How to Get Involved in YWAM Mission Trips

We will discuss from the first steps of doing a YWAM missions trip, why we do missions, and where to start your missions journey.


How to Get Involved in YWAM Mission Trips 


There are 8 billion people on the planet Earth. Approximately 3.2 billion are unreached. As a member of Gen Z, I have to ask myself how I will respond…Will we, Gen Z, follow in the ways of society, or will we go against the grain and follow the final commands of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations? Will we choose to get involved with a global movement of missions so that every ear can hear, and every heart know the truth of the Gospel.

If this peaks your interest, then let me invite you to keep reading. We will discuss the first steps of doing a YWAM missions trip, why we do missions, and where to start your missions journey. 


First Steps 

The first step in a YWAM mission trip is to do our DTS, or “Discipleship Training School”. The DTS and Youth With a Mission started for one soul purpose, to know God and to make him known. That is the focus, and we believe that global missions is a major part of that. This leads me to my next part, who is the YWAM DTS for? DTS is for young people who want to be in a community focused on Jesus, worship, intercessory prayer, bible study, and reaching those who have yet to be touched by the gospel. 

A YWAM DTS will have two parts, a 12-week lecture phase and an outreach phase that is usually around 8 weeks long. The whole point of the lecture phase is to learn about God’s character and nature. It is to learn about the importance of discipleship and why refining your character is important. Another aspect of the lecture phase is worship and prayer with of course a plethora of other things. 

After the lecture then comes the outreach portion of the DTS. This is of course the missional aspect of the DTS. For outreach you will go to a different nation where you will get to learn the culture, love the people, and most importantly preach the gospel. My favorite part of outreach is the ability to apply everything I have learned in the lecture phase. 


Heart of Missions 

Before discussing DTS and outreaches, we must unpack and understand why we do missions. So my question is what makes a missionary? Why do we do missions?Is a missionary someone who goes on a mission trip with their church for a week, not necessarily. 

However, that is a great way to start but there is a bit more to being a missionary than that. To be a missionary of course you have to spread the gospel but what separates the missionary from a pastor then with said qualifications. Another aspect is being in a country or a culture that is not your own. 

What differentiates between a world traveler and a missionary then on this basis. This brings me to my point that to be a missionary, it’s not about your actions but its about your intentions. Proverbs 4:23 says that above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.  

If our heart is not guarded, then we can do all the things that a missionary does, we can sleep in tents, we can eat foods that are not of our own culture, we can learn languages vastly different than ours but if our heart is not set on serving christ and the people around us then we can very quickly become a Christian tourist and lose sight of the why we are there in the first place. 

This brings us back to the question: why do we do missions? We do it because Jesus came not to be served but to serve, we do it because he loved us first. We do it because the king of kings and Lord of lords last breath on earth was used to say, “go into all of the world and make disciples of all nations”. So my challenge for you is to live on a mission everyday, whether you are in the gym or in the bush of Tanzania. 

Where to Start 

600. That’s roughly how many YWAM DTS locations there are. This is an overwhelming amount of bases. There are YWAM DTS locations in the USA, and all over the world! So how do you choose the best YWAM base for you? What makes one place the best DTS location for you? The first thing to consider is asking God…this is sort of a “duh” suggestion, but I think it is really important and an easy thing to forget about doing. In searching for DTS locations, we can quickly forget to invite God into the process, and really surrender in obedience to go where He leads you.

Another thing to consider is that base’s unique values and ministry focuses. Youth With A Mission at large has global values that every location subscribes to. And yet, despite that, each YWAM location is very unique! At YWAM Asheville we value community a whole lot. This is something that drew me into doing my DTS here in Asheville. In fact, I think this value made it the best YWAM DTS location for me! Another huge thing that drew me into doing a DTS in Asheville, North Carolina was the anti-trafficking ministry that we have here at the base. 

It’s always a great thing to look for in a base is the ministries they engage in. Of course don’t let this be a limiting factor, trying new things is very important. A third thing to consider is the size of the base as well. The reason we are able to have a tight knit community dynamic at YWAM Asheville is because of our smaller size. If we were significantly larger, day to day discipleship may not happen on the same level that it does now. Some people thrive at larger bases, where you might not know everyone on base. At YWAM Asheville, DTS students will know everyone here on base, have direct access to staff and leadership, and be able to connect deeply with their DTS peers.


Now you know what a YWAM mission trip is, why we do missions, and where to find a Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School. My challenge to you is not just to dream, but to dream with the Lord and let those dreams become actions. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of what’s hard or different, but that’s often where the good stuff is. 

We may think we are not qualified for missions… but *spoiler alert* God is in the business of using unqualified humans to do extraordinary things! So let the word of the Lord become living and active in your own personal life. If you are interested in YWAM Asheville you can see more of us on Instagram at @ywamasheville or visit our website.


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