Never heard of YWAM? No problem! No idea what a DTS is? Let me break it down for you. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is passionate about knowing God personally, and then making Him known to the world. If that sparks your interest, you should consider doing a Discipleship Training School (DTS). During a short and sweet six months, you will discover more about God and how to share your faith with both your next door neighbor and strangers across the globe! I believe all ages could benefit from this training. I did my DTS at 20 years old, and the two years that have passed have been filled-to-overflowing with growth and character development. You can even choose a DTS with a theme! I am a worship leader and singer-songwriter, so I chose a school called “Music and Worship DTS.” Here are five reasons I think you should do a DTS with a “creative” theme:
1. Develop your gifts further.
Being in close community with other musicians and songwriters was highly beneficial for me. We encouraged one another, collaborated in writing, and gave constructive criticism. It was great fun to be in a community that championed everyone and never left someone out. I grew especially through creative assignments such as a book report song that challenged my music academically! Whatever your creative outlet is, I would encourage you to choose a school with that theme; for example, dance, music, photography, painting, barista, etc.
2. Go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
Go somewhere that inspires you. I went to Australia, and the culture definitely contributed to my experience. If you’ve never been, Australia’s land has a captivating beauty that is hard to compete with. The outdoors, the wildlife, the trees, and the people (don’t forget the love of coffee!) made it easy to find inspiration for new art and learn about Creator God. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and go on an adventure for DTS!
3. Create new art with a purpose.
During the school, I discovered that God gave me my musical abilities with a purpose in mind: that I would share them to reach others. This changed everything for me! I started writing music intentionally to connect with people going through the same things as me. Plus, I learned that nothing’s cooler than getting to collaborate with the creator of the world! At the culmination of our five-month DTS, we had the honor of recording an album. The songs that came out of that time are very dear to my heart, and left me with something tangible to take home and share. Whatever form of art you love, God has a purpose for that in your life. Discover it now!
4. Make life-long relationships with other artists.
Have you desired to connect with like-minded people but struggled to find them? Spending six months with the same people is an effective way to gain a family. I stay in touch with most of the 33 friends I met in Australia. I have no doubt that those sweet friendships will last a lifetime.
5. Use your talents on the mission field.
Have you wondered how missions and the arts intertwine? There were numerous opportunities to use my skills as a musician to benefit the kingdom of God. My friends and I were able to take our instruments to local elementary schools in Australia and teach the kids about their value as individuals. We helped set up and tear down the largest Christian music festival in Australia, Easterfest. We played sets of original songs in the community at cafes and on the streets during the market. We took our guitars with us to Thailand, and played music gigs there too! I learned that I’ve been given these talents to share them, not hide them in a notebook! I promise there are ways for you to use your talents, too!
Are you excited yet? My DTS was the most transformational time of my life. If you are still hesitant, pray about DTS and see what God has to say about it. From my experience, choosing a place and a theme that line up with your passions is crucial. I trust that wherever you choose to go will be exactly where God wants you.
By Nora Wilke
School of Communication & Digital Influence student