1.Don’t do a DTS if you desire to travel.
Though I assure you that travel comes as part of a DTS experience, you will find yourself disappointed if it is your sole reason for going. God sometimes has a way of sending his people to places that they weren’t necessarily looking to go. You may have a heart for Asia, but end up in South America, but God will still blow your socks off with amazing experiences, both big and small. You will meet “many strange birds as you go.” – Dr. Seuss and will find yourself staring with amazement at the places you find yourself.
2. Don’t do a DTS if working hard is for chumps…
…because you will be a chump. Work duties are a part of regular life on DTS. Early mornings on sea grass, cleaning guest rooms on a Saturday, or preparing meals for everyone on base are regular duties that can be assigned to you. Lecture phase also provides learning experiences through academics, where you will be reading, sharing the gospel with your peers, or teaching a topical presentation. You have plenty of opportunities to use your muscles and mind, to help on base or in ministry. If you are up for the challenge that is.
3. Don’t do a DTS if you are going to change the world alone.
“I/You am/are going to change the world,” we all know someone who has said this about themselves or somebody else. Though there may be some small bit of truth in there somewhere, we soon begin to realize that God is changing the world and he is asking us to participate in it with him, as his Church. A DTS is a commitment to community. Living with people you have never met before and for five months. Giving up the normality of home and trading it for a group of crazy characters who all just did the same. If sharing a room, eating, sleeping, praying, worshiping, laughing, crying, and proximity pooping with some of the most amazing people you may ever meet doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I suggest looking elsewhere.
4. Don’t do a DTS if you are done learning.
DTS is a journey of discovery. For many, a journey of discovering the Word, sometimes for the first time. For just as many, it is a discovery of relationships, a time of restoration to past hurts, and discovering purpose for their future. You are likely to leave a DTS having discovered a lot about yourself and the one who created you. DTS is five months of peeling back the layers of ourselves and learning to walk into the possibilities God has in store. It can be downright scary and not is for the faint of heart.
5. Don’t do a DTS if you’ve already had your “best moments”.
The people you meet, the places you go, the challenges you overcome at DTS are moments you will remember for a lifetime. It is an opportunity to encounter your true self, and walk into greater knowledge of your identity in Christ, while sharing those same experiences with others who are doing the same. You will never forget your school and the times you shared, whether you try to or not.
All this to say, that a DTS is an experience that changes lives! Some of my greatest moments of growth happened while doing my DTS. I was a very angry young man before my DTS, and my DTS was an opportunity for God to do some ‘heart surgery’ that was long overdue.