We have been doing this whole YWAM thing for a while now. We have figured out what makes a DTS experience great! Here are 11 things you need to know before you do a DTS:

  1. God is Going to Move. It is a fact. He is going to show up. He is going to change your life. Get excited! Get your hopes up.
  2. Laying Down your Rights is Necessary. Loren Cunningham (the Founder of YWAM) loves to speak about the relinquishing of rights. God calls every believer to lay down the things they cling to so that they can experience complete freedom in their relationship with Him and be fully available to serve Him. If you don’t give up everything to God (Matthew 19:16-22), how is he going to use you to do the impossible and to reach the nations (Ephesians 2:10)?
  3. 5 Months Isn’t as Long as You Think. Soak it up! Like every YWAMer has said – DTS goes by faster than you think. Enjoy the process of learning and growing. Stay present; you don’t need to worry about after DTS, God’s got your future already planned. He has planned this and wants you to live every moment of it to the fullest.
  4. Adaptability is Key. Lecture phase is filled with bunk beds, shared bathrooms, community responsibilities, etc… Outreach is filled with fast decisions, different foods, long hours of serving and multiple days without showers. All of these things comes with the DTS package – honestly, it is part of what makes DTS so great! Staying flexible is so important to this process! You must stay flexible and humble to your leaders in every situation to make it the best that it can be!
  5. You’re Going to Make Connections. DTS is jam packed with meeting new people! Whether it is staff members, your fellow peers, or people you meet on outreach, you are going to make life-long friendships with amazing God-following people! I’m telling you, it’s inspiring to go on Facebook and see your friends from all over the world chasing after Jesus!
  6. Discipleship Requires Work. It is a discipleship training school after all. If you are signing up for DTS for a 5 month vacation of enjoyment, I’m going to guess you aren’t signing up for the right reasons. DTS is for people who want to grow, for people who want to experience what lifestyle Christianity looks like, for people who are willing to give God blood, sweat and tears.
  7. YWAM is a Missions Organization. I know this one kind of seems like a no brainer, but I have seen many people come to do a DTS and not really know what being a missionary is. So let me explain; YWAM was created to tell people about Jesus! And to be honest, that is what the majority of your outreach is going to look like. Yes, that can be done in a bunch of ways, from mercy ministry and cleaning toilets in refugee camps to street preaching and praying for healing for the people you meet. Outreach is not a vacation, or a destination to take pictures for your Instagram and make yourself feel better. It is pouring out to the lost! It is furthering the Great Commission! It is sharing Jesus’ love no matter what the cost! If you don’t believe in Evangelism, you probably should rethink why you are wanting to do a DTS.
  8. DTS is a Launching Pad. DTS is meant to be the beginning, not your whole faith journey. You have your whole life to walk with Jesus – believe me, that is an amazing thing! One of my favorite things, as YWAM staff, is to see how people thrive after DTS! So many people go on to serve the Lord and do amazing things for the kingdom. Be in it for the long haul! Be in it for the life haul! It’s not about how you start the race but how you finish.
  9. Every YWAM Base is Different. YWAM bases differ in location, community life, food, outreach focus, values, structure, themes and so much more. Do your research! The best way to figure out if a YWAM base is right for you is to check out the bases’ website, and then email/call them with questions you have. Ultimately, MAKE SURE IT IS WHERE GOD IS CALLING YOU! Hear His voice, and follow Him!
  10. Going Back to “Real” Life is Hard. DTS is a spiritual high; great community and support, and constant inspiration makes it a “greenhouse” for spiritual growth. Going home is often difficult for students. Everything you will learn and grow in can be brought back home! God’s main promise to us is that He will always be with us, not that it will be easy. So remember, He is with you!
  11. Packing is the Worst Part. I swear the preparation is the worst part. However, the temporary annoyance of packing is well worth the breakthrough you experience in a DTS. Here is a packing tip for good measure; less is more. When you arrive at your YWAM base you’ll realize that the stress of what to bring wasn’t necessary and the 27 pairs of socks were even less necessary.

Thank you for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful and enjoyable. Click below to learn more about our Encounter DTS. We would love to have you join us here at YWAM Redding!

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