Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.
Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 9 to 90. We currently work in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with our staff over 18,000.
One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff (known as “YWAMers”) come from over 130 countries, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.
Founded upon biblical principles, the University of the Nations (UofN) fulfills its commitment to Christ and His Great Commission by equipping men and women with spiritual, cultural, intellectual, and professional training, and inspiring them to continually grow in their personal relationship with God. While also seeking to make Him known among all peoples in all nations.
Viewing the world as both its classroom and venue for ministry, the University of the Nations is committed to teaching and developing Christian men and women called to “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19-20). Special priority for service is given to nations, cities, and people groups which have had the least access to the message of the Gospel. An integrated approach to ministry, including evangelism, training, and the meeting of physical needs, is presented biblically and worked out practically.
The University seeks to broaden the scope of evangelistic endeavors by equipping students to serve in all spheres of society, in all nations, in response to Jesus’ declaration that we are the salt and light of the world. Learning to think biblically and discern spiritually, applying scriptural truth to every area of life prepares students for going to the nations where they are called to serve.
The UofN’s approach to education is based on 2 Peter 1:5-8, which urges development of godly qualities, adding to faith: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. This character development is an integral part of the curriculum and is imparted through lectures, learning assignments, interpersonal relationships, and daily life, throughout the entire University of the Nations experience.
While committed to educational excellence, the UofN achieves its goals through an emphasis on knowing and loving God and seeking His revelation and guidance. Students in every course participate in regular times of intercession and worship. God’s ways are lived out in student and staff relationships through forgiveness, openness, repentance, honouring the gifts and abilities of each person, unity, teamwork, hospitality, servant leadership and loving one another as commanded by Jesus.
Each course in every College/Faculty of the UofN is a “multiplier for missions,” serving to increase the workers, resources, and ministries for the mission field. International in scope, the courses provide cross-cultural training related to the specific educational content, and are designed to be applicable in real-life situations. Field assignments with cross-cultural experiences for every student are a fundamental feature of the University training programs.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is a global 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 good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
Statements of Faith
Below are the documents that formally express the central values and beliefs of Youth With A Mission. Every YWAM location adheres to these basic beliefs.
• Youth With A Mission’s Statement of Faith
• The Foundational Values of Youth With A Mission
• Manila Covenant
• Lausanne Covenant
• Christian Magna Carta
• Our Commitment to Reach All Peoples
These can be found at http://www.ywam.org/for-ywamers/documents-for-ywamers/
YWAM is not affiliated with any one denomination, but is made up of Christians from many denominations dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms the Bible as the authoritative Word of God and with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, the absolute reference point for every aspect of life and ministry. Based upon God’s Word, who He is, and His initiative of salvation, the following responses are strongly emphasised in YWAM:
-Worship: We are called to praise and worship God alone.
-Holiness: We are called to lead holy and righteous lives that exemplify the nature and character of God.
-Witness: We are called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him.
-Prayer: We are called to engage in intercessory prayer for the people and causes on God’s heart, including standing against evil in every form.
-Fellowship: We are called to commit to the Church in both its local nurturing expression and its mobile multiplying expression.
The eighteen Foundational Values of Youth With A Mission are the expression of our basic beliefs coupled with specific directives given by God since YWAM’s beginning in 1960. They are recorded here in order to pass on to successive generations that which God has emphasized to us.
These shared beliefs and values are the guiding principles for both the past and future growth of our mission. Some are common to all Christians everywhere; others are distinctive to Youth With A Mission.
The combination of these beliefs and values make up the unique family characteristics of YWAM—our “DNA.” They are values we hold in high regard which determine who we are, how we live and how we make decisions.
1. Know God
YWAM is committed to know God, His nature, His character and His ways. We seek to reflect who He is in every aspect of our lives and ministry. The automatic overflow of knowing and enjoying fellowship with God is a desire to share Him with others.
2. Make God known
YWAM is called to make God known throughout the whole world, and into every arena of society through evangelism, training and mercy ministries. We believe that salvation of souls should result in transformation of societies, thus obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations.
3. Hear God’s voice
YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying His prayers and obeying His commands in matters great and small. We are dependent upon hearing His voice as individuals, together in team contexts and in larger corporate gatherings. This is an integral part of our process for decision making.
4. Practice worship and intercessory prayer
YWAM is dedicated to worship Jesus and engage in intercessory prayer as integral aspects of daily life. We also recognize the intent of Satan to destroy the work of God and we call upon God’s power and the Holy Spirit to overcome his strategies in the lives of individuals and in the affairs of nations.
5. Be visionary
YWAM is called to be visionary, continually receiving, nurturing and releasing fresh vision from God. We support the pioneering of new ministries and methods, always willing to be radical in order to be relevant to every generation, people group, and sphere of society. We believe that the apostolic call of YWAM requires the integration of spiritual eldership, freedom in the Spirit and relationship, centered on the Word of God.
6. Champion young people
YWAM is called to champion youth. We believe God has gifted and called young people to spearhead vision and ministry. We are committed to value them, trust them, train them, support them, make space for them and release them. They are not only the Church of the future; they are the Church of today. We commit to follow where they lead, in the will of God.
7. Be broad-structured and decentralized
YWAM is broad-structured and diverse, yet integrated. We are a global family of ministries held together by shared purpose, vision, values and relationship. We believe that structures should serve the people and the purposes of God. Every ministry at every level has the privilege and responsibility of accountability to a circle of elders, with overall international accountability to the YWAM Global Leadership Forum.
8. Be international and interdenominational
YWAM is international and interdenominational in its global scope as well as its local constituency. We believe that ethnic, linguistic and denominational diversity, along with redeemed aspects of culture, are positive factors that contribute to the health and growth of the mission.
9. Have a biblical worldview
YWAM is called to a biblical worldview. We believe that the Bible makes a clear division between good and evil; right and wrong. The practical dimensions of life are no less spiritual than the ministry expressions. Everything done in obedience to God is spiritual. We seek to honor God with all that we do, equipping and mobilizing men and women of God to take roles of service and influence in every arena of society.
10. Function in teams
YWAM is called to function in teams in all aspects of ministry and leadership. We believe that a combination of complementary gifts, callings, perspectives, ministries and generations working together in unity at all levels of our mission provides wisdom and safety. Seeking God’s will and making decisions in a team context allows accountability and contributes to greater relationship, motivation, responsibility and ownership of the vision.
11. Exhibit servant leadership
YWAM is called to servant leadership as a lifestyle, rather than a leadership hierarchy. A servant leader is one who honors the gifts and callings of those under his/her care and guards their rights and privileges. Just as Jesus served His disciples, we stress the importance of those with leadership responsibilities serving those whom they lead.
12. Do first, then teach
YWAM is committed to doing first, then teaching. We believe that firsthand experience gives authority to our words. Godly character and a call from God are more important than an individual’s gifts, abilities and expertise.
13. Be relationship-oriented
YWAM is dedicated to being relationship-oriented in our living and working together. We desire to be united through lives of holiness, mutual support, transparency, humility, and open communication, rather than a dependence on structures or rules.
14. Value the individual
YWAM is called to value each individual. We believe in equal opportunity and justice for all. Created in the image of God, people of all nationalities, ages and functions have distinctive contributions and callings. We are committed to honoring God-given leadership and ministry gifts in both men and women.
15. Value families
YWAM affirms the importance of families serving God together in missions, not just the father and/or mother. We encourage the development of strong and healthy family units, with each member sharing the call to missions and contributing their gifts in unique and complementary ways.
Practice dependence on God for finances YWAM is called to practice a life of dependence upon God for financial provision. For individuals and YWAM corporately, this comes primarily through His people. As God and others have been generous towards us, so we desire to be generous. YWAMers give themselves, their time and talents to God through the mission with no expectations of remuneration.
17. Practice hospitality
YWAM affirms the ministry of hospitality as an expression of God’s character and the value of people. We believe it is important to open our hearts, homes and campuses to serve and honor one another, our guests and the poor and needy, not as acts of social protocol, but as expressions of generosity.
18. Communicate with integrity
YWAM affirms that everything exists because God communicates. Therefore, YWAM is committed to truthful, accurate, timely and relevant communication. We believe good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families and communities, and effective ministry.
Youth With A Mission began as an organisation to help young people get involved in the global purposes of God and this will always be a primary focus for YWAM. However, many people join YWAM as a second career or after retirement. Some of the young people who joined us in the 1960s are still serving with YWAM, and so are some of their grandchildren! There are YWAM DTS’ that specifically focus on providing mission training for families or older applicants called the ‘Crossroads DTS’.
To do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) you need to be 18. However you can apply to do a DTS before you are 18 as long as you are 18 when the school starts. The DTS is a prerequisite to joining YWAM as staff.
We have no upper age limit to serving with Youth With a Mission. We have a passion for cross generational missions on our team and welcome grandparents, parents, and youth to serve together.
For those younger than 18, YWAM has programs and events for you to get involved in: Wildfire, King’s Kids, Mission Adventures.