10 Questions with ... We Are Messengers
April 4, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Darren Mulligan - lead vocals, lead guitar
- Heidi Mulligan - background vocals
- Dylan Craig - guitar
- Steven Stringer - guitar
- Matthew Montgomery - bass
- 2016 We Are Messengers
1. Birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs?
I grew up in a little village along the border with Northern Ireland called Ballinode in County Monaghan. We didn't have much growing up materially, but had almost everything we needed. My parents and siblings are more than I could ever have dreamed of wanting or needing. The only thing we didn't have was Jesus. We did not grow up in a Christian family. We were religious and traditional but had no knowledge that there was a God who loved us and who we could love. Unfortunately, my life spiraled into a mess because I was searching for something to fill the emptiness in my soul, and when Jesus broke in, He rescued me in every way. Shortly after, I ended up managing a group of homes for children with disabilities and challenging behavior, but God had other plans when we were offered a record deal in the USA. I now live in Franklin, Tennessee with my wife and our three children.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
I have a wonderful wife, Heidi, and our three kids who are under six years of age so my day starts early. We get up, pray and try to love them as best we can. We get the kids ready for school and start into a super busy day. I try to write and do my business stuff, and I always make sure to make room for Wednesday date day with my wife when the kids are at school. We are also helping to plant a church so we make sure to give as much time to that as possible. I'm gone a lot, so time at home is precious.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
I really love "How He Loves" by John Mark McMillan. It is such a beautifully composed song, as close to perfection as my ears have heard and my heart has known. This song is borne out of the tragic, accidental death of a church youth leader shortly after he said that he would be willing to give his life so that this generation could be reached by the Gospel. This song has reached millions all across the world and this young man's death was not in vain.
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
I've been on the road for much of the past four months with the WinterJam tour. It's an awesome tour, and we typically leave on a Wednesday night and get back to town (Nashville) the following Monday morning. The hardest part is leaving my wife and kids for that period of time. It really breaks my heart but it spurs me on to make the most of every moment on tour. I try to be as productive as possible and to be present and emotionally available to my family when I'm home.
5. What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
There are so many wonderful artists, pastors and lay believers who have shaped my view of the Gospels and sparked a passion for evangelism in my life, ministry and songs. I love the local church, and think that is where I most clearly see the good news of Jesus in action. Honestly, my wife Heidi has left the greatest mark on my life. She led me to the Lord, forgave me of some terrible things, lays her life down to serve our calling, our family and her friends, and she is obedient to God in an incredibly selfless manner.
6. What's the last book you read?
I am currently reading a book as part of a bible study with some of the artists on WinterJam called "Disciplines of a Godly Man". It has wrecked me chapter after chapter and has challenged me in some of the most intimate areas of my faith.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing moment on the road?
It's a pretty spinal tap moment to be honest. I was on stage in front of 20,000 people in Detroit, when I said something like "How are you Pittsburgh?!" I felt like a donkey, but thankfully realized my mistake and apologized pretty swiftly.
8. Take us through a couple songs on your latest project.
The album is self-titled. We Are Messengers refers to our belief that God has called us across the ocean to share the good news of Jesus and to love the lost, the lonely and the least.
Our debut single is called "Everything Comes Alive" and is based on Ephesians 2. We tried to describe the transformation in my life through the Gospel using the outline of an average day. I really do believe God can transform and redeem everyone, no matter how far they have gone and no matter what they have done.
"I Don't Have The Answers," reminds us that we don't have to fix the hurt we see around us; it's okay to be afraid and uncertain. It reminds us that we are not called to fix people but to love them, to hold their hands and to stay with them in their pain. We can be pretty hard on ourselves sometimes and it's good to remember that God alone is the solution.
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
We are involved with World Vision. I think they are an incredible organization that is meeting the needs of thousands of people throughout the world and sharing a message of hope in Jesus that may not be heard otherwise. I believe that it is not enough to just talk or sing about mercy and compassion - we must live it out. Partnering with the folks at World Vision allows us to make a difference and that can be the difference between life or death for the people we are reaching.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question
Honestly, I miss Ireland a great deal and in particular my family there. Right now I would choose to sit in my mother's kitchen, eat dinner and talk about nothing very important with my parents. I would just love to be with them. There is nobody else living or dead that would trump that.
1. Favorite Bible Verse....life verse?
I adore Ephesians 2. It's my life chapter and reminds me that I was once dead in my sins, but that God is rich in mercy and that I am made alive in Him because of His great love. It blows my mind that God has raised a sinner like me up to be with Him in Heavenly places through the sacrifice of His beautiful and perfect Son, Jesus.
2. How & When did you become a believer?
My wife Heidi became a believer about 10 years ago. God rescued her from loneliness, anorexia and depression. Christ gave her her joy back and a peace that is astonishing, even in the middle of great loss. We had been together for seven years when she was saved, and I was in absolute turmoil, faithless, hopeless and living a life of adultery and shame. Heidi prayed incessantly for me and believed that one day I too would become a Christian and write Christian music. In 2008 Heidi and I found ourselves sitting in a little church in Monaghan shortly before we got married. I remember feeling incredibly guilty and unclean, and keenly aware that God was real and that He was exceedingly Holy in every way. I was convinced that only Jesus could reconcile the gulf I understood that existed between God and me. I turned from my sin that night, surrendered my will to Jesus and gave my life to the Lord. We have not looked back since.
3. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
In 2009 God convicted me to tell my wife Heidi about everything I had ever done before coming to Christ and that's exactly what I did. I told her about my adultery (before becoming a Christian and getting married) and the countless bad things I had done. Heidi turned to me and said this "I forgive you and I love you". It was at that moment that Jesus sacrifice on the cross made sense to me. I could see the love of God so clearly demonstrated in my wife's love and forgiveness. She had every right to reject me but she embraced me. She had every right to hate me but she had only compassion and love for me. What a beautiful demonstration of God's perfect love towards us.