Saturday, June 18, 2011

What is DTS?

Greetings from Kona, Hawaii! It’s been awhile since I have posted a blog, so I am going to give all of those who read this blog a simple run down of what a DTS (Discipleship Training School) is, what we do and what our goal for DTS students is. A DTS is the flagship school of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). If anyone would like to be part of YWAM long term they are required to take a DTS before they can work with the mission. This may sound a little weird to some, but it is done this way so everyone who works with YWAM will be on the same page as far as beliefs and values go. DTS is a school that lasts six months. It consists of three months of lecture on topics such as the character and nature of God, hearing God's voice, and spiritual warfare, etc...; the next three months are spent on a field assignment (outreach). This is the application portion of the school where students put into practice all they have learned and seek out the lost so they can disciple them. As a staff, my role in the school is directly for the students, I take part in discipling a group of men for the lecture phase, having one on ones with them, where I take time with them and process what is going on in their lives at the current point in time. I am also blessed with the opportunity to lead an outreach team for the field assignment phase of the school.

What do we do in DTS? I have given a short summary above but I would like to dive deeper into this topic. Most people who come to DTS are either young in the Lord or sometimes they do not know the Lord yet. What we try to do through a DTS is lead people into a correct perspective of God and what his will and purpose is for their life. We do this through the teachings during the lecture phase and through the application of the teaching during the outreach portion. The school lectures are a time where speakers are brought in to teach specifically on a topic they are educated on and point students toward the correct view of Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God the Father. We see a lot of change in people during these teaching times, especially during the teaching on the Father Heart of God. During the lecture phase we have worship a few mornings a week and prayer (intercession) on the other mornings. After class students have work duties for a couple of hours and/or they have small groups or one on ones with staff. The small groups and one on ones are built into the schedule as a processing time for the students so they can talk about the lectures and anything that has arisen in their hearts concerning the topic. This is the basic layout of a DTS lecture phase, along with different odds and ends added in over the course of the three months.

I'll group the goal of DTS and what a field assignment is into this last paragraph. The field assignment of a DTS is a three month trip to a different location from the lecture phase. During this time students are going out from the base so they can put into practice what they have learned during the DTS. Sharing with others the love of Jesus and bringing others into the same revelations of God as they received during the lecture portion of DTS. It is really a time for the students to step out into their callings and to advance the Kingdom of God through showing the love of Jesus Christ; which leads me into the goal of DTS. Our goal is to graduate students who can model the same thing they have been witnessing during the DTS. We want to create a reproducible model of discipleship so that when students go home or when they go onto something else in missions they have a model to base what they do from. Our goal is not to fix people so they are all better, but to get people more intimate with their Father God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit, so they can continue to be sanctified even when they have left the DTS environment.

This is simply a short summary of what I am going to be doing for the next six months. If you would like to partner with me either in prayer or financially it would be an enormous blessing. You can contact me at if you have any questions, would like to partner with me, or if you would like to know more about DTS. God Bless.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So it begins

Staff training... the road to the DTS. We have officially pulled onto the fast track highway to the Awaken DTS this summer. Starting on June first our staff group of 29 have had Jeremy West from the YWAM training base in Montana with us and will have him for another week and a half. He is sharing with us about staffing a DTS and what kind of mindset a staff needs to have as they step in to this amazing role that influences lives for years to come. He has also shared a lot about the basic principles of being a Christian and how they pertain to our role as staff.

The one thing that has impacted me the most that Jeremy has shared so far, has been how as staff, we have to remain in a stance of a disciple always. We have to continue to be teachable and never think we are above learning or in a place of knowing it all. The students we disciple this summer will always have something to share with us and just because we have been doing this thing (YWAM) longer should not mean we can't learn from those who have just entered into the radical Christian lifestyle. We've gone into what a disciple really is; they are a person who lives and shares the teaching of the one who is discipling them. As followers of Jesus, therefore, we've got to go out and share what we have learned. We must live our lives worthy of our calling and never think we can know it all, simply because He is infinite and we can constantly be learning more.

The second topic the Lord has highlighted to me out of all of the teaching we have received so far is that I am to be a person who conducts his life equal to the gravity of my calling. I can't expect to simply live my life as Christ would only at certain points, but I must always be looking at how I am living and how I can improve my actions. Out of all of this, the Lord has been highlighting to me that I must change the attitude of my mind, simply because all of my actions come from a belief system in my mind, whether correct or incorrect. I am to do my best to conduct myself as Christ would and the easiest way to find out how to do this is to read my bible and live a life in accordance with the word of God. Like Paul says in Romans, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so to you all, conduct your life in accordance with the weightiness of your calling.

There is so much more on my heart and if I were to write it all it would be extremely long. If you would like me to expound on anything I have written it would be my joy and pleasure. You can email me at I enjoy hearing from you, by email or snail mail, it’s always good to hear from friends. Thank you for reading!