History of YWAM
In a vision, Loren Cunningham could see a map of the world, alive and moving! The waves of the sea crashed in all the continents, they entered the territory until all the nations were covered. As he watched, the waves became young of all races.
The young went from house to house, helping the homeless and hungry, and caring for people from all the places they went to. His vision was to see the young people fulfill the Great Commission in Mark 16:15.
So in 1960, he began with Youth With A Mission and the waves became a reality. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone to the nations through YWAM. Today, thanks to the power of God and his grace, YWAM is the largest missionary organization in the world.
We are currently more than 17,000 full-time Christian volunteers from various cultural backgrounds and Christian traditions dedicated to serving Jesus around the world under the motto of “KNOWING GOD AND KNOWING HIM” through various ministries. We have over 1000 operations sites, also called bases in 180 countries around the world.
Statement of Faith
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is an international movement of Christians from many denominations dedicated to presenting Jesus personally to this generation, to mobilizing as many as possible to help in this task, and to the training and equipping of believers for their part in fulfilling the Great Commission. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are called to love, worship, and obey our Lord, to love and serve His Body, the Church, and to present the whole gospel for the whole person throughout the whole world.
We of Youth With A Mission believe:
That the Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative word, revealing that Jesus Christ is God’s son; that people are created in God’s image; that He created us to have eternal life through Jesus Christ; that although all people have sinned and come short of God’s glory, God has made salvation possible through the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that repentance, faith, love and obedience are fitting responses to God’s initiative of grace towards us; that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth; and that the Holy Spirit’s power is demonstrated in and through us for the accomplishment of Christ’s last commandment: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Christian Magna Carta
Youth With A Mission affirms the Christian Magna Carta which describes the following basic rights as implicit in the gospel.
Everyone on earth has the right to:
- Hear and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Have a Bible available in their own language.
- Have a Christian fellowship available nearby, to be able to meet for fellowship regularly each week, and to have Biblical teaching and worship with others in the Body of Christ.
- Have a Christian education available for their children.
- Have the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing, shelter and health care.
- Lead a productive life of fulfillment spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.
We commit ourselves, by God’s grace, to fulfill this covenant and to live for His glory.
(Developed by YWAM leaders, 1981)
The Manila Covenant
The Manila Covenant is a statement of mission prepared and prayed over by the leadership of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and confirmed by 1,500 staff workers at the YWAM International Staff and Leadership Conference in Manila, Philippines on August 4, 1988.
We affirm that Youth With A Mission’s calling as a missionary fellowship is to help complete the Great Commission. We celebrate the calling of the Lord Jesus upon our mission to be involved in evangelism, training, and ministries of mercy. We renew our commitment to the Lord and to one another so that by God’s grace and the empowering of the Holy Spirit we will do all God asks of us to help complete the Great Commission.
We affirm the calling of the Lord upon our mission to mobilize youth for world evangelism. We express in this covenant our commitment to see young people mobilized in great numbers for world evangelism, and to see youthful, exuberant world changers be given every opportunity to take roles of leadership and influence in our mission.
We affirm God’s calling upon our mission to focus on reaching those who have not been reached with the Gospel. We declare our desire to see tens of thousands of workers mobilized on the following nine frontiers of world evangelism: the Muslim world, the Buddhist world, the Communist world, the Hindu world, the Small Half, Nominal Christians, the Cities, the Poor and Needy, and Tribal Peoples.
We affirm the Lordship of Christ over every sphere of life. We commit ourselves to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that His Lordship is proclaimed over individual lives, nations, the family and home, the church in all its expressions, education, the electronic and printed media, arts and entertainment, the sports world, commerce, science and technology, government and politics. We believe that this should be done in the same spirit in which Jesus came: as a humble servant, laying down His rights and so pleasing His Father.
We affirm that God wants Youth With A Mission to be representative of all nations of the earth, and that our staff and leadership should be comprised of races from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Latin America, Oceania, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
We affirm our calling as a mission to love people in both word and deed in order to proclaim and demonstrate the good news of the gospel. Personal evangelism and practical concern alike give witness to Jesus Christ. Accordingly, we will, by God’s grace and mercy, proclaim the good news and perform acts of mercy so that men and women will embrace the truth of the gospel.
We affirm the importance of doing God’s work, God’s way. We declare our total dependence on God for wisdom, and ask Him to reveal to us any trace of paternalism, prejudice, or triumphalism. We choose to follow the example of the Lord Jesus who gave up His rights, defending the rights of the poor, and serving those He came to minister to in righteous humility.
We affirm that God wants both young and old, male and female, in positions of leadership and responsibility in our mission.
We affirm servant leadership and the importance of being accountable and submissive in our leadership styles and attitudes. We confirm the importance of all new staff going through a period of culturally appropriate training and orientation to help prepare them for service in God’s Kingdom. We express our desire for God to continually revive and invigorate our discipleship training programs to make them a source of encouragement, equipping, and empowering for Christian service.
We affirm the importance of a spirit of humility, brokenness, and godly transparency in our relationships with one another. We commit ourselves afresh to the principles of unity as described by the apostle Paul in Ephesians chapters four and five. We accept the responsibility to deal with any character weakness or cultural barrier in a manner that would be pleasing to the Lord Jesus and that would promote unity within our mission and with the whole Body of Christ.
We affirm the importance of living a biblical and balanced life. We believe that we need Christians of all theological persuasions and backgrounds in the body of Christ. We need their godly counsel, wisdom, teaching, and help to be all that God has intended us to be.
We affirm the importance of the local church. We humbly ask God for His grace and help to enable us to multiply and build up local churches and to work as partners with them for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
We affirm the ministry of prayer and intercession. We declare our total and utter dependence upon God and ask Him to continually revive our hearts so that we will always be a mission that intercedes for the nations and seeks God for His direction and guidance. We believe God has called our mission to build everything it does on the foundation of prayer, knowing that apart from God’s leading, our best efforts will be dead works. We further declare our need for others to pray for us.
We affirm the importance of accountability between Youth With A Mission as a whole and its various bases, ministries, teams and schools. We confirm our need to be in submission to those we serve, those who are over us in the Lord, and those we work with as co-laborers. We believe that this spirit of accountability welcomes correction, encouragement, and openness in our corporate and personal lives.
We affirm the value of the individual. We commit ourselves to pursue the equipping, upbuilding, and empowering of all those God sends to us for the fulfillment of His ministry and purpose in their lives.
We affirm the ministry of hospitality, and commit ourselves to open our bases, homes, and hearts to all those God sends to us. We recognize this to be a biblical responsibility and we joyfully embrace the privilege of serving and honoring guests, teachers, fellow YWAMers, and the poor and the needy through this ministry.
We affirm the importance of financial accountability. We declare that we as Youth With A Mission will live by the highest legal, spiritual, and ethical standards in our handling of finances.
We affirm that Youth With A Mission is an international movement of Christians from many denominations dedicated to presenting Jesus Christ personally to this generation, to mobilizing as many as possible to help in this task, and to the training and equipping of believers for their part in fulfilling the Great Commission. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we are called to love, worship and obey our Lord, to love and serve His body, the Church, and to present the whole Gospel for the whole person throughout the world.
We affirm that the Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative word, revealing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. We believe that man is created in God’s image and that He created us to have eternal life through Christ. Although all men have sinned and come short of God’s glory and are eternally lost without Christ, God has made salvation possible through the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that repentance, faith, love and obedience are necessary and fitting responses to God’s initiative of grace towards us and that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We believe that the Holy Spirit’s power is demonstrated in and through us for the accomplishing of Christ’s last commandment: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)