Disciples grow best as they actively engage in fellowship with God and others while partnering with him to accomplish his purposes through intercession, Gospel witness and acts of service in both the Lecture and Outreach Phase.
The DTS aims to grow disciples by shaping hearts that produce this godly fruit. We are aiming not for head knowledge alone, nor changes in behavior alone, nor actions of service alone, but for changed hearts. This is hard to measure but essential for true growth. God actively works to bring about this change within a disciple. The staff can provide an environment and ingredients to facilitate what God is doing and to support the disciple, but the active participation of the disciple is needed for them to have a change in heart.
When designing and leading a DTS that grows disciples, it is important to keep the following in mind:
The DTS must be run in a YWAM community that is (1) God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–focused, (2) is functioning according to the One Another Passages of the New Testament and is (3) outward focused in Gospel witness and service.
(1) God Focus
A proper perspective of who God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit —is, of who the Church is and of God’s purposes for the world is necessary for growth. Traditionally this perspective was covered in our foundational teaching on the Nature and Character of God and it is the ground in which all our YWAM Values are rooted. The DTS must be designed and led in alignment with this reality.
God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—always intended to dwell in creation with people (Image Bearers) and to partner with us to cultivate creation. God did not abandon that plan. In light of humanity’s failure to be faithful, the Son became one of us to live a faithful human life in loving obedience to the Father by the power of Holy Spirit. In doing so he reclaimed the role and authority for human beings to image God in creation.
Who Jesus is, as well as his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension and return, are necessary for our salvation. By the ministry of Holy Spirit we, his body, receive forgiveness for sins and draw our life, wholeness, and authority from the ascended Jesus. We are becoming more like him in the way we relate to God the Father, to others, and in standing against the enemy for the sake of the world.
The Holy Spirit is key to the transformation process. Understanding who he is and how he works is essential.Holy Spirit adopts us into Trinitarian fellowship with others, unites us in Jesus, affirms our identity as God’s children and enables us to increasingly represent God in the way we live, relate and work in every sphere of life.
A disciple, by the help of Holy Spirit, is in the process of becoming more like Jesus. Dependence on Holy Spirit for every aspect of one’s life is needed to consistently live in alignment with God’s character and ways as Jesus did. In addition, at any time Holy Spirit works with us and manifests through us gifts to accomplish healing, miracles, prophecy and more.
(2) One Another Community
The DTS is an expression of a community who are included in God’s fellowship, united to Jesus by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Communities of Jesus, by the help of the Spirit, are to relate to one another in ways that reflect how God relates to us (we belong, we have value, we have dignity). Disciples grow best in a community with other disciples. Therefore, developing a community where people feel welcome and safe is key for true heart change. Primary consideration should be given to creating and maintaining a healthy community that functions according to the One Another Passages in the New Testament and that is consistent with our YWAM Values.
(3) God’s Purposes in the World
The global Body of Christ is God’s People who are empowered by God’s Spirit, called to love and worship God and with him serve his purposes throughout the world. We, YWAM/DTS are part of this global body. God gave Loren Cunningham the following way of describing God’s purposes in the world. Everyone on earth has the right to:
1. Hear and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Have a Bible available in their own language.
3. Have a Christian fellowship available nearby, to be able to meet for fellowship regularly each week, and to have biblical teaching and worship with others in the Body of Christ.
4. Have a Christian education available for their children.
5. Have the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing, shelter and health care.
6. Lead a productive life of fulfilment spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Disciples grow best when they are actively engaged in activities that further God’s kingdom in these ways. Therefore intercession and outreach opportunities are to be included in both the Lecture and Outreach Phase of the DTS. Outreach activities contribute toward one or more of the categories listed in the Christian Magna Carta.