Regent University’s College Preview Weekend featured Christian rock group We Are Messengers with openers Jordan St. Cyr and Ryan Ellis. These artists brought families and friends together under one chapel roof to worship and pray. A variety of genres were showcased, including rock, folk, rap, and acoustic, all of which made a joyful noise unto the Lord. Throughout the concert, lead singer Darren Mulligan called the audience to rest in their identity with God, cast off idols, be bold with their faith, and model a Christlike walk.
Ryan Ellis kicked off the evening with his characteristic upbeat style, featuring “Heart of the Father,” “Higher Ground,” “Savior,” and “All my Praise.” His high energy was contagious, and the audience was brought to their feet to praise Jesus with open arms. The second opener, Jordan St. Cyr, performed his heart-felt songs, including “Weary Traveler,” “Grateful,” and “Fires.” St. Cyr’s passionate worship engaged the hearts and minds of all in attendance. Finally, We Are Messengers took the stage in a powerhouse performance from beginning to end, playing songs like “Maybe It’s Ok,” “Everything Comes Alive,” “Point to You,” and even a never-before-heard ballad about his home village. With these hit songs, Mulligan used key lyrics to intermittently preach a Spirit-filled message regarding the dangers of falling into complacency, an emerging struggle of the contemporary western church.
During the concert, Mulligan took a few minutes to talk about how our relationship with God affects how we live our lives. He hails from a village of forty residents in Ireland, and found faith shortly before he was married. Both he and his fiancee came from non-religious backgrounds, but quickly sought to bring Christianity to their families. Mulligan urged the crowd to understand the full ramifications of being a Christian. He reminded students that our sinful nature causes us to stray from God’s plan, a point that hits home for many young adults in the contemporary Christian world.
His words were stirring and challenged attendees to seriously reflect on what idols and identities are causing roadblocks in their walks with God. Mulligan called for a moment of prayer set to acoustic guitar and piano, during which he knelt and asked attendees to join at the altar. Volunteers and university students prayed over those kneeling for the altar call. The room filled with voices being lifted as the audience turned their hearts to God. Strangers and friends prayed for one another, and others stood singing with their hands open. Instead of dismissing everyone after the last song, Mulligan encouraged those who were still knelt to stay until they felt ready to leave. Commenting that this had not occurred at any other concert during this tour, Mulligan said that he felt the Lord’s urging to encourage the attendees to join him in prayer and confession.
Mulligan also emphasized the importance of genuine worship. The contemporary movement often makes a production out of worship and church in general, creating an impersonal and forced atmosphere. He believes worship should come from the individual’s heart in response to God’s grace and mercy rather than designating himself and his band to “lead” people into a state of worship.
Because of this belief in individual worship, We Are Messengers does not label themselves as a worship band but rather a rock band that creates hard-hitting lyrics about the turbulence of life and how God responds to our cries for help. We Are Messengers’ Christian beliefs were displayed when Mulligan opened the altar for prayer. This unplanned ending led the audience to reflect on God’s renewing power in their own lives. It was a touching moment during which both strangers and friends were brought to respond to the Lord’s call.
There were few dry eyes in the room as the evening came to an end, but the sense of community, worship, and closeness to our Creator still lingers with me as I write this article days later. The first time I saw We Are Messengers perform was at the 2020 March for Life rally in Washington D.C. Their energy is truly unmatched, and you can tell they have hearts for the Lord. They constantly praise God for His divine plan and are not afraid to share personal stories about their walks with Christ. They are the type of band who radiate God’s love and how to thrive in living out your passions and created purpose. Their lyrics are not copy-and-paste or full of cliches but rather are overflowing with the rawness of life and turning to God for hope and peace.