In my DTS, I was formed and grew in so many ways. I knew doing a DTS would be a life-changing experience for me, but I originally just thought it would be fun to go on two-month outreach. And while the outreach did transcend my expectations, it was only half of the experience. I’ve summed up my biggest takeaways from the lecture phase into 3 points.
Knowing God is More Than Only Reading the Bible.
I am so thankful that God gave us a book that speaks all about him and his creation. Jesus also left us with a friend named Holy Spirit. Who dwells within us and speaks to us constantly. Prayer is not just a powerful weapon but one of the ways we can communicate to our Father. Getting to know God requires daily participation on our part. James says, “draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” And we often miss that prayer is a conversation, and God speaks back to us too. It was in DTS when I started to learn how to hear him.
Community is Essential for Deep Growth.
If you’ve ever been on a week-long church camp or a two-week outreach, you understand that those weeks are super formative and help you grow deeper in your love for God. It’s no secret that Jesus said, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” This leads to the idea that God loves through other people because we can’t possibly love our neighbors as ourselves without the love of God flowing through in us and through us.
When you live in an involved community for three months, you are nurtured in a way that allows you to grow deeper than you thought possible. Living as a family with brothers and sisters in the faith, that all have the same desire: to grow more in love with Jesus. Whether that looks like attending lectures, interceding for the nations, praising God, or even eating as a family and rooming on bunk beds in a messy room. You’re always growing together and you're a family.
Letting God Lead My Life
I grew up planning my life and yet was always unsure of what I really wanted to do. My father would say I was like the wind. Always switching from one thing to another and he was partially right, but I was also trying to find my niche. I still am, but I no longer do all the planning. I let God do the planning and I ask what step I need to take. I still have goals and dreams God has put on my heart, but my goals can change and my dreams were originally God’s. So why not let him lead them. If I invite God into my life to show me what to do instead of saying I’ll do this or that for God, my life becomes less stressful and more enjoyable.
I learned much more than these, but these are the three things that I think about often. I get to know God more and more every day, put myself in a community where I can grow, and let God lead my life.