In his mind’s eye, Loren Cunningham could see a world map, alive and moving! Waves crashed onto the continents, advancing inland until all the nations were covered. As he watched, the waves became young people of all races.
The youth were going from house to house, helping the lonely and the hungry, and caring for people everywhere they went. His vision was to see young people fulfill the Great Commission in Mark 16:15.
So in 1960, he began Youth With A Mission and the waves became a reality. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone into the nations through YWAM. Today, because of God’s power and grace, YWAM is the largest mission organization in the world.
At Youth With A Mission, we believe that God’s Word has to be put into everyday practice. Through discipleship and evangelism, we seek to know God and to make Him known.
YWAM San Diego/Baja was started in October 1991 by Sean and Janet Lambert. Our vision in the beginning was to mobilize groups that wanted to come to Mexico and beyond to serve the needs of the poor, both practically and spiritually.
As this vision grew and expanded, transformational training courses were added. Today, we provide training at two campuses in ten different schools year-round, along with many seminars and conferences through the University of the Nations. Our vision is now: Go, Serve, Transform.
We are 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 to people 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 His 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 ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” (Mark 16:15).
The following Christian Magna Carta, developed in 1981 by YWAM leaders, expresses what we believe is an individual’s basic rights implicit in the Gospel. Because God so loved the world that He gave His own Son, everyone on earth has the right for an opportunity to:
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 emphasized in YWAM:
Our values are the expression of our basic beliefs coupled with specific directives given by God since our beginning in 1960. These 18 values are the guiding principles for both the past and future of our mission. Some are common to Christians everywhere, while others are distinctive to YWAM. We hold these values in high regard to determine who we are, how we live, and how we make decisions:
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.
YWAM is called to make God known throughout the whole world in 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.
YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying to Him, 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 in decision making.
YWAM is dedicated to worshipping Jesus and engaging 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.
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.
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. We commit to follow where they lead, in the will of God.
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 Team.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
YWAM is called to a relationship-based support system, depending upon God and His people for financial provision, both corporately and individually. We believe that relationship-based support promotes responsibility, accountability, communication, and mutual prayer. It involves the donor as a partner in ministry. As God and others have been generous toward us, so we desire to be generous. YWAMers give themselves, their time, and talents to God through the mission with no expectation of remuneration.
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.
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.