When I was 18 years old, I got on a plane by myself to do what God wanted me to do: a Discipleship Training School. Being in another country without my family or friends was terrifying. I was with a group of strangers I had only just met, I didn’t have cell service, and was far away from my family. I had to manage my own money, figure out how to navigate a new city, and live on my own. It was crazy, it was scary, and I thought about staying on the plane and going straight home.
Have you ever gotten one of those slightly ridiculous, spontaneous ideas stuck in your head, and all of a sudden you do it? There’s a saying for that: “If you’re feeling froggy, jump!” It means that if you’re feeling bold, just do it.
Doing a Discipleship Training School is a huge decision that also has a financial cost. There can be a lot of anxiety around making such a big decision. Five months feels like a long time to spend on something that could be the wrong decision for you.
So how do you decide if this is the right choice for you?
What Do You Think God is Saying?
Have you ever heard someone say, “You don’t need a call because God has already called you!”? They’re referring to Matthew 28:19. You’ve probably heard, “You better know for a fact that God is calling you to this!” Throw all those anxieties on God because both are right and both can be wrong.
Sometimes, God doesn’t tell us exactly what to do. There may not be a grand story of the moment you heard God speak, “GO BE A MISSIONARY”. That’s ok! Knowing your skill sets and passions helps you make a choice about missions. Do you have a heart for the lost? Do you have a heart to see every nation come to know the Lord? Doing a DTS could help you discover a desire to be a missionary.
I find it easier to have faith when I know I’m being obedient to what God asked me to do. Sometimes though, I can’t figure out what God is saying, and a decision is necessary. I make a choice with faith that God will be faithful to me and catch me even if I have made the wrong one. It’s ok to have doubts and be unsure. You may make the wrong decision. It could be the only option you have peace about or it could be something you randomly pull out of a hat. Trust that God’s grace for you is sufficient.
Do You Want to Know God More?
The Discipleship Training School is a fantastic way to get to know God better. You will spend three months learning more about God. This includes God's character and nature, hearing His voice, prayer, and healthy relationships. You will have DTS staff to help you pursue God. You'll apply what you have learned on a two month outreach to another country, have the opportunity to teach others what you’ve learned, and preach the Gospel.
You may not be sure if you want to be a missionary but you do want to be closer to God. Do you want to be able to know if He is or isn’t telling you something? Do you need a reset with God? Do you want a biblical worldview for the job you are currently working? These are all indicators that DTS may be the right choice for you.
Doing a DTS does not mean that you have to be a missionary for the rest of your life. God may use it to help you in your traditional career.
If You Still Have Doubts
Making a big decision and then having doubts about it can be scary. I gained experiences that I would never want to give up. I made life-long friends and learned how to keep those relationships healthy. I learned how to do ministry well and how to follow God’s lead. I even learned where God was leading me! No one can take away the experiences from my DTS, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. On top of that, my relationship with God moved to a deeper level that nothing and no one can come against.
By doing a Discipleship Training School you are declaring to yourself and to God that your relationship with Him means something more. God sees that you are actively taking steps of faith. When we are in active movement serving God, He uses us. Keep serving Him and He will use you in ways you never imagined possible.
It is no secret that I still freak out and think I’ve made the wrong decision to be in missions. Even missionaries with years of experience get unsure of themselves. God is faithful. Sometimes God asks us to jump, even though we can’t see the lily pad we’re going to land on. We don’t know what the lily pad looks like, or where it even is. We have to trust that Jesus will be faithful to place it underneath us at the right time. I encourage you to take the leap.
Keep in mind that God also taught frogs to swim. You may jump only to find that God has something different in mind for you- like swimming! Stepping out into the unpredictable unknown is where I learn the most about myself and Jesus. I keep myself in the uncomfortable because it means growing closer to the King of Heaven. That’s all I want in life.
What if you go on DTS and it’s exactly the RIGHT decision for you? What happens then?