Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is a global, interdenominational movement of Christians dedicated to training and mobilizing believers to present Jesus to this generation and spark revival among the nations. It started with Loren Cunningham’s vision in 1956. He saw waves crashing over the shorelines of a world map, covering the continents. The waves turned into young people fulfilling their part in the Great Commission, preaching Jesus in all the world. Today, 18,000+ YWAM staff in 180 nations live on mission to know God and make Him known.
Our Story began in 2013, when God led Jachin and Sarah and their 5 children to pioneer a YWAM base focused on reaching unreached people groups in the least reached areas of the world. As they prayed, God led them to establish the base in a city where revival is considered normal Christianity. This call came to them after five years of making disciples among the unreached.
YWAM Redding has been built from a foundation of passion for worship, prayer, and making Jesus famous in the world. It is this vision that fuels our desire for training revivalists.
What We Believe
Red Sea Covenant
The International Executive Committee of Youth With A Mission met in the Middle East in April of 1992. The Lord spoke forcefully to us that He wanted us as a mission to be more involved in the Muslim world. In one prayer time, God broke into or time of intercession with unexpected direction to call together the leaders of the mission so that we might humble ourselves before the Lord. This came to us so unexpectedly, and with such a sense of God’s presence, that we felt we were to “drive a stake in the ground” to claim what God had done in our hearts. We decided to give no room to the enemy to undermine God’s direction to us or to place doubts in our hearts. We called this response to the Lord our Red Sea Covenant.
While we gathered in several prayer times for the Muslim world, God spoke to us (through Ezekiel 47) of new depths of anointing He wants to bestow upon us, giving the clear impression that this is but a first step in an era – defining outpouring of His spirit on our mission.
He galvanized us with Isaiah 19, which seemed to indicate that at least one aspect of His dealing with our mission was to happen in the city of Jerusalem. A strong sense of our deep need of spiritual preparation was expressed in our meeting. God spoke to us about our need to see clearly, with both eyes so to speak. It became obvious that we were not to participate in the acrimony that exists between Christians, Arabs, and Jews.
God spoke to us to call a time of thirty days of focused fasting and prayer for the Muslim world. He emphasized to us the importance of public repentance for the Crusades and the great offense they have caused.
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.
YWAM Foundational Values
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, who He is, and His initiative of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus (His death, burial, and resurrection), the following responses are strongly emphasized 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 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.
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 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.
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.
The Manila Covenant
The Manila Covenant is a statement of mission prepared and prayed over by the leadership of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and confirmed by 1,500 staff workers at the YWAM International Staff and Leadership Conference in Manila, Philippines on August 4, 1988.
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)
We affirm the Christian Magna Carta which proclaims the basic rights, implicit in the Gospel, of every human being.
The 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)
The Lausanne Covenant
Lausanne, Switzerland was the location of a 1974 International Congress called by a committee headed by Rev. Billy Graham. Christian leaders from 150 countries attended the Congress. The Lausanne Covenant is a declaration agreed upon by more than 2,300 evangelicals during the 1974 International Congress to be more intentional about world evangelization. Since then, the Covenant has challenged churches and Christian organizations to work together to make Jesus Christ known throughout the world.
We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the Gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.
1. The Purpose of God
We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew. (Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)
2. The Authority and Power of the Bible
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God. (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)
3. The Uniqueness and Universality of Christ
We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognise that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as “the Saviour of the world” is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord. (Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)
4. The Nature of Evangelism
To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world. (I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)
5. Christian Social Responsibility
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead. (Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)
6. The Church and Evangelism
We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology. (John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)
7. Cooperation in Evangelism
We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organisational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience. (John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)
8. Churches in Evangelistic Partnership
We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelise belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A reevaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church’s mission. (Rom. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3, I Thess. 1:6-8)
9. The Urgency of the Evangelistic Task
More than 2.7 billion people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelised. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelised country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church’s growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelised areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which causes it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism. (John 9:4; Matt. 9:35-38; Rom. 9:1-3; I Cor. 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isa. 58:6,7; Jas. 1:27; 2:1-9; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)
10. Evangelism and Culture
The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God’s creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have all too frequently exported with the gospel an alien culture and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ’s evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God. (Mark 7:8,9,13; Gen. 4:21,22; I Cor. 9:19-23; Phil. 2:5-7; II Cor. 4:5)
11. Education and Leadership
We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognise that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training programme for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programmes should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards. (Col. I:27,28; Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Eph. 4:11,12)
12. Spiritual Conflict
We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church. (Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3,4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)
13. Freedom and Persecution
It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practise and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set forth in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable. (I Tim. 1:1-4, Acts 4:19; 5:29; Col. 3:24; Heb. 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12; Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)
14. The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son, without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole world become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice. (I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)
15. The Return of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives. (Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)
Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace and for his glory to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!
The Nanning Covenant
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 by YWAM’s Global Leadership Team this day 30 August 2002