Need a summer job?
Been out of high school for at least 1 year?
Want to grow spiritually?
If so, Young Life’s Summer Discipleship Focus could be just for you!
Discipleship Focus is discipleship experience that combines the real-life elements of work at an exciting theme park (either Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO or Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN), biblical studies, Christian community and the opportunity for friendship evangelism. The program dates for the summer of 2012 are May 31-Aug 10.
The guest post below is from Rachel Ledbetter, a recent participant in DF. Rachel is an aficionado of all things involving hammocks and Chacos, and a volunteer Young Life leader in Monroe, LA.I first heard about the Discipleship Focus ministry from a couple of friends who participated in the program a few years ago. I was extremely hesitant about applying and only did so as a backup if other summer plans did not work out. I prayed about it, but not wholeheartedly. Unbeknownst to me, a number of people in my Young Life world were praying for the Lord’s will for my summer. The Lord explicitly showed me where He wanted me. He closed so many doors that summer yet left only one option open: Discipleship Focus.
Numerous phone calls were exchanged with friends and D-Focus leadership about where I was in my life and my faith. I did not want to do the program, but the Lord had been making it so blatantly clear to me that that was where He wanted me to be. He had a plan for me. He had wonderful things and challenging things, and I could feel Him guiding me more and more to DF as the school year was winding down. So, I went.
All I knew about Branson, MO was that it was the “family-friendly Las Vegas” and full of cheesy Broadway-type shows and attractions. Even though many of my friends and family thought I was crazy for moving to Branson for the summer and working at an amusement park, I knew this experience would be good for me.
I assumed D-Focus would be just another “church camp” experience, and that it wouldn’t be the ministry of Young Life that I had grown to love so much. The experience was unlike anything I thought it would be, and praise Jesus for that. It was the most challenging ten weeks of my life.
Our community of college-aged folks spent the summer going through the study Discovery: God’s Answers to Our Deepest Questions by Will Wyatt. For me, the study took everything I knew (or thought I knew) about my faith and my walk with Christ and turned it completely on its head. It took many of the simple, foundational truths that our faith is built on and explained them in ways brand new me. The study helped me to answer some of my deepest questions about God, and showed me what a comfortable, abiding relationship with Christ looked like and how to practically live it out every day.
An added bonus to the study was the amazing community that formed throughout the summer. Each participant is put into a small group, led by a member of DF leadership. Each week is filled with community activities, Bible study, small group time, worship, and much more. Participants live in cabins of 6-8 people. The community formed through cabin times and DF community times was one of my favorite parts of the summer. I had never been more poured into by the Lord, by adults, or by peers in all my life.
The Lord did more than reveal Himself to me in my summer at DF. He wooed me. He showed me that I can have a comfortable relationship with Him. He is grace and love, and He is in COMPLETE control of every small, large, good, and not so good thing that happens in my life. The Lord spoke to my heart and showed me that He is faithful, and He loves His children deeply.