Structure of the BLS

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Basic Leadership School

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Basic Leadership School

Leadership of the BLS

Because the BLS is an apprenticeship programme there are certain requirements to be met by the school leaders and by the leadership structure.

The school leaders must be:

  • hospitable --- keen to let the school staff get close enough to learn from them. Recall Gunter Krallman's observation of Jesus teaching style --- He used His personality as a major factor in mentoring His disciples.)
  • able to disciple others. This suggests teachable because realistically they will have to be learning on the job too.
  • available for the duration of the school
  • in close contact with the current DTS. (Preferably they would also be leading the DTS.)
  • broadly in touch with YWAM International in order to help students go to the next place in YWAM

The School Has Three Phases

phase duration
1 before the DTS starts 1 week
2 during the lecture phase of the DTS 12 weeks
3 DTS outreach 12 weeks

1 Before the DTS Starts

The BLS will start one week before the DTS in order to have a minimum of one week training together for all the BLS.

2 During the Lecture Phase of the DTS

The normal daily programme of the DTS involves two hours of lectures followed by a session in small groups where the students learn to apply the teaching. BLS students will be responsible for these groups, either as a leader or assistant leader. Each day through discussion, ministry, and prayer; the BLS leader will help the DTS students understand and apply the truth that will change their lives. The context of learning in a small group is key. One of the major goals in the small group time is to help the DTS students take over as quickly as possible so they too can effectively run the small group. They will also be responsible to lead weekly evangelistic outreach in the local community. They may also meet regularly with the small group members individually.

A typical small group might follow an outline based on a hierarchy of questions like the following:

  • what did the speaker say?
  • what did it mean?
  • what does it mean to me? (What is God trying to pinpoint in my life?)
  • and how can we help one another. (And that would generally include praying for one another at the very least.

The BLS will meet together for five one and a half hour periods during the week. These will be on week days and normally in the afternoon. The BLS leader, the DTS school leader (if different to the BLS leader), the assistant DTS leaders and BLS students meet together. These times are for:

  • Teaching
  • Discussion
  • Role play, games,
  • Prayer for the DTS
  • Fellowship
  • Openness in sharing needs with one another

These afternoon meetings will have different formats, depending on the specific goals of the day. Over a long period of time we have found they tend to average a day each for the folllowing --- prayer and concern for one another; prayer for the DTS; general administrative and planning matters; and two days for teaching.

Weekly Outreaches

The group leaders will normally take their small groups on outreach weekly and to take the lead in discipling the students in evangelism. Again, it is an opportunity to sniff out the leadership potential of the DTS students and give them opportunity to develop their own leadership ability it a safe, monitored environment.

One-to-One Discipling of BLS Students

The BLS leader may meet with each BLS member once a week. It is likely that the BLS leader will need other people to help with this aspect of discipling of the BLS students. During these times they may wish to talk about the following areas:

  • small group
  • relationship with their co-leader
  • outreach preparation
  • future plans and how to achieve their goals
  • their own relationship with God
  • any personal difficulties, struggles etc
  • the course content indicates which topics should be dealt with on the one-to-one basis

However, because of the value of small group learning, the emphasis would be placed on dealing with issues in humility within the BLS group meeting. That would allow them to get the greater contribution of the group and help develop the community caring supporting inspiring encouraging aspect of the group for one another. I would always tend to ask the question; "Is that something you could share with the group and get their response and prayers?"

The Weekly BLS/DTS Timetable May Then Look Like This

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday/Sunday
0845 Daily briefing Daily briefing Daily briefing Daily briefing Daily briefing Lots of free time
0900 Community Worship Intercession Intercession Staff Meeting Intercession
1000 DTS Lectures DTS Lectures DTS Lectures DTS Lectures DTS Lectures
1100 Morning Break Morning Break Morning Break Morning Break Morning Break
1120 DTS Lecture Small Group DTS Lecture Small Group DTS Lecture
1230 Lunch
1330 Small Group 1-1 Time Small Group 1-1 Time Small Group
1425 BLS Training BLS Training BLS Training BLS Training BLS Training BLS Training
1800 Evening Meal
1930 Outreach Prep Worship Lecture Study Worship Lecture Outreach

3 The Outreach

In addition to being a small group leader during the lecture phase of the DTS, the BLS member will also take leadership responsibility during the DTS outreach. The BLS member will lead a small group of DTS students for 12 weeks of outreach. They will do the planning, preparation and recruiting. The planning of this outreach will include a process whereby the young leader incorporates their outreach into the targets and strategy of their base or district.

The BLS is incomplete without leading an appropriate outreach phase.