I was watching this video of Seth Godin speaking about Tribes, and how they are and can be used to influence the world and create movements. It thought that it was a great talk, and a fantastic thing for us to think about for YWAM and how YWAM is, and can be a tribe.

Seth asked a few good questions, and made some good points, and I have a few of them below:

  1. Who are you upsetting (if you aren’t upsetting someone you are not challenging the status quo)?
  2. Who are you connecting?
  3. Who are you leading?

He also made some good points about leaders within the tribe and what they do:

  1. Tribe leaders challenge the status quo
  2. They build a culture
  3. They have curiosity about people inside and outside the crowd
  4. They connect people
  5. They are committed to the cause / tribe / people

YWAM has often been referred to as a tribe of people, and I reckon that Seth’s talk about it gives a great discussion point as we look at how we can as a mission continue to draw people to us who have a passion “To Know God and to Make Him Known”.

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8 Responses to The Tribe of YWAM

  1. Hi Bill, I found your blog and enjoyed very much the TED video and your remarks about the YWAM tribe. I am also always trying to theorize YWAM and the U of N, and am now at the moment working on an article about how we can better utilize the U of N concept…
    Thanks for posting this.

  2. Hi Bill,
    (and hi Braulia!). Cool – I’ve been teaching on tribes a bit this week during the School of Communication Foundations in Burtigny, where the official topic is “Trends in Communications”. I was thinking of showing this tomorrow – it’s a great clip. Have you read any Marshall McLuhan?
    ~Michael Kelly
    Burtigny, Switzerland

  3. Warren says:

    Hey Bill, love Seth and Tribes is inspirational! I believe it’s the next big step for ywam in the pioneering of new and relevant ministries.. love what you’re doing for ywam coms, keep it up mate. Much love from the Overbeekes..

  4. Enock Freire says:

    Great presentation by Godin. My experience is that YWAM is not missing the Tribal identity nor does it lack the Movement mentality. If anything we have plenty of both. But we do need focus in order to achieve penetration and lasting impact. Ten pounds of marbles being rolled down a bowling alley do not have nearly the same impact on the pins as a ten-pound bowling ball.


  5. Pandora says:

    Hi Enock, Hi Braulia…

    When I was working on my doctorate I was teaching at ________ university. I asked the students to go see in the computer lab how many had a Nike swoosh somewhere on their clothing. It turned out to be 96 students out of a total of 112 computers. Tribal identity and branding is very big in today’s culture, whether it be youth, or not.

    We do have this down in YWAM. However what we don’t have down is the ability of the tribal leader to challenge the status quo.

    We will never get to tomorrow by just staying the same as we are today. Loren and Dar both said we need to encourage critical thinking in our DTS’s. In the old days of the Middle East field trips, challenging the leader could lead to non survival for the group. Read Joe Portale’s Killer Bees story. The leader had to be decisive and know the desert conditions around him or her for everyone to make it.

    However in a Unity within Diversity (university) we cannot have group think or we are not a university, just a clone factory.

    So we must foster critical thinking and an ambience where students are allowed to question and interact with the speakers.


    This is a good question…I treasure any of your insight.


  6. […] as a family, albeit a very diverse family. Using more accurate terminology though I would say that YWAM is a Tribe. One of the challenges within a tribe is identifying other members of your […]

  7. Albert says:

    Hi Pandora,

    You will absolutely love the article by Dr Roger Sapp, see the link below. It’s about the place of loyalty and truth



  8. […] One big thing that we need to know as we look at YWAM is that no two YWAM locations are the same. What you experience at one location will not be the same as what you experience at the next. All 1250+ locations represent a slightly different aspect of who God is, even though we are all part of the same tribe. […]

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