A Vision of Waves

It began in 1960 with an ordinary young man and an extraordinary vision. Loren Cunningham described it as a waking dream. He saw a map of the world with waves crashing onto the continents, advancing inland until all the nations were covered.

Loren says, “As I watched, the waves became young people of all races… talking to people on street corners and outside bars. Going from house to house. Helping the lonely and the hungry. Caring for people everywhere they went…”

That God-given vision has become a reality. Loren started Youth With A Mission in 1960. Since then thousands have been involved world-wide in fulfilling Christ’s commandment to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

YWAM Is People

We are all ages—young people, families and retired persons are working with YWAM. We come from many ethnic and educational backgrounds, from many denominations and countries. We love Jesus and thank God for allowing us to play our part in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Each year 100,000 are involved in short-term work while over 16,000 of us work as permanent staff in more than 1,100 operating locations in 171 nations.

No one in Youth With A Mission receives a salary, so each of us—from the newest volunteer to the International President—is responsible for his or her own support. Staff is typically supported through churches, friends, family, businesses, etc.  

Three-Fold Thrust

There are three main ways we work to take the Gospel to all the world:

  1. Evangelism: spreading God’s message
  2. Training: preparing workers to reach others
  3. Mercy Ministries: showing God’s love through practical assistance

These three ministries are being carried out in many different ways by the basic unit of YWAM—teams. These can be small or large, mobile or local, made up of short-term volunteers or long-term staff. Each of these teams is committed to a specific goal of evangelism, training or mercy ministry, working in cooperation with local churches and sister organizations.

How can I get involved in this ministry?Come volunteer »

The Flame Goes Forward

We’re celebrating 50 years of YWAM!


The YWAM Ozarks Crew

A photo of the whole YWAM crew

Bible Training for Life & Ministry

Dig deep into the Word in our School of Biblical Studies (SBS) and let the Bible’s teaching mark you for life. Learn more

Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart. —Bob Pierce, World Vision founder