Youth With a Mission

A global Christian movement dedicated to spreading God’s love across cultures and generations.

Youth With a Mission (YWAM), founded in 1960 by Loren Cunningham, is a global Christian non-profit organization focused on evangelism, training, and mercy missions. Known for its decentralized structure, YWAM operates in over 180 countries and involves people of all ages in its mission to “know God and make Him known.” The organization champions youth, believing in their capacity to lead and innovate in mission work, and embraces a diverse international and interdenominational approach to spread the gospel.

History and Growth

YWAM began with a vision to mobilize young people in missions, starting with outreach efforts and evolving into a multifaceted organization with a wide range of ministries. By the late 1970s, YWAM had launched its Mercy Ships ministry to provide healthcare and hope in port cities around the world, starting with the ship Anastasis. The 1980s saw the organization expand further with the establishment of the University of the Nations, aimed at training missionaries in various fields from Bible studies to healthcare.

Core Beliefs and Practices

YWAM is grounded in Christian beliefs, emphasizing a relationship with God and living out the Christian faith in every sphere of life. The organization values visionary thinking, servant leadership, functioning in teams, and being relationship-oriented. It operates on the principle of doing first, then teaching, ensuring that its actions and missions are rooted in genuine experience and godly character.

Ministries and Impact

The organization engages in a broad range of activities, including evangelism through arts, sports, and direct outreach, training programs like the Discipleship Training School (DTS), and mercy ministries which include healthcare and disaster relief. YWAM has been notable for its involvement in international events such as the Olympic Games, where it has performed street evangelism and other outreach activities since 1972.

Decentralization and Leadership

Reflecting its global and diverse nature, YWAM does not have a centralized organizational structure. Instead, it fosters autonomy among its ministries while maintaining unity through shared vision and values. Leadership within YWAM is based on eldership, emphasizing servant leadership and mutual respect among members.

Evolution and Recent Developments

Over the decades, YWAM has adapted to meet changing global needs, with significant growth in its staff and operations worldwide. It has transitioned into a more inclusive and God-focused model of leadership and continues to innovate in its approach to missions, training, and community service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *