Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister, and today we are thrilled to introduce Danielle Ayers!
Danielle, tell us about where and how are you currently serving in ministry.
I serve on the staff of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas as minister of justice.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?
There have been several challenges on the journey. Two come to mind. One,navigating spaces that are traditionally male dominated in the church and community has created a challenge. When I enter into some spaces, the question, either overtly or subtle, becomes, why are you here? What manner of women are you to occupy this space dominated by males? So, a daily challenge is to push up against and over a tradition that relegates women to typified roles in the church and community.
Two, this work has put me in touch with so many local and global communities. I continue to witness the injury to souls due to broken social structures. Increasingly, globalization is having an impact on all communities. There is a unique and welcomed challenge to ensure that we not only speak truth to power and engage in public policy discourse, we must meet the challenge of engaging in the soul repair of people who been dehumanized by broken social structures.
What do you love best about your ministry position?
My ministry has provided many opportunities to meet new people, grow mentally and spiritually, and expand my global view. I have certainly come to understand the intersections of theologies, politics, spirituality, ethics and human relatedness more deeply. I enjoy partnering with wonderful people, faith communities and organizations on the journey. I love the life long friendships that are born out of a love for justice and people. I think the main thing I love about my ministry position is being a part of movements that will fix broken social structures bringing permanent relief for people who are impacted by empire.
What is the best ministry advice you have ever received?
Take time-outs. Take vacations. And schedule your stress.