The vision of the waves never left Loren and became the starting point of a radically new approach to christian missions. Up until then to become an overseas missionary meant years of theology and language studies before you could possibly hope to be sent out long-term by one of the official mission agencies. Youth and missions were two sheres that just did not mix in those days. It was a groundbreaking new idea that formed in Loren's mind: why not take teenagers and youths to foreign countries and distant continents on short-term mission trips?
That's exactly what he did.
To release waves of young people from all nations into all the nations was and still is the driving force behind the movement that was soon to become Youth with a Mission. What sounds very ordinary today was in fact the beginning of a totally new way of ”doing missions“. A way that we believe is as relevant today as it was in the days of it's inception in the 1960s. We believe that young people can hear from God, go to new places and make a difference in the world that so desperately needs to hear the Good News and experience the loving touch of the Father in Heaven.
Over the years several million young people have gone through YWAM programs and each year thousands enroll for the ”Discipleship Training School (DTS)“ that is offered all over the world and which is the gateway for every YWAMer-to-be. (Where can I do DTS in Germany?)
YWAM works interdenominationally, internationally, and decentralized. Therefore, our international work is marked by a big diversity, as different as the 180 nations in which we are working. Meanwhile, over 43% of all YWAMers come from 140 non-western nations.
Due to the growing demands for professional education of young Christians, our University of the Nations (UofN) was founded in 1978. Meanwhile 300 different UofN courses are running in 100 languages and 550 YWAM bases across the world. The UofN aims to train Christians for involvement in seven different areas of society (Arts and Sports, Science and Technology, Communications, Education, Health Care and Counseling, Humanities and Politics, and Christian Ministries). Find out more about the UofN.
Young or old, educated and vocationally trained or not, whether you speak English or not - there is a place for you in YWAM. Whether you want to go on a one-week mission trip or are pursuing a long-term career, there are countless opportunities for you!
To find out more about YWAM and we recommend watching the video below and our international website www.ywam.org.
You may also want to read the story of YWAM's beginnings and how to learn how to hear God's voice in Loren Cunningham's book "Is That Really You, God?".
We want to pass on the message of Jesus Christ in a contemporary and understandable way, so that the people of today can understand and accept it. We use creative possibilities such as music, video, websites, pantomime, cultural performances, sports and leisure activities. We want to reach people of all ages in different situations of their lives all over the world with this peaceful message of love and forgiveness.
On the basis of biblical-Christian values, we want to help people develop their personalities and abilities so that they can consciously occupy and take their place in society and church, in world mission and in church life. Training, discipleship that lives from relationships, and practical application of what we have learned are inseparable.
We want to bring help and hope where the need is greatest. Making God known has a practical side. Every year about 400,000 people worldwide are reached by such ministries of mercy. Some examples: Serving street children in India; caring for abandoned children in Asia; providing food and shelter for refugees and victims of flood disasters in Asia and Africa; orphanages; AIDS relief... etc.
As YWAM has grown over the years, it has developed as a "family of ministries", rather than a highly structured, centralized agency. Although we have international and regional service offices for YWAM, we do not have a central "headquarter". Each YWAM location, training center, and ministry is responsible for planning its own training programs, outreaches, for its staff development and defining their objectives and activities.
All YWAM locations are tied together by shared faith, vision, and values.
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;
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms that the Bible is the authoritative word of God and, with the Holy Spirit's inspiration, the absolute reference point for every aspect of life and ministry.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms that the Bible is 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 emphasized in YWAM:
The 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.