When Youth With A Mission was founded in 1960 in North America, the focus was to get youth into short-term mission work and to give them opportunities to reach out in Jesus’ name. YWAM’s co-founder, Loren Cunningham, believed that years of theological training did not necessarily qualify people to serve the Lord effectively, nor should they be a requirement before encouraging young people to pass on the love of Christ through missions. At the time, this was considered a revolutionary concept.
The idea of having relatively untrained youth doing missions was generally not considered and was even seen as potentially dangerous. However, over the years, while mistakes have of course been made and learnt from, the concept of short-term missions has added huge numbers of people to the task of world evangelization. It is now accepted as a valid contribution to mission work . Over the last 40 years, YWAM has grow to more that 16,000 regular volunteers and missionaries in over 1,000 bases on every continent and in over 160 nations around the world.
::::: YWAM – The Accronym :::::
Naturally, the acronym YWAM has attracted an endless stream of alternative meanings, some of them quite humorous – of course the younger single generation explain that YWAM stands for Young Warriors After Maidens for the guys; and Young Women After Men for the gals. Others insist on Yes We Are Mad or You Would Ask Me. Of course Youth With A Mission prevails and stands among many missions organizations and groups throughout the world as one that makes an impact on making disciples of all Nations – to know God and make Him known.