How YWAM Has Helped Me Develop Practical Skills For My Future

YWAM brings young people (and sometimes not-so-young people) together from all over the world.

It’s no wonder that being submerged in a culture of discipleship and hard work is the perfect catalyst for learning life skills.

As a 19 year-old, I joined YWAM to grow closer to God, see the world and to try to figure out what to do with my life. My relationship with the Lord grew immensely, and I made life-long friends, but something unexpected happened to me along the way.

Not only did I learn about the history of missions, and gain insight from the Bible, but I learnt more practical skills than my mom could have ever hoped! I painted picnic tables and buildings; I helped cook dinner for 100 people, and I even cleaned toilets.

I was a lucky kid. I grew up doing chores and having responsibility, so when I came to YWAM, I already knew basic cleaning skills like how to wash dishes, wipe the counter after you make a mess, and remember to dust the nooks and crannies. However, some of my friends were straight out of high school, and hadn’t quite learned the basics. I enjoyed teaching those friends how to do their own laundry, the easy way to chop onions and showing them how to clean a toilet.

I loved seeing my friends develop practical skills that I knew they would use for the rest of their lives.

Even though I had the basics under my belt, I have still gained some incredibly valuable life skills through my time in YWAM. As an organisation, they are inspired to empower and equip young people to serve Jesus. For the most part, that means sharing the Gospel, but it can also mean supporting others as they disciple and equip students. This often means granting opportunities to young people that they would never receive in the outside world.

Let me give you an example. Following my Discipleship Training School with YWAM, I returned as a staff member to become part of the Creative Communications team. This meant that I wrote blogs and social media posts for the YWAM centre. Now stop and think about the trust that I was given. An international organisation with thousands of followers gave me the responsibility of speaking on its behalf. I was 20 years old, had only done one year of university and all I had going for me professionally was that I had writing skills. I can see you shaking your head over that resumé.

But being part of YWAM is not about what you bring to the table. It’s about what you believe God can and will do through you. Since I began that role, I have been trained in communication, social media, scheduling platforms and WordPress. I have been equipped practically.

But even more than that, I have been empowered spiritually. I have learned how to depend on God for my every need. I have been taught how to recognize God’s voice in my daily life. I have learned how to intercede for those around me. And although these skills may not ensure me a job in a high-paying career, these are skills I know I could not live without.

Written by Fiona Winslade
YWAM Gold Coast Staff

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