"God is inviting us to follow Him and go on this adventure together"
At Youth With A Mission Orlando we have five Core Values that we believe God has asked us to hold to and exemplify as a community. For this YWAM Orlando blog series, we've asked members of our community to help us unpack each of these values by sharing a personal experience or testimony.
Discipleship: YWAM Orlando Core Value 2
Discipleship: We are committed to transformational discipleship of individuals with the goal of creating mature followers of Christ and leaders who live according to Biblical truth and together will proclaim the Gospel (Mark 16:15) and disciple the nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
When I hear the word “discipleship,” I think about the twelve disciples who ran after Jesus and were taught by Him. I think about their “yes” to leaving their families and dropping the ordinary to follow after an extraordinary God. I think about them being so close to Jesus and being changed by His love and teachings. This is what discipleship is all about: saying “Yes” to Jesus and following him, no matter the cost. Discipleship is not about qualifications, it's about surrender. We sometimes think that to be able to do missions we need certain qualifications, but all we really need is Jesus. The Disciples had no clue what was in store for them, yet they dropped everything and said “Yes.” They had no experience - just hungry hearts and surrender! Jesus went to Levi at a tax collector’s booth and said to him, “Follow me,” and Levi did just that (Mark 2:14). There wasn't any key word or a test to following Jesus - just a simple “yes” followed by an action.
When I decided to come to YWAM Orlando for my Disciple Training School, I didn’t fully know what it was.
I just knew it was going to be a time to encounter Jesus and be discipled. I had no experience in ministry or in serving, let alone living in community. I was just a young girl straight out of highschool; I had no idea what I was getting into. I had only been saved for a year and didn’t feel qualified, but I knew that Jesus was leading me into missions. My pastor kept telling me, “God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called.” That’s when I mustered up what little courage I had to come do a DTS. I said “Yes” to what the Lord was inviting me into with just a small mustard seed of faith and it grew into a huge field of fruit.
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When I came to YWAM Orlando, I found a community of leaders and students that were wholly surrendered to Jesus! Even though I did not know much about YWAM life or ministry, I followed God as He led me. In DTS I learned what it means to be a disciple, to be a student and follower of a teacher. Our teacher is Jesus and we are taught by Him daily. It is a lifelong journey where we never stop learning. It is a constant teaching that never grows old but is always changing us. Jesus has called us to follow him: dig deeper into his Word, love Him, love His people and GO make disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20)
It doesn't matter what your age, race or culture is. You don’t need experience; all you need is radical obedience!
A disciple is anyone who is willing to learn and grow in His presence. Here at YWAM Orlando, we long to always be hungry for more of God and be in His presence everyday. Even the smallest action of faith has the power to grow and multiply. We want to always be growing and be changed by Him. If you think you’re not capable, Jesus calls you capable! He marks you with purpose. He positions and prepares you to go out and share His love in a world where there is no hope. Every single person that followed Jesus was completely transformed by His love and they told everyone about Him.
God is inviting us to follow Him and go on this adventure together! He’s not asking us to know everything. He is not expecting us to be at a certain level. He is simply asking us to come as we are and follow Him. I believe that when we follow Jesus we discover more of who we are because our identity is found in Him. All Levi knew was a tax booth; Jesus met him there, asked him to leave it behind and Levi gave up all he had. He left the known and stepped into the unknown, trusting that Jesus would not only lead him but disciple him. Will you join the call to follow Jesus? Are you willing to leave the known and let Jesus lead you into more? Discipleship doesn't come in a degree. All it takes is a willing heart no matter the cost!
Katelyn Smith | YWAM Orlando Staff
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