Why DTS is More Than Just a Gap Year
10 Reasons Why
DTS More Than A Gap Year
A Blog by Madison Wilkins
You know you need to do something different, but what? You could move home and work to save up some money while you figure things out... or you could go backpacking throughout Europe like that girl from high school did... or do one in a million programs designed for gap-year students.
A Discipleship Training School (DTS) is not a program designed just for people doing a gap year -- it's for anyone who is willing to be molded by God and wants to see the Gospel transforming lives and nations. A DTS is six month intensive discipleship training program designed to walk alongside you as you discover the calling God has on your life and then equip you to glorify God in your calling. It's not about you -- it's about God and what He wants to do in & through you.
Here are ten reasons why DTS is more than just a gap year:
1. Take A Break From the Norm
Let’s be honest, most of us have grown a little weary of society’s norms at one point or another. Our very beings crave something far greater than norms and routine--and that something is an increasingly radical life with God. Jesus dared to redefine social norms in the New Testament. He persevered through persecution to ensure that truth was presented. DTS provides you the opportunity to disconnect from the norms and redefine what it means to life life radically for Jesus.
2. Experience The Value of Living In Community
Throughout DTS, you will live in community with one another. You and your peers are all here for the same purpose: to grow in intimacy with Jesus. You get to live with people who are passionate at encouraging, building one another up, and calling each other deeper.
3. Travel With World-Shaking Purpose
Other gap year options present world travel opportunities, but wouldn’t you like to maximize the purpose of your travels? The purpose of traveling within your DTS goes beyond a break from school or finding yourself. You travel so that the world may know their Savior who bought them with a price.
4. Opportunity to Serve Cross-Culturally
A cross-cultural experience is amazing, but with DTS you get hands-on experience in ministry and evangelism while you are overseas. You get to know the people and the culture, while also understanding what God is doing there because you were a part of it!
5. Grow More Intimate With Jesus
Intimacy with Jesus is, of course, attainable outside of YWAM. But, DTS is an intensive way to grow and learn about what it means to truly know and follow Jesus. It’s like a crash course on the reality of missions, Christ’s commandments and teachings, and our call to fulfill The Great Commission. Not only that, but during DTS, you spend three months overseas, where you apply what God taught you about who He is.
6. Live Where It Is More Safe to Wrestle
At YWAM Yosemite, we encourage students to be open and honest with where they are in their faith journey. This means we expect them to be vulnerable with exciting things as well as things that are more difficult to talk about. We’re not being nosy; we want to walk alongside you, point you to God, and speak truth. This vulnerability is key to discipleship. It's okay to ask hard questions about your faith because you are surrounded by men and women who love the Lord and will walk with you through the storm.
7. Experience Breakthrough
During DTS, we give room for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing to take place. Your classmates and leaders come alongside those who need healing and refinement to show support and cover you in prayer.
8. Get Challenged to Think for Yourself
Our lectures are taught by a variety of teachers from different backgrounds, denominations, and specialties. The variety of teaching allows you to think critically, question, and decide what you believe. You are encouraged to study the Bible for yourself and from there, allow the living Word to speak truth and revelation.
9. Build Your Faith on an Unshakable Foundation
As you learn more about yourself and who God really is, a foundation is built. This foundation lays on revelation, truth, and your increasingly intimate relationship with the Lord.
10. Minister to the Broken and Give Hope Through Jesus Christ
This one is pretty self-explanatory! You get to go on a three-month missions trip to further God’s Kingdom and get fired up about reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The most significant difference? A "gap year" is about you. A DTS is ultimately about God.
Madison is on staff here at YWAM Yosemite, where she did her DTS in 2016. She loves reading, the outdoors, and art. She's passionate about seeing young people answering the call God has on their lives. She also really likes cool shoes. She's from Michigan so she has pretty good balance on ice.