The Foundational Values of Youth With A Mission
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms the Bible as the authoritative word of God and, with the Holy Sprit’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, through the atoning work of Jesus (His death, burial and resurrection), the following responses are strongly emphasizes 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 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, as 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, trust, train, support, make space 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 spiritual 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 CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW
YWAM is called to a Biblical Christian 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.
16. PRACTICE DEPENDENCE ON GOD
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 has 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.
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, campuses and bases 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.
NOTE: The four basic documents of Youth With A Mission are The Foundational Values of Youth With A Mission, The Manila Covenant, The Christian Magna Carta and The Nanning Covenant. (YWAM Foundational Values approved by the Global Leadership Team August 2003; released February 2004. Updated by the Global Leadership Forum December 2011.)
YWAM Statement of Purpose:
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 toward 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).
I consider it a great privilege to be alive and called “for such a time as this” – and therefore, by God’s grace, I commit myself:
To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:30-21)
To seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness above every concern for my own life and future (Matthew 6:25-34)
To serve others for no greater reason than my love for God (John 21:15-17) To take up my cross and follow Jesus wherever He leads me (Mark 8:34-35)
To do everything I can possibly do through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in me to fulfill the Great Commission in this generation (Mark 16:15)
I covenant before God – together with my brothers and sisters – to make these my priorities until “the earth is fulled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habbakuk 2:14)
Gathered under Almighty God in this great land of China, we purpose to renew our commitment to the Lordship of Jesus to fulfill his call to YWAM to all nations and peoples of the world. We call unto his Holy Spirit, through whom we can do all things for a renewed apostolic anointing;
We reaffirm our commitment to the words of the Lord that we call our Values, as well as his vision for YWAM of evangelism, training and mercy ministries;
We covenant with the Lord to follow him into the vision of Project 4K as our next challenge as a mission, and deeply desire his blessings for a new surge of apostolic pioneering;
We agree with his word to us to encourage the newest to the oldest YWAMers to seek to know and obey his voice in the freedom of the Spirit, and to release them into the fullness of the promises of God;
We joyfully submit our personal ministries and the corporate ministries we lead to the spiritual eldership of the GLT and the appropriate elderships at other levels under the GLT;
We choose afresh to be transparent and open in our relationships with each other, and to give fresh emphasis in our mission to God’s Word as our compass and plumbline for daily living;
We commit to our responsibility as elders to serve and encourage those under our care with love, as loving servants, respecting their dignity and value as his children, and giving godly coaching for them to be released to fulfill the fresh new words from the Lord;
We commit to serve our leaders by submitting major leadership appointments, new visions or changes of directions, policies and practices in the ministries we lead, supporting and encouraging a spiritual environment of trust, unity, love and peace within YWAM, that we may enjoy the complete fellowship God intends for us within our YWAM relationships;
Therefore, we covenant with God this day to be available at all times and in all places to His call and purpose in this 21st century, to be all that we can be and do all that we can do to fulfil His Great Commission here and everywhere.
“Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord.” Psalms 19:14
Signed this day 30 August 2002
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)
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 ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
Red Sea Covenant
In order to seal what God spoke to us as a mission on behalf of the Muslim world, we felt it was appropriate to make a formal commitment to God to be known as the Red Sea Covenant, and to invite all who will to sign this covenant. We therefore do solemnly resolve before God that we will:
Actively pursue the new level of anointing and enabling which God wants to pour out upon us.
Submit to any spiritual discipline He might require of us, such as fasting, prayer, and repentance.
Gather at the times and in the places which He indicates in order to seek Him together toward these purposes.
Be careful to keep our vision whole, seeing both Jews and Arabs as God’s beloved creation.
Embrace the vast Muslim world in our hearts, seeking from God the anointing, wisdom, power, and strategies needed to carry our part of His great plan of redemption for those under the influence of Islam.
Believe God for the establishment of His kingdom throughout the world of peoples under the influence of Islam, and be more impressed with God than the difficulties involved.
Exercise leadership in calling and mobilizing our organization to receive God’s anointing and enabling power to reach the Muslim peoples of the world.