In this week’s episode, you will get the full interview I had with Danny Silk, author of the book, Keep Your Love On.
Danny serves on the Senior Leadership Team of both Bethel Church in Redding, CA and Jesus Culture in Sacramento, CA. He is the President and Co-Founder of Loving on Purpose, a ministry to families and communities worldwide. Danny is also the author of the books: Culture of Honor, Loving our Kids on Purpose, Powerful and Free and the top selling Keep Your Love On.
Danny and Sheri married in 1984, and have three children and three grandchildren.
As an author and speaker, Danny Silk offers life-changing books, conferences, and other resources drawn from decades of experience as a counselor, social worker, advocate, pastor, spouse, parent, grandparent, and leader. Danny’s passion centers around helping people build, strengthen, and heal their vital relationships in life.
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My Conversation with Danny Silk
Mark: For those who may not be familiar with what you do and your ministry work, can you take a moment to share what it is that you do, what you center on, and what you’re most passionate about in it?
Danny: In a nutshell I think the war between love and fear. I like to supply people with the weapons of love, to win, and the consequences to families, relationships, communities, societies, as a result of fueling fear is just the enemy of heaven. I love to supply people with the weapons of our warfare.
Mark: I resonate with that passion. Where’d that come from? Did it come from a personal experience in your own life, or was it something that was always there somewhat?
Danny: It’s probably, like most anointing or graces on somebody’s life, they’ve had it since they were small. I’ve always been successful helping people, and then once I got saved I really, I felt a deep calling to preserving family and helping people to work through disconnection, work through the things that cause so much fear. Just as my own personal growing up with a single parent, and next to no resources, just struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, and then just watching the devastation around me of the whole community, where there’s just so much fear, and the tools are to escape the fear. The tools aren’t to increase the love.
Background and Story
Mark: Wow. Growing up in a single parent home, how did you gain some of the leverage to walk in that? Was it in your salvation experience? Was it some mentoring that was a part of it as well? What were some of the factors that helped you maneuver through those things?
Danny: I didn’t get saved until I was twenty-one. I lived some life just participating in the destruction. I could see where my life was going. My life is going to be like everybody around me. I could see it, and I had met some Christians at work, working about, I’m probably about sixteen or seventeen years old. I met Kris Vallotton, which was another one of the senior leaders at Bethel church, Bill Johnson, those guys. I met them but I had no idea what Christianity was. I had no idea what a Christian was. I didn’t know any of them.
It wasn’t until I was twenty-one that I had met a couple of them. I really, really enjoyed their family and enjoyed conversations with them. I was very much, at that point, drawn to some solution to, I am on a train track to reproduce everything that I had known so far. I don’t want to do this. How do I get off this train? That was when I met Jesus and entered the rocket ship, and I’m a different person. I just have a different set of options than ever before, at which point you discover why you’re alive. You’re like, oh my gosh. I didn’t know why I was here. I had no idea what all this was for. I thought it was just to get involved in everybody’s gossip, but no, it’s really to help people understand how to cultivate life.
Mark: I think of when I grew up, I saw a lot of the negative affects of bitterness, and so I saw how it destroyed people in my family. I looked at that and I realized, okay, I don’t want that, and I need to do something about it. What’s the solution? I began to see the power of forgiveness, walking in a grace filled understanding, learning the power of releasing people, seeing the battles that wage in that.
It’s like you saw, out of your seeing the real depth of the problem, there was an openness for a solution so to speak. There’s like an openness in your heart to walking in the healthier pattern.
Danny: It was a whole new set of options. I’d never seen people raise their own children before. I’d never seen a married couple raise their own children, not have a broken, splintered off, some form of a blend, whether it was just living with fifteen different people while your children grew up in that, whether you married several people and brought their children into it. I’d never seen anybody just married, raise their own children.
Mark: Was it difficult at first to interact with? Was it uncomfortable or was it something you were just more drawn to?
Danny: No, I was just going over to people’s houses. I was just around people at church. I wasn’t married at the time.
Mark: Sure, but like hanging around them, when you saw everything that you saw, was it like a man, wow. There’s some people that I’ve been with who come from very troubled backgrounds, and you get them in a really safe setting it’s, like they don’t even know what to do with it.
Danny: I wouldn’t say it was so much that as much as I was just inspired. I was super inspired to say here’s what I want. This is what I want to provide for my children. Here’s what I want to provide for, this is what I want to experience, is that right there.
Work with People
Mark: Going back to, something that was in your bio, that you were involved in social work. Tell us a little bit about that. Where did that avenue take you?
Danny: I thought I was going to be a pastor. Right after I got saved I thought I was going to be a pastor, and so I looked into going to different theological schools and different things. They were very expensive, very expensive. I thought I’m not going to be able to do that, so I entered a organization that had residential care for adolescent juvenile offenders and runaways.
I started working with them, and in that environment the only way that you can advance in the pay scale was to get an education, so I started going to school. By the end of five years of working in the group home I had a bachelor’s degree, and then I became a program supervisor, and started working with the foster children and foster parents, and I went on to get my Masters degree in social work. That was pretty much the educational foundation, but it was in the context of working with broken families, the court systems, family reunification efforts, so it was very much just working in the context of my upbringing. I never went to juvenile hall or anything, but everybody that I worked with, I was very familiar with their life because I had lived it.
Upbringing and Dreams
Mark: Wow. Take me back to when you were a teenager. Were you very familiar with having to negotiate with people, work through problems, was that something that was, even at that age, bubbling up inside of you?
Danny: Probably. I didn’t have the role of any of that. I lived in a small town, so it was more about finding a job so that you could have some access to resources, a small mountain community. It wasn’t really inner city or anything like that. It was kind of boring.
Mark: When you go from that, and you now have entered into a place where you travel, you speak in all kinds of places, what’s that journey been like from where you’ve come from, to now where God has taken you? How have you processed through that? What is that? Talk a little bit about some of the things that you felt as you’re going through those different stages.
Danny: I think that everybody has some kind of dream for their life, and a hope. What I’m doing now, and how my life lives, twenty, thirty years ago, there’s just no way you could predict this. There’s just no way you could anticipate. I was a meat cutter when I got saved and my big dream was to own the grocery store where I worked in Weaverville (California). That was the end of my dream right there was woo hoo, I’m going to own a grocery store in Weaverville.
To have the role that I have now, and the momentum, and the opportunities, is at this point, I don’t even recognize this Weaverville boy, what’s going on with him. I tell stories of graduating from high school with a grade point average that started with a point, and now, at this point, I’ve written five books and a bunch of other materials. My high school teachers would probably just roll over in their graves to know that I actually read the book.
The first time I read a book was I was twenty-six years old. That was my second year of junior college. I’m not academically inclined, and yet here I am talking to academics, and leading people who are professionals, and influencing influencers, and I have no idea how this happened other than it’s just a flat out miracles.
Mark: This isn’t necessarily like a part of the twenty year plan, that you have these people that write down here’s where I’m going, and I’m going to declare it every day, and I’m going to put my mind to it. A lot of this is an absolute surprise.
Danny: It is, and I think the standards that my family had for me had nothing to do with education or professional achievement. It was more like don’t go to prison. We’ve never had anybody go to prison, so we’re not sure what you’re going to do, but don’t do that.
Mark: Check, so anything above that, it’s like you’re stellar.
Danny: Pretty much. It does feel like a strange life that I’m living.
Mark: Going into, speaking of your writing, I was just so overjoyed reading your Keep Your Love On, as tons of people have. It’s succinct. It’s clear. It’s to the point. It has a language to it that draws you in. I highlighted a ton of it, at some points just got tired of highlighting, because there’s statements that you make that are very powerful, and I want to actually use that word powerful, because you coin the term powerful people. I feel like it’s become this headline term that you use in a lot of materials. I find it to be very helpful because sometimes we need a refreshing language to draw people into growth. How did you come to using that term? What was it that brought that term about to become a part of your language and teaching it?
Danny: I think it has to do with understanding that we’ve not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and self-control. With that premise I think that the idea of recapturing the idea of being powerful, as a believer, has been super important to what it is that I’m doing because so many people equate power with some kind of negative, oppressive term, so a rise to power, or had to do with these powerful authorities, or whatever. As a result people have used their power to try to control other people, whereas the real term of being a powerful person is I now have the option of telling myself what to do, and I will do that knowing that I don’t control other people. Powerful people are really self-controlled people to choose love.
Mark: That’s a powerful message, especially in a season in time where it seems many people are struggling with powerlessness, where they feel they are victimized by their situation. They are a victim of their circumstances, or of people, or their background, or situations, and it seems that God is really doing a deep work to empower us to recognize that there is a kingdom within us that we have access to, but there is an initiation on our part to really step into that, and execute that.
Accessing Powerful Relationships
How do you, in a nuts and bolts kind of way, how do you access that being a powerful person from a day-to-day perspective? What are some things that you practice that help you live within that realm?
Danny: It starts with the realization and the agreement that I don’t control other people. It’s not my job. Otherwise I’m going to use my anger, my talent, my position, my money, to manipulate people. That’s where I think we begin to scare people with the behavior, that they can be controlled by me. Whether I’m an employer, or a pastor, or a parent, or a husband, or whatever, when I begin to set an agenda to try to get other people to serve me, or to serve my purposes, I classically introduce fear.
When you are arranging your environment by using a spiritual force such as fear to serve your purposes, that is the definition of witchcraft. We begin to conjure a dark force, if you will, to get my way. In the name of Jesus? Really? Really? That has to go away from my option list. That has to leave my purposes as someone in relationship.
Another thing is that I don’t try to tell you what you have to do. I’m going to make sure that I get really good at letting other people know what I will be doing. I’ll be glad to finish our conversation if it stays respectful. That is a powerful message, that I am only going to participate in respectful exchanges in our relationship. I don’t control whether you’re respectful or not. I don’t control the words you choose or the attitude you choose. I am working on mine.
I know that it’s not my begging, or my pleading, or my threats, or any of that, that broadcasts a change to our relationship. It’s my actions, so I’ll take responsibility for what I contribute to our relationship through actions, not through lectures and threats.
I think managing myself. Really what makes me a powerful person in our relationship is I’m going to manage myself, and it does two things. It takes the responsibility of controlling you away, and it takes the fear of you controlling me away.
Mark: That’s very powerful. That last statement right there is very powerful. Can you share an area that you had to overcome that kept you from living in that? What was some of the things that kept you from, or have tried to keep you from, living in that over the course of your life?
Danny: I don’t think I have any unique challenges. I think that I don’t like conflict. I don’t like confrontation. I don’t like being in charge. I don’t like being the center of attention. I don’t like large crowds of people.
Mark: That’s real. That’s honest.
Danny: Yeah. All those things are what I do for a living now, and I have for twenty years. I have to manage myself in all those situations and environments, and learning to show up, learning to do what I was born to do, and not allow the opinions of other people, the hangups of other people, the character of other people, to not let any of that manage me happening is a daily practice for me.
Working with Challenging Relationships
Mark: When you’re in a situation, I’m sure you’ve been in many of them, where you have a really difficult conflict going on that you know you’re having some kind of role to try to have a discussion, or there’s something that needs to be confronted, what helps you to get into the right place and not be in that, oh, goodness, I hate conflict. We all have that initial kind of, why can’t people just behave kind of thoughts that come through, and then position yourself to be in that better place to keep your love on, to manage your state better. Maybe give an example of a thought process or something that you went, okay, this is where I need to be.
Danny: What really helped me was the idea of I have to get this person to agree with me, I have to control this person, that went away. What I do have is I have the hope that we can look at a situation, we can look at an issue, we can look at something together, and in the name of, or with the goal of, connection and love and relationship, we can actually work towards a remedy to the problem, because I’m not trying to control you. I’m not threatening to punish you. I’m not rejecting you. I’m not manipulating you. I am helping you see something that I can only hope that you want a remedy to.
It comes back to how do you even help people, so as a parent or as a leader, if I come at you with here’s what you’re doing wrong, here’s what you did, here’s what, I need you to agree with all of that before were going to move ahead. Typically when I come at me with all these accusations you disagree with me, and now we have an argument. Then I’m going to use my power to overrule your argument, and then start making decisions, and if I have any authority in the relationship, I’m going to simply start telling you what you have to now do.
Mark: It seems like that is the breeding ground for pretty much most separations of relationships, most divisions, most dissolving church splits, organizational breakdowns, is what you described right there. There’s some form of that dynamic in play.
Fear in Relationships
Danny: Yeah. It’s just crazy what happens when people get scared. A good argument gets two scared people going, and two scared people shift from build a connection and preserve a relationship, to save myself and show you the worst me that I have.
Danny: People get in the habit of a conflict laden, disconnected, fear based relationship, like a marriage, or with your teenager, or maybe one of your siblings or your parents, or a coworker, or an employer. When you get scared, when they get scared, the worst of me is on display. When that little Chihuahua in your house gets scared, that thing looks like a crazy animal. They just look crazy. Well, people look disturbed when they’re angry. When a couple has a habit of living disconnected, one person classically takes a picture of that angry person, and keeps it in their pocket, and keeps meditating on the angry person, and begins to attempt to change the identity of their spouse by meditating on the worst person they got, when they were angry, and I hold you in that position for a long time in our relationship to the point where I actually think that’s who you are.
Instead of that’s what you look like when you’re scared, let’s work on getting rid of the fear, I began to build a case against you because I think that’s who you are.
Making the Change
Mark: When someone recognizes I’m operating out of the fear place, and this stuff is coming out, what are some great ways they can now go, okay, I got to make a shift. I’m seeing that the way you articulated it is excellent, and I think our listeners are really going to grab onto that, so they see that okay, this fear is driving all this space. It’s bringing out these things, and then I move into that next level you talked about, seeing the ugly side of another person, capturing that.
How do we then wind it back, really dealing with that fear personally within myself in the relationship? If I’m coming to you and I’m recognizing I have fear regarding our dynamic, what’s the next mindset or action that can help me to move into a better place?
Danny: At any point that I would be working with two people I would ask them, regarding their relationship, what is your goal? I have to own the goal that I have in my relationship with you. I had a buddy call me a few days ago and he was just like, “I’ve had it. I can’t deal with this woman anymore. I’m just sick and tired of what’s going on here. She’s trying to control me. I can’t do anything. She doesn’t trust me. I can’t live in a relationship where there’s control and no trust.” I said, “Okay, okay,” I listened to him and I said, “Hey, you changed your goal. Your goal is distance, and you’re building a case to create distance. When your goal is distance, she can’t do anything right. You’re standing in a place of judgment against her, and she can’t do anything right. Until you own your goal, you won’t own what you’re doing to create the dynamic of distance in your relationship.”
He’s like, oh, rargh, rargh, rargh. I said, “Hey, you told me a while back your goal was connection. Until you get back to that goal all your behaviors are creating distance. Your behaviors are creating this distance you’re blaming her for. If you’ll change your goal, if you’ll repent and you’ll change your goal to connection, the way you’re treating her will change, and the dynamic of your relationship will change. I guarantee you. Give me ten days with a goal of connection and let me know what happens. Tell me I’m wrong.”
He text me yesterday with the crying emoji, the laughter tears, and he says, “Ten days? You thought it was going to take ten days? It took one day, one day. The love came rushing back in as soon as I changed my goal to connection.”
The dynamic between two humans really flows from the goal of the humans. If my goal with you is connection, there’s nothing you can do about it. If my goal with you is distance, there’s nothing you can do about it. I have to make sure if I’m saying out of one side of my mouth I want a loving, intimate connection with someone, but my goal with them is distance, I’m the problem.
Mark: That takes some recognition too, to see that.
Danny: It does.
Mark: It takes some coaching to walk into that. In your life who have been some very helpful people that have either mentored to you, or have helped teachers, leaders, that have helped enhance the grid that you carry regarding healthy relationships?
Danny: Probably the primary influence in my life would be the pastor at Bethel Church, Bill Johnson. He’s just lived it. I wouldn’t say he coached me as in he sat down and helped me discover some things. It’s just I’ve been around him for thirty-five years, so the culture he creates around himself, I have participated in for my entire Christian life. Another guy named Jim Fay. Jim Fay is a co-founder of something called Love and Logic. When I was a social worker a lot of the parenting stuff that I did was Love and Logic. I just listened to his materials for hours driving around from home to home. I listened to him for years. He had a dramatic impact on me. Foster Cline, his partner, those two guys had a pretty big impact on me.
I think Stephen Covey, and the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, had a massive effect on me growing up as a leader, as somebody that had to manage-
Mark: I was a teenager when that book came out, Seven Habits, seek first to understand, the story of the guy in the train. Do you remember that? Understanding his situation, that the mother had just died, and while, it brings a whole different perspective on his kids acting up.
Danny: Yeah. It’s paradigms, and again, how you manage yourself. Those are, that come into mind, I think just some real key influences in bringing us back to a place of personal responsibility instead of operating out of this idea that I’m powerless, I’m powerless, I’m powerless. Well, you are powerless to control other people. When that’s your paradigm you experience high levels of fear and a strong desire to learn manipulation tactics, but when you are aiming your power at yourself, and doing something about yourself, you are very powerful. That’s, I think, where so much anxiety reduces, is I get out of the trap of trying to control other people, and I turn all that energy into controlling myself.
The Power of Covenant Relationships
Mark: When I look at the culture that you have at Bethel Church, just as outside observer, one of the greatest powers that I see manifesting there is the covenant relationships. You guys have a tremendous amount of history together. I see that as what you’re saying today. I’ve heard Chris in his podcast talk about, some people have changed five churches in the time that you guys have been together, or they’ve gone through ten different jobs. We have such a culture that often dismisses themselves as soon as it gets challenging or difficult. You bring an understanding of covenant, that I think is in some ways revolutionary, to church context, because the basis is often if we disagree, we can’t do anything together.
You’re bringing about a new mindset of we’re going to draw nearer, and if you’ll take the invitation, our relationship will grow stronger. You manifest the characteristics of family that has really drawn in, and it’s something staffs need, families need, churches need, businesses need, is a higher level of covenant relationship. What was your discovery in the power of that, or was it something you just experienced, and then you went, this is covenant, what we’ve been doing is covenant, or was there a light that turned on that said I need to move in this understanding of what covenant relationship is?
Danny: I think it was probably twenty years in, fifteen years in, before I realized what a covenant was. I was just living it. When I got saved I moved from, basically, I’ll do what I do as long as it works for me, into I’d lay my life down for you. I didn’t know that’s what it was until, really, I was trying to help other people. That’s when I began to discover, oh wow. People don’t think like this. People think save myself. You don’t really think past yourself. You don’t think about the investment of a legacy. You don’t think of building an inheritance. Wow, you’re pretty much thinking about yourself. This is a problem.
That’s a problem. You’re not going to create what you say you want if you keep thinking about that. I’m talking about pastors. I’m talking about Christian leaders who are blowing up their own environment because they want their way. Confronting them, influencing them, coaching them, counseling them, dealing with civic leaders, dealing with authority figures, dealing with husbands and wives, parents who are blowing up their own home to get their way, like oh wow. This is not what I’ve learned.
It wasn’t until that culture clash that I began to realize, oh, this is something that has to be taught. This is something that has to be illustrated and brought to the surface, and then people have a choice. You have a choice of what you are going to participate in, what it is that you’re going to build. There’s a shift of responsibility when you realize you have a choice, and that would be a lot of what I do is I help people see a choice, and building covenant, that would be ongoing.
Powerful vs Powerless
Mark: When you look at culture today, and you’re helping people at all different levels, what would you put at the top of the list as the biggest, best word I can think of is concern, that you can see for people today when it comes to keeping their love on, walking in healthy relationships with each other?
Danny: The framework of the Keep Your Love On book is, it starts with connections. I’ll start with that tonight in our conference, and then it goes to communication, and then it ends with boundaries. I think those would be three crucial pieces that I’m going to be saying over, and over, and over, pretty much in everything I do and say, is if you don’t take the responsibility for your goal for connection or distance, then that explains why your marriage is coming apart. That explains why your relationship with your teenager is coming apart. That explains why these coworkers are not working this out. It explains why these community members are not working this out. They have the goal of distance.
If you don’t learn to chase fear away and invite love, you are not going to have heaven on earth. You’re not going to have kingdom culture. The tools of communication serve the goal of connection. If your goal is distance, your communication will broadcast your goal. If your goal is connection, you’re going to need some tools to learn how to protect the connection while you disagree with somebody, and then the boundaries around managing your time, your energy, your resources, your relationships. There’s so many commands in your life that if you don’t learn to set boundaries, communicate boundaries, set priorities in relationship, then you will experience powerlessness over your top priorities because you never learned how to say no.
I think in a nutshell, it would be powerful and powerless. You have to master that before you can move onto the other places of building a successful inheritance for your children’s children.
Mark: I noticed in communications this happens often, I’m sure you’ve seen it, we have a filter by which we often listen and hear what’s being said. What do you often try to do in relationships to help the filter? When you find that you’re trying to say something, what you’re saying is not being heard. I see it on social media. I see it even in relationships, whether it’s in person, in email, trying to say something. It gets twisted in their filter and they respond out of that. What do you find helpful in bringing that place, okay, let’s get to a place where you can hear what I’m actually saying, and not the filter that may be taking it a different direction?
Danny: I guess if it’s in a marriage counseling setting it would be just to try to reframe or clarify what did you hear them say? Okay what are they feeling? Okay what do they need? I’m going to try to boil it down to really what are the unmet needs here? What are they trying to say they need that you’re not hearing, because you’re defending yourself, you’re not listening, you’re trying to get them to agree with you. What do they need? What do they need? I’m just back and forth. I’m trying to get people to understand what each other needs.
Mark: That’s good. One of the roles that I know the church plays is empowering families, equipping families. In your church culture as well as in the speaking that you do, what are some of the things beyond, like what you’re talking about here at the conference, all of that comes into play, that you find is needed in families to be powerful? I know a lot of what you said about the fear aspect, and taking that out of how we control, even I look at my own parenting, and avenues where I can see there’s a fear based kind of control mechanism that’s not allowing freedom. It’s not operating in a good place, even in marriage.
Honor in Families
Mark: What are some things that you find to be very helpful when it comes to bringing strength to the family unit itself?
Danny: Probably the idea of honor. The idea of recognizing that you and I have both been created in the image of the freest being that has ever existed, God Himself, and that He introduced Adam and Eve to a perfectly free place. The only way we really know that the garden was free, besides they were running around naked, is there’s a tree of the knowledge of good and evil in this place. God could have created a garden that had no poor choices in it, but there is a poor choice because He wants them to be free. If you don’t have a choice you’re not free. This would be a paradise prison if it wasn’t for that poor choice in the garden.
God honored us as powerful people by allowing a poor choice in our environment. There was one poor choice, and here we sit in our clothes, right? I think that the biggest struggle, let’s say for parents, is I don’t want to honor your freedom. I want to limit it so I won’t get hurt, and so you won’t get hurt, but really you getting hurt isn’t something I can control. Me getting hurt is something I think I can control, and I control it for as long as possible until you are experiencing higher and higher levels of freedom, and then all the sudden I’m starting to get scared and hurt by your choices, by your freedoms. You’re going to introduce freedom into our relationship, or I’m going to introduce freedom into our relationship. It’s just a matter of time.
As a parent, if I can recognize that you’re experimenting with your freedoms is part of our relationship, and us resolving the disconnections in our relationship as a result of your freedoms, and my freedoms, is part of our relationship. Learning to reconcile, learning to forgive, learning to change my goal back to connection, getting back to learning how to listen when I so strongly disagree with you. These are things that parents with adult children are faced with. It’s not like I’m going to introduce this. No, no, it’s in your face. Your adult child is free, and deal with it, but when your children are in your house, it’s like you have a time lapsed option to introduce freedom or not, to overrule them, and control them, or to let them make poor choices and work through the consequences.
I think that the issue of honor, the quicker I can introduce honor into the relationship, which is you’re powerful and I am powerful, the sooner I can introduce that into our relationship with my children, the more valuable the relationship is long term to both of us.
Mark: When it comes to parenting, you touched on that, if you were to look back at late ’80s Danny, what would be some advice that you would give to him if you had a few minutes with him? What were some things that you would share with him to help him in his journey as a parent?
Danny: I think I would try to give him advice with his adolescent kids. I think if I were going to go back and retrace my steps, I think I would do adolescence better. I would have kept my teenagers, I would have been way more involved in my teenager’s social life, free time, that sort of thing. I know that I tend to err in the direction of freedom rather than over control. I would have moved closer to introducing more involvement. I just would’ve been more involved in a lot of the adolescent pieces, of especially my youngest child. He was my most social.
I think my older two were, I don’t feel like I made as many mistakes there. I think my youngest one I made the most mistakes just because he was such a socialite and he was all over the place. I just didn’t participate, I think, as much, but he’s the third one. By the third one you like, “You know, we’re tired. You go do whatever you want.” It was a certain amount of that, so I think there was some of that probably, but I think looking back, I just would have prepared to be more involved than I was.
I think the only consequences that that really added to was his peers became such a huge voice in his life, and I think I lost some of my voice during that .
Mark: Were you very, “hey, have your friends come over here. We want to keep an eye on those things,” or were you very trusting that, “hey, go to those places, have those events that you go to, we trust that you’re going to-”
Danny: Yeah. It was more the second one. It was more the go, who are these people that you’re hanging out with, and where are they? I don’t know any of these people. He was a great kid. He is a great kid, but I think he just spent a lot of time with folks I just didn’t know, and I would change that.
Writing and Book Publishing
Mark: I wanted to talk for just a couple minutes about your writing, because I’m fascinated that someone who had a GPA that you expressed, and those kinds of things, it’s truly a work of God. It’s incredible. How did it get started? When did the light turn on of I should probably write, maybe I should, was it a message that became like a transcribed thing, was it a teaching that then got formed into a book? What was it that first started the launch of you beginning to write?
Danny: I was just surrounded by writers.
Mark: It got contagious.
Danny: Yeah. It became the standard, it became the challenge. It became the, what are you doing with your life’s message [inaudible 00:46:12], is it still inside of you? Putting it on paper was an example that Bill really set with writing When Heaven Invades Earth, and then it just caught on fire. I think we have fifty published authors at Bethel on staff, just on the staff team.
Mark: Do you like writing? Do you enjoy it?
Danny: My writing style has really evolved. I sat down and hammered out my first two books, but I interact with the lady named Alison and she is a fabulous editor. She grew up in the culture as well. She knows your voice, and so she’s helping you.
Mark: That’s very important.
Danny: She’s helping you sound like a genius, so eventually I went to just transcribing my messages, arranging them by chapters, rough editing through them organizationally, and then Ally just takes it and runs with it. When she presented back to me you go there it is. That’s me. You did a good job saying me right there. This is what I sound like.
Then I have a team of people working on a book, and not just me limited to my amount of time that I can put into it. I think now that’s just how I’ll write from now on, is I speak so much that I can capture my thoughts. I can capture my paradigm. I can capture the flow, and you can arrange that, and anybody who’s trying to write who is a speaker, I always encourage them, get a transcription. Have someone transcribe what you actually said and walk through that, expand your thoughts, clarified things, because there is a big difference between speak read, and write read.
Mark: I’ve had to learn that. Yeah, there’s a big difference. Yes.
Danny: It’s a big difference. You just look at speak read, you just look at it, and you see where probably your body language is communicating from that piece to this page, and I need a literal communication right there, not expression communication. I express so much with my hands, my face, my slides, my humor. It’s hard to be funny. It’s hard to be funny in writing. It really is because you can’t behave funny in a book.
Loving on Purpose Life Academy
Mark: Do you have anything that you can give our listeners, like a sneak preview of what’s bubbling in you, in the next book, project you may be working on?
Danny: The book wouldn’t be what I’m most excited about. The thing I’m most excited about is the Loving on Purpose Life Academy. It is a online school that we’re doing, and it is a phase one, phase two, phase three. Phase one is basically an introduction to the Loving on Purpose material. If you’re not familiar with that then I need you to become familiar.
Phase two is much more cameras on conversation with me and my friends, where we talk about stuff like this. Where we talk about how do you create a culture of honor? What did it look like when- My first couples are people that are in the culture of honor book, that couple that got pregnant in culture of honor? I’ll do interviews with them and there’ll be cameras on that conversation. When I sit down with leaders, every time I have lunch, every time I have a leader meeting, I always wish there was a camera on that because this conversation is not isolated to this environment. So many people would be so blessed to have sat and listened to this. I want to re-create that in phase two.
Then phase three, I am looking for people who do what I do. They’re anointed. They’re gifted. They’re effective. They have momentum. They have influence in speaking, writing, whatever it is they’re doing. I want to help those people to a new platform. I want to help them with their social media. I want to help them with their product development. I want to help them, get them on a stage with me in doing conferences. I want to co-write books with them, get their name out there alongside of my name, and multiply myself a hundred times. I’m looking for those people in this school. I’m looking for people who stand out, that I would feel like a genius to come and stand alongside them, add my strength to them, and explode them the way Bethel really gave me a platform. I want to help other people get a platform.
I did exactly what I’m doing now in Weaverville, in Mount Shasta for really a pretty small group, and then getting involved with Bethel gave me a global stage. I want to help people get that.
Mark: If they want more information on that what’s the web address for that again?
Mark: Is that the best way for people to follow you in general, to see what you’re up to, speaking events, things like that?
Danny: Yeah. Instagram and Facebook probably. Danny Lee Silk on Facebook, and then Instagram is Danny loving on purpose I think.
Mark: Okay. We’ll be sure to put those in the show notes. Which is your favorite social media? What’s the one that you like to jump on more than others.
Danny: Everything on Instagram goes to Facebook, but most of the posting happens on Facebook.
Mark: Okay. Got you. Just a fun question, what kind of music are you listening to these days? What kind of things do you, when you just want to enjoy yourself, what kind of music do you play?
Danny: When I am racing cars, which I love to do, I’m listening to classic rock. That’s my jam.
Mark: You would kind of need something that’s got some energy to it if you’re going to race a car.
Danny: Yeah, but then Jesus culture and Bethel music are my to go to use for just nourishing my soul.
Mark: What’s in your podcast playlist on your phone?
Danny: Oh gosh. A lot of things that would probably scare a lot of people. I grew up in the ZZ Top, Bob Seger, Journey, a bunch of that kind of, Eagles, and then there’s some other stuff that I really enjoy but that’s-
Mark: Yeah. You mentioned your music. I was more asking if you listened to any podcasts of any certain shows or any-
Danny: Oh podcasts yeah. I got you. I thought you said playlists. Sorry. I mixed that.
Mark: It’s all right.
Danny: I don’t really listen to podcasts.
Mark: What about a book that you’ve read lately that has been something that’s impacted you, that you’ve enjoyed?
Danny: Good question. I can’t think of one.
Mark: Even maybe it’s just your own book.
Danny: No I’m sure I did read some books. I’m just trying to think what they would be.
Mark: When you’re unwinding, like after this conference is over and you’re done, you’re on your way home, what’s the relaxing thing that helps you decompress and unwind. For some people it’s music, or maybe they listen to a podcast, or maybe they read a book, or they watch a movie.
Danny: Yeah. I watch movies.
Mark: Okay. What’s the kind of genre that you love and enjoy?
Danny: Action, some action movie. My son is in the military so I’m watching military action movies.
Mark: Did you see the movie 13 Hours?
Danny: I did not. No.
Mark: That was incredible. Riveting.
Danny: I thought it would just make me angry.
Mark: It might. It might, and most people- I found it to not be politically driven. They were trying to capture the event as it happened based on a book that the author did interviews of all the people involved, and tried to articulate it. It gave me, which most military movies do, it gave me such a sense of appreciation. Talk about giving your life. It just blows my mind.
Danny: Yeah. We just went to my son’s boot camp graduation and I just cried for two days because of the tradition, and the sacrifice, the message that I’m willing to give my life for the freedom of the people I’m a part of. That’s such a powerful, covenant kind of deal. That stuff moves me deeply, and then just to watch my son out there. I was so proud.
Perspective on Recent Violence and Racial Tension
Mark: One last question, it’s kind of a deep one. Recent events, in fact this was last night with the shooting of police officers, and the tension and anger that’s going on, when you look at that in the news, what comes up in your heart as far as answers, solutions, or just seeing what needs to be understood to deal with the problems that are involved in that?
Danny: It’s right back to what’s the goal. What’s your goal? When you’re killing people your goal is not connection. Your goal is distance and you’re justifying your behavior because your goal is distance. Beating people up, screaming and yelling at people, judging people, calling them names, that’s all behavior that manifests. Your goal is distance here. You’re blaming it on me but your goal is distance with me, because you’re scared, because you’re hurt. Okay, well everybody gets scared and hurt, but you still are responsible for your goal. Don’t blame me for your goal.
I think until we get back to that spot where we’re responsible for our own goals as humans, let alone as citizens, that’s the political machine stirring people up to choose a side and create distance with the side that they’re not part of, and then to divide a people into categories of humans. We’re humans. We’re people. We’re children of God. We’re a whole body, and to divide that into little chunks and categorize everyone, it’s evil.
The Greek word for accuser of the brethren, accuser, the Greek word accuser there is a word, katigoros, so to categorize people gives you permission to divide, and to distance yourself from people who are outside of categories that you value.
Mark: I don’t even want to add anything to that. That’s powerful. Thank you so much Danny, for taking the time. We will leave all your information in our show notes to our audience, and look forward to being a part of the conference this weekend, seeing everything that you have to share. Those of you listening, please get a hold of every one of his books. They will empower you. They will turn all kinds of lights on, not only your love on, but will change your life. Danny, thank you so much.
Danny: You’re welcome.
Pictures Courtesy of Taylor Silk