Well in case you need a little encouragement, we are here to help! PreachingWoman.com garnered the exclusive opportunity to speak candidly with one of the Kingdom's choice gifts, Pastor Danielle Murphy. She graciously accepted our invitation to be featured on PreachingWoman.com and share with us how God used one of her most defining moments to bring Him the ultimate glory, and He wants to do the same for you too!
Affectionately known as" Pastor D" by her adoring congregation and other ministry colleagues, Pastor Danielle Murphy serves as the Executive Pastor, alongside her husband, internationally acclaimed gospel recording artist, Senior Pastor William Murphy, III, of the dReam Center church of Atlanta. Known for her captivating ministry style and her no-nonsense delivery, Pastor D is a motivational teacher, preacher, coach and author with an uncanny gifting to minister and relate God's Word to people in a way that reaches them right where they are.
NE: Pastor Danielle, thank you so much for accepting this interview and agreeing to be featured and celebrated on PreachingWoman.com, I'm so honored to share your ministry with our faithful audience of PreachingWoman.com viewers!
DM: Nichelle, thank you, I am so excited and honored!
NE: Well, let's get started!
Pastor D, please tell us about the mission/vision of your personal ministry.
DM: I believe that the thrust of my ministry focuses on empowering people, particularly women. In fact, ever since I was a little girl, I've always exemplified certain character traits conducive to doing so. For instance, I was always very candid, and I told people the truth, sometimes at the wrong time, but I did. And that's a necessary trait for empowering people. So, I often find it amazing that God will take our natural gifts and inclinations and temper them for what He has called us to do in ministry. So, I believe my main thrust is empowering women, and that can be seen throughout my ministry and life.
Using the Word of God coupled with my own experiences, it's my goal to empower women in what ever area or phase of their lives necessary. Whether they are mothers, wives, ministers, or even in the marketplace, my ministry is to challenge and empower them to move to the next level. I often tell people, if you don't want to hear the truth, you may not want to be around me, because God has put me here on earth to push or sometimes even drag you to your next level by any means necessary using the Word of God!
NE: Amen! Sometimes we need someone to motivate or even "drag" us to our next level, or we won't get there for looking at the "giants in the land!"
DM: That's right!
NE: Now, coupled with your own personal ministry, you also serve alongside your husband, Pastor William Murphy, III, as Executive Pastor of Family Ministries at the dReam Center church of Atlanta. Please share with us about the dReam Center and your role there.
Pastor D, you certainly are an anointed woman of God whom He has graced with an amazing anointing to deal with the hard and or traditionally "untouched" issues in within the church. Please share with us the importance of this in regards to ministering to people where they are today.
DM: Well Nichelle I really believe, that "church" has somewhat lost relevance to many people, particularly today's generation. Often times when they come to church, people are not ministering to them where they are. Most times, they encounter church settings that are caught up in rules, doctrine, or the "do's and don'ts" of religion. However, at the dReam Center church, we want individuals to come and know Jesus Christ first and foremost; and then my way of reaching them is by operating in truth and being touchable...The Bible says that "...those that are well need not a physician, but those that are sick [Matthew 9:12, ESV, paraphrased]." So, we deal with the tough and untouchable issues by being transparent and candid using the Word of God and what He desires for His people's lives. I always say, 'we love you out of your mess' because the truth of the matter is one encounter with God will change your life.
NE: Amen! And with all of the prayer and the spirit of worship that you all have at the dReam Center, I know if people truly desire an encounter with God they will find it there!
Well Pastor D, as it pertains to your personal ministry, you have such a strong passion for ministering to hurt and broken women. What fuels this passion?
DM: Well, I'm a woman, and I know what it is to be hurt and broken. I often tell women, 'When our passion and pain intersects, that's how we will find our place in ministry.' I'm a true believer that ministry rises out of the ashes of our pain. In my desire to see women healed and whole, one of the things I did was start a women's ministry group at our church called, "DReam Girls." Through this ministry women were able to come together for quarterly encounters that helped them get to a greater level of freedom in their lives. From those encounters, God gave me a vision to birth a new program called, "My Defining Moments." This is a six month intensive program wherein the components are personal development, community service, creating life purpose statements, learning to establish boundaries, understanding and flowing in forgiveness and more. This program is nothing that I got out of a book. It's based upon the Word of God and me being transparent and candid about things that I've had to deal with in my own life in order for me to help them. The program also consists of being mentored and having accountability. I tell the participants that just like life, this program is not without challenge; it will take some very serious work, you may even lose some sleep, but it can be done...You will be able to redefine your life and the moments that you thought were the worst and use them to take you to your next level in God.
NE: Wow, this sounds like a spectacular program!
With that being said, what would you say has been one of your most "Defining Moments" and how did it help you redefine your life or ministry?
You see, forgiveness was important, because it freed me. Not only did it free me, but it allowed me to see that my marriage was not just about me, but that it was a ministry to the world through what God has called my husband and I both to. So, in working through that defining moment, God allowed it to redefine my life to the point that I now believe I have a supernatural ability to forgive that has come only from God. This frees me to minister to other women who may be wives, especially with a husband serving in ministry. The Bible says, "...think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try you..." [I Peter 4:12, KJV, paraphrased]. So, we've been warned through the Word of God...Therefore, I'm not afraid to share and be transparent. I decided that I would allow what I've gone through to be used for God's glory!
NE: Pastor D, I love what you said, "forgiveness is a choice; healing is the process." That is so true, because many people think because you forgive it still doesn't hurt.
DM: Yes, we must understand that there are many layers to healing. For example I broke my ankle years ago...it's healed, but when the weather changes, I sometimes ache in that foot. Sometimes the weather of life can blow over an old wound and you may ache a little bit. However, if it still hurts like the initial pain, you may need additional help and healing.
NE: Now that's a great analogy! I love it!
Well, let's switch gears...Pastor D, you certainly wear a lot of hats. You are the wife of an international recording artist, mother to four children, an anointed woman of God in your own right, and a down-to-earth friend to so many.
What disciplines to you abide by in your life in order to keep things flowing harmoniously?
DM: Lots of prayer! (laughs!) Prayer is not an option, it's a mandate. It's not something that we can choose to do. Prayer is a necessary discipline for our lives...I would not be able to maintain all that I have to accomplish without being plugged in to God. So for me, it's prayer coupled with worship and the Word of God that keeps things flowing and in balance...I always say, 'show me a person who breaks under pressure and I will show you a person who doesn't have an [active] prayer life.' Because, even when things don't go as planned, or like you think they should, through prayer God will always allow us to weather every storm...Prayer is not a monologue, it's a dialogue; I talk and God listens, or God speaks and I listen. I've found that it is when I listen that God is able to give me directions for my day or situations. And, because I've listened, I'm confident that no matter what happens in my day I've followed God's plan and the footsteps that He's ordered for my day.
NE: So, Pastor D, please share with us three guiding principles to help those who are seeking to develop a more intimate lifestyle of prayer such as you have.
- Consistency: One of the things we teach our new partners at our church is the "First 8 Principle." We tell them before you do anything when you get up in the morning, give God the "first 8 minutes of your day." God would rather hear from you for at least 8 minutes in the morning, than to not hear from you at all. Once you begin to get stronger, then increase the time;
- Two Way Communication: Again, don't allow prayer to be a monologue, but a dialogue. Pray and then spend some time listening for God's communication back to you;
- Box-Out: Don't put God in a box. Always be flexible. Sometimes, you may not be able to get down on your knees in your closet; so for the busy mother, maybe give God 20 minutes in the car. In other words, utilize the times you have alone to talk to God. Be flexible and open...also, keep a praise and worship on your lips. Don't allow the cares of life to rob of you an opportunity to pray. The Bible says, "Pray without ceasing" [I Thessalonians 5:17, KJV].
NE: Those are some great principles.
Well, Pastor D, I know you are a very busy woman of God, so in closing, what do you believe God is saying in this hour?
DM: You know what? I believe God is raising up a group of transparent, relevant, and prophetic ministers who are going to take the world by storm through infiltrating every sphere of society. Whether it is through media, education, the political arena, or the marketplace, God is causing men and women of God to be versatile so that His purpose and will can be released in all spheres of the earth. Ministry is beyond what we've known traditionally. I believe that God is opening doors so quickly that we won't have time to begin praying and fasting before we go into them. He's sending people through those doors that are so tapped in to His voice because of prayer, fasting, and consistent preparation already made before him. They are going to be willing and ready to "move with the cloud." I believe that we are getting ready to experience some awesome supernatural things that we least expect. I believe God is getting ready to reveal some new and fresh people that are going to minister with a mighty demonstration and empowerment through His Word!
NE: Amen!! I receive that!!
Well, last but certainly not least, if there was anything that you wanted the world to know about you, what would it be?
DM: First and foremost, I would want them to know that I love the Lord, with all my heart, my mind and my strength. And, I would share with them my personal motto;
Dream, Dare, and Dance...I believe we should dream beyond where we are; I believe we should dare to be different, do the impossible and attempt what has never been done; and dance. In other words, have a little fun while you are doing it; even through the painful times, decide to dream, dare, and dance!