So you’ve been looking into missions, yay! You’re getting excited, everything looks amazing… and you come to a screeching halt. You realize that you have no gifts or talents that would be useful in missions.
Let me stop you right there.
I was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin with a population of 1,000. My question has always been, "What could God possibly do with such a small-town girl?" There's nothing special about me. I hung out with my friends on the weekend and I don't like to eat tomatoes. I'm not any good at sports, nor am I musically-inclined. I have zero cool talents to bring to the table, so I didn't expect God to want much to do with me.
Where do you come from? What lack of qualities “disqualifies” you from being a missionary? What lack of talents do you have? Come join me in the unknown for a minute.
I don’t know anything about you, but here’s some things I do know about missions:
There’s a place for you in missions even if you don’t see it.
Don’t count on the Discipleship Training School (DTS) being the best thing you’ve done in your life. Instead, count on DTS being the stepping stone to what you’ll spend the rest of your life doing. Sometimes people come to the DTS with exact plans on what they want to do next. Sometimes, like me, people come to DTS hoping that God will use it to show them what is possible. You do not have to come to a DTS knowing what you’ll do in missions. You don’t even have to come to DTS with a plan to stay in missions. Use DTS to help you see God’s perspective on the world and how He wants you to serve the people in it.
God created you with your likes/dislikes for a reason.
What do you enjoy doing? Do you enjoy sailing? Nursing? Are you a history buff? There’s a place for you in missions! I used to think that God wanted to shut down my desires and dreams in favor of something I didn’t want to do. I thought that’s what it meant to serve him. In fact, I thought that to figure out what God wanted me to do, I had to do the opposite of what I wanted.
Do you love skateboarding? You can do missions by going to the skatepark and connecting with the people there. So it is GOOD to want to do missions by making friends with the kids at the skatepark. If you love skateboarding then you are the best person to reach skateboarders. You can connect with them in a way no one else can.
Do you remember what you loved to do when you were a kid? I remember loving to read and learn new things. I also remember my friends coming to me in middle school science class. I knew how to help them understand the lessons better than the teacher! God used that to give me a love for studying the Bible, and teaching other people what I’ve discovered.
DTS can help you discover what you love.
You may have lost hope again because you don’t know what you love to do. Maybe you like to do a lot of things, but you don’t have a passion. What if I told you that doing a DTS can help you find that something you’re passionate about? A lot of people come to DTS confused about who they are, what they’re on this planet for, and what makes them tick.
When we give our lives to Christ, He aligns us with His heart. Our character becomes more like that of Jesus. As we become more like Jesus, he gives us dreams that reflect those He has for us (Psalm 37:4). Like I said before, I’ve always assumed that I needed to do the exact opposite of what I wanted to do. That’s not what following Jesus means. When we're asked to do things we hate everyday, then we drag our feet and feel imprisoned. Our God is not a prison guard, He’s a God of freedom.
God could create in you a skill you never knew you had. He could introduce you to a part of yourself you never knew was there. God will use YWAM to teach you many, many things. Some people learn that they love music or photography. Others learn that they are good at administrative work, and some learn what they are not good at.
I’m still learning how God wants to use me in missions and I’m still discovering new likes and dislikes for myself. There are also a ton of opportunities for me to lay down my desires and do something I dislike. But I want to encourage you - you don’t have to have it all together to do a DTS. It is ok to come to DTS with a ton of questions. God didn’t create you with a love for engineering to make you dig holes and be miserable all your life. He’s not trying to keep your ‘calling’ a secret from you. He’s giving you an opportunity to figure it out.