Bob Ayres, DMin
"Holiness begins with honesty. Holiness is a natural by-product of an abiding, healthy relationship with our Creator. When we recognize our brokenness and confess this to the Lord, we begin the process of healing. We must be honest about our sin and admit utter, moment-by-moment dependence on Jesus Christ. " (Light of Life, p.28)
"A friend once told me she puts on her best face so people will like her. 'That's interesting,' I responded. 'I try to show my worst possible self so that I know who ever still likes me is really my friend!' I'll take authenticity over popularity, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Especially on Sunday." (p. 135)
"Deaf churches and ministries today face a crisis in reaching Deaf young people. As the end of the 20th century approached, we stood at the brink of a completely dispersed and secularized Deaf culture. The influence and impact of the Christian faith—any religious belief system for that matter—had been greatly diminished by the end of the century. However, with the advent of the 21st century, a renewed spirit of spiritual unity spread across the country which has resulted in a revival among youth and young adults like not seen since the 1980s.
Building upon his work in Deaf Diaspora: The Third Wave of Deaf Ministry, Dr. Bob Ayres brought together a diverse group of Deaf Ministry leaders as a “Think Tank” to pray, discuss, and develop a one-page Declaration to the Deaf Church. This declaration provides the foundation for fourteen statements about the essential values of a 21st Century Deaf Church. Dr. Ayres explains and expands upon these values and provides biblical and theological foundations. Included are several other practical sections for understanding the issues and applying the information contained in this book.
What are the most effective ministry principles for reaching this next generation? What are the specific challenges and essential values for moving forward? We live in a highly secularize society that is both divided and united by technology. A radically new model of 21st Century Deaf Church is presented in DEAFCHURCH 21. As we fully enter the Fourth Wave of Deaf Ministry, how shall we best move forward?"
(Back Cover - available 2018)
"There are four words that describe the basic social, emotional, and spiritual needs of teenagers: fun, friendship, fellowship, faith." (p. 129)
"You are called to follow Jesus down this narrow way regardless of the response from the spectators. Never be too enamored with their cheers. Never be too intimidated by their jeers. Palm Sunday (Hosanna! Son of David!) and Good Friday (Crucify him!) are on five days apart." (p. 52)
Devospora: Inspiration for a Scattered People
Real Life Wisdom: Stories for the Road
DEAFCHURCH 21: The Fourth Wave
"Deaf ministry must adapt or it will perish. The truth of the gospel is eternal but we must be able to apply this truth to a new situation within a new culture. The first step is to understand the current situation more accurately and fully. The second step is to embrace a new model for Deaf ministry. God is greater than any challenges faced, including Diaspora. It is an exciting time to be called to Deaf ministry, although the Diaspora makes this ministry very difficult." (p. 50)
"I have spent most of my adult life in ministry with people from whom I am different. Often referred to as "cross-cultural" ministry, this means I am the outsider in another culture. I am the one who is different ... Make no mistake about it. If you are ministering in another culture, you are always a visitor, regardless of where you sit at the table." (p. 5)
[The Cascade of Evil] "If we fail to recognize the image of God in others, then we too suffer. When we devalue a creation of our Holy God, we sin. Whether through lust, or racism, or ignorance, or indifference... stereotypes beget caricatures beget devaluing beget oppression beget violence. The only way to stop this cascade of evil is to push past our stereotypes and get to know individuals."
Deaf Diaspora: The Third Wave of Deaf Ministry
"Ministry is messy and confusing at times. People have free will and do not always respond as we would like them to. Sometimes, they find healing in Christ and return to a life of brokenness. Or we waste time dealing with legalistic people who completely miss the point. We may have to pursue people to remind them that following God is a new life and requires commitment. And there are times that the people we help, reject and hurt us.
In all reality, none of this matters more than the simple and profound calling that God has on our lives. It's tough sometimes; and confusing. But we serve a Lord who has "been there" and most importantly, is with us as we "go there." (Messy Ministry, p. 42)
"This is not a "hearing" religion; it is a personal relationship between the Creator and the creation." (p. 28)
Quotes and Excerpts
"God has called us to be “bridge” people. We stand in the gap. We are guides who bridge the divide by living at the edge of society for the sake of others. It is God who pursues these young people. Our responsibility to help remove barriers and create space for the Holy Spirit to work. This is part of our “ministry of reconciliation."
"We stand at the precipice of a completely secularized Deaf culture." (p. 34)