What is the BLS?

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Perhaps the greatest need in the expansion Kingdom of God and the completion of the Great Commission is for Christians who are able to make disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ who will in turn make further disciples. (Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2) Certainly we in YWAM will never be able to do all God has given us to do without a continual influx of competent leaders. The goal of the BLS (Basic Leadership School) is just that --- to learn to make disciples who will make other disciples within the context of the Great Commission.

The BLS then is...

...a leadership development program that is integrated into a DTS.
...training school staff to run a brilliant DTS.
...an apprenticeship in leadership training.
...based on Jesus' model of primarily small group and secondarily one-to-one.
...learning while 'on-the-job'.

The BLS has the following objectives...

...to help staff develop the skills required to run a brilliant DTS.
...to train the leader for the job of small group leader on the DTS. ie building biblical truth into people's lives, and leading them out to share their faith et al.
...to see godly character develop in the leader.
...to give the leader opportunity to find their place of ministry in YWAM.
...to give the leader a basic training in Christian leadership.
...to lead a group of DTS students to discover their place in missions and to help them play their part in missions. (Often through outreach to the base's targeted nation.)

Through the responsibility of leading a small group of DTS students every day for seven months, the group leader develops leadership, discipling and evangelistic skills. In particular the areas of leadership that are developed are:

  • Helping a small group of people discover and apply basic biblical truths in an understandable way.
  • Helping people to open up their lives to God and to other people.
  • Coaching people in ministering to one another through prayer and spiritual gifts.
  • Leading people to share their faith with non-Christians.
  • Pioneering aspects of leadership through the responsibility of leading or co-leading a team in out-reach after the main DTS outreach phase is over.
  • More work needs to be done on these and other definitions.

The DTS will take place at the same time as the BLS and will be an integral part of the school.

Although classroom teaching is included, the training is not a course of lectures. The emphasis is not on the theory but on the practice. The training takes place while the leader has the responsibility of discipling a small group of people and leading them in outreach. Alongside this is the intention of passing on leadership to the DTS students as they are able to bear the responsibility. The majority of BLS students will repeat the BLS a second time moving from assistant small group leader to main group leader bearing greater responsibility.