“The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is the foundational building block in Youth With A Mission, the cornerstone of the mission” says YWAM founder Loren Cunningham. Not only is the DTS foundational for YWAM, according to Elena Ciobo, a DTS coordinator, “It is the one part of our YWAM family that holds us together in unity amongst our great diversity.” Unique to YWAM is not only the diversity of it’s staff and students, but diversity of DTS programs focused on anything from motorcycles to surfers, starting in any month of the year, in locations from Alberta to Zimbabwe with over 65 different languages spoken. This is YWAM’s model for disciple-making.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. . . “

Luke 9:23 (ESV)

Please join with us for YWAM’s global prayer day, called The Invitation, during the month of September to pray for our DTS programs and the process of disciple-making. You are particularly invited to pray during our prayer day, Thursday, September 14.

If you have only a few minutes to pray, please pray for the current DTS students that they would be discipled well to be effective witnesses for Christ.

Photo credits: YWAM San Diego

If you are praying with a group or if you have more time to pray, please see below for the complete list of prayer suggestions.

Prepare to Pray:

Before your prayer time, you are invited to participate in a reflection process using clay or play dough. The purpose of this time is to be reminded that the formation process does not end after DTS! All of us in YWAM, including those staffing and supporting the DTS, continue to be in a process of becoming more like Jesus. This meditation – which might take about 20-30 minutes, including the time of feedback – can help to posture ourselves as fellow learners, part of a discipling community whose teacher is God.

In order for everyone to take part, you will need to provide everyone with a small quantity of clay or play dough that is readily available from craft or toy stores, or easy to make using a recipe you can find online.

Take some time for everyone to begin working with the clay. Become familiar with its feel in your hands. Notice its texture and the way it both resists and yields to your touch.

You can then use this script to lead the group:

“Call to mind the creation story, where God shapes the human from clay, gently molding and shaping each fold and indentation. Take a few minutes to experience yourself as being molded by God.”

[Pause for a few minutes]

“Hold this image in your heart as you continue to mold the clay. Notice how it feels in your hands. Notice the feelings and/or images that emerge for you. As you handle the clay, feel free to form it into a particular shape if one comes to mind.”

[Pause for a few minutes]

“Reflect on how you experience God shaping and forming you. Where are the places in your life that feel resistant and where are you malleable? Work with the clay for a while, engage in the process and pay attention to what comes to you, without censoring yourself.”

[Pause for a few minutes]

“Continue to hold the questions in your heart of how God is shaping and forming you. When you have come to a sense of rest with the clay process, take a few moments to gaze at the object you have formed. What has this process revealed to you? How have you felt God moving in you during this time?”

Allow a time of silence for reflection or journalling. Then give the opportunity for people to share with a partner the ways God spoke to them during this time. After a few minutes of sharing in pairs, give an opportunity for feedback in the larger group. You might like to close with some prayers inviting the Spirit of God to continue forming and shaping you, as individuals and as a community.

(This exercise was drawn from the work of Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman, in their book ‘Awakening the Creative Spirit.’)

From left to right: DTS Leader; Darlene Cunningham Teaching Belief Tree to a DTS. Photo Credits: YWAM Vancouver and YWAM Kona

Pray for DTS, Disciple-making:

  • Praise God for the diversity of students and staff and for the diverse DTS programs YWAM is able to offer.
  • Pray for DTS students to be challenged to embrace their true identity in Christ.
  • Pray for DTS students to obtain clarity regarding their holy calling.
  • Pray for strength of character for DTS students.
  • Pray for students to obtain a greater understanding of God and of His Word.
  • Pray for potential students to find a good match for a DTS program.
  • Pray for overall health of YWAM’s DTS program so that the strength and future of YWAM is solid.

“As the DTS goes, so goes the mission.”

Darlene Cunningham, YWAM Co-founder

  • Pray for YWAM DTS leaders and staff around the world that they would increasingly be trained and equipped in their roles in order to effectively disciple and train others.
  • Pray for the International DTS Centre personnel that they would find relational favor within the YWAM family as they continue to serve, support and strengthen the DTS.
  • Pray that each of the 100s of DTSes that YWAM offers would stay true to the YWAM vision, values and ethos.
  • Pray for biblical discernment in disciple-making within YWAM.
  • Pray that YWAMers would be fruitful in making disciples.

DTS Outreach Phase; Photo credits: YWAM Perth

Take Action:

  • Share the YWAM primary website regarding DTS with a young person who has never done a DTS. Challenge them to take this step. Pray for them. ywam.org/dts
  • During the next DTS at a local YWAM location find a new DTS student and sit down with them and pray for them.
  • Reach out to a YWAM location and ask them how you can pray for their current or next DTS.
  • For more information contact YWAM International DTS Centre www.ywamdtscentre.com
  • Spend a season with a YWAM location to experience their DTS program.

Left to right: Ready for outreach phase in the Cook Islands, and on outreach from YWAM Blantyre, Malawi
Photo Credits: YWAM Cooks and YWAM Blantyre

How We Prayed

August 2017 – Families, Singles and Marriages

  • 190 people reacted to The Invitation on Facebook. It was shared 39 times. One person in particular noted the importance of praying for singles.

Future Topics:

  • October 12, 2017 The Hindu World (The Invitation’s Second Anniversary issue)
  • November 9, 2017 Partner Churches
  • December 14, 2017 Pyongyang

Don’t Miss The Invitation:

  • Sign up for prayer updates. Go to ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
  • Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
  • Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the Facebook page on the second Thursday at facebook.com/youthwithamission or on Twitter @ywam, hashtag #praywithywam. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
  • You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to: ywampodcast.net/prayer.

  • If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: prayer@ywam.org.