“You will only get to do your DTS once, you will never have another experience like this again.”
For those of us that are “YWAMers” and have completed a Discipleship Training School, this is something we have all heard. I know something along those lines was spoken to me several times during my DTS. It is true, you only get to do your DTS once. This doesn’t mean that you can never experience a DTS again. I am in the middle of my third DTS and I am still loving it!
Jesus’ disciples purpose wasn’t solely to be His students. I am reminded of the story in the end of the Gospel of John (John 21). Jesus has been crucified and the disciples have lost hope. They have lost their teacher, and it’s as if nothing that he taught them had stuck. It would appear that in their discouragement, without their teacher, they fell back into their old ways. No, they didn’t fall into drunken debauchery, they didn’t curse their faith, and they didn’t stand up and declare that they were no longer His followers.
They went fishing.
They went back to what was comfortable and normal. They went back to what they knew, before their life changing time of discipleship spent with Jesus. Then Jesus shows up while they are out fishing, they come back from the water and find Him standing on the beach. He calls them back into the Great Commission, back into the business of “making disciples of all nations.” They became more effective than ever before.
I spent some time fishing once. I was done with ministry, it was too hard. My “call” demanded too much from me. I couldn’t see Jesus, so I went back to work. I went back to normal life, I made money, did what was comfortable, and I died inside.
I am not saying that a career is bad, wrong, or even necessarily outside of what God has for you. What am saying is that it was outside of what He had for me. Denying my passions, my “calling”, and my purpose left me discouraged. I needed something more. My “faith without action” was dead.
I had experienced so much of God, I’d seen too much to go back. My perspective was totally shifted. I had seen the purpose and joy that I could experience while participating in Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations. DTS can be one of the most radical, life changing experiences you will ever have. But what do we do with what we have learned?
Do we forget it? Do we let it fade into the past as we get caught up in life? Do we think of it as a “one off” experience and go on with life as normal? Can you imagine if the disciples would have stayed fishing? Disciples are called to create disciples. If we don’t live out what we learn in DTS and allow Christ to reign in our lives, we have missed the point altogether.
I decided to once again surrender my plans, my comfort, my relationships. I want to be part of something bigger than myself. I may not lead gospel crusades, I may not ever see a church explode in revival, I may never see a whole village turn to God. But you know what, I might help equip someone with the necessary gifts, passions, and talents to go out and do it.
I’m on my third DTS and God still isn’t done challenging me, growing me, and using me. I’m not perfect, I don’t have it all figured out, but I am willing to let God use me. I am learning how to serve the “callings” of others. Leading really is about serving. I am learning how to be quick to serve, slow to speak, and even quicker to listen.
By Quinn Friesen
Port YWAM Kona DTS Staff