When Should I Do Discipleship Training School?

So you’ve decided to do something crazy: to step out on a limb and do a Discipleship Training School at Youth With A Mission. Now that you’ve settled the question of “if,” the question of “when” is the little fly in the room buzzing from corner to corner. It drives you crazy because you can never seem to catch it, but you can certainly always hear it. Bzzz. Should I go right away? Bzzz. Should I wait until after college? Bzzz. What if I should work for a while and then go? Bzzz. You get the point. Before we go on, let’s just smack that little metaphorical fly.

*smack* Ahhh, that’s better.

The Three Questions:

Now then, let’s get on with this! The best way to answer this question of “when” is to answer the most asked questions that I listed above!

1. Should I go right away?

2. Should I wait until after college?

3. Should I work for a while and then go?



1. Should I go right away?

As soon as my husband and I had decided to do DTS and where to do it (if you haven’t decided where, check out this blog: 3 Tips on How To Choose A YWAM Location), we looked up the next DTS that location was running and we signed up, no looking back! And I am very glad we did. Our thought process in that? If we know what God is telling us to do, why wait to do it? We came to DTS and God healed so much in both of us. He brought freedom in not only our lives, but the lives of others we were able to share our testimony with.

Though I think going as soon as you feel that nudge is a great idea, ask God for His timing! If you feel like He is saying to go right away, it is worth it to take that risk and say yes!


2. Should I wait until after college?

This is a good question! You may have planned to go to college before feeling the tug to do DTS, and now you’re wondering…what do I do with those plans? Do I put them on hold? Do I finish college up and then go? Is one option better than the other? And let me just say, there’s no “right” answer here. The question here is really, what is God’s direction for you right now? So first and foremost, in your decision to put college on hold or to put DTS on hold, God’s opinion is the best place for you to run to.

I was at the end of my junior year in college when God began to put missions on my heart. Quite suddenly, He made it clear that He was shifting things. He wanted my husband and me to pursue doing a DTS instead of finishing my senior year. Though it felt crazy, we did it. And there was a cost to it! (Jesus never said following Him would come without a cost.) I planned to rent a house with three other girls my Senior year (my husband and I were not married yet). And now, I wasn’t going to be there…To be fair to my roommates, I still paid my portion of rent even though I wasn’t there. I also had to let my college friends know I wouldn’t be coming back, and it was sad to tell them I wouldn’t be there.

Do I regret my decision? Absolutely not. I had saved up for college, and at the end of my junior year, I had spent all of my savings and was going to have to start accruing student debt in order to continue. I’m glad that I didn’t have to do that! But here is the biggest reason I am glad I followed the Lord’s lead in not continuing in college: the things God did in me when I came to do DTS were invaluable and have affected everything that I have done since. God brought so much freedom into my life, and I’ve been able to share the freedom God brings with many people since then.

Do I regret my decision? Absolutely not.

In the question of whether to start/finish college or come straight to DTS, here is one thing that is valuable to consider: When you take time in DTS to pursue God and let Him do deep work in your heart, you come out changed and that change never just affects you. Think of a drop of water in a pond. It ripples, right? Same with when God works in your life, there is a ripple effect to the people around you. Your change will cause change in others. Whether you go right back to college after DTS, whether you continue in missions, or whether you go back to working a job…Having a missions mindset and a new passion to see others know Jesus, simply because He has so deeply affected you–that is invaluable and will affect everything you do after.


3. Should I work for a while and then go?

This question has the same answer, ask God! His timing is best. Follow His lead. He could tell you to continue working for a while, He could tell you to put in your two weeks and sign up for the next DTS available…The question is, will you say yes? It may be costly, but will you surrender to what He says is best for you? The big tip I have for you in this one is: Ask God and then have a heart of surrender to whatever way He is nudging you. His way is always going to be most loving. He is trustworthy.

Sometimes in our hearts we know what God’s leading us to do but it’s scary or hard so we are hesitant to move forward. You are not alone; be encouraged that He will be with you as you step out.

Maybe a question for you is money. Maybe you feel like God is saying to go right away instead of working more but this job is your source of money! How will you pay for DTS? God is a good Provider. If He’s leading you to stop working and come to DTS instead, He will provide for it. In some cases, a job may be how He provides for DTS, but in other cases not. I have seen times like when a friend didn’t know where their tuition would come from, then someone at church felt it on their heart to pay it in total. I have seen God provide for my husband and I time and time again, at times with a very short deadline. God is unlimited in how He can provide, so don’t limit Him to only being able to provide through a job.

So ask God, and then go forth in trust. Whether that means continuing to work your job, or whether that means stepping away from that job and trusting God will provide another way. Don’t be led by fear. Be led by what God is saying.

Don’t be led by fear. Be led by what God is saying.

So what is your next step?

The common thread throughout all of these “when” questions is to ask God. I am going to challenge you to do that right now. Yes, right there in that coffee shop, your room, the park, wherever you are! Ask God, and take time to listen. Whenever you feel like He’s given you that nudge, trust and obey! He is trustworthy.

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