1:48– About my Podcast
4:20– My Story & About Pub Theology
14:14– A Word of Advice
18:03– How do we enter into a non-believer’s world without compromising on who God has called us to be?
24:18– A Word of Encouragement
26:39– About Blackbird Mission
34:59– About the name: Blackbird Mission
36:32– The 4:23 Question
Daron Earlewine is a pastor, keynote speaker, radio host and spiritual entrepreneur. Daron’s work focuses on helping people find peace, purpose, and passion in this life and in the next. Daron’s pursuit to discover his purpose has taken various forms. He started a church when he was 23 years old and newly married. His church plant doubled in size every year for its first four years.
He spent 4 years on staff at a “mega” church in Indianapolis, serving as a young adult and teaching pastor. Before that adventure was done, he also oversaw all adult discipleship for the church. During that time, he got a vision from God to start a bar ministry.
In 2016, Pastor Daron started Radio Theology, a weekly radio show on WZPL, 99.5. You can also hear him regularly as Pastor Daron on The Smiley Morning Show in Indianapolis. Daron’s latest endeavor is a life-calling discovery course called Spiritual DNA. He took every tool that has helped him discover God’s unique design in his life and put them together to help others discover the same. Through this course, he has helped nearly 3,000 people discover who God created them to be. Daron and his wife, Julie, have been married for 17 years and have three sons. When he’s not speaking or telling people about Jesus in a bar, you will find him coaching his sons in sports and helping people become who they were born to be.
Ray: Well, hello everyone this is Ray Hilbert, and I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith and if this is your first time joining us here welcome aboard. If you’re a regular subscriber, we would like to welcome you back for another episode. Today we are in my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. We are in studio with our guest today, and I’ll introduce him in just a moment. Every once in a while I get to interview somebody that I’ve known outside of the world of Bottom Line Faith, and that’s the case today for my guest, Daron Earlewine. Daron, Is the founder and CEO as well I assume.
Daron: Sure, just all the titles.
Ray: All the titles right? For Blackbird Mission and you can check out Daron and his work at blackbirdmission.Com. That’s blackbirdmission.Com. So, we have on the program today speaker, radio program, podcast host and entrepreneur Daron Earlewine. Daron, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
Daron: It’s great to be part of the podcast. A little odd for me to be on the other side of the desk, not hosting. So, now I know why people feel nervous when they come in to do our stuff.
Ray: That is actually a great segway tell us a little bit about your podcast, about your- We’re going to get into the faith elements and all those things. But what is it that you are doing these days?
Daron: Yeah, half the time I don’t know. It just seems like it continues to evolve. A couple of different things that we do as part of Blackbird Mission, I do host a weekly three-hour radio show on 99.5 WZPL which is Indianapolis is number one hit music station, so completely secular station. They throw us the keys to the kingdom every Sunday morning from 7:00 a.M. To 10:00 a.M. And I get to host that show, and we say it’s Indy’s weekly dose of faith, love, hope, and music. So, it is a faith-based show, but we talk about everything going on in our lives and what is going on in the community. The goal there, you know Ray, is can we find a way to make a conversation about a little more normative. So, we host that. I also host a podcast called The Born to Be Podcast where we interview authors, artists, thought leaders, pastors, just from around the country and really mine into their story to say “How did you walk to this process of really just discovering who you were born to be?” Just inspired by the content we do with that and all of that has actually came as a result of many years ago I stepped away from traditional ministry and started a ministry called Pub Theology. Where we go out to local bars and the tagline there is faith, love, hope, and beer, so we bring those together for Indy’s best part with a purpose and try to take the love of Jesus outside of the walls of the church. So, I do all of that type of stuff in between, I usually find myself on the front side of the interview process, so this is a role reversal for me, but I like it.
Ray: So far, but you haven’t heard how bad I am.
Daron: That’s true, that’s true.
Ray: That is great. So, before we go on, give that line again around pub theology.
Daron: It’s Indy’s best party with a purpose. But it is the four words we bring together, faith, love, hope, and beer.
Ray: Yeah, and so I’m just curious, is there any brand of beer that has more anointed than another? Or is it all about the same.
Daron: You know, I read a book actually couple years ago, it’s actually a fascinating book called “In search of God in Guinness” have you ever read it?
Daron: The missions pastor at one of the churches I used to work at here in Indy, he gave it to me. Fascinating book about the story of Arthur Guinness and his family and Guinness Beer. In some ways, they saved Dubland as a city. It is an absolutely fascinating read. So, if there were an anointed beer it would probably be Guinness, but drinking a Guinness is like eating a whole loaf of bread, you know what I mean? But, there is a great story behind it.
Ray: Okay, fantastic. So, talk to us a little bit about, Daron, you mentioned a lot about what you are doing now, rooted in out of this ministry and this entity of Pub Theology. Tell us more about that and how that came about.
Daron: Yeah. It doesn’t really make any sense. My story, I grew up as a pastor’s kid. Came out of the Wesleyan denomination, which is very, you know, out of the wholeness movement, kind of a complete tea-totaling, no alcohol, no smoking, no R rated movies, no dancing kind of a lot of nos and that was the context of Christianity that I grew up in. So, the fact that for years now I’ve been known as the quote on quote the Pub Pastor is really odd to me. Because if you would have asked me as a kid if that would be part of my journey. I would have said, “There is no way that would be part of my journey because there is no way that I could still be a Christian and be that guy.” So, it is just kind of crazy to see the way that has evolved and the journey that God has taken me on to start Pub Theology and now with everything else that we are doing but honestly, I think along the way and I think one of the ways that God has used my journey is the fact that I have had to get over that hurdle myself. I think it helps me step into people’s lives with a little more empathy and go “Hey, listen I get how you can get to a place of thinking there is no way that God could fit into my kind of context, to my story.” Because, you know, there was a lot of time that I couldn’t see that.
Ray: What I’m really intrigued about is this aspect of what, and we’ll talk about the other things, but inside of Pub Theology is, what does that look like? Walk me through the tangible part. Are you just hanging out in a bar? Just waiting for conversation? I know you’re a musician. What does it look like inside of this work?
Daron: Yeah, I guess the beginning of Pub Theology, for me, started honestly way back in high school. I was a musician, and I wanted to play, I wanted to perform, I wanted to play the best type of music that we could. So, I wanted to start a band and got into college, we did that, put a band together. We toured all over the nation for two years. We’d play camps, churches, conferences but then a lot of the time of weekends my goal was to book us in bars all over the nation. We got a chance in those years to play The Whiskey Go-Go in LA on the Sunset Strip, bars all over, I mean in Kansas City, Detroit, Phoenix and it was in those moments where we would play our set of music, and we would get done playing, and there were some dark bars that we were in. I mean Sunset Strip isn’t exactly a great holy land of places. We played a bar in Detroit literally one of the scariest moments in my life, we actually had a cage. They had where you would actually park your truck and van so it wouldn’t be stolen while you were performing. But, we would go in and play these bars, very, very dark places and we’d get done. We’d be talking to the locals, talking to the regulars, talking to the sound guy and they’d say “Hey, were you guys talking about Jesus during a couple of those songs?”. All of the sudden the sound guy or some regular starts opening up about their story of their faith and where that’s gone, and where that got disconnected. So, what would it look like to go into everyday spaces in people’s lives and let them know, “Like listen, God’s not far from you. You know what I mean? He’s never stopped, He’s never given up on you. He’s still there.” That is where it started. So, I was a church planner. I had been a church planning for about six years. I say I had kind of a missional freakout moment, where I realized in my life that I had no influential relationships with anybody that didn’t know Jesus. I define that as nobody that didn’t know Jesus wasn’t inviting me to parts and I think that if you look a the life of Jesus you knew He had influence with people that were notorious sinners, because they invited Him to their parties, right? Not only was I not getting invited, one of the moments came for me when I trying to go watch a Cubs game in my neighbor’s garage. I remember coming back from the garage, and I told my wife “Babe, I’m trying to have a conversation, and it’s super awkward, and I didn’t know what to say.” I don’t know if your wife has the ability to say really gentle, loving things to you. My wife looked at me and said “That’s because you aren’t a real person anymore, Daron.” and I was like “Excuse me?” She was like “Unless you are doing church stuff or talking about church stuff with church people, you don’t know how to have a conversation. Like you become a caricature of yourself.” and that sent me on this kind of a tailspin that ended up- Me drawing on some of those lessons of when we use to play in bars. I went on a missions trip to Bosnia. I was over there for the first time overseas. We went over to this dance club after we were in a coffee shop. We were building classrooms over there, and the missionaries were like “Hey, you guys want to see the culture here in Bosnia?” we said sure. We went to this bar, and it was interesting to me, Ray because here I am for the first time ever overseas and the two dance clubs that were in town were packed full of young adults. Man, the same thing happened that happened in every city in America and the thought that I think God gave me, I thought “If we could find a way to own the room we could really make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. That was significant for me because I had seen people doing bar ministry where they were the Christians in the corner and did a Bible study, and it was kind of weird. What I realized was the power of owning the room, if you give me a stage and I can entertain you. You give me a couple thousand watts of a PA and a microphone, well now I own the room. I can take you where I want to take you, as far as a journey emotionally, the content that we will be doing. So, that Idea came we came back put a bend together. Started getting booked to play on a Wednesday night and it just kind of evolved from there. Longer story than we have time for the podcast, but God opened a door to what we call a person of peace in this bar that we were at. He let us start this idea so basically what we do is, we are the entertainment for the night, so we live bands, comedies, giveaways. This summer we are going to have a magician that is going to do some table magic at different places. We are entertaining you, but we are always bringing what we call a compassion spotlight either a local charity or a company, somebody that has come alongside and served their community in a way. The idea there was we wanted to bring stories to the bar that introduced people to what I call actually show from Erwin McManus, but soul themes. You know themes that resonate with someone’s soul rather they have a relationship with God or not. So, these are things like compassion, servanthood, generosity. If we tell stories that are going to awaken people’s souls even though they don’t know why. I want to introduce them to their soul coming alive before we introduce them to Jesus. So, we’ll do interviews with folks, games, giveaways, stuff like that, the bands plays, and I always do a thought of the night. I put together a little three-minute sermon that sorta brings together the theme of the night and then we usually end the night with a text Q&A time. Where people can just text me about faith, hope, love, relationships, God, whatever and I do my best to answer them, live on stage. Then after we get done doing that the band plays for another hour, hour and a half, two hours and we hang out, try to meet people and build relationships you know themes that resonate with someone’s soul rather they have a relationship with God or not. So, these are things like compassion, servanthood, generosity. If we tell stories that are going to awaken people’s souls even though they don’t know why. I want to introduce them to their soul coming alive before we introduce them to Jesus. So, we’ll do interviews with folks, games, giveaways, stuff like that, the bands plays, and I always do a thought of the night. I put together a little three-minute sermon that sorta brings together the theme of the night and then we usually end the night with a text Q&A time. Where people can just text me about faith, hope, love, relationships, God, whatever and I do my best to answer them, live on stage. Then after we get done doing that the band plays for another hour, hour and a half, two hours and we hang out, try to meet people. That’s a long story to a really short question.
Ray: That’s great and action and come back to that in just a moment. It’s kind of a connection to our listeners here who are a lot of business owners and marketplace leaders, so I’m going to come back to that connection. Maybe share one example, one story that stands out to you that like, blew you away, that God did during the midst of these Pub Theology events.
Daron: Yeah. I can remember it was right around Christmas. It’s been years ago, but there was a bartender at the main bar that we were at, and she was there for every Pub Theology every month, every week because she worked there. She wasn’t ever really nice to us, so I thought she hated us. Somedays she would be nice, but a lot of times she wouldn’t be. So, we got to the end of a night to the text Q&A portion of the evening, and she sent a question in, and it stopped me in my tracks it said: “What am I supposed to do with a relationship with God, if I believe He hates me?” and I realized that she had sent it. In that moment that it came clear, I’m like it hadn’t been that she hated us the whole time. To her, we represent a God that she thinks he hates her. So, that night I said, it was one o those cool moments where the Holy Spirit gives you an answer, and it was anonymous no one knew that she had asked the question. I said “If you are in the bar tonight and you believe that God hates you, I want you to look no further than the story of Christmas.” and this happened to be around Christmas. I was like “If I’m the God that created the universe that created and substandard at all. I’m mighty and powerful and Holy, and all of the things that you associate with God and I’m mad at you, and I hate you. I am not going to show up on your planet in the most humble and vulnerable manifestation of humankind possible.” Like the fact that God showed up as a baby lets you know that He came to say “Listen, I want to make peace with you. I am not mad at you, I don’t hate you.” and that started the dialogue. Afterward, I came up to her and said “Hey, I know you sent that text message. Can we talk?” We ended up meeting a couple of times for coffee. She started reading the Gospel of John, asking questions, putting that together. We got her connected to a local church here in town, and she started taking her daughter to church and growing in her relationship with the Lord, and so those are just those kinds of cool moments, that’s one that stands out to me.
Ray: Oh, thank you. I know there are many more, we’ve talked in the past. So, I would like to then now parallel in this aspect of your work, with Pub Theology too, a person who is listening to this who’s in business or the marketplace, cause in essence what are you are doing is you’re bringing faith and Christ into a broken place.
Ray: A bar in that case. It’s very similar to the business person who has the opportunity to bring their faith and bring Christ into the marketplace and deals with vendors, with customers and even with competitors. Maybe give some advice or encouragement that if I’m a business person listing to this conversation with you right now, how do you encourage me to do, with what you’ve describe you’re doing with Pub Theology? Just change the context for me, what does that look like?
Daron: You know, I think it has to do with normal, just being normal. Maybe this sounds weird but, I meet and so many Christians that we get, like me, with my neighbor. I was weird. I couldn’t just hang out and have a relationship. Like it had to be churchy, and we have all of our dumb church words that we use, you know our Christianity. I started realizing; you’ve got to make your faith accessible to someone in your life. So, I would say, one of the things we did with Pub, a lot of people don’t know this about our story, we hang out in the bar, and we pastors at that point. I was a pastor of the church across the street; we would have our staff meetings at lunch there in the bar. Now, we didn’t come in and tell people “Hey, I want you to know we are the pastoral staff of the church over here, right.” We were just normal and built relationships with the people. After six months I was like “Guys listen we need to oust ourselves here like they need to know.” So, we did, and it took relationships, and we sorta became the pastoral staff, in some ways of that bar, even before we started Pub Theology. I would tell somebody don’t miss the normal things of life. You don’t have to come to work every day and hand out tracks; you know what I mean? You don’t have to live by some slogan of a banner that’s, you know, on your wall or something. Look at your life. If you are a Christian business owner, is anyone inviting you to their parties? Is anybody inviting you to go grab a drink after work? If they’re not then it could be that you’re presenting an element of your faith that seems to completely inaccessible. So, I would say a part of it is just making that connection with Jesus as normal as it is. That it is a part of everything in your life, it is an everyday thing; it’s an every space kind of thing. So, making it normative and making it accessible to people in your life. Because one thing that has blown me away Ray in all these years is I use to think I was really committed to the mission of Christ. Like maybe I was more committed to than He was. Because when I was a pastor, and there were times I wasn’t seeing people come to faith regularly in our church, I started to literally some of my missional freak-out moments was I began to think, I don’t know if God still works on adults. Like all the national stats if you don’t make a decision to follow Jesus by the time you’re eight-teen you’re not gonna. So, I starting thinking, I don’t know does Jesus still work on adults? You know, here I am busting my tail to do everything we can at this church and “Jesus are you even out there doing you’re thing?” and I can tell you know, that I’ve stepped out of it. Into more of a marketplace space and the listeners are in the same space I am blown away by how often I’m not bumping into work that Jesus has been doing long, long before I got there. But, if I can build a relationship if you can build a relationship with a co-worker where your faith is a normal part of your life I think you are going to be amazed at how active Christ is in His mission all around you. If you open your life up to Him.
Ray: I think it is very powerful and I’d like to go just one layer deeper on this conversion.
Ray: So, as an example, I personally do not drink any sort of alcohol. Now, I also see personally no problem with it from even a faith standpoint. I know the Bible drinking under the point of drunkenness. So, advise me, you know, if I’m a follower of Christ how can I engage in those relationships, in their space, and in their world in a way that doesn’t cause me to stumble or sin or compromise? Again mine’s not so much on a moral thing. I just don’t do it. I don’t like the taste of it and etc. I’m just using that as an example, but it is applicable to a business person. How do I enter into that world and be real to your point and yet maintain the purity of my faith and don’t compromise who God’s calling me to be? Does that make sense?
Daron: Absolutely. I think that’s the tension, right? When the Word talks about to be in but not of. When Jesus says things like “Hey, you need to be shrewd as a snake. But innocent as a dove.” and in my opinion and people, you probably have a bunch of listeners that will say his opinion is totally wrong. My opinion is that life is a lot more grey in these areas than black and white. It seems to me as I study the life of Jesus that He drank, I mean His first miracle is ridiculous right? The most socially irresponsible thing Jesus could ever do. If any of us did what Jesus did during His first miracle, ever church that we would go to would be up in arms and would call us the most irresponsible Christians possible. There is no other way to define it other than that. They ran out of wine, and he made 120 more gallons of it. Like, that story should have ended with Jesus being like “They’ve already been irresponsible, they’ve obviously drank too much. I will give them water, right, or maybe some Gatorade because they need to sober up.” He doesn’t, He irresponsibly, in my opinion, makes more wine for these people. They kind of thing as screwed up my mind, like what is Jesus doing? But I think there is a tension there, and so I think for some people if you know alcohol can be a problem for you then you need to be as wise as a snake in that. You know what I mean? And as innocent as a dove but if it’s not, I’m amazed personally within our culture, and it’s different overseas.
Ray: That’s right.
Daron: It’s different overseas. You have to understand our context in America I’m amazed that if you sit down and have a beer with someone and they know you are a Christian. They think you don’t drink, smoke or chew or date girls that do, right? That’s your thing, that is what sets you apart as a Christian. In my opinion, it is like if we’re saying what makes you a follower of Christ of Jesus is that you don’t smoke, chew, or drink. We have put the cookies, not on the bottom shelf, they aren’t even on a shelf. Like, this is about a transformed heart from the inside out that has so much more to do than with those outside things. I’m just saying that if you can get into a space that you can say “Hey, listen, let’s embrace invulnerability together it makes a difference. So, I mean I don’t like to paint with enormous, broad strokes, you have to be wise in yourself. But if it’s not a problem for you if it’s not a struggle for you I think you’d been amazed if you’d maybe just start going to happy hour with some of the guys that you work with and having a beer and letting them share their story with you. How much you might find influence of the Kingdom of God coming into their life. But you have to wise about it. You have to smart about it.
Ray: So, would you then take it to the point of we kind of know in our knower when we’ve crossed the line? We can’t enter into that sin. We can’t. For example, I mean, I’m probably not wise if I’m going to go to the strip joint to witness to my coworkers.
Ray: Because then I placed myself in a totally- I’m just asking if that is your viewpoint.
Daron: Yes. I’ve have people come up to me that have been upset about Pub and been like “So, what is the next ministry, go to a strip joint?” and for me, I kinda want to come across a table at someone for that. Because it’s like no. My wife might start a ministry to strippers, but there is no chance on planet Earth that as man you’re going to go to a strip joint and not have sinful thoughts. It’s not wise. So, if you’re going to say what Jesus said “So, let’s be wise and let’s be shroud” well there is no wisdom there. For my wife to do it, it’s wisdom. For me to do it, not wise.
Ray: That is fantastic.
Daron: I just think, my thing about drinking is alcohol is very dangerous, and you need to be very wise with it, but I’m just amazed with the journey that I’ve been on. Traditional, conservative Christianity in America, we are so passionate about our purity around alcohol but we aren’t that concerned about gossip, slander, unforgiveness, we surely are that concerned about gluttony. You know what I mean?
Ray: Yep, yep.
Daron: It’s like we’ve just got to be fair about it and realize. And I think that’s it was my passion growing up in a pastor’s home, and so deep in the church, it’s like I’m going to go to a church potluck where people are just absolutely gorging in themselves in food, and then that’s great, no problem at all. The issue here is not food it’s that you don’t have self-control and you are self-medicating for whatever is going on in your life with the one acceptable Christian vice which is food and feels justified to feel really bad for the neighbor guy who is doing that was Coors Light. But if we could submit our entire life in every element, you know what I mean, to the Holy Spirit and say “Hey, what does self-control look like in everything that I am doing? I think we’d see that the vice itself is maybe not the thing that is unholy, we’ve got to look at what is the condition of our heart. I think living in that type of gray area is really uncomfortable for most of us. We’re like “Let’s just not go that deep into my own situations, just give me four to five rules that I can follow and stop thinking that deep.”
Ray: Thank you, that is really good. I really don’t want to make this whole conversation around an issue or a certain vice. It really is about the condition of the heart. So, if I’m a business leader and I’m running a company or leading an organization, my thing may be greed. My thing may be I’m going to make a profit and if I hurt people in the process that may be my thing that I wrestle with right? So, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a pastor from background, but you’re really an entrepreneur at heart. So, what advice or encouragement would you have for someone who is listening to the program that maybe God has put a vision in- Because this Pub Theology is an example of something that God put there and you did something with it. So, what encouragement what do you have for an entrepreneur who has a vision, something that God has put in their heart? They’re wrestling with, they’re chewing with, and they’re just not sure how to get it started, they just aren’t sure what to do next. Encourage us.
Daron: I would say start. Go. You know, I think so often, one of the things I talk about often is all too often we think God is playing a huge game of red light, green light. I don’t know you remember that from high school or elementary school where you basically get ready to go and if they said: “green light” you could start running and “red light” whoever was the last to stop running was out of the game. I think too many of us think God is playing a huge cosmic game of red light, green light and that He is mostly a red light guy. I don’t think that is true. I think, how many times do we have God recorded telling us “go.”? Be strong, be courageous, go. Therefore go, go, go, go. I think if you’re at a place right now when you really do feel like God has given you a vision, very likely if you are in the business sector you may be, it comes from Ephesians chapter 4. This is a passage that completely changed my life. You are very likely given a voice of an apostle. You’re Apostolic. The voice there is a pioneer, you are an innovator, you are a pioneer, you’re Apostolic. In business, we call that an entrepreneur. But, knowing that, that very well may be why God put you on Earth and if he’s entrusting you with ideas that are currently on His mind and in His heart to your brain you got to go after it. So, I’d say find the next most logical thing or easiest step and just go. If you’re waiting around for all to make sense, it never will. But, when you start that process and start bringing people into it and start sharing the ideas and default yes. I always tell the Lord “Lord, this is a crazy idea.” the deal is always yes, I’ll do whatever You tell me to do. For me, you know, it has changed and uprooted my inter life to continue to say yes to what He is doing. But if you’ve got an idea and you are waiting, don’t wait. Default to go, start, do something.
Ray: So, we’ve talked a little bit inside of this blackbirdmission.com, which is your website, the Pub Theology piece, but what are some of the other elements or things that God is calling you at this stage in your entrepreneur journey? Walk us throw that and how do you see all of that coming together and bringing glory to His name in the marketplace.
Daron: Yeah, so the four brands within Blackbird Missions, there is Pub Theology, Radio Theology, there is the Born to Be podcast, and then we have a workshop, an online workshop called the DNA workshop. So, the mission of Blackbird Mission is to awaken individuals to become who they were born to be so they can live with peace, discover their calling and create the future. So, everything we are trying to do and are doing with Blackbird is to awaken individuals to become who they were born to, part of that is me walking that out myself. See that God has called me out of the box of ministry that I thought I had to be in and understanding that who I was born to be wasn’t a Shepard, nurturer or pastor. Like, God has put me here on Earth to be an entrepreneur, an apostle, a pioneer. So, what I want to do, what we are trying to do with Blackbird is let people know, listen God has created you on purpose and for a purpose. We want to help you understand that and actually apply that to your life and when do it is actually amazing that God is going to invite you to partner with Him and create the future that’s currently on His heart and on His mind and that is every, and that is in every sphere of life. That’s business, that’s academia, that’s arts, that’s entertainment. That’s everywhere, so yeah one of the main things we have is a radio show. We started that about two years ago, crazy story, we had started Pub Theology I was on staff at a large church here in Indy, ended up taking a flyer to one of our events to one of the number one DJ here in Indy. He shows up at our event at Pub Theology we develop a friendship. About a year after that he invites me to come in and do an interview about Pub on his radio show, that turns into a twice-a-month bit called Therapy Thursday, where you know, Pastor Daron comes in to help with whatever.
Daron: That ends up building a relationship with the program director of the station. Then two years ago he said, “Hey, would you ever consider hosting your own show here on ZPL.” It was one of those let me pray for once second, like “Yes, I would definitely consider doing that.” So in that, Ray, a lot of what we learned with Pub Theology was that we wanted to take the love of Jesus, you know, outside of the four walls of the church and put it back in the everyday spaces and places of life. What God has opened the door for us with Radio Theology is we are literally riding shotgun with people in their car. It is a very, very intimate place to be in someone’s car with them by themselves. You know what I mean? The defenses are down. The beautiful thing about radio is that yeah I’m talking to 60, 70, 80 thousand people at the same time but you don’t now that. You feel like I’m talking right to you and so for us, we are training ourselves to learn to not talk to the crowd but how do we talk to the individual and speak to where they are at in that? So we have the radio show and the Born to Be Podcast, and the way they work together is we’re hoping that throw Pub we reach people throw radio and then as then as they get curious and say “You know what, maybe I was created on purpose. Maybe God is for me, not against me. We want them to listen to the podcast. To hear other stories of how God worked in people’s lives and when they are really ready to figure that out for themselves, we want them to take and be a part of the Spiritual DNA workshop. We have seen over three thousand people go throw that DNA workshop live or throw the online course. I just got an amazing opportunity to take 122 high school students through it in the past six weeks. So, that is kinda the umbrella of everything we are doing with Blackbird.
Ray: That’s fascinating to me. Taking this whole Spiritual DNA Workshop in with high schoolers and the timing of this recording is- we are just four days removed from a school shooting. Would you just speak to what is it- We as entrepreneurs, we are problem solvers right? As entrepreneurs you’re a problem solver, you see a need and you solve it. Or you attempt to solve it. What encouragement, what advice would you have for somebody that is listening to the program today who is saying “We’ve got a problem here.” What can I do, what can we do to begin to address it? You’re going in and teaching the kids at the core of the issue. What can we do?
Daron: I think all of us whether we’re a kid or not we went to feel like we make sense. What you know that we belong and I think that relational fabric that God has created in each of us and within our culture, you know if you can play football then you belong. If you can play a sport, then you can belong. If you can sing you belong. If you have an outward natural talent that makes sense that you find you can make that niche to where you belong. I think what we need to do and what we need from entrepreneurs, and from pioneers and apostles out there that are listening is that as unique in a different as every single one of us are, what are some ideas, what are some visions, what are some burdens that are on God’s heart right now that are unique to you and how can you begin to come alongside, you know, teens people in your neighborhood, employees, kids, other folks to begin to help them see that you don’t have to fit into all the normal or more popular cliches, you know, areas but how is God creating you to come alongside a kid like that? And let them know that you make sense. You don’t have to be like that kid, you can be like you, and step into that and I really believe that God is creative enough that He has some idea that He wants to entrust and to the hearts in the minds of entrepreneurs out there. I would say this, Ray, and this is something that changed for me, and this is the fact that I had one of the most difficult leadership decisions I ever made was when I walk away from a traditional ministry job. I struggled for months and months and months because I felt like I was turning my back on the church, which was, you know, thank God, the Lord was like “No, the church isn’t a building” right, we are the church. I didn’t turn my back on Christ, I didn’t turn my back on His people and what He’s asking us to do and inviting us to do in the world. So, I would say for an entrepreneur out there to realize that, listen it may be outside the context of a church program. It might just be you and two or three other people. It is one of the things I teach people in the Spiritual DNA Workshop is that so often that as entrepreneurs we dream, as Pioneers we dream of how am I going to impact lives of 2-3 thousand or 2-3 hundred people. But Jesus’ economy says if there’s two or three of you then we have something we can work with. And so what I encourage somebody is give God access to your imagination and say “God, what could we dream up together that is going to make a difference for two or three kids. What does that look like? If you’re smart enough to come up with a multimillion-dollar deal to make something happen. I guarantee you are smart enough to borrow one of God’s ideas to make a difference for some kids.
Ray: I’ve heard it said that if each of us just do for one or two that we wish we could do for all, that’s the starting point. Rather we call it the starfish story or whatever.
Daron: That’s right.
Ray: Sometimes we get overwhelmed with whatever it is. It’s such a big problem; it’s such a big issue. But maybe it just begins with a reach out to one.
Ray: So you might be a coach of a sports team right now, and you got that one kid who seems like an outlier. You may have that employee whose the outlier, the little strang personality that we need to take a moment and just give them a little bit of extra attention and love, we don’t know. Just making a difference for the one or two may be making a difference for them all.
Ray: The name Blackbird Mission, blackbirdmission. Come tell me about that. Then I’ve got one more question.
Daron: Yeah. It came from a buddy of mine, we were coming up with- What are we going to call this thing, he’s a great creative guy, and it came together from a couple of different things. One, what we do is musical rather it is through the radio or through the pub. So, we say “We love that Beatles’ song.” Blackbird, right. The hook there Blackbird sing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, as a ministry we want to be about taking people’s brokenness and really be redeemed and find that way to fly. The other part of it comes from that I love jets. As a kid a poster of an SR71 Blackbird Spy Plan on my wall as a kid. So, a lot of what about we do Blackbird is we want to be off the radar. Rather it is in a pub, or rather it is in a secular radio station. I’m doing a lot more teaching. I was just able to be a part of a big corporate conference here and doing more corporate speaking. So, for me and our organization, you know, we want to be off the radar. So, we are able to I guess infiltrate some enemy lines and take the faith, hope, love, and Jesus, so that’s part of it. Then there is the second, another part of it is 1 Kings 17, where Elijah is out in the desert and the raves, blackbirds bring him provisions to keep him alive and so that is a part we want to do too. To bring God’s provisions to people in desert places and it just kinda sounds cool.
Ray: I was going to say that’s a really cool name. With a lot of meaning behind it. That is fantastic. Well, Daron the last question we ask all of our guests here at Bottom Line Faith, we call it our 4:23 Question, it is based out of Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23. Where Solomon rights Above All Else guard your heart for from it flows all of life, right. So, you’re still a young guy, young kids and still sort of in the middle of it all and yet time is fast for all of us. Just imagine for a moment that you’ve fast-forwarded to the end of your time on this side of eternity. Given a chance to gather your family, your friends, your loved ones, those who are most precious to you and you get to pass along one piece of advice so I’d like you to fill in the blank for our listeners here. What would be that advice that would say “Above all else.”
Daron: You know, I think it would have to go back for me too, you know, it’s part of our mission statement. Above all else, become who you were born to be and know that part of who you were born to be is you were born to be a dearly loved son or daughter of God. An intimate ally of Him. He has created you on purpose and for a purpose and know that there is so much uniqueness in that and so I think that is, yeah, the above all else. Become who you were born to be and realize that there is a uniqueness in you. There’s a unity in all this in the body, the way we fit together. But, if you’ll see what it means to be with Christ in the unique way that he’s created you to serve alongside and partner with Him the life of peace, the life of purpose, the life of passion that lies on the other side of that, that is worth living to die for.
Ray: That’s great stuff. Daron, thanks for being on the program.
Daron: It was my honor.
Ray: Well folks, check out Daron Earlewine. His website, again one last time is blackbirdmission.Com. We’ve learned who he is, what he is doing, why he is doing it, and it’s more than a really cool name there’s actually a lot of substance behind that. At blackbirdmission.Com. So, another great episode here at Bottom Line Faith. Really unique contexts today, really unique challenges that Daron has brought to us as far as we all have a different environment that God has called us into, rather it is formal ministry as was his background but then God called him out into the marketplace in some of the darkest and most broken environments. That is where we all live in the marketplace. The unchurched out where they aren’t in church on Sunday morning and not in the Bible studies, our customers, our employees, our vendors, and God has given every one of you who are listening to this program right now has a very unique, a very unique Mission field, so I really hope that you are encouraged and challenged by Daron’s message today. Check out the website bottomlinefaith.Org, become a regular subscriber if you’re not. Also please, please, please go online give us some reviews on the program today. That is how we can get the word out that is how we get more subscribers. So, please offer your reviews, kind reviews only. You know give us four or five stars. Daron and I are laughing about that. But, in all seriousness, we treasure your reviews on these conversations. So, until next time I am your host, Ray Hilbert. Encouraging you to faithfully serve the Lord every day in the marketplace. See you next time.