“Lord, I’m going to be the oldest person in the group.”
“Lord, I have a degree in religion and I’ve been in full-time ministry for a couple years! Go back to a discipleship training school? Pay more money?”
“Lord, this has been a dream of mine for years… is it time?”
If your story is anything like mine, you have wrestled with these questions or have had these thoughts with God. Perhaps these questions weren’t yours specifically, but maybe you don’t think you deserve having people support you financially or that God saves experiences like these for other people. But that is simply not true.
Maybe you don’t think you deserve having people support you financially or that God saves experiences like these for other people. But that is simply not true.
My dream of joining YWAM actually began when I was 23 years old while doing missionary work with youth in England for a year. I was finishing my time there and praying about what my God had for me next in my life. I had heard about YWAM and how there were lots of opportunities to disciple young people through common passions. You mean, I could go to a base and learn about Jesus with other people who share my love for outdoors and action sports? Yes, Lord! Send me, please! But then after beginning to pursue YWAM I felt like God was telling me, “This is a good thing, but not yet.” I had just graduated with a religion degree, had lots of school debt, and was currently overseas trying to raise support. So at that point I felt like God wanted me to return to my home church and work there, while gaining more experience in full-time ministry, taking care of responsibilities and getting my bases set before going out again.
Finally, after receiving my final no, it was as if God said, “I know YWAM is on your heart. It’s ok to go for it.”
For three years I worked in my church’s youth ministry. While I knew it was necessary and where God wanted me, there were many times I wondered why I wasn’t out doing something with YWAM. But God’s timing is perfect. This past spring God began to stir something in my heart and I knew change was coming, but I didn’t know what. Then my church sadly had to inform me that my job would be ending at the end of summer because of finances. For me, God had been preparing my heart so much for this that the news didn’t come as a shock at all. I began looking at different ministry opportunities, but I felt like God would either tell me to say no to an opportunity or would have closed doors on certain jobs that I would have gone for. Finally, after receiving my final no, it was as if God said, “I know YWAM is on your heart. It’s ok to go for it.”
A lot of people who come to YWAM are young people trying to figure out their faith, but YWAM is also for people who have been following Jesus and leading people to Him for awhile and need time to heal and grow.
You see, I’m one of those people who never knew exactly what I wanted to do. I never had this one specific vision or plan for my life. I have lots of different passions and interests, but first and foremost I love discipleship and teaching others. But I can very easily set aside how God has made me to do ministry or how I think things should be done because others have a plan or want it done their way. I chose to complete a DTS so I can spend time specifically focused on growing more in my relationship with God and looking deeper into what He has for me to do. I’ve known my gifts and passions, but YWAM is giving me the chance to finally believe in them. I know that my future ministry will be a lot more fruitful because of my time with YWAM. A lot of people who come to YWAM are young people trying to figure out their faith, but YWAM is also for people who have been following Jesus and leading people to Him for awhile and need time to heal and grow. Satan can try to make you feel like you’re backtracking by taking time to go to a Discipleship Training School if you’ve already been in ministry for awhile, but God led me here, and I’ll forever be changed because of it.
Written by Jessica Woody