This week on Real Talk with Rachael, I’m talking with Anthony Evans about his book When Faith Meets Therapy. For two decades, Anthony has voiced the gospel with a melodic, thought-provoking style, and has emerged as one of Christian music’s premier worship leaders and singers. Along the way, Anthony has released ten solo projects (the last two climbing all the way to #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album charts), released his first two books (Unexpected Places and Divine Disruption), produced numerous music videos, acted in four movies, and even performed as “Beast” in Disney’s Hollywood Bowl production of Beauty and the Beast. In addition, he has created inspirational events in collaboration with his father, beloved pastor and international speaker, Dr. Tony Evans; his sisters, Priscilla Shirer and Chrystal Evans Hurst; and his brother, author and speaker Jonathan Evans.
In more recent years, Anthony has been working and producing in Los Angeles, where he appeared on NBC’s The Voice. His time on the show led to him being discovered and asked to perform and produce vocals for various major artists and networks. In addition to vocal production, Anthony has been enlisted as a talent producer for an assortment of popular reality and competition shows. This sojourn in LA has led him to think more progressively about his music and ministry—he desires to communicate in terms that connect with people spiritually, no matter where they are in their journey with the Lord, without compromising his own faith and message. This focus has allowed Anthony to use his one-of-a-kind voice to reverberate through the church and out its doors to impact the world beyond.
Key Points from Our Conversation:
- Sometimes our faith can keep us from addressing the root of our problems. We feel shame that praying and reading the Bible aren’t changing us, but we need practical tools to process our thoughts and emotions.
- The church is often not seen as a safe place for people struggling with their mental health because of a lack of empathy and authenticity, which creates shame. We can create a safe space when we find empathy by understanding their story.
- When people show you who they are, believe them. Don’t be a victim of your own compassion.
- When we experience pain and grief, it’s natural to want to numb those feelings, but you must feel to heal.
- Feelings aren’t good or bad, they’re indicators. Therapy is a safe place to experience your feelings without judging them.
- Feelings are valid but temporary. We can trust in God’s truth. “When you start walking in the truth in spite of how you feel, your feelings will follow your feet.”
- Be as kind to yourself as you would be to someone else who is struggling. Give yourself grace. It’s about progress, not perfection. Making mistakes is a sign you’re trying. Do what you can and God will do what you can’t.
Let’s Get Real Practical:
Tips for finding a therapist –
Pray for the right therapist
Look at fees and consider your budget. Many therapists have interns with reduced rates that are supervised by licensed therapists. Some offer payment on a sliding scale.
Make sure they’re licensed (or under someone licensed) in your state.
Read the bio on their site and see if what matters to them matters to you.
(If you’re looking for a Christian counsel, check AACC.net)
Tips for getting the most out of therapy –
Ask questions that matter to you.
Be vocal about techniques that work and ones that don’t.
Ask for book and podcast recommendations.
Keep a journal and include thoughts, feelings, dreams, and anything you’d like to process in your session.
Set recurring appointments. Therapy is not just for people going through a crisis, it’s a lifestyle.