“Nah, I don’t need to do that!” I emphatically told God one day after being asked by our ministry leaders to do a YWAM DTS. At the age of 34, my husband and I had already been serving the Lord in full-time ministry for years. We had worked as youth pastors in Kansas, while attending school. Then we planted a church in South Carolina. Missions was nothing new for us because we had led numerous teams around the world. Why would we need to do a Discipleship Training School?
It was 2006, and we were living in northern Thailand, pursuing adoption of our youngest daughter. While we waited for the tedious adoption to be completed, we chose to plug into YWAM ministries in the area. We had grown to love our work with the orphanage and the Christian school, where we’d been serving for the past four months. Yet, if we were going to continue, the leaders of both ministries told us we had no choice. “If you’re going to serve with a YWAM ministry then you have to do a DTS. It’ll change your life!”
“Change my life.” Hmmm. At the time, I didn’t really see how my life needed changed. I loved the Lord deeply and already had a good foundation of Biblical truths to stand on. I had been teaching His Word for years to others as well. Why did I need training? I promised to pray about it. Yet, if the truth be told, I honestly doubted we would actually do the school. I didn’t want to do it, and I didn’t believe we needed to. It’s not that I thought we didn’t have any more to learn. I knew as a follower of Jesus, we are always learning and growing, but I just didn’t think we needed to spend thousands of dollars as a family to learn. Then a few days later, I distinctly heard the Lord say this very clearly to my heart. “Don’t drag your feet.”
The first confirmation came through 2 Chronicles 29:11(The Message) ~ Children, don’t drag your feet in this! God has chosen you to take your place before him to serve in conducting and leading worship—this is your life work; make sure you do it and do it well.
That phrase just popped off the page. God clearly had my attention. “My life work . . . what are you saying, Lord?”
Then a few days later I read these words from Hebrews 13:9-12 (The Message) ~ I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
There it was again, and without a doubt I knew He was saying to do the DTS. So I went to my husband and shared how God had led me over the days. He quickly agreed God wanted us to do this school.
So with a humble heart after repenting of my stubborn pride, we signed up to do the first DTS in Chiang Rai, Thailand. And as a matter of fact, it was life-changing! I learned things about God and myself I hadn’t known. I felt like Job when he said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)
It’s been 11 years since my husband and I did our DTS. Now we serve at YWAM Tyler on staff, and I’ve had the awesome privilege of walking with other students through their life-changing school. I honestly think everyone should do a DTS at some point in their life. Here at YWAM Tyler, we have singles and families, young and old, learning in classrooms together.
John 17:3 says that eternal life is knowing Jesus. So don’t drag your feet dear friends. Sign up today to get to know Him more!