Welcome, everyone, we're really glad that you're here. We're really excited about what God is doing with this new book that had been in deras. There's hard to write a call for Balladeers, pursuing art and beauty. For the discipling of nations, we're really excited about the impact of artists and the important role that they have in taking ideas and prophetically speaking them to culture. Man, if we're talking about a kingdom shaping movement, artists are really front and center in that role. But as many of us know, the church has not always done a good job of recognizing them, and commissioning them. And in seeing the essential and critical role that they have. They've maybe just said, If you could just do evangelism, or what is this art all about, you know, so. So that has sparked something that we're we're working on here in the minutes. My name is Tim Williams, I am part of the staff of disciple nations Alliance. I work with information systems, donor development, communications, website newsletters. I'm here to support Darrow support you support the ministry. As as we, as the Lord leads, if you would like one quick way that we could introduce ourselves, if you feel comfortable with Zoom and chat and everything, you could make sure your name is listed. And you could put your location, you know, your country or state, and if there's a particular kind of art that you're interested in, and if you want to just put that in the chat, that will help us all get to know each other. And maybe we'll see somebody, we think I've got to get connected with another person who knows Darrow, who's passionate about the Lord and art. So your name, your location, and any particular kind of art that you're passionate about, whether it's dance, whether it's painting, whether it's piano, or film, I would love to hear from that. I'm gonna offer a quick opening prayer. And then I'm going to turn it over to Darrow. And he's going to be interviewing Randall. We'll take about 45 minutes for that. And then I'm going to stop them and open it up for some questions, you can send me any questions directly if you would like to. There's a spot where you can say just I want to chat with just Tim and you can shoot me any questions. And we will open it up toward the end for that. Also, let me go ahead and pray for us briefly and turn it over to Darrow. Gracious God, thank you so much. For the gifts God of your Spirit at work and for the opportunity to partner with what you're doing God. As Randall plate, prayed earlier, God, I just joined with that prayer and ask that you would affirm and encourage these artists God to walk fully in your calling without hindrance. Pray that you would give the words to say during this time, and just bless this community in Jesus name, amen.
Amen. Well, thank you all for joining us. I give you a warm welcome. I want to just say as we begin, there's two people on tonight that in my mind, Mark, the book ends for this book. And one is Paulette, where she
she's there. Okay.
Yeah, I'm here.
I know, Paulette 20 years ago, maybe more a young artist at the time a painter, a weaver. And we had long talks that were very precious talks. And as I thought about writing this book, all these years later, Paulette, and other folks like her were in the back of my mind, and she symbolized the reason I wrote the book. So Paulette, it's good to see you again. And Jenny Park, read the book.
Same here and thank you.
Jenny Park read the book, and sent me a note saying how impactful it had been on her life and she would like to do a concert for a a book launch. And we'd never done a book launch before it the DNA and never had a concert. And Jenny put together the most wonderful concert for a book launch. And so Paul Epps in the back of my mind for writing the book, Jenny is in the forefront of my mind, because we just did the book launch few weeks ago. So it's good to have you here. I want to introduce you to Randall Finn, we met, what two months ago now, Randall is correct, sir. And we hit it off immediately, because we got on a zoom. And as soon as we got on, I noticed he was wearing a t shirt that said, Beauty will save the world. And I don't think at that point, you'd read the book. But the last chapter of the book, as those of you who've seen it is Beauty will save the world. So we immediately hit it off. And with that connection, it was like we'd been friends for years. And I think, what what do we talk for an hour, hour and a half, maybe more, at least. So we're going to try and keep this to 45 minutes tonight, we'll see if Tim is going to cut us off. But Randall, we'd love to have you tell us your story. A little bit about your background and how you got into dance?
Surely, all right, well, I'm gonna make a long story short, because I'm about to turn 65 Next week. So that's a lot of years for a story. I grew up in a family, my mom was Sicilian, my dad, Irish, a very interesting mix of cultures. And I was the youngest of four. My older brother and sister. They were on television every week on a dance program, kind of like what we would call now Dancing with the Stars. But this was back actually in the 1960s. And the Italian family especially would come over to the house on the weekends in front of the black and white television. And they would pay all the attention to my older brother and sister who were actually champions on this particular dance television show. Well, I was the youngest in the family and I felt a little bit not nobody noticed. That wasn't too much of a delight for me. So I thought, Well, okay, I think I understand the rationalization to be noticed in this family, you have to dance. And so I would say that out of a particular desire in my own heart for a little bit of a search for significance, then I decided well, that they can dance the night can dance to. And dance wasn't anything that was strange in my home. You know, the especially the Italian culture, and even the Irish culture. You know, both embrace dance is a beautiful art form that is worthy of interaction. But dance not only was something that I was looking for, in the sense of recognition, but I would honestly say, in a sense of protection, and I'm going to explain that briefly. My father had been in World War Two, he probably came back with PTSD. But it wasn't diagnosed at the time. As a child, I just thought my father was mean that he had an incredibly explosive temper. And when that temper went off the Richter scale, then that temper could become abuse and violence. Now, that wasn't an everyday affair. But when it did take place, it was frightening. And it scarred me. It wounded me. And I didn't have a healthy relationship with my dad, because there was no intimacy that was there. I couldn't go to him with any of my dilemmas in life, couldn't question him about anything. I couldn't question him that his behavior was not proper. And especially the times that his anger would explode. I would find myself locking the door of my room and putting on records and just moving and there was so much freedom in that moment. There was a liberty There was a sense of refuge and Sanctuary. Now I didn't know at the time that that was actually God's provision. God saw this frightened, broken little boy who felt like an orphan and God Did his love through his gift, he was attempting to woo me into an understanding of his revelation through the very gift. So I often believe that God gives a gift, actually, to woo us to open up our understanding that, God, you're speaking to me through this. But of course, at the time, I didn't realize that, as I got older, you know, then it wasn't cold anymore to lock myself in the room and dance, I got into junior high school. And when I went to junior high, initially, I was extremely insecure. I'm from Texas, and especially back in the day, if you were from Texas, and you were a guy than you were either an athlete or a cowboy. And I just did not feel like I fit into either of those two categories. Like I knew from the time I was a child, like, even when people would ask me when I did the typical pin garden question. So Young man, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I would say, a dancer. I knew, like I knew the call, like, like the story of Jeremiah, I knew. And so in junior high, walking in and feeling so insecure, because I wasn't, you know, and I was that kid. And if you know these children, please help them out. I was that kid that when the sports team would choose people to be on their team, I was the last kid left. And okay, so we have to take Randall by default. He's the only one left we have to take him. And so again, that just bred more insecurity and more of the what I call the orphan spirit. But then we got to notice that the Junior High was having a school dance was called a Sadie Hawkins dance. And I was so excited about that, because I thought, well, that's something I can do. So I went to the school dance, and they have a live band. And at first I just stood and watched. But then I kind of knew when it was the proper moment to part thread, see, I got up on the dance floor, and I had a partner, and I started dancing. And that's exactly what happened. People parted the center of the room, and basically gave me the spotlight. And people were cheering me on. And even the athletes, like the football players, were going, please dance with my girlfriend, or you better dance with my girlfriend or I'll beat you up after school. It's like, yeah, I have any problem with that. And so that fed something in me in I would say it was a bittersweet thing, but it fed, it fed a need for a sense of significance and self worth, because mine was so broken and some damage, but at the same time, it fed it in an unhealthy way. Because I felt that, well, this is the way this is a website, kind of like an artificial cosmetic covering that I can hide behind and present this persona of this is who I am. When I got into high school, I was going to go to the High School of Performing and Visual Arts, which ironically enough, it's where I teach now. But when I got my initial application from the high school, I read over the requirements for male dancers in the program. And it said that male dancers would have to wear tights, they would have to wear ballet shoes. And on and on, it went down the list. And I thought I can't. My dad will kill me. My friends in the neighborhood, they'll bully me they'll mock me. So out of fear of what other people would think. I did not go to the high school. I didn't even show up for the audition. And I was bused to a different high school where, you know, I just, I felt like a stranger in the desert. And I found that there was a dance studio near my high school. So my 12th year of high school, I got a work permit. And I went to the studio, and I met the director and I said, Are you hiring by any chance? And she said, well tell me what you did. Like, tell me your background. Tell me your training. And I said, Well, you know, my, my technical training is not all that much. But I feel like I have a gift. And I also feel I have the gift of teaching kind of like Betzalel in the Bible. So I've been given a gift and had the ability to teach. And she said okay, well let's try you out. So she did and she gave me a job. Then she told me about dance companies in Houston that I had never heard of. And she encouraged me to go and begin to take classes. One particular woman that I got to work with later on with a woman named Patsy Swayze, who was the mom of the actor, Patrick Swayze. They're from the Houston area. And so then I entered into the vocation of a dance artist, and even though on the outside, and I was a professional jazz dancer, or musical theater dancer at the time, so you know, I spent years give them the old razzle dazzle and having that Broadway smile on my face, but inside, especially in my family environment, because it was so dysfunctional. There was so much great brokenness. In 1981, a friend of mine,
he had audit exercise studio. And I didn't know him at that time. I just walked in one day out of the blue into the studio because I was looking for space. And we got into a conversation in the conversation, he asked me, you said By any chance, would you be a Christian? And I actually said, Well, when I was a young boy, because my mom was Sicilian. So we went to Catholic Church. I said, I went to church as a child. And he said, the most corny thing, I don't recommend it for evangelism. But at the time, it kind of made a point. He said, Well, if you walk into a McDonald's, do you become a hamburger? And I said, Absolutely not. Is a walking into a church. Does that make you a Christian? He said, Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? And I think he knew I was getting a little bit uncomfortable. So we, I changed the subject. But long story short, about two weeks later, I left music at that studio, he actually gave me a key to his studio to use his space for free. And people don't do that. And so I was no dummy. I took the key and like, okay, and so I would bring my dancers to rehearse there. And I walked in one Sunday, because I left music there that I needed. And he was walking out of the building. And I said, Hey, you're all dressed up. It's a Sunday afternoon. Isn't it too early for a party and II chuckle? And he said, Yeah, I guess I am kind of going to a party. And you said, why don't you go with me? And I said, Well, what kind of party is it? And he said, Well, I'm actually going to church. Why don't you go with me? And guys, as an artist, artists can be really good storytellers. Okay, let's just call it for what it is. We can lie really well, sometimes, because we had the creative imagination. I couldn't think of a lie to tell this guy. I couldn't think of the excuse. And I said, Yeah, give me a moment. And I'll go with you. So he took me to a very lively church. It was an Assembly of God church, and I'm actually ordained now Assembly of God, which is also ironic. I had never been in a lively church like that before. One of my first recollections of church was with my mom. And there was a day that in the Catholic Church, the priest and the altar boys, because I usually wasn't impressed. And normally back in the day, the mass was in Latin, so I didn't understand anything. But there was one day that they were walking down the aisle or procession down the aisle, and they were singing the song day by day for the musical Godspell. I was, like five years old. I thought it was amazing. I stood up on the pew and I started dancing. I was like, five, my Italian mom. She was horrified. she tackled me down, threw me down on the Pew sat on me and said, Don't you ever do that again? Dancing does not belong here. This is church. Dancing doesn't belong. I think that made a big deep impression, but not for the best. So now, of course, I'm in this lively church, spirit filled church, and I actually see a movie which is kind of funny. I didn't know that churches would play movies. And it was a story if you guys know her of Johnnie Erickson. Tada. If you don't know who she is, I recommend finding out who this woman is. of the film.
A true story about this woman's life. I can't even tell you guys what was happening inside of my soul. God spoke to me and the language that he knew I understood stood in that was a visual language and an artistic language. And the story of her life brought out in a creative manner. transformed her story transformed my story. I felt the love and presence of God that day. That was in August of 1981. And there was no altar call. There was no John 316 It was watching this film.
And I knew that Christ was knocking at the door of my heart saying, let me in. And I was like, Yes, God, like, I don't know you. But I think you're that presence that I felt when I was a child, locked in my room afraid of my dad. And that presence came to abide in my life. About two weeks later, returning to the same church, I felt God speaking to my heart that I needed to lay before him, the gift that he had given to me, kind of like Moses, this encounter at the burning bush, Moses, what is that in your hand? And the emphasis for Moses, his dialogue is it's my rod, mine. My calling my gift? And God tells Moses lay it down? Well, I was I hadn't read that story at that point. So it's only two weeks old in the Lord. But I since that, so I went up for prayer, there was a prayer counselor. And I said, Sir, I've been a believer for about two weeks. I feel like God is speaking to me. And there is a gift that He's given me a talent. And I need to dedicate that talent to His glory. I don't know exactly what that means. But I would like prayer. And I was 21, the prayer counselor was an older gentleman. And he said, I would be honored to pray with you. And he said, but I want to pray specifically. And he said, First, I want to encourage you that I can't believe that only after two weeks, you feel this impression to pray a prayer like this. And then he said, but tell me though, I can be very specific in my prayer. What gift do you have, that you want to give to God's glory? And I said, Well, I'm a professional dancer. And it was almost the first time I ever saw anyone fall back from the power of the spirit of this guy was like, whoa. And he said, Excuse me. And I said, I'm a professional dancer. And he said, explain that to me. Like if I was entered, you know, the the spotlight, the interrogation. And I said, Well, I've trained, I've trained in professional dance forms ballet and modern and jazz and tap. And he got really quiet. And he said, I tell you what, I am going to pray that we're going to ask the Lord, what else it is he has for you. And guys, at that moment, the orphan spirit are so familiar in my life. Hit me like a ton of bricks. I left that church feeling as if even God doesn't accept me. And I had never really, like, dug deep into the Bible. But I remember picking up I had this big King James Bible, a new believer with the Big King James Bible, perfect fit. And I thought, okay, I wonder, and this is way back before Google. And I thought, okay, I wonder if the word dance could possibly be in the Bible. And I didn't know where to start. But then I realized there was an index. So I went to the back of the index, I looked at the word dance, and it took me forever to find the Scripture references because I didn't know the Bible. I didn't know Old Testament New Testament. So it was a long journey. But the first scripture I turned to God as a sense of humor, was the passage where John the Baptist gets his head cut off. Because Siddhartha for Rodia says, dances in places, Eric. And I thought, Well, God, no wonder you hate this. Because when people dance, then good people get their heads cut off. But thank God, there were other references, but just that way, then I found the other references and the one that stuck out the most was one that was written by David which is so absolutely beautiful. And it's Psalm 30, verse 11. The Lord has turned for me, my mourning into dancing. He's taken away my sackcloth, and he has dirted me with the garments of grace. To the end that my glory may seem praise to Him and not be silent. There are other references in Jeremiah, again, I will build you and you shall be rebuilt overturn of Israel, I will draw you with cords of loving kindness and you will go forth again, the dance is that those that rejoice. And I thought, oh my god, of course, prices, name and dance, and then read the story of the prodigal son. In the father's house, there was music. And of course, most Christians will go, oh, yeah, of course, there was music, but they for they don't read the next word, and dancing, there was music and dancing in the father's house. And so these passages gave me life. So where where the church wasn't able to affirm this truth, the word of God was affirming it. But back in the day in 1981, could be a professional dancer, and to be a Christian was not a popular thing, or a thing that was understood. And there was just a lot of misunderstandings, a lot of judgments, you know, dances of the world, and it's of the flesh, and you know, we want to be a spirit and not have the body. But then I thought, well, but what about this thing that Paul says, Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? You've been bought with the price, so glorify God with your body? So I thought there's that word body in Greek means something else, like, what is it to glorify God in your body. So bottom line, I just went on a search, and I even left dance for a while, because I didn't know I wasn't being affirmed by the powers that be in the church. So I got involved in very traditional evangelism and went to Bible school. I don't regret that. But finally, a leader came to me, my friend, actually, who had taken me to church and said, Randall, you need to return to the gift that God gave you. Like, God called you to this, and you need to embrace it as your mission of life. That was the most beautiful words impacting words I ever heard. Long story short, in the grace of God, and the providence of the Lord, I ended up in Europe, with an unknown ministry at the time that I've been working with now for over 38 years, called Youth With A Mission. And being in Europe, especially in Europe. That was also God's, like total Providence, because the European believers, for the most part, anyway, they had a greater understanding, because, you know, especially because I was living in Switzerland, and they had been very impacted by the teachings of Francis Schaeffer was on base. I was in the bill bass at the time. And also in vieler, as well, yeah. And so I met people that had studied that library. And I was in lectures, listening to them how, you know, If Christ is LORD than he's Lord over all that he has created, and all things were created by Him and for Him, and there can be redeemed to him. But then the thing that hit me the most was that He in His grace elects us to participate in His work of redemption. And that blew me away. Like, wait, God, you're trusting me to participate in this kingdom work of redemption. Like I'm not outside of that just a spectator, but you're inviting me in. And so that begin a whole new outlook on who I am in Christ as a son, and who I am in Christ as an artist to fate.
And tell us a little more Randall, how this being an artist in faith, manifested itself as a kingdom agent. Because that's what you discovered, you know, I'm not on the sideline. God has given me this gift of dance. Yeah. And I am to be about the kingdom. Yeah, how did it how did? How did you get to bring the wholeness there, and how did it manifest itself? Yep. So
initially, as you brought this question, I thought of Paul's words to Timothy, Timothy, stir up the gift of God within you, because God has a purpose for giving you that gift. It just needs to be stirred up, it needs to be developed. And so my time in YWAM and I'm still working with YWAM. It was about the spiritual formation that I built the foundations that supported the calling. And so of course, you know, in why wham. And then of course, I was meeting people from Labrie. Then the impact of truth meeting,
the arena of beauty, allowed something to emerge even greater than before, where the truth of God's Kingdom, the truth of His Word, met with the beauty that he has arrived in my life as an artist. And then the synergy began to take place. And then reading the words of Jesus, you are the salt, the preservative, you are the light to illuminate. And he prayed and John 17 Father, I'm not asking you to remove them out of the world, or to put them in a isolated subculture, keep them in the world, but sanctified them, by your truth, set them apart. And I began to realize that there was a purpose in the calling, and that the gift, how would you say that the I needed to major on the calling, and then the gift was the instrument to help fulfill that calling. So the gift itself wasn't the calling. The calling was to know Christ and to make him know. But the vehicle or the expression that he had entrusted to me as the steward was the gift of dance. And so again, being in a environment where worldview, I needed to understand worldview, which is a beautiful aspect of your book, and to understand spiritual formation, and how that ties in to a greater sense of what the mission truly was, it was the redemptive mission.
And how did this work out you have a dance studio you've been teaching globally.
So from my experience with Youth With A Mission community, because I was traveling, I was living out of a suitcase, I'm sure you know how that goes, I was totally living out of a suitcase. And as I would travel for various countries now, first of all, I need to let me know back in the day, I felt like
I wouldn't say isolated because it was difficult to find community, with other believer artists that were in dance, I would meet Christian musicians, or painters, or what have you, even actors, but to find another dancer, who was born again, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. But again, in God's economy, as I begin to travel in so many different places of the world, I would have these encounters, I have to tell you guys, when real quick, I was teaching in Singapore, and it wasn't a Christian workshop, I was teaching a master dance class and modern contemporary dance. And a university came with their university students that were they were dance majors, and their teacher came in with them. And so I did my class, it was an hour and a half. And I noticed that the teacher was an absolutely incredible dancer. And when I say incredible, I mean, top of the line. And so I went to go have a discussion with her. And I said, you know, I'm really curious about who you are. Because, you know, your, your gifting is just so pristine. And I said, I'm curious, like where you've danced? I know you're a teacher now. But where have you worked professionally? And she said, Oh, here and there. And she said, can I ask you a question? And I said, sure. She said, you're a Christian, aren't you? And I said, Well, yes, I am. She said, I could tell. And I went, Oh, shoot. Good. Thank you. Because you know, I wasn't preaching the Bible, or wearing the Christian t shirt or a necktie or anything, didn't have the coffee cup with a scripture on it. But hopefully, by the way, I was interacting, she connected, there's something about this man. And, and I said, Yes. She said, Well, I am too. And she said, but I've never even considered that there could be an integration between my art and my faith. And I said, well, first of all, where have you danced? And she said, Well, actually, I was a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet of London for 15 years. A principal dancer with a Royal Ballet, it's like the creme de la creme, and so she's said, I'm curious if there is such thing as an intersection between art and faith. So we'll actually I'm giving a lecture tomorrow, would you like to come. And it was the first time that she began to understand that God has a calling for creative people and for artists, just like Exodus 31, the story of vessel though, and that it's a divine appointment that God calls he appoints. And he anoints, and that the Spirit of the Lord can be up on an artist because the spirit of the sovereign Lords upon them, because he has appointed them to. So what is he called you to? So you know, so often kind of like in the Christian sub cultural community, we can hear someone saying and go, Oh, that's so anointed, that's so anointed. Well, maybe it's pretty, or maybe it's, you know, how would you say it's entertaining. But I think if we're going to use the word anointed, we have to realize that the anointing of God upon anyone's life is an anointing that calls you to demonstrate his kingdom, and to manifest His kingdom within the arena that he has appointed to you. And, yes, so for me, that again, became just this major transforming thought, and I begin to meet these other dance artists. But Darrow they were like sheep without a shepherd. So a lot of them that had the same type of issues, or situations of church, not understanding and even the church saying, Well, hey, you're a professional dancer, or you're dancing on Broadway, but you need to give that up to glorify God. And so either you need to stop or you need to start a dance ministry and do Israeli folk dance with these really gotten costumes in the church. And, and it my heart would break for these guys, because they didn't have community. And there was no, quote, spiritual formation. And I begin to pray. Honestly, I was like, Lord, wouldn't it be awesome if there was community like YWAM that gave spiritual formation, but it would be unique for artist, I would love to see something like that. I would love to see a dance community like that, where there would be discipleship, but the discipleship would not extract from the pursuit of excellence, that the relevance and the redemptive pneus could be intermingled and work together. And you got to be careful what you pray for. Because so often, God will put his finger on you and go, you do it. So in 1995, I kind of put out a clarion call. Okay, are there any dancers out there who want to move to Texas, and experience the Texas summer humidity and suffer for the Lord. And Darrow, I was amazed. I even had an dancer that had just left the Michael Jackson bad tour, to come and join AdDeum dance company, in 1995 dancers who moved here from different places in the world. It was one of the first of its kind, there was another ballet Magnificat, they were more prone for ballet dancers, I was working with more modern contemporary dancers. And that's how the community of IDM began. And now it's been over 30 something years. And all I can honestly say is by the grace of God, totally by the grace of God, by the grace of God and a strong desire to walk in that to have a walk worthy of the calling in which we are called.
Thank you. What an incredible story. And just to see how inside of you, God was working faith and dance not separating. Faith here are here. Exactly. The it's integrated in your life. Yes,
yes. You know, that was a little bit of a challenge. Because, again, I'm from Texas. And so of course, you know, people may debate this, but Texas is known as the Bible Belt. And there was a true sense of dichotomy, the sacred secular split, that really influenced the evangelical church in Texas. Let's be honest, in America, globally, and globally. Yes, very true. And I want to say, no one was being deceitful. It's just what people believed that there was a true sacred, sacred secular split. Thank you. So then things got very codified, and I begin to be uncomfortable in the prescribed codifications. Well, this is, here's the limitations for you, as an artist, so you have to dance to keep great music, or to Hosana sacred music back in the day. And you know, and you have to make sure that you're dressed from here, all the way down to there. And you have to have a holy face on and and I'm trying not to be cynical. But then I went to Europe, and I heard this, you know, wholeness of worldview. These fragments of legalism begin to be stripped away, but Dara had to be cautious, because wrapped up deep inside that legalistic orange peel was fruit. And I had to be careful as I was peeling away the legalism, not to bruise the fruit that was inside, because there was I just needed to be in so people were gracious mentors came into my life. I'm so thankful one of them, you well know, Colin Harbinson, and another gentleman named Jim mills. And these people took me under their wing and spoke life into me and encouraged me personally, like they didn't hate us. They didn't love me because of my gift. They loved me as a son in the Lord, and poured into my life. And now by the grace of God, I'm able to do that with young artists that come to Euston to be a part of this community and have been for over three decades now.
That's great. Can you take a few minutes and just tell us how a call for Balladeers has? What have you learned from that what has encouraged you from that book?
I would say the book for me personally, to be affirmed and the Lord never grows old. And your book for me was almost like what Moses did Moses heard about best allow while on the mountain. But the conversation didn't stay on the mountain. If you look at Exodus 35, Moses calls the congregation together and basically puts, but SLL, a holy AB and the other artisans. They're in the midst of the camp and says, This is what God told me on the mountain. You see these artisans, you see these craftsmen, they're called by God. And best Hillel is filled with the Spirit of God. And the affirmation brought healing because those artists had been slaves. They had been slaves in Egypt, probably working on the pyramids. So to connect that with your book, your book was like the voice of Moses to me. And you know, and you know, to honor you, I see you as the Moses, I see you as a leader of God's people with the same heart cry as Moses, Let my people go, let them enter into the glorious liberty of the children of God, because they have been called to be creational. Liberators. And so reading through your book, Darrell, I devoured your book. And now all of my dancers in my company and I teach a course at Palm Beach Atlantic University, called the National College of the Arts. Your book is our textbook. Because having a I see you as a pastor, I see you SSP a logician? And how would I say like as an artist, I can affirm my, my art friends all day long, and that's fine. It's like, you know, the same iron rubbing against the same iron. But your voice is a little bit of a different voice. Because it's not just the artist voice. It's the voice of a leader, a theologian, a Moses, who's saying, Let my craftsman go, let them go forth. Let them pick up the rod that turns back to the glory of God and let them go to the Pharaohs of this world and make a difference. That's what your book has done for me by and being very sincere about that.
Well, that's exactly what I was hoping the book would do that it would set artists free from the shackles of the sacred secular divide, as it's manifested in the church. I don't have a bone of art in me, but I've A appreciated artists I've wept with artists for years. And my heart has been what God has put on my heart is how do I contribute? When I have to creating a space where artists can be set free?
I don't know if you remember in our first conversation, I said to you, girl, you're a spiritual father to artist. And that's what I felt. And I didn't want to get off that initial Zoom meeting with you. Because I didn't have a physical father doing that. And, you know, my Heavenly Father has, he's brought that healing of sonship in my life, but to have especially stately gentleman who assumed that role, like in talking to you, I felt like the father was talking to me and a father who understood me, not who was like trying to analyze me, I felt really understood me, and I can't tell you how much that blessed me.
Wonderful. Let's open it up to those who are, have been listening to your story. And just see what questions you have for Randall, or questions about the book. This is our first time to do this. And we want you to engage in the process with whatever questions you bring.
In, if anybody wants to go first, you know, feel free to unmute and share your question directly. I'll give a second and kind of see if anybody does that. If not, I can certainly lead us in some questions. Okay. All right. I see somebody's unmuted, go for it.
Is that me? Sure. Oh, Paulette, yeah, Darrow, you were the one in my studio back in Kona, while we were in YWAM, that you kept when you looked at my wall of portraits. And you looked at me and you said, why are you not doing who God made you to be? You're an artist, and I wept. And it took me another five years to give myself permission to even go there. So I just applaud you in what you're doing. You were a great father, to me as an artist, and a friend. Now I'm just waiting for the book. So I can read it. I don't have it yet. I've ordered it, and really looking forward to it. But I feel like I'm right at the cusp of moving forward into my true calling, being released publicly. Now. Hopefully, it'll come to the church, but it doesn't matter. I go to the community if it doesn't. So, anyway, thank you. Thank you for writing this book.
Yes, thank you. And I hope it blesses you and creates the freedom space for you. And I hope this podcast is the place where artists can come like this and just share where they're at and what they've learned.
I have told many people already artists that I am in touch with here and sent you sent the link of you speaking in Kona to them, and I have so many people just waiting to get this book. So that will probably get together with it.
Well, Stephen, would you like to go next?
I'd love to Yeah, just to say, Randall, thank you for your very personal story that you've shared with us your journey, deeply loving and encouraging. And one specific thing you said that I really resonated with was you talked about truth and beauty kind of meeting. And I was very curious in terms of your professional sphere of dance. How do you see those two? Having met? What are some examples?
Right, great question, buddy. First of all, you know, kind of referring back to this whole dichotomy of sacred secular split. When we look at what the Greeks called the transcendentals, the good, the true and the beautiful. If we realize that the absolute of that is a kingdom, absolute, God is good, God is true. God is beautiful. And I am ordained as an evangelical pastor, so I'm going to speak out of the pastor side of my mouth real quick, not the artist side, the other side, although I believe that they blend quite well. Um, as an Evangelical,
so often we major on the transcendentals of the good and the true. So we could say, the good being, like the ethics, or the morality of Christianity, and that's important. And then the true the apologist, um, but we minor on the beauty as if the beauty is just frivolous. And so we negate the beauty. And that's quite unfortunate. Because David himself says in Psalm 27, verse four, one thing I desire, that's what I seek after to behold the beauty of the Lord. David, realize that God is not just God, the law giver, you know, for Moses on the mountain at that moment, he knew God as law giver, here's the Torah, here's the all the laws, and then Moses himself, like he should have been satisfied, Hey, dude, you got the law, you should be happy. But before he goes down the mountain, he says, PS, one more thing, show me your glory, the same glory that David long for the kingdom of God is the kingdom of absolute, transcendent, unspeakable beauty. But that beauty is not extracted from God's truth. I believe that the truth and the goodness of God is best articulated through offerings that are beautiful and creative. That doesn't always mean artistic, but beautiful in their interaction. And I think that would be a fair question for the church. Where's the beauty? Like, yeah, you're talking about your ethics and you want you want politics to side with you that your ethics can control the land. But where's the beauty? And so I'll answer your question, just to a testimony. We tour every year throughout the world, and especially into Europe. And we were performing in Sofia, Bulgaria. And we would go into the studios and offer master classes. And we're able to get into the studios because we have, by the grace of God resumes that are tantalizing resumes. They're good. And so we build relationship with the dancers, not because we want to put a notch on our Bible belt, but because we love these people, these these are Jesus leaves the 99 to go after the one. But then we have a concert. And especially one young man came to the concert, and we did an hour and a half concert outside in a garden area. And at the end of the concert, this young man, professional dancer in Bulgaria, came to me and he was shaking. And he said, he looked at me. He said, What the hell was that? I said, Excuse me. And he said, Look at me, I am shaking. He said, I have seen dance. For most of my life. I've seen some of the best dance companies in the world. I have never experienced what I just experienced. He said, Now I'm going to ask you again. What the hell was that? And I his name was Michael Angelo. I've said Michael Angelo, you need to rephrase your question. And, and he said, huh. And I said, Michael Angelo, you're asking me what the hell? And I said, there is no hell involved in this. And I think you know that, because I think you know what hell is. But what you don't know is what the kingdom of heaven is and what the love of God is. And that's what you experienced tonight. And he began to weep. And he said, It was so beautiful. And he said, not not just the artistry, but the virtue. Does that make sense? So it's not just about the artistry, it's adopted virtue, when the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus's garment. Jesus says, in the King James, I felt the virtue Leave me the virtue of God's kingdom. And I believe when the virtue of God's Kingdom impacts the beauty of offering, then the manifestation of heaven, the prophetic realm, in a sense, is tapped into, and that's where transformation takes place.
To follow up on that, Stephen, a profound book I read probably 10 years ago was called the evidential power of Beauty by Thomas Dubay. And I've read a number of books on beauty, but it's by far the best one I've read. And Dubay makes a very important point. Right. And it's what Randall was just saying. truth, beauty and goodness. And these, I call the Trinitarian culture. Just like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we can talk about each one separately. But we can't separate them. And we know something of the Father through the sun. We know something of the sun through the Spirit. So there's an integration. And this is the culture of the Trinity, truth, beauty and goodness. And you can't separate truth from beauty. Beauty is true. The truth is beautiful. Yeah. Goodness is beautiful. Goodness is true. But in our fragmented world, we separate these things. But in a biblical mind, these things are not separated because they're rooted in the Trinitarian nature of the living God.
Thank you. Thank you, Stephen. Good to have you tonight. Good to see you again.
So I've got a question that's come in, from the cue from one of our representatives, who is at two o'clock in the morning, coming in from Spain. And appreciate that dedication. And and I'm gonna spotlight you here, but they're trying to stay quiet, right? Because, you know, maybe the babies are sleeping. So Fiorella and Tony Herrera, I'm probably saying it all wrong. But here's, here's the question In summary, and they can kind of whisper in. But what do you think about sharing your faith as a dance teacher in a dance school? I'll give you the whole question. We can kind of come through there in a dance school. And again, many opinions from Christians, that faith should be private and not have a place and in the classes, they want to do it the right way, ethically speaking, what's your guidance on what that would look like?
Okay, so I'm trying to understand, is this a school that they are the owners of the school? Yeah, okay. Gotcha, gotcha. Okay. Again, opinion. And Paul said, sometimes in the Bible, here's my opinion, but I believe that God would be involved in by. So
again, we have to be cautious about this whole sacred secular dichotomy and split. You having a studio, where people who are not believers, especially in Spain, where there's so much humanism in Spain, to have a studio, which is open for all mankind, for all humanity, and to welcome them into that place, and to live the gospel through the way kind of like when I taught in Singapore. I wasn't preaching the gospel out of my mouth. I was preaching it with my life in the way that I was teaching in the way that I was loving. And believe me that transcends, and it speaks into people's heart. It could be possible that if your studio became more vocal with evangelism, that there would be some students whose family would pull them out of that environment and what a shame that would be. You're not hiding your faith, you're living it out by giving this place of refuge for all men, not just believers. Jesus said, it's the sick that need the position. So you're taking your hospital where it's needed. Thank God for that. I want to encourage you not to be under pressure. Because it's obvious to me, I don't know you but just looking at you. I can tell. You don't hide your light under a bushel. That light shines through you that's clear to me, and you're being soft and you're being light. And that invites questions. So you're not just giving the answer your salt and light in bikes, question questions. And I think it's a wise way if you look at Paul's encounter of Acts chapter 17. Brilliant, really good strategist. Brilliant apologist, you know, and so thank you for creating a space that's not just conducive for people who believe the way that you do. But people who don't believe at all, but yet they can enter into a place that you've dedicated, that you've prayed over that your staff prays over. And then it saturates that incense permeates that place. And believe me, people will start coming to the Lord without you having to feel like you have to do some type of a codified enactment to seal the deal. Does that make sense? Those opportunities will come to you.
So I hope that helps.
Great, and we've got a comment that's coming in from Xiomara on the chat also. Each of us is called to be a worshiper. And praise God, could we say that every person somehow has a potential well of art that can flow from their heart and spirit.
I'll I'll start on that one. And grandly, you can follow up. The Genesis one begins. In the beginning God created the heavens in the earth. And it is God's character to envision and then manifest the vision that he has to actualize it. And that's what we see. In Genesis one god envisioned the universe and in Genesis one, he begins the creative process. And doesn't one of the things we point out in the book is that it is the Judeo Christian faith. It's the Bible that gives a foundation for art. No, other religions, other philosophies do not have a foundation for art people all over the world are artists. But they don't all have. Not all the faiths have a foundation for art. And then it says And God made us in His image. We are made in the image of the first artist he has built into each one of us. Creativity and some people like Randall. Their whole life exudes this creativity. But others of us can cut flowers and put a vase with beautiful cut flowers on the table. We can paint the walls of our house in a way that or the house becomes inhabitable. Either Schafer wrote a book called Hidden art that speaks of the the average person being an artist in the day to day things of life. So that's that's my beginning response to your question. And Randall, do you have anything you would add to that?
Yes, actually, just a true story. This was years back. I was a leader in a global conference for the arts. We had 600 artisans that had come from all around the world. And I was to be one of the keynote speakers. And of course, at that time I had been sitting under the teachings of Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rukmani are theologians, philosophers. And so I had a pretty high intellectual grasp of the theology of art. And it was this Randall, this was actually in Houston, Texas, the caucus. We did it for three years. And but the first year, I remember being in my hotel room, I had out all my notes from Francis shaver and Ruth mocker. And Calvin, sir, failed and on and on and on. And thinking, Oh, I can't wait to share all of this intellectual theology and the Lord photos in a way. Wait, put it away. But I knew that I knew that still small voice, check it thought out. And I thought, okay, oh, Lord, what do I share with these people? Because these artisans are coming from all over the world, and they want to hear something that's going to alter their lives or give them a sense of commission and the Lord said turn to John chapter 13. And I turned to John chapter 13. It's a story of Jesus washing the disciples speak. And I began to debate with God. I'm sure nobody else does that. That's on the screen tonight. But I went, Lord, this is a great passage. And if this was a leadership conference, I would so preach from that passage. But this is an arts conference. And this story has nothing to do with the arts. And yeah, like, I'm going to tell God, right. The Lord goes, nope, keep reading, buddy. I kept reading. And I said, Lord, I'm so confused. This is about Jesus. This is about a towel in the basin. This is about washing feet. And the Holy Spirit goes, bingo, bingo, son. It's about being a servant. It's about being a servant, creative, a servant artist, in any gesture of your heart, where you reach to wash the feet of broken humanity, to wash over them with My grace in my love. That is the most profound act of Christian creativity and artistic caregiving, and stewardship that you can possibly offer anyone. And the Lord said, Randall, I've called you to wash the feet of humanity, that you're dancing is the towel that Jesus took and put around his waist. And if you hold to that, for the rest of your life, in ministry, you will bear fruit. If you stray from that, then even what has happened will begin to wither. And that has stuck with me. It's kind of like the chain about my neck, is it's about servanthood through the arts, you've been called to liberty but don't use your liberty as a license to make other people stumble, but in love, serve one another. And I think the greatest thing that we call it by the name of Christ can do with our creativity, whether it's artistic, or just the creativity loving people, Vincent van Goff said this, that the most artistic thing that anyone can do is to love another. The Gospel According to Vincent Van Gough, and I say yes, and amen to that gospel.
I've got a question. Coming in, I think from Jenny Park, we will take this as our last question tonight.
That's not my question. Sorry. Oh, okay.
Talk to us, Jenny. Do you have your hand raised? Yes. No, maybe? Anybody have a final question? You're thinking I want to get it in? Um,
I think you said there's a question in the chat. You want to take that? I just lowered my hand.
Yes. Okay. No problem.
we've got another question from Fiorella. Would any musical genre be considered art? I work with hip hop musicians, rappers, dancers? Would they be art? Why or why not?
I would say that art is an expression of our creative being and estero has so wonderfully said to us are creative beings, because we're created in the image of God. Now, that doesn't mean that all art seeks to glorify God or it can seek to glorify self, or it can be idolatrous. You know, I think it's amazing how from chapter 31, and Exodus to chapter 32, we see two completely different artists and artists that's called to manifest work for the glory of God. And then we see Aaron building a golden calf. Aaron was an artist, he was talented, but I don't think that the artwork or by the creating the golden calf was artwork that delighted the heart of God. But human creativity, we have to recognize that God has given common grace. He makes his rainfall on the just and the unjust alike. Any ability to be creative, is not an ability that Satan has endowed. Anyone with. Satan doesn't have the ability to do that. But can he distort? Of course he can distort. I don't think it's a matter of are there certain genres of music or art or, you know, are they all art? I think they're all creative. They're all manifestations of the human capacity to manifest creative offerings into the world. If we want to look at that in a spiritual sense, I think the question is, what is this art producing? What? What fruitfulness is offering to humanity? Is it? Is it noble not? Is it religious? But is it noble? Because there's no book art that is non religious in our own traditional box in box category. But I think it really displays I mean, come on, if the heavens declare the glory of God, then man's creativity can also declare the glory of God. And so I want to answer your question, I would say yes, these these genres of music. Yes, they're their art. Now whether or not a particular musician or composer whatever is seeking to glorify God like back then to me, that's where we have to have the the righteous discernment
All right, I'm gonna
get ready to call on Is it is it Zachary. Um, and I'm also experienced, put something in the chat here as we get ready. And that's just what I'm putting in the chat is our next online balladeer event. It's going to be Thursday, January 19. For those of you in different time zones, we're trying a different time, it's going to be 9am, Phoenix, Arizona time, which you know, maybe will be a little better for those of you in Europe, Africa. I've got my email address in here T Williams at disciple nations.org. However, I can support you there. And please, I hope that you're familiar with the website, a call for balladeers.com. There's a spot near the top of the page with a link that you can make a comment, you can subscribe to the comment feedback so that if people reply to your comment, you can get back. So if you have ongoing questions from tonight, feel free to put them there. And we can share them in a public space. So other people that have the same kind of questions can interact with them also. So
Tim, could we also ask them if they have suggestions for how to how they would like to see this unfold? Could they put them in that place, too. In other words, suggestions on how to make this a better event?
Yeah, certainly, certainly feel free to email those ideas to me. But again, you know, you can go right here onto the website and chat and share your comments. If you do that, you know, please be sure that you click the button and make sure that you, you know, are subscribed, so that so that you'll know when somebody responds. But we hope that this is a good space for you here. We'll update our next event with a January 19 event here. And we'll be happy to keep you guys emailed. And there's some other podcasts in here. If you've got free time that you can take a listen. ones just come out here in the last couple of days. Featuring featuring another set of, of leading dancers and and you can find more of DeRose resources as well as the balladeer song from Tyler Scott and the threshing floor and a link to the disciple nations Alliance full website if you want to do that DeRose Facebook page. But I want to turn it back to Zachary, for for a final question. And then we're going to turn it over to Darrow and Randall to close our time in prayer. And on behalf of everyone, you know, thank you for for participating tonight. Thank you for your interaction. Thank you for for saying yes to God in your calling in your ministry. And yeah, we're glad to have you here, Zachary.
Yeah, I just want to thank you all for what you're doing. It's so beautiful. First of all, it's amazing. I've been pursuing the arts and beauty for about 17 years now really intensely and focused. And so I have I have more more a word and a short little testimony. The word is for you guys movement is that I I believe that the Balladeers are going to become wrecking balls to destroy walls, in the church, and in people's minds that are going to tear down walls that divide any any way of God limiting God's power or limiting God's beauty limiting God's grace. And so God, I just asked that you would do that and strengthen this movement. And about 15 years ago, God gave me a blueprint, much like a BSL. And I shared that I was at school of ministry in Northern California and reading called Bethel School of supernatural ministry. And today that I did that blueprint The Lord gave me evolved and turned into Bethel Conservatory of the arts. And just two weeks ago, they got their full academic accreditation. And so now they actually have Bethel College. And so I just want to release that testimony and tell you guys, you know, don't despise the day of small beginnings, that what's happening here is so precious. And the theology, the groundwork, and the framework for this is vital. And I have the book on my computer, and I have one coming in the mail from you guys. So I'm so excited, you know, to outline it and you know, tear it apart and make all different things with it just because that's how I am I kind of move in between the whole, you know, theological realm and all the way down into the creative realm. And it's just just a delight to be with you guys tonight. Thank you so much.
Thank you, man. Wow.
Thank you, Zach.
Yeah, I actually just came off of a weekend with Bethel Conservatory of the arts. I was able to speak in their conference in Houston with Fabiano so I'm sure you know Fabiano
Yeah, he was actually in my class at the School of Management first year with me 1617 years ago. So phenomenal person?
Yes, definitely. Yeah. Well, I think the
Randall Do you want to close for us?
Yeah, I think in my closing statement, I want to encourage you guys, first of all, as Darrell has reminded us, we're creating the image of God, we are all creative, because God has given us the imagination. And that imagination gets renewed in Christ. So the Spirit of God officer renews our thoughts, our imagination, where his inspiration is breathed upon our imagination. Corinthians, it's written, no, I have seen no ears heard, nor is entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those, in other words, the download that God wants to give to those who love Him. And out of that redeemed imagination flows worth this fruitfulness of life. And it may look different from our neighbor. And that's absolutely Okay, that looks different. When Elijah took over from Elijah, his first miracle was at Jericho, where the waters were bitter. The waters of culture bitter. Can you imagine that? And it was causing infertility. It was causing death. And Elijah says something so interesting. He says, Bring me a new bowl, a new one. Like why? Why did it have to be new, because it was a new time. But he also says this, and put salt in it, a new ball that still carries the salt. And guys, this is what I want to encourage you with. We live in a time, it's not our what I say to National Christian world anymore. We live in a post Christian world. And we have to recognize that and new bowls are needed, new wineskins are needed, but they still contain the why new balls of creativity and artistry are needed, but they still contain the stopped. We are to be relevant and redemptive and not separate the two. I want to encourage you guys seek the Lord for the new bowl, what is going to be the most impacting that becomes irrelevant to culture, but yet becomes a portal of transcendence that brings glory to the God of all creation. This is what's important in the time that we live in. You know, my, my young dancers, they don't create like I do. I'm a 65 year old god, but I need to affirm their creative process and their creative offerings, knowing that God redeems their imaginations and they're presenting new goals. So maybe I'm the old prophet in town, but I have the school of new prophets and their bowl is gonna look different than mine. I've got the old one. They got the new When I need to celebrate the new wind and affirming as long as it's got the salt.
Thank you so much, Randall for being the one that we can talk to on our first event here. Thank you so much. I think all of you for joining us, I hope it's been an encouragement. And we look forward to seeing you again in a couple months. And let me just close in prayer. Father, we, we just thank you for the story that we've heard tonight of Randall and his life and have you have called him and gifted him. And I think, Father, if we had an opportunity to hear from each one that was on tonight, we would hear their story of how you have worked, and are working in their lives. So we thank You, Father, we thank you for yourself. We thank You that You are the one who has led us to the cross. You're the one who has given each of us a calling and gifting. We thank You that You are the creator and have made us to be people to both enjoy your creation, but to enjoy the creativity of others. So we pray, Father, that You would take the discussion tonight and use it for your glory. And we pray father as it's available for others to listen to, that you would use this to speak into many other lives. Thank you, Father. In Jesus name, Amen.
Thanks, everybody have a great
thank you. Enjoy that.
Yeah. Thank you for doing it again with you. Yeah, thank you so much. See some old friends. He got makes everything beautiful and his time is time. Yes. Yes. Okay, everyone. Okay. We'll see you then. Bye.