The Irish American band We Are Messengers is known for multi-flavored Christian music, melding Irish sounds with Gospel, reggae, and other musical influences. The group, consisting of Darren Mulligan, Kyle Williams, Drew Kerxton, and Raul Aguilar, draws sell-out crowds. The Dove-nominated and K-LOVE Fan Award-winning band travels to small and large venues to share the message of Christ’s love.
While at that event, Mulligan spoke with Betty McDowell, Heartbeat’s vice president of Ministry Services, for Heartbeat’s Pregnancy Help Podcast. He shared his heart for the pro-life movement, revealing that being actively pro-life isn’t always easy, even for Christian artists.
“It’s a scary thing to come out and say, ‘This is what me and my family believe,’” Mulligan said.
“I think one of the things I'm afraid of when I talk about this is I'm afraid of the finger-pointing.” he said. “I'm afraid of the people going, ‘Ah, yeah, but you're that guy, you're a sinner, aren't you? You're messy. You're kind of a bit rough around the edges, a bit dirty.’”
“It's a damaging thing to my career in one part,” Mulligan added, “but I have to remember that when I honor God, He honors me.”
Mulligan strives to maintain this regardless of any finger-pointing or changes the band has seen. We Are Messengers launched onto the Christian music scene about five years ago; Mulligan’s wife, Heidi, helped start the group. Other members have come and gone since the founding, but with Williams on board, a strong bond appears sealed.
“Kyle has been the one consistent member of the band,” Mulligan said. “I think what we have in common is we're both introverts. We both like to hide in corners and we've both got gifts, (and) we're able to laugh at ourselves.”
Those gifts and that bond have brought forth a critically acclaimed debut album, six Billboard Top 10 Christian hits, and three top five singles.
As a musical talent, Mulligan sees an additional blessing.
“The gift is that I get to partner with God and what he's doing, and that enriches my life,” Mulligan said. “So, it's no burden to be abused online for believing in this. It's a joy….”
Being part of the pro-life movement does not mean judgement or condemnation toward women, still, Mulligan admitted he once struggled with such feelings.
“I would look at young girls who've had an abortion and you know, all the judgements would run through my mind,” he said. “‘How can they?’ How dare you?’”
“What I realize now is these young girls just need someone to step in alongside them and say, ‘I can't imagine how hard this is, but we'll walk with you,’” Mulligan said.
Like the Apostle Paul, who implied he was “the worst” of sinners,” (1 Timothy 1:15), Mulligan recognizes his mistakes, but through those missteps, he also sees the grace of God.
“I have a very messy, broken life,” he said. “I have a messy, broken history that was redeemed by God. I've caused so much damage and wreckage.”
“That, for me, is a redemptive part of my story, that the Lord can take someone like me and allow me to speak hope into people that have none,” said Mulligan. “That's magic, and I don't deserve it. Any of it. I don't deserve the goodness of God, but He's cared. And so, while He's dishing out kindness and mercy and redemption, I'll gratefully lap that thing up.”
Mulligan and the rest of the band share that message of hope, love, grace, and redemption through their music.
“Sweet are the feet of the messengers who carry the good news of Jesus,” he said. “And we always wanted to be good news.”
“I'm not always good news, but we want to be that,” said Mulligan. “And so, We Are Messengers is kind of just me and my wife and the kids and then these incredible bandmates that we have. We don't want to be rich. We don't want to be famous. We just want to do really reckless things for God.”
He also sees the pro-life movement and pregnancy help ministries offering good news.
“People serve broken people,” Mulligan said. “We need people saying, ‘I can imagine if I was in your position, I would probably feel the same, but I'm not. And I have the opportunity to help you.’”
“There are a lot of great Christian singers and country singers and pop singers that are pro-life and do provide a lot of resources and time and energy behind the scenes.” he added. “But very few of them actually step forward and say, ‘Well, this is who I am. This is what I want to be engaging in because of what's happening in America….’”
Tweet This: We need people saying; I would probably feel the same if I was in your position, but I'm not. And I have the opportunity to help you.
Mulligan sees future opportunities for him and his family and other artists to assist the pro-life movement.
“Me and my wife really want to leave a legacy that impacts the pro-life movement,” he said. “I'm not sure what that's going to be yet.”
“I can talk about being pro-life all I want, but until I give them time and energy and money and resources, I'm not really pro-life,” Mulligan said. “I want to learn and help people learn how to celebrate being pro-life … I want every baby to be born, yeah … (but) love mom and love the dad (too).”
Tweet This: I want to learn & help people learn how to celebrate being pro-life. I want every baby to be born, yeah, but love mom & love the dad too.