Whether you've done a DTS and now you're wondering what's next for you, or you're thinking about doing a DTS but don't know what could come after, this blog post is for you! Before doing my DTS, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do afterwards, but it’s only because I didn’t know the extent of the options that lay ahead of me; once I found those out, prayed into it, and felt God directing me differently, my plans changed drastically, and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way!
A Secondary School
Did you know that within YWAM there is SO much more than just a Discipleship Training School? (although for a lot of bases, DTS is the baseline for doing other courses). For YWAM Nanaimo specifically, we also run a BCC (Bible Core Course) where you spend three full months reading, studying, and diving deep into the bible. By the end of a BCC you will have read (out loud) the entirety of the Word, while also studying in depth twelve different books. I would recommend this course to anyone who has done a DTS, especially for someone who has just finished - it is the perfect segway course! Not only is this course amazing, but it is also credited, because yes, you can absolutely obtain a degree within YWAM through the University of the Nations!
Other bases run other secondary schools, and across the board, there is a vast selection to choose from. Whether your passion is worship, creativity, the bible, the medical field, sailing, teaching, or more, there are so many options to choose from. Within each field there is a chance to discover and unveil your passions, giftings, and calling. A great link to find out more can be found at: https://ywam.org/explore.
Joining as YWAM Staff
For some, it becomes clear during their DTS experience that God is calling them back to join staff. This doesn’t always have to be at the same base that someone completed their DTS, and sometimes it’s in a place or nation they hadn’t even thought of before, but that passion for helping serve a specific location may become apparent as God begins speaking/directing.
For myself, I really had no intentions of coming back and joining staff before actually starting my DTS - I thought I'd go and complete the school, come home, and then go back to working in the school system. However, it was pretty early on that I felt God calling me back to Nanaimo to join staff, and I have been here serving with YWAM Nanaimo ever since! God is so cool that way; directing us in ways we really didn’t even think of before, and all in His timing. I also realized that I’ve been able to use my giftings and talents in different ways (and sometimes in ways I would have never pictured or imagined), and it has been so fulfilling! There are so many areas to serve within YWAM and put the gifts that God gives us to beautiful use.
College or University
For some, DTS is a beautiful time to set aside before returning back to college or university, or starting school (or a program of some kind) fresh from the start. I know many people who decided after high-school to take a gap-year to complete a DTS, to then have the goal of returning to their home to begin university. I also know of others who started going to university or college for a year or two, to then feel to take a break, do a DTS, and then return with the intention of picking those courses back up where they left off. For others, DTS is a pivotal time where God speaks and directs them to a certain job or trade interest that maybe they never had before that requires training, even if they never intended on going to university or college before coming and doing their DTS!
Just like God directs people to serve as full-time missionaries, He may also be calling people to be full-time dentists, artists, teachers, doctors/nurses, etc., for His Kingdom! And even better, the workplace is also a mission field in itself! I had a past student reach out to me just today stating: “I didn’t know what I was going to do after my DTS; I had ideas, I had a place in mind to move, I know I didn’t want to stay in my hometown for very long, but God had different ideas for me. Instead, I got home from my DTS and multiple doors opened in terms of job offers - ones that bring me so much happiness and fulfillment. I’ve decided to stay in my hometown for longer than expected to work within one of these fields I feel he’s directing me into. It’s so amazing to see how He leads and guides, and all in His timing”.
Pray, Pray & Pray Some More
At the end of the day, God has a different plan for each of us, and is directing us all in different ways. The beautiful part, though? He HAS a plan! Even when we don’t know it, see it or feel it, He does & He can: “'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. '” — Jeremiah 29:11. See, He doesn’t just think about the plans He has for you, He KNOWS the plans He has for you! Seeking Him, His guidance & wisdom, timing and plans, will always be the best, most precious, and most fulfilling thing of all.
I pray a special blessing over each and every individual reading this post - that God’s plans for your life will become clear in the perfect timing He has set before them. Whether it’s doing a second level school, returning to a YWAM base to serve & staff, going to (or back to) university or college, or integrating yourself within the workplace to build God’s kingdom, when we give ourselves over to God, fully, He can direct us in ways that are far beyond anything we could think or dream. Blessings to you all!