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The Foundational values of YWAM

Since the beginning of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in 1960, God has emphasized certain Biblical values which serve as spiritual foundations for the mission. The combined strength of these Biblical values has strongly influenced the nature and character of YWAM around the world. These shared values are the guiding principles for both the past and future growth of our mission. They are beliefs we hold in high regard which determine how we live and make decisions.

God's Word is the final authority for conduct and faith in Youth With A Mission. Our foundational values are not a list of rules to be adhered to; they were not written down until YWAM was 25 years old. Rather, these values are recorded here in an attempt to pass on to successive generations that which God has emphasized to us as a mission.

The following list has been reviewed by the YWAM International Executive Committee and approved by the International Council.

YWAM is committed to know God, His character and His ways. We affirm the vital importance of hearing God's voice, seeking His counsel and obeying His instructions. (Numbers 23:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:3-4; John 5:30; 10:1-4; 16:13; Isaiah 6:8; Acts 16:6-10)

YWAM is called to make God known, through Evangelism, Training and Mercy Ministries. All our activities should contribute toward the goal of discipling nations. (Acts 13:2-3; Genesis 12:1-3; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:9-18; 15:18-21)

YWAM recognizes the Bible to be God's inspired and authoritative Word and relies upon the authority of the Holy Scriptures as the standard for life and ministry. Obedience to the Word of God is an evidence of our commitment to Jesus' Lordship. (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16; John 3:31-32; 2 Timothy 2:15)

YWAM is visionary, doing new things in new ways where new initiatives are required to accomplish the Great Commission. (Isaiah 42:8-9; John 4:35; Matthew 10:1-10; Hebrews 11:1-3; Proverbs 29:18; Habakkuk 2:2)

YWAM is international and interdenominational in its scope and constituency. We believe that cultural, racial and theological diversity are positive factors that contribute to the health and growth of the mission. (Matthew 24:14; Ephesians 4:1-16; Revelation 7:9)

YWAM affirms the importance of the local church and seeks to promote unity among all God's people. We endeavor to work in partnership with other believers, building bridges among Christian leaders, churches and missions for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. (Philippians 1:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10; Ephesians 3:8-10)

YWAM is broad structured and decentralized, with operating locations linked together by relationship, shared values, accountability to leadership, and a commitment to world evangelization. (Mark 10:42-43; Exodus 18:17-26; John 8:36; 1 Corinthians 3:4-9; Hebrews 13:7,17)

YWAM is called to praise and worship of the Lamb of God, intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare. We endeavor to resist the devil by moving in the opposite spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ. In all things, we desire to keep Jesus central to our lives and ministry. (Ephesians 5:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 32:6; 100; 150; John 17:15-21; Mark 11:24; Acts 1:14; Colossians 4:2-3; 1 Timothy 2:1, Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; James 4:7, Matthew 12:23-29)

YWAM affirms the importance of living holy and righteous lives. We believe that holiness is a fruit of God's grace, transforming the motives of the heart, and affecting our words, conduct, business dealings and relationships. (1 Samuel 15:10-28; Psalm 32:1-5, 51:6-17,; Matthew 5:8; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:7)

YWAM is committed to doing, then teaching, according to Jesus' example. We affirm the importance of living a concept, theory or belief in personal experience as essential to passing it on to others. We believe that godly character and the fruit of the Spirit are more important than an individual's gifts, abilities and expertise. (Ezra 7:10; Acts 1:1; Phillipians 4:8-9; Colossians 3:1-17; 2 Peter 1:5-10; Micah 6:8)

YWAM is dedicated to being relationship oriented in our living and working together. We desire to minimize the need for structures and rules by leading lives of transparency, humility and open communication. (1 John 1:7; Galatians 5:1)

YWAM is called to value each individual. We believe all races, ages, cultures and individuals - male and female - have distinctive contributions and callings. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:13-16; Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; Acts 13:1-3; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:4-7)

YWAM recognizes the value of the family. We affirm the importance of fathers, mothers, and children all sharing a call to missions and contributing in unique, complimentary and vital ways. We support the necessity for each individual family to be a strong and healthy unit. (Deuteronomy 4:9-10, 40, 6:6-7, 32:46; Proverbs 31; 1 Timothy 3:4)

YWAM is called to champion young people. We believe in their leadership and potential to change the world and are dedicated to equip them with the tools to do so. (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Samuel 2:18-19; 17:33-37; Daniel 1:4, 8-9; Jeremiah 1:5-10)

YWAM is called to team ministry. We recognize that functioning in teams at all levels of the organization provides an opportunity for balance of spiritual gifts and insights. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Mark 6:7; Ephesians 5:21; Proverbs 15:22; Acts 15:22; Acts 10:25-26)

YWAM affirms personal responsibility and volunteerism, encouraging individuals to seek God for guidance and direction regarding ministry roles and methods of performing their work. We encourage personal initiative in these areas, making decisions together with their leaders both YWAM and others. (Exodus 3:4; Isaiah 6:8; 1 Samuel 3:10; Mark 1:17-18; Matthew 9:9; Acts 26:12-20)

YWAM is called to servant leadership. A servant leader is one who honours the calling of his/her followers and guards their rights and privileges. Just as Jesus served His disciples, we stress the importance of those with leadership responsibilities in our mission serving those whom they lead. (Luke 17:7-10; John 13:12-17; Mark 10:42-45)

YWAM makes no distinction between the sacred and the secular. We seek to honor all functions equally within the Kingdom of God. No roles or ministries are more important or spiritual than others. We seek to equip and mobilize men and women of God to take roles of service and influence in every sphere of society. (Acts 11:9; 1 Peter 4:11; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Zechariah 14:20-21; Romans 12:3-8, 13:1-10, Philemon 1-2; Titus 3:13; Colossians 4:14; Hebrews 13:16)

YWAM is called to practice a life of dependence upon God and His people for financial provision, both corporately and individually. (Phil 4:6-7, 10-20; 3 John 5-8)

YWAM is dedicated to hospitality. We believe it is important to serve and honor our fellow YWAMers, guests, and the poor and needy through this ministry. (3 John 8; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9)

YWAM is called to practice generosity and to model and teach the spirit of generosity in all we do. (Romans 12:8-13; 1 Timothy 5:17, 6:18; Philippians 4:17-18; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35; Psalm 112:5)