Who We Are
Who We Are
Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.
Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to help youth get involved in missions.
Today, we still focus on youth and we also include people of all ages. We currently have tens of thousands of staff (called “YWAMers”) from nearly every country, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.
We have been making waves here in Japan since 1975, starting in Osaka. We have since expanded all over Japan.
God is calling people from many countries to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Japanese people and to raise up the Japanese people for His glory and honour and give them His gifts to spread the gospel in various ways.
What We Do
We believe everyone has the right to hear the good news about Jesus and our prayer is to see fellowships of believers worshipping and following Jesus in every nation, tribe and tongue.
We use music, performing arts, sports, and Bible distribution to connect with people of all ages. YWAM also starts discipleship groups in places where there may be no church at all.
Our introductory course, the Discipleship Training School (YWAM DTS), is offered in many nations and languages. It’s an intensive six months of growing more like Jesus and serving Him in the world.
Through our training programs and YWAM’s University of the Nations we aim to equip Christians to grow in their relationship with God and to serve others. Our courses focus on subjects like healthcare, the Bible, business development and biblical counselling.
YWAM’s mercy ministry teams follow Jesus’ example of compassion to those in need. We operate relief and development programs in over 100 countries, working among people living in desperate circumstances.
Our staff serve in areas such as agricultural assistance, the prevention of human trafficking, ship-based dental care, and micro-enterprise development.
Our Founders & Elders
“Loren and Darlene, through their obedience to the Lord, have transformed the global mission movement. Their actions directly affected countless lives from every nation!” - Rev. Leonard Ravenhill
YWAM was founded by Loren Cunningham in 1960 after God gave him a vision of waves of young people crashing onto the shores of all nations of the world with the Gospel. Loren also co-founded the University of the Nations in 1978 in order to better train and equip people for missions. As YWAM is a decentralised mission with no global headquarters, Loren and his wife Darlene make up part of YWAM’s Founders’ Circle overseeing the mission and pointing YWAMers across the world back to Jesus.
Our Purpose, Beliefs and Values
YWAM’s purpose, core beliefs, and foundational values have been compiled in response to 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.
This shared purpose and our corporate 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 this purpose, beliefs and values makes up the unique family characteristics of YWAM—our “DNA.” They are the framework we hold in high regard for they help us determine who we are, how we live and how we make decisions.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is a global 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 towards 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 into all the world and preach the good news to everyone” (Mark 16:15 NLT).
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms the Bible as the inspired and 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 (Exo 20:2-3; Deu 6:4-5; 2Ki 17:35-39; 1Ch 16:28-30; Neh 8:2-10; Mar 12:29-30; Rom 15:5-13; Jud 24-25; Rev 5:6-14; Rev 19:5-8).
Holiness: We are called to lead holy and righteous lives that exemplify the nature and character of God (Lev 19:1-2; Psa 51:7-11; Jer 18:1-11; Eze 20:10-12; Zec 13:9; Luk 1:68 75; Eph 4:21-32; Tit 2:11-14; 1Pe 2:9,21-25; 1Jo 3:1-3).
Witness: We are called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him (Psa 78:1-7; Isa 40:3-11; Mic 4:1-2; Hab 2:14; Luk 24:44-48; Act 2:32-26; Act 10:39-43; 1Co 9:19-23; 2Co 2:12-17; 1Pe 3:15-18).
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 (Gen 18:20-33; Exo 32:1-16; Jdg 3:9,15; 1Ki 8:22-61; Eze 22:30-31; Eze 33:1-11; Mat 6:5-15; Mat 9:36-38; Eph 3:14 21; 2Th 3:1-5).
Fellowship: We are called to commit to the Church in both its local nurturing expression and its mobile multiplying expression (2Ch 29:20-30; Psa 22:25-28; Psa 122:1-4; Joe 2:15 17; Mat 18:19-20; Act 2:44-47; Act 4:32-35; 1Co 14:26-40; Eph 2:11-18; Heb 10:23-25).
Service: We are called to contribute toward God’s kingdom purposes in every sphere of life (Deu 15:7-11; Deu 24:17-22; Psa 112:4-9; Pro 11:10-11; Zec 7:8-10; Mat 5:14-16; 2Th 3:13; Tit 3:4-8; Heb 13:15-16; Jam 2:14-26).