, the group encouraged me to go through Watermark’s biblical recovery ministry, re:generation, to process some of the wounds I had from early in life.

“Through re:generation, I began to see the impact that people- pleasing and control were having on my life. I’d struggled for years with fear of failure, along with guilt and shame over my past sins. Becoming a student of God’s Word helped me live out my faith in Christ more consistently. I continue to struggle, but I am growing every day in Christ.

“Another big change God made through my community group was learning how to process decisions. I lived in isolation for so long, I was used to making decisions on my own. The group laid out Scripture that supported the benefit of walking through decisions with other believers. We talked about every- thing from buying a car to whether it was best to live on my own or have a roommate. These guys challenged me on how to discern what is wise on so many topics, and what I learned became the foundation God used to shape me into a more biblical man.

“With more accountability and time in God’s Word, I finally felt like I could lead well in a relationship. In God’s timing and through mutual friends, I met Haley as she finished nursing school and as I was wrapping up re:gen. The community group guys led by example when it came to dating and purity. That really helped our relationship and marriage begin on the right foot.

“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

“I hate to think about what marriage would be like without biblical community. Without accountability and daily time in God’s Word, my struggles with lust, porn, and people-pleasing would wreak havoc. Instead, these first years have been different because of God’s work in my life. Seeing a healthy marriage modeled by others has made all the difference.

“When I changed my work schedule, friends, and playground, I occasionally feared missing out on things I used to do. I passed up a couple of different job opportunities that I would have agreed to before. When I felt anxious, God faithfully reminded me that I was exactly the person He intended me to be. I’m not here to be an engineer or to earn the approval of man. I’m on earth to honor God, and because of that, not everyone will like or agree with me. That’s why community is so important. I have a source of support and encouragement as I make changes that help align my life with my faith.

“I recently talked to a guy who was in a similar place I once was – pursuing raises, job position, and status, but still not finding satisfaction in his accomplishments. I told him that letting go of the things I thought would bring me happiness and comfort didn’t mean my life was over. It led to something much better – the eternal reward of an abiding relationship with Christ."

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