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I remember flying home after those 6 life-changing months with YWAM, excited, awed and in love with God, but not really knowing what to expect once that plane touched back down. Would I be able to live out all that I'd learned? Share with my friends about Jesus?
DTS lays a great foundation, but when you go back home, the rubber meets the road. Maybe you know people who encountered God during a conference, mission trip, or even a YWAM Discipleship Training School, but once they returned home, they went straight back to living for themselves. Maybe that happened to you. So what went wrong? It can be tougher than we think to make those daily decisions to stay on God's path. But God's plan for you is to be MORE than a conqueror in Christ!
Here are 6 key ways to thrive at home, make the transition as smooth as possible, and keep building on the foundation you've received.
Don't wait around to get involved in your church and community. God wants to do just as much in your hometown as He did on your outreach! Ask your church how you can serve. Be humble about it; they may just ask you to stack chairs or greet people. Be the best servant you can be! This will keep your heart set on things of the Kingdom, instead of sitting at home on the couch, reminiscing about your "good old days." When we're not actively giving, our hearts grow cold. Look for ways you can be a blessing and pour out everything God has poured into you over the last 6 months. Find ways to encourage others and mentor those around you.
In DTS, you lived in community; your life was an open book. You had leaders, teachers, and fellow students continually speaking into your life. No longer! Now it's important you find someone you can be accountable to, someone who will be real and honest, and who will challenge you in your obedience to God. Find someone of the same gender whose life with Jesus you admire, someone you trust who can devote their time to you. Be intentional when you reach out for help. Look for someone who can truly disciple you, and in turn, look for people who you can help disciple.
If you're going back home to your family, this can be the most challenging transition of them all. Sure, you may have traveled the world and preached in front of hundreds of people, but when you go home to your family, they're still... well, your family! Your sister will still get on your nerves. Your mom might care more about you doing the dishes than listening to your outreach stories. You might catch yourself fighting with your dad over the car, and then wonder, "Did I learn anything on DTS?" Instead of getting frustrated, think of ways you can serve and honor your parents. Find ways to say "thank you". Remember Ephesians 6:2: "Honor your father and mother that it might go well with you..." This is the first commandment followed by a promise.
This may seem obvious, but you wouldn't believe how quickly you can forget to set aside time to get alone with God. A deep relationship with God doesn't happen on accident. It didn't on your DTS, and it won't at home either. Carving out that time to seek and worship Him first thing in the morning will keep your heart sensitive to His leading throughout the day. Many things will fight for your attention when you get home: work, family, sleep, friends to catch up with, supporters to thank... all great things, but especially during this time of transition, be vigilant in guarding your relationship with God. Let Him be your coach! He'll be the first one to tell you if you're getting off track.
You've just had the most transforming 6 months of your life! Take time to deeply process all that God has spoken to you. Spend time alone, dig into the Word, journal, go on long walks or runs, talk with friends, or do anything else that helps you process! Don't be too quick to jump right into the next thing -- first, take time to be grateful and rest.
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