In the last blog we talked about why we do what we do here in NZ from a justice perspective. In this blog we want to talk a little about things from a discipleship/training and outreach perspective.
Discipleship is important for many reasons but probably one of the main ones is because Jesus told us to “go and make disciples”. Discipleship is integral to the Christian life and walk as God isn’t simply looking for converts, but disciples. People who will faithfully follow Him, learn from Him, live like Him, live their lives for Him.
One of the aims of a DTS is to provide a place for people to come away and spend set aside time focusing on God, learning about Him and as a result learning to love Him and others more. The revelation of who He is impacting their lives, how they view and love themselves, and how they learn and think about others in the world around them.
For a lot of students who come on a DTS it is a ‘between’ things stage in their lives. They may have just finished school or university, or they may be stepping away from a career, etc. Our intention is to create a space and an environment during this time on the DTS that equips each student, helping them build stronger, wider, and deeper foundations in God, to learn from and of Him and hopefully set them up in some way for what is potentially to come throughout the rest of their lives.
Our heart is to help them develop a lifestyle of prayer and worship and relationship with God, that carries on into everyday life wherever that takes them and whatever that looks like.
The opportunity to do outreach on a DTS is a chance for the outworking of what the students learn in the classroom. To reach out and serve, to support and bless ministries and people all over the world.
Specifically in our context, it looks like partnering with God in bringing justice to those caught in unjust situations. Whether that be trafficking, poverty, a refugee forced to leave their home. It’s a chance to meet and come alongside the individuals caught in these situations, giving the opportunity to meet people face to face rather than them just being generic numbers or statistics on a page. It’s the opportunity to share the hope and love of God and the freedom He has won for us. We send students on outreach to learn what it looks like to DO justice as that is what God requires of us, and what Jesus’ example shows.
These last two blog posts are some of the reasons we do what we do. There is so much more to these areas, but hopefully this gives you some idea of our heart for being here in New Zealand and involved in DTS’s.