Hosting the next generation of DTS staff in Europe

Johan shares the vision of the DTS workshop and why we do what we do!

By Johan Knol, leader of the Cammino DTS

In the beginning of April, we had the privilege of hosting a workshop for staff of a Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Trentino.

What is a DTS staff workshop? It is a week-long training in which new and potential staff receive training on what it means to run a DTS and get hands-on teaching on how to do the different tasks of the school.

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I, Johan, am part of the team organizing these workshops in our region in Europe. We normally run two of these workshops every year in different locations in Europe. These trainings have been online for the last two years but are normally held at a different base each time. And for this time, we as YWAM Trentino had the opportunity to host it, the first presential workshop on the continent after the Covid pandemic.

We were able to run the workshop with 35 participants, coming from bases in France, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, England & Northern Island. Running a workshop of this size was a stretch beyond our current facilities, but with the heart and vision of the team, we were able to make it work. God opened the door to a local hostel where we could house the group and have our teachings. It asked for a weeklong hard work for the base staff, but the investment into the DTS’s in Europe has definitely been worth it.

Besides blessing other bases in Europe, also our own DTS staff were able to participate in this training week and learn from this time. One of the main goals of the week was bringing ourselves back to the main vision of why we do what we do. All the staff have previously done their own DTS, because we value ‘first do then teach’. But of course as a student you mainly see what is being done and you don’t always know ‘the why’ behind what we do. In the workshop we compare that to re-using the same tea bag over and over again. The same thing is done, but the flavor is lost. In the workshop we take our (future) staff to the original idea of the teabag, so our DTS’s stay in line with the vision and values of YWAM worldwide.

In the workshop we were given the challenge: If you don't know why you're doing something in a Discipleship Training School (DTS), you should not be doing it'. Not simply because you shouldn't be doing it, but we need to understand the things we do in a bigger picture, along with the vision of the school, so the actions are not empty, but bring forth desired fruit.

This is true for DTS staff, but also for the rest of our lives. Are there things that you are doing in your work or in your relationship with God, but you don’t know why you do it? Maybe things you have seen your parents do or other people around you? Don’t just throw those actions away, there could be good reasons behind why they are part of your life. But rather take a moment to think, why are those actions part of your life? Is there good fruit coming and is there a way to be more intentional and conscious with the steps you are taking? In the same way we are hoping to see more DTS’s run, not only with the right ingredients, but above all with the fruits we desire. To know God and to make Him known.


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Arco, Italy