What holds Youth With A Mission together as an organisation is not an organisational structure, or hierarchical leadership structure. What holds Youth With A Mission together is the core, or the YWAM Foundational Values.
The values are what makes a YWAMer and YWAMer, and what ties a YWAM base to the larger mission. Organisationally every YWAM base will be different, and every YWAMer will be different, but the foundational values bind us together to work towards extending the Kingdom of God.
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, His character and His initiative of salvation, the following responses are strongly emphasised in YWAM:
Worship: we praise and worship God alone
Holiness: we lead holy and righteous lives that exemplify the nature and character of God
Witness: we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him
Prayer: We intercede in prayer for individuals, nations, global conditions and situations as we’re lead by God’s Holy Spirit. We actively stand against evil in every form
Fellowship: We 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 emphasised 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 want 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 let the world and every sphere of society know who God is. We believe that salvation of souls should result in transformation of societies, thus we obey Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations.
3. HEAR GOD’S VOICE
YWAM is committed to cultivating a lifestyle that will allow us to hear God’s voice individually and corporately. In doing that, we want to be obedient in big and small matters to whatever He says. This is an integral part of our decision making process.
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 recognise 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, centred 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 Team.
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 honour God with all that we do, equipping and mobilising 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 honours 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 first-hand 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 honouring 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. RELY ON RELATIONSHIP-BASED SUPPORT
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.
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 honour 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, communities and effective ministry.