Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry features an interview with an amazing minister. Today we are thrilled to introduce Aisha Davis. Aisha IS what a minister looks like!
Aisha, tell us about your ministry journey and the places and ways you have served and are serving.
My ministry journey has definitely been a journey. From as early as I can remember, I was in church. I was heavily involved in almost every area of ministry: youth choir, drama ministry, drill team, youth leader. There was a time in my life when I did not think that was important. As I have grown in life and ministry, however, I see that God’s mighty hand was on my life from an early age. He was setting me apart.
Ministry was never something I envisioned for myself. The call to preach the Gospel was a call that I ran away from for many years. I was the person who needed signs and wonders in order to know that God was calling me. I don’t say that boastfully. It isn’t something that I am proud of. I wish that I could say that when God called me, my response was “Yes” and “Amen.” It was the opposite. I wanted God to do bizarre things (like have two pigs flying on a Thursday afternoon while eating pizza . . . you get the point) before I would respond with obedience. I asked God to do things that I thought were impossible, as if He couldn’t do it! God did the impossible for me. My only response to God after that was “Yes Lord.”
After accepting my call to preach, I attended Fuller Theological Seminary where I received a Master of Divinity degree. I currently serve in both traditional and academic ministry settings. I am honored to serve in the church I grew up in: The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas. I serve as minister of small groups under the leadership and vision of Dr. Ralph Douglas West. I also serve as a vocation and formation group leader for Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and an adjunct instructor for The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas.
What have been your greatest sources of joy in ministry?
My greatest sources of joy in ministry are preaching, teaching, and spiritual formation. I get great joy out of serving the people of God, watching them grow into mature believers, seeing them experience freedom in Christ Jesus, and become all who Christ created and redeemed them to be.
What have been the greatest challenges you have encountered in ministry?
The greatest challenges I have encountered in ministry are my age and boundaries. I am what many would call a millennial. Because I am a young, African-American woman, I encounter many challenges in the academic setting. When I stand to teach a class for the first time, most people assume that I am a student, or they are automatically resistant to the information being presented. It is not until after the class is over that some of the walls begin to fall down and a more positive response is communicated.
A second challenge I have encountered is setting boundaries. I cannot stress enough how important it is to establish and maintain boundaries in ministry. When I first began working in ministry, I did not have clear boundaries. As a mother, however, I have had to set clear boundaries. My first ministry is at home with my daughter. It is easy to allow ministry to consume us. Boundaries help identify and protect the safe and sacred spaces of our lives.
What advice would you give to young girl in your congregation who might be sensing a call to ministry?
Pray. Seek. If you are still unsure, seek wise (godly) counsel. If God has called you, others will recognize those gifts within you.
Who you are is how you minister. Your character and integrity to God, both in front and behind the scenes, is imperative.
Remember that above all else, it is God the Father who called you, not anyone else (or yourself).
Connect with and surround yourself with women and men who help shape and support the call that God has on your life.
As your mentors and fellow ministers sow seeds into your life and ministry, remember to do the same for others.