YWAM, founded by Loren Cunningham in the 1960s, is a multi-interdenominational mission which includes people from over 150 countries, with over half of the organization’s staff coming from “non-western” countries. YWAM currently has over 16,049 full-time volunteer workers in nearly 1,100 operating locations in 171 nations and trains 25,000 short-term missions volunteers annually. It is non-profit, and is one of the largest mission organization in the world. Various short-term schools are held which deal with different aspects of life such as counseling, music, performing arts, worship, spiritual warfare, business, media etc. One can choose the school of choice and attend it wherever in the world its being run. After having done a certain school the missionary can go into that sphere of life with a “biblical” worldview and establish God’s kingdom there by teaching or modeling biblical principles and values.
It has often been labelled as a cult, but I disagree. I’ve been with YWAM for 3 1/2 years; volunteered as a DTS staff and did the School of Music in Mission (SOMM), the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) and the School of Humanities and Science (HAS). I have great memories of YWAM, hence as I expose its work and doctrines and teachings, please note that I hold no grudge against this organization, its leaders, its rules or its teachings. Being in YWAM has molded the social side of me and for that I am grateful. However, I thought it had molded my spirit and it took me 1 1/2 years after leaving the mission that YWAM, knowingly or unknowingly, had changed my worldview to fulfil its unbiblical mission.
I had never wanted to come home, but it was the will of the Lord that He pull me out of it. When my parents asked me to come home, I was infuriated with them! I loved it being with YWAM (Y), India. I had no idea what I was going to do in life, and being with Y gave me a sense of purpose and duty. I wanted to make a difference in the world, having a heart for the downtrodden and the oppressed. I was with people who had the vision and aim to make this world a better place. After a year and half, the Lord began to guide me by the Holy Spirit to His truth, exposing the deception of Y. Until 5-6 months back, I was still prepared to rejoin the organization, but it all changed – in an instant! This is only possible when the Spirit convicts. I began to do some research on YWAM and other various doctrines that have invaded the Church as a whole. I testify that God’s plan for me was to discontinue and to know the truth instead. What I will be writing about YWAM and its mission are not opinions. It’s true that leadership and teachings vary from one base to another, but I am not talking about leaders and teachings alone, I am referring to its sole purpose and how these teachings instigate a Christian to think as they want you to think, not as the Bible wants the believer to think.