Church Based DTS

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Church-Based DTS-Type Programs


  • YWAM in England and elsewhere has always had a good relationship with most churches and we have frequently taught and 'ministered' in them. Our teaching has been practical and we have had faith to see it work --- if someone spoke on the fatherheart of God they would expect people to experience the love and healing of the father. In the 1970's and early 80's Barry Austin and others held Saturday night teaching meetings at Holmsted Manor for local Christians.
  • In 1985 YWAM in Scotland was having teaching, ministry and small groups at a church in Edinburgh. I think it was a Presbyterian church in New Restalrig. For 3 months they met together every Friday night and Saturday morning.
  • And there are millions of people in churches who will never be able to attend one of our fulltime DTSs, so why not take a package of teaching to them, we thought. steve
  • In August 1991 Roy Baylis and Johnny Sertin visited Holmsted Manor to speak to the base about the 8 young people who were due to join Johnny in 3 weeks time. They would be involved in evangelism with him in the Canford Magna parish. They wanted to know what to do with the 8 young adults over the year. We offered to train them.

What's it All About?

  • We have spoken to the leaders of more than 600 churches and made an interesting discovery.... All of them said they don't know how to 'disciple' people, and that is what is holding their church back!!!
  • how important is discipleship? It is the pathway into doing what God wants!
  • discipleship really is the key --- Matthew 28:18... There are four verbs in this verse -- go, make, teach and baptise but ONLY ONE is an imperative, only one is a command. And that is.... MAKE. We are not commanded to go, we are commanded to MAKE. And we are to make disciples -- that is God's answer to the needs in the world, it will lead to the fulfillment of God's purpose on earth!!!
  • and serving the church in this capacity is part of YWAM's calling. We are to train and mobilise.
  • we should be in partnership with local churches when it suits both of us.
  • God spoke to us several years ago through the practice of Hudson Taylor. He was asked, "How do you recruit people for missions?" He responded, "We don't, but we do two things. We pray the Lord of harvest to send out labourers into the harvest field, and secondly, we work for the spiritual health of local churches." We have discovered that spiritually healthy churches will rise up and play their part in evangelism and missions and may do that with us. We have total confidence in God that if we serve churches well they WILL start reaching out. Yippee.

Why do We do It?

What do we hope to achieve?

  • we want to play a part in seeing a new evangelism and missions movement in and from England


  • excellence -- it must be good, very good
  • self-directed -- the church must identify the need for it and own it
  • church-based -- it should be done in a church so that they see it as their own
  • partnership --- more later


We have settled on some non-negotiables, without them we won't work with a church because we don't believe it will do what God wants.

  • must have small group processing and the leaders of those groups will be trained. In fact we so believe in it that we ask for average church people to lead the groups -- the best people often already know how they want to lead the group and it doesn't work as we hope and they are too 'confident' to learn a new way of doing things.
  • the end result for a church must include evangelism -- they have got to want to see people come to Christ
  • they need to want to work with us
  • they must lead it --- it is their programme. We will train them, support them, hold their hand, BUT they will lead it.
  • Whose course is it, again?
  • the church should invite us. We will not work with a church unless the invitation is given to us from the church and not just a group within the church. Otherwise the program could be orphaned and ignored by much of the church. We would consider working with just one group within a larger church but the church must invite us. eg, we were invited to help St Andrew's Chorleywood to train the team that planted Soul Survivor Watford. We had nothing to do with most of the church but were warmly invited by Bishop David Pitches and Mike Pilavachi. So, we were officially invited but only worked with a small group from within the church.
  • should have a time of service or outreach to follow. It may be something as simple as running an Alpha Course or as challenging as an outreach to China!
  • intensity --- this is an area we need to consider in the light of the particular church. One evening a week with small group, journal and homework may be considered by some to be an Everest. In general though, if enough is to happen in a reasonable space of time it will need to be intense. More work needs to be done on this. Dr Howard Malmstad tells the story of his involvement in the Second World War. He was selected, along with other brilliant engineers and scientists, to live in a camp and work on a project. (I believe it was radar.) They were told that it was a matter of life and death that they succeed with the project and then worked 14 hours a day. And they succeeded! Howard believes that the results came because of the intensity and that little happens without intensity. We have certainly tried a variety of formats in local churches from one evening a week for 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 12, 16 52 weeks and have found that less than 12 weeks isn't usually enough time and much more than that just wears people out. We talked to Loren about it and he had concluded well before that a season of learning is a good natural time span -- 12 weeks. And then, he said, they must do some practice. We have also found that for teenagers, one session a week for 12 weeks brings the intensity whereas for adults, it needs to be at least 2 sessions per week. We have tried 2 evenings a week, all afternoon and evening on Sundays (that is like 2 sessions), we have tried one weekend a month, BUT the one we have found the most effective is Friday evening and Saturday mornings for 12 weeks. (With breakfast on Saturday mornings. Yippee, again.)

Consultations With Minister/Leaders

We are often invited to meet with church leaders to talk about how YWAM can work with/help them. It is true that the main churches we are invited to are those who perceive that they could be doing better. We have been invited to some of the biggest churches but in general they think they can do it without us. We call the initial meeting with the church leaders a consultation.

  • to some degree the role of the consultations is to develop a commitment to partnership between them and us. If it works it should blossom into a commitment to partnership with many people and organisations in the future.
  • meeting the leaders
  • who to meet
  • who must agree to the programme
  • what to talk to them about---need to ask certain questions
    • there is obviously an order to the consultations with church leaders. First we must listen as they describe both their church and their vision. If there is a discrepancy between the two it may well be that discipleship is the missing link. Alternately it may be evangelism, leadership etc. It is however likely that there is a need to get every member functioning---through good discipleship training.
    • what is your church called to do?
    • how are you doing?
    • if it doesn't work, what is the fundamental flaw/problem?
    • how can we serve you?
    • whose course is it anyway?
  • what have we got to tell them?
  • where do we need to get to?
  • Role play -- I don't know what this alludes to steve


  • how do we plan a program
  • how to start the program
  • adequate training for leaders and small group leaders before the course begins
  • how to end the program
  • importance of bringing program to a conclusion --- the people are now discipled and not basket cases. They are now able to function in the church.
  • eg party, certificates
  • Who can do it? Who can lead it? Who can speak on it? How easy is it?
  • what sort of programs are acceptable
    • two days per week --- a la Ferndown
    • once a week --- a la Ipswich, Good Shepherd
  • What may a course look like?

Small Groups

  • are so vital to the process of growth, discipleship and accountability that we should have a separate section on them.
  • each week should meet with the small group leaders to review the previous small group and deal with any problems or opportunities that arise
  • small groups should normally discuss the lecture leading to application. It might follow this order:
    • what was said in the lecture?
    • what is God trying to say to me?
    • what practically do I need to do about it?
    • how can we help one another? This will most often be prayer.

make notes from the 'Mission to England' small group discussion booklet et al.

What Does YWAM Get Out of It?

Trophies and testimonies

  • we fulfil our calling to serve and mobilise the church
  • indirectly as the church grows to maturity we will be able to channel people and resources
  • consider Hudson Taylor's recruiting strategy---"In the study of that Divine Word I learned that, to obtain successful labourers, not elaborate appeals for help, but, first, earnest prayer to God to thrust forth labourers, and , second, the deepening of the spiritual life of the Church, so that men should be able to stay at home, were what was needed."
  • last meeting at Ferndown
  • embroidery
  • Have to be careful not to confuse these programmes with a YWAM DTS - Church based DTS is seldom recognised as accepted for entry as YWAM staff. These courses are also not considered DTS by the University of the Nations. Not a problem for most but could be a cause of confusion due to 'name similarity'

What do We Eat?

---what do we get out of it personally?

What Next?

---Ongoing relationship with the church

  • Partnership
    • what is a partnership? Marriage, business, church, missions etc
    • what stage are the participants at?
    • how can we advance them into full partnership
  • what can we do next
  • what other things can we offer
    • Perspectives
    • Catch the Vision
    • Adopt a People programme
    • Church-planting consultations
    • evangelism consultations
    • caring for the poor and needy
    • missions strategising
    • leadership training
    • take the pastor and his wife abroad to a mission situation
  • DTS, Now Youth, BLS etc, Perspectives and "Catch the Vision".

Example of Church-Based DTS

St Francis (as in Assisi), Salisbury

25 June

First draft of program for Autumn 2007

Church asked us to do 10 weeks from 28 September. It will be Friday evening 7.30 to 9.30 and Saturday morning from 7.30 till 11am.

  1. discipleship/growth/growing together/body -- Steve
  2. who is God -- Steve or David Painting
  3. developing relationship with God/intimacy with God/Fatherheart of God -- David Painting, Mike Oman
  4. freedom from sin and strongholds -- Serena and team?
  5. prayer/spiritual warfare -- Val Clark,
  6. who am I/self-image -- Richard Lahey-James
  7. stewardship -- John Peachey
  8. discovering gifts and using them -- Yan, Steve
  9. relationships -- Isobel, Molly, Richard Lahey-James
  10. evangelism/missions -- Yan, Steve?

robs number 0773 444 0594 Rather than have a separate session on the Bible, the entire program is its practical application.