fbpx

What Is The Great Commission, and What Does It Mean To Us Today? – YWAM Asheville

rely faith hard times

What Is The Great Commission, and What Does It Mean To Us Today?

 

Introduction

“The Great Commission” is a term that gets used a lot in Christian circles. I would guess that most practicing Christians have a general understanding that it refers to Jesus’s command to spread His message across the world, or “get people saved”…but is that the whole picture? What is the Great Commission, really

The Great Commission explained 

The texts in Scripture that we called “The Great Commission” are found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Luke 24. In these passages we find Jesus emboldening and assigning His disciples with purpose, vision, and zeal. Those that heard these words with their own ears had witnessed miracles; physical, mental, and spiritual. They watched as broken hearts were mended and worried minds set at ease. They experienced the Kingdom. The Kingdom was Jesus’s main talking point. Bringing Heaven to Earth. Creating pockets of paradise in the midst of this broken world. 

On Mission

Preaching “the gospel” means preaching the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Often we misunderstand it to mean simply getting people to accept Jesus as savior, but it’s so much more than that. The Great Commission is the lifelong calling to create space for Heaven on Earth wherever you go. 

In Heaven, the King is on the throne. Part of the Great Commission is inviting people to place Jesus on the throne of their hearts. 

In Heaven, the King is Lord of all. Part of the Great Commission is instructing people to lay their lives at Jesus’ feet, allowing Him to be supreme. 

In Heaven, there is no disunity. Part of the Great Commission is demonstrating Christlike humility, forgiveness, and patience. 

In Heaven, no darkness dwells. Part of the Great Commission is exposing and extinguishing the works of evil. 

In Heaven, mercy and justice mingle in perfect balance together. Part of the Great Commission is expressing compassion and making things right. 

The Great Commission is not only about the conversion of souls. It is also the formation of a new life, built upon new values, goals, and loyalties. To make a disciple is to introduce someone to the King and also His Kingdom.

This is why I am a missionary. Yes, eternity is real, and the soul’s eternal destination is an important conversation to have. But when we correctly understand what Jesus meant by “the Kingdom”, we quickly see that eternity was not His primary concern. Being a part of Youth With A Mission gives me a platform to make disciples of the King and His Kingdom on this side of eternity. 

What does the Great Commission mean to us today? 

As a believer living in today’s society, the Great Commission means the same thing it always has. Of course, we need to translate the gospel of the Kingdom into language that our modern audience can understand and relate to…but the objective hasn’t changed. Introduce people to Jesus, walk them into His Kingdom, and teach them to live in the ways, principles, and values of Heaven. 

ywam

How YWAM takes part in the Great Commission 

YWAM’s core value is to Know God and Make Him Known. As a result, every YWAM course and YWAM school is centered around the Great Commission. If you come to a YWAM Discipleship Training School, you will be given time to KNOW GOD and the tools to MAKE GOD KNOWN. These are the building blocks of living a life on a mission! A YWAM DTS is an ideal place to begin to uncover your role in fulfilling the Great Commission. And the only YWAM DTS requirements are a high school diploma and a heart that is ready to say “HERE AM I, SEND ME!” 

Conclusion 

The truth is every Christian is called to be a missionary. Not everyone is meant to go to distant nations and learn different languages…most are called to be missionaries in their own towns, in their schools and in jobs. Remember, fulfilling the Great Commission looks like making space for Heaven to invade Earth. You can do that everywhere you go! But if you want more, if you’re thirsty to see the nations transformed, and you’re ready to go wherever Jesus would send you… do a DTS with YWAM Asheville!

What Obedience To God Really Means – YWAM Asheville

rely faith hard times

What Obedience To God Really Means

Introduction 

In a culture where the term, “obedience” has become obsolete for many, it can be a difficult topic for people to hear. As a society we deem it as old fashioned and authoritarian, especially when related to things like God or religion…But there is a beauty to obedience that we are missing. 

What Does Obedience Mean? 

Obedience means: “compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.” For many that sounds harsh and boxed in. 

But if you were to think about a loving God, creator of the universe and of you and me, He’s not going to ask us to obey and do something that would be harmful, hurtful, or outside of who He created us to be. Being obedient to God can look radical to others at times. Whether you move to another country, quit your job, or stop doing something that you’re known for, it’s all worth it in the long run. 

You see, a Kingdom mindset is about longevity. We aren’t running this race to be satisfied today, rather we are putting in the hard work because God is worthy to be glorified today, tomorrow, and forever. 

On Mission

How Obedience Gets Discussed at YWAM Asheville 

As Youth With A Mission at large, one of our YWAM values is to Hear God’s Voice. “YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying His prayers and obeying His commands in matters great and small. We are dependent upon hearing His voice as individuals, together in team contexts and in larger gatherings, as an integral part of our process for decision making.” 

Here at YWAM Asheville we display this value with our belief that when God speaks something in prayer we should follow through and be obedient. However, the how and when are just as important. Many times people do the right thing but at the wrong time or in the wrong way and this causes confusion and has consequences. We instill this teaching in our discipleship class curriculum so that everyone who comes through our doors has the same foundations. 

Youth with a Mission, Asheville

Obedience in Scripture 

In scripture we see that obedience is Biblical. Numbers 20 is a famous passage where the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about getting water, he gave them a specific way of doing it: “take the rod, you and your brother Aaron later the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water.” But as we see Moses was disobedient, “Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with this rod; and water came out abundantly.” In our eyes the outcome was the same, water was produced, but the way that it happened was not how God ordained it. God was not glorified and there were consequences for both Moses and Aaron. 

In my experience… 

There are times in my life where I’ve heard God speak about something but I have been slow to move, I’ve “sat on His word” as we would call it. This would correlate with disobedience because timing is a part of the whole process.

After my YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) I was praying about what I should do next. God spoke to me clearly that I was to do a secondary Youth With A Mission (YWAM) course. I was at my home in England, immediately I ran downstairs to tell my family, and it wasn’t received well. In my excitement, I left God out of how He was going to be glorified in the timing of the delivery. This doesn’t mean that I would be waiting days, or even that it would be received well later on, but who knows what the outcome would have looked like if I had obeyed in the timing? 

In 2016, our whole base traveled with the DTS training school for their outreach in India. While we had been praying for our time we had gotten the scripture from Isaiah 61: “setting the captives free.” In my missionary mindset I thought this would mean spiritually but God showed us more clearly when we arrived that this meant physically. While we were there we met Reshma, a 19 year old who had been in the brothels since she was 13. Through a ministry that we work closely with, we were told that she was ready to leave the red light area but she didn’t have a sewing machine to start her own business. We all pitched in to purchase one for her. God then spoke about how he wanted us to have that same involvement with other women who had been sex trafficked and The Reshma Project was born. 

YWAM Training

Conclusion 

Obedience is having ears open to what God was speaking, being willing to be uncomfortable in a hard place, and stepping out in faith to follow through on what He has spoken. We often have no idea of the ramifications of our obedience. Let’s be a people who are quick to obey, hearing God’s voice consistently, and letting His words guide us in timing.

5 Reasons to do a DTS – YWAM Asheville

rely faith hard times

5 Reasons to do a DTS

Introduction 

So you might be thinking about applying for a YWAM DTS, or maybe you already have. You might also be thinking, “God has called me, but what am I getting myself into?” That’s totally valid, and there is so much to look forward to when applying to your Discipleship Training School.
 

YWAM’s motto is To Know God and Make God Known. Our entire foundation is built upon those words. That is our ultimate goal here is to make sure each person has a deep, personal relationship with God and to evangelize, starting with the one. But there is SO much more that comes out of a DTS than that– and here are just a few that I could think of. 

fear of the lord

Reasons To Do A YWAM DTS 

 

1. Learn More About Other Nations and Cultures 

No matter where your DTS location or Outreach is, you’ll learn more about where you’re at and the people around you. Even I, who is from a small town right outside of Asheville and would visit Asheville frequently as a teenager, came to do my DTS at YWAM Asheville, and it really blew my mind how much I didn’t see in Asheville even though it was right in front of my eyes.

At DTS, you’ll learn how to get down and dirty and place yourself behind the scenes of wherever you’re at, you will also learn how to slow down and really see people as Jesus does instead of just glancing over the surface of the world. YWAM is full of diversity so you’ll live with other students and staff from all different cultures and backgrounds. 

2. Expand Your Knowledge of the Bible 

We get it, sometimes, when you explore the Bible on your own, it’s really difficult to understand. There are areas that seem intimidating and you don’t want to touch in fear of not being intelligent enough to understand. No worries! Our DTS curriculum is full of helpful ways and tools to help you better understand the Word.

We have an entire week dedicated to Biblical Overview, this week gives a simple, easy to follow, and enjoyable deep dive into the Bible. Students always say that this week is especially helpful in their faith journey. It opens your eyes to new things, and brings you to a higher level of understanding! 

fear of the lord

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone 

It’s easy to keep your relationship with Jesus between you and Him. However, that’s not what God intended. He has called you to go out and make disciples, and that can’t happen if you’re not willing to do things that make you uncomfortable. As Christians, we’re not only called to be okay with discomfort but to seek it. Requirements of DTS include being flexible and willing to die to yourself and the comforts of your flesh. In your Discipleship Training, you’ll learn how to have the confidence in evangelism, spreading love, and preaching the gospel to every tribe, tongue and soul – you just have to ask yourself, is Jesus worth any awkwardness, criticism or judgment you may encounter? (The answer is, “heck yeah, He is.”) 

4. Grow deep, real connections with other Jesus lovers 

Being a Christian is hard, but being a Christian without a supportive community that shares your love, values, and beliefs is even harder. So here at YWAM, we are all about community, coming together from different cultures. Our hope is that you come and feel at home with the people around you. You deserve to feel loved, cherished, and worthy. Everyone who comes to DTS is so different yet we all have one thing in common: We love Jesus. 

5. Become a New Creation 

In Galatians 6, Paul talks about how religion, circumcision and all that other stuff don’t really matter, but what’s most important is whether or not we have become a New Creation. Meaning, we let our old selves die and allowed the Lord to transform us and make us new, pure, holy, and whole. This is the main reason I chose to do DTS. You might have a rough past and are new to Faith and Jesus and everything. You might have unprocessed with trauma, pain and shame. Or maybe you have just never known the Lord as your own Father, Friend, Counselor, etc. Whatever your story is, the Lord can redeem it. Whoever you are, you can grow even more. He wants to give you freedom. A YWAM DTS is a great place to start that process. 

 

fear of the lord

Conclusion 

It’s so hard to capture the essence of everything you’ll experience in your DTS- but trust me when I say that whatever the reason is that you’re doing a DTS, the Lord can do abundantly more than you can ask, think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

We call DTS the pressure cooker for your faith, and after those five months you will leave with so much more knowledge, wisdom, passion, and excitement for life. If you believe that God is worth 5 months of your life, then surrender to Him and allow Him to show you what He’s capable of. This is just a starting point. Let Jesus take you on an adventure and apply for a DTS today.

Why I Believe In The DTS – YWAM Asheville

rely faith hard times

Why I Believe In The DTS

Introduction 

I believe in the DTS. A YWAM Discipleship Training School is just what it says it is. It not only teaches one how to disciple the nations, it also (perhaps even more importantly) teaches one how to BE DISCIPLED. Why is this so critical? Isn’t our aim to reach the lost for Christ? Why worry about ourselves?

Becoming A Disciple Before Becoming A Missionary 

Indeed, Youth With A Mission’s goal is to send waves of missionaries into every corner of the world, to see the lost found, the hungry fed, the lonely met. But in order to sustainably do this, we must first learn to be continually molded into vessels capable of delivering His perfect peace. In order to be effective in the Christian life, let alone missions, we must never overlook our own heart for the sake of the nations. If the gospel isn’t radically real to us, if its stunning messages don’t awaken us first, we will fizzle out and be serving from numb hearts. And when this happens, which is sometimes inevitable, we must know how to be discipled, how to be led, and how to be helped.

We aren’t built to carry the Great Commission on our own strength, intellect, skills, or anointing. Through every step of our life, we must depend on the faith family to support us in many ways.

fear of the lord

Why I believe in the DTS

The DTS is a place that allows a young person to look in the mirror, for perhaps the first time, and analyze the scars, the beauty, the design, and the purpose of their being. During the DTS, you are able to ask the deep down questions, seek out the Face of Truth, develop your faith, and receive teaching from those who have gone before you.

During my DTS lecture phase, I was challenged to think differently, become aware of my assumptions and wrong beliefs about who God is, and face my fears about my future. The different speakers and topics that get addressed during DTS are specifically designed to draw the student into deeper trust in the Lord, and nothing short of that happened for me! When you are surrounded by new people, new ideas, new methods, new values, in a new place…you get pushed into the deep end of the pool of relying on Jesus. And the beauty of it is, you are in a group of other students going through the exact same thing. This leads to such incredible friendships and community. Some of my longest and closest friendships today began during DTS, over 12 years ago!

Then on outreach, everything gets amplified! Desperation for the voice of God becomes one of the hallmarks of your life because you are literally depending on His leadership every moment of every day. Outreach instilled in me a deep reliance on God’s voice, and a trust that when He speaks, His words are trustworthy, no matter how crazy it may seem. This short 2 month trip across the world taught me one of the most vital aspects of being a disciple of Jesus: listening and obeying my Shepherd’s voice.

In my DTS, I learned that my answers to my own questions would fall short every time. I need the wisdom of Scripture, the experience of my elders, the insight of my leaders and love of my peers to experience Christ. I learned that in order to grow into the woman I am made to be, I must have people around me speaking truth into my life, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. To lift my face when it has fallen, to breathe life into me when I’ve grown weary. The DTS taught me how to be discipled, how to be loved, and how to sustain a life of discipling others.

fear of the lord

In Closing

The truth is, becoming a disciple of Jesus takes a lifetime to figure out. But a YWAM DTS is honestly one of the very best tools out there that will enhance and deepen that journey in a very short amount of time. I believe in the Discipleship Training School for SO many reasons. It’s changed my life for the better, given me the spiritual tools I lacked as a young high school graduate, and I consider it a major moment in my life that God used to get me on the right path. 

When it comes to choosing the best DTS location for you, I highly recommend not searching for the cheapest DTS only. Money is important, and God knows you need finances for tuition. But PLEASE let the Holy Spirit guide you in that decision making process. Lean into prayer and words of wisdom from others that know how to hear from God. And if you still need help, we are here! One of our DTS coaches would be pumped to walk with you through that process, and help you discern what the Lord is saying to you! We want you to be exactly where He’s calling you, wherever that may be. 

God and Human Trafficking – YWAM Asheville

god human trafficking

God and Human Trafficking

by guest author Julia Nance

23, 32, 40.3 million….these are all guesses and estimates of the number of people who are being trafficked at any given time. Regardless of the actual number, it’s an amount that is almost incomprehensible…Where is God in the midst of such a horrendous, overwhelming injustice? 

Modern day slavery isn’t something we really think about, but it is the second most profitable illegal trade in the world, generating around $150 billion a year. To make these large numbers even more staggering, about $99 billion is made by the illegal sex trade industry. 

A heartbreaking industry that leads to millions and millions of people being forced into sexual exploitation. 

Human trafficking: “The unlawful act of transporting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labor or sexual exploitation.” 

human trafficking

Human trafficking is a hateful and careless act that robs the victim of their freedom, their hope, and even their life. It violates their body, mind, and soul. Every person has the right to freedom and right to choose their path in life, but so many never get that chance. Worse yet, it often happens right under our noses. 

Though it can (and does) happen as portrayed in movies with dramatic kidnappings and underground auctions, more often than not it starts in more unassuming ways, ways in which the victims themselves are unaware of. 

Kidnapping for the purpose of trafficking happens, absolutely. But a fact that is just as scary, if not more, is that it happens with people you trust; even family. Oftentimes a trafficker will gain a victims trust before they ever make a move to exploit them. 

They will even enter a friendship or romantic relationship with the victim to gain trust and extract information that will later be used to gaslight them and keep them emotionally bound to the abuser. 

Possibly the hardest form of trafficking to wrap our minds around is familial trafficking, where a member of a family will exploit another member to gain money, drugs, housing, or anything of value. Familial trafficking is one of the most common forms of human trafficking. 

Pornography is another large, and a rapidly growing catalyst that leads to the demand of sexual exploitation. Not only does it create a demand for more explicit content, it creates an unhealthy and distorted view of sex and intimacy. Studies have shown that the average age of exposure to pornographic content is just 11 years old. 

human trafficking

Understanding the True Meaning of Grace – YWAM Asheville

grace

Understanding The True Meaning Of Grace

Introduction 

How many times have we heard words in church, yet if asked to define them we wouldn’t confidently be able to do so?…words like ‘grace’. What is grace? Is it a Christian word that we use as a cute baby name, or is there a deeper meaning to it? Let’s leave behind our preconceived notions of this word and let the Scripture define it for us. We will be looking at passages in the Bible from the books of Epheisans, Luke, Romans, and Corinthians. 

What is Grace? 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” -Ephesians 2:8 

Paul states that by grace, through faith, we have been saved. It is through God’s grace that He extends his favor and kindness to us. It’s the posture of a personal God, who is not afraid of the mess his people have made, but loves them enough to call them out of it. The best representation of God’s grace is in Jesus Christ leaving his heavenly throne to dwell among us here on Earth. It’s in the beauty and brutality of the cross where we see the grace of God in action. King Jesus bearing our sin and shame. There is no greater picture of God’s grace than this, yet Jesus extends even more mercy and grace by saying “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24) while he died the most shameful, excruciating death.

grace

What does Grace mean for a Christian? 

Now, what does God’s grace look like for a Christian, practically? As believers, we are welcome to call out to God as our Father…we are his children! And as his children, the Father pours out grace upon our weaknesses. Even after we have been saved by Christ, He continues to pour out grace upon us. We see that even the apostle Paul, a hero of our faith, needed God’s grace and reassurance that God’s grace is in fact enough. 

“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9 

There is no weakness, no sin, nothing at all that God’s grace is not sufficient for. We cannot out-sin the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s God’s love and grace through Christ that brought us salvation and it’s his grace that will keep us in right standing with God for all eternity.

His grace comes at a cost. That cost is the pride of man that keeps so many from accepting God’s grace in the first place. But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). This passage shows us that we need humility 

to receive God’s grace. We have to take a posture of humility before God in order to even recognize that we need his mercy in the first place. The call of the Christian is to live in this position; both in victory, and in humility. 

God’s grace is a gift, but not a gift we cannot abuse. 

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death”? (Romans 6:1-3). 

One thing that can be concluded from this passage is that once we’ve tasted the grace of God we will not be able to enjoy our sinful ways because they have been put to death. Does this mean you abuse God’s grace when we sin as christians? No not entirely, it’s only considered abuse whenever you willfully sin against God and then use grace as a way of trying to excuse your sin. 

Conclusion

As it was stated earlier grace is for the humble and the humble will joyfully repent of their sins and accept God’s grace. Experiencing reconciliation with our Maker! The reality is that Christians still sin…our flesh nature, though dead in Christ, still nags at us. A beautiful aspect of our relationship with Christ is that he gives us new grace everyday, extending forgiveness with patience, offering opportunities to put our sin nature behind us, that we may have life in the spirit. 

Going back to Luke 23:24, we have to look at how Jesus extended his grace and mercy even to the people that had him ridiculed and crucified. As imitators of Christ, we have to ask the question, is this how we’re living our everyday lives? As the Father has loved us, and extended grace to us, are we doing the same to others? This is one of the reasons Youth With A Mission exists, to know God and to make him known to others. What better way to do that than to show the grace of God to others and how God’s grace has transformed us. That’s why we go into foreign lands; because we’ve tasted the grace of God! How can we not share it with the rest of the world? What a joy it is to go out into the world and testify of the saving grace the Lord has bought for us through his death and resurrection. 

If you are interested in learning more about God’s amazing gift of grace, and want to be equipped in telling the world about His love, consider joining us for a Discipleship Training School, a YWAM DTS! During the DTS Lecture Phase, you will be given world class training, receive intentional discipleship, live in a loving community, and be empowered to chase after God’s call on your life. And during the Outreach Phase, you’ll be able to put all that you’ve learned to practice in the nations! After DTS, you are welcome to sign up for YWAM secondary schools around the world, at many different Youth With A Mission locations. There is really no limit to the types of training Youth With A Mission offers, all for the common purpose of “Knowing God, and Making God Known.” If you’re ready to get your missions journey started, apply for a DTS today!