I signed up for the part time 6 month DNA programme and continued serving in my own Church (with scaled down responsibilities in Church life), and continued with work and family in much the same way, but made a commitment of at least 2 days a week to give to whatever God was revealing through DNA.
And there the incredible journey began! The other trainees that I met will be friends for life … I recall a conversation on my final day with a fellow DNAer who I travelled with for 8 hours each 2 day block… I knew every dark secret and deep struggle she had, yet I had no idea of her favourite takeaway or most enjoyable film! DNA is about family – it’s a journey that you embark on alone with God, yet one that you walk so closely with others who also are on their own, often painful, journey, and surrounded by the most wonderful DNA team who you know are faithfully praying, supporting and encouraging you as you do.
I feel I should speak about the incredible quality of speakers that shared their wisdom within an excellently crafted teaching programme, the phenomenal times of worship just standing in God’s presence, the opportunities to step out of my comfort zone on far too many occasions, the assignments and worksheets, the amazing laughs we all had, the sometimes 3 hour sessions with my discipler … I could go on, but for me the highlight was to find myself in a safe place where I didn’t have to cope, where it was ok to cry, ok to disagree, ok to be real, ok to explore who I really was, and ok to be me. Through that, God was able to go deep, to bring revelation, to bring healing and ultimately to bring freedom.
One year on I am a different person. I have stepped down from being on the Core Leadership Team and now serve my Church in other ways (so much for DNA being a Leadership development programme!!!). I feel that I understand more than ever what my passions are, what fires me up and makes me come alive, and I have the confidence to step into all that God brings my way. I am kinder to myself, value myself more, and hopefully that results in me being a much nicer person to be around!
I can’t recommend DNA enough – at any stage of your life or Christian development – God is always wanting to speak, to heal, to reveal more of his love; and doing DNA is honestly the best and most intense way I could possibly think of to take time out of the busyness and have your life totally turned on its head!