Youth With A Mission

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YWAMYouth With A Mission ("YWAM") was founded in 1960 by Loren and Darlene Cunningham of The Assemblies of God to get young people involved in missions. While people of all ages can join YWAM today, its recruitment continues to target young people, and everyone who joins YWAM must start at its Discipleship Training School (DTS) to spend three months in class, and then two to three months applying what was taught.


YWAM gathers (young) people who share a zeal for missions and is big; its staff of 18,000 come from 130 countries to work at over 1,100 locations in 180 countries.


1.  Cultic Indoctrination & Abuse

YWAM's DTS abuses attendees spiritually, psychologically and emotionally, as follows:

1A.   Attendees are constantly pressured to confess their sins to large groups of strangers. For example, 40 to 50 attendees are made to spend 8 hours sitting in a large circle individually confessing just their sexual sins, including masturbation, to the entire group, which includes both men and women. The Bible mandates confessing sins to "one another" (James 5:16) and to God, not to large audiences of strangers.

1B.   Attendees are also constantly pressured to report seeing visions and hearing things, supposedly from God, which makes them rely less and less on the Bible, and even make up things to report. The pressure often includes a time frame by which the attendee must see or hear from God, which in effect puts God on a timer. The attendees are even prevented from bringing their Bible to some of the indoctrination sessions.

1C.   As the attendees feel increasingly vulnerable, YWAM staff claim authority over them. The attendees are told that the YWAM leaders placed over them hear directly from God and speak on His behalf, and are therefore be obeyed at all times, even when the attendee believes them to be wrong and/or contradicting what the Holy Spirit is saying directly to the attendee. And when the leaders lie or commit other sins, the attendees are told, "Touch not God's anointed," and to "Pray it, not say it! Criticize people to God, not to others." This contradicts the Bible, which records that when Peter erred while visiting Antioch, Paul confronted him publicly "in the presence of all" (Galatians 2:14).

1D.   Attendees are instructed to not discuss with each other any perceived issues at DTS and YWAM, and to certainly not mention them to anyone outside YWAM, including the attendees' own parents, family and home church. Attendees are told that violating this prohibition sinning against God.

1E.   At the smaller DTS locations, most of the indoctrination lectures are videos, which preclude asking questions or requesting Bible references for the dubious claims (below) made. After the lecture, there is a group session, not to challenge or raise questions about what was taught, but to take turns to express agreement with it.

1F.  As the DTS nears its end, many attendees are pressured to return for its "Secondary Schools," and some to eventually "staff" YWAM. This pressure is brought to bear not as personal recommendations or requests, but as an instruction from God. Efforts are also made to distance the attendees from their parents, family, and home church. For example, a teenager raised by loving Christian parents was told in front of her entire DTS class that her parents rejected her when she was in her mother's womb and were never proud of her when she was growing up (13:42-13:49 and 15:43-15:58 in the video below).

2.  Roman Catholicism

YWAMSince 1992, YWAM has been operating Kerygma (kerygmausa.org), which recruits, trains and sends out Catholics to expand Roman Catholicism around the world. In 2014, Loren and Darlene Cunningham flew to Vatican and met privately with Francis for 70 minutes, after which Loren Cunningham declared that YWAM needs the blessing of the Roman Catholic pope: "We also told Pope Francis as we met with him that we needed his blessing, because we’re going to urge every home on earth to have a Bible" (below).

3.  Idolatry

In cultures that reject the Gospel, YWAM encourages and organizes idol worship. For example, the October 1999 - January 2000 issue of the YWAM's staff newsletter YWAMer featured a YWAM sub-field director in India named Steve Cochrane who reported that his staff organizes pilgrimages for Hindus to Hindu "holy" sites and "then all along the way they are explaining the gospel to the pilgrims in a totally contextualized way."

In the same newsletter, a YWAM leader in a Muslim country wrote under a pseudonym that YWAM encourages "Messianic Muslims" to continue to read the Koran, attend mosque, and bow down toward Mecca five times per day: "They continued a life of following the Islamic requirements, including mosque attendance, fasting and Koranic reading, besides getting together as a fellowship of Muslims who acknowledge Christ as the source of God's mercy for them... As the believer's heart changes, he or she places less and less importance on these issues that seem to contradict the gospel. In fact we have found at times the opposite, that we need to encourage the person not to reject his culture and thereby burn bridges with his past."

Elijah didn't organize pilgrimages to the temple of Baal, nor Samuel to the house of Dagon.

"And lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them" (Joshua 23:7).

"You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place" (Deuteronomy 12:2-3).

4.  False Gospel


YWAM's gospel (above) changes Jesus' "everlasting" life into "abundant" life, and mentions neither sin nor the need to repent from sin nor the reason Jesus died nor the torment in hell that awaits those who "simply admit" their "faults" and continue to sin, and claims Jesus rose from the dead "for" us. He rose from the dead because He is God.

5.  "Indigenous People Movement" Heresy

YWAMYWAM teaches the "Indigenous People Movement" heresy that tells people to "redeem" their indigenous cultures by worshipping the idols of their culture as the God of the Bible. For example, at the 2015 Impartation Kona (Hawaii) conference, Loren and Darlene Cunningham looked on as YWAM president John Dawson declared to the audience, "The Hawaiian prophets had prophesied that the worship of Io, the Creator God, would be restored." "Io" is Hawaiian mythology's "Creator God" who supposedly created other Hawaiian tiki "gods" - demonic figures - like Kane, Ku and Lono (above). "Io" is not the Creator God of the Bible.

6.  "Moral Government" Heresy

YWAM widely taught in the past and continues to teach at many of its Discipleship Training Schools the Satanic "Moral Government" heresy that claims God can sin and is neither omniscient nor omnipotent, Jesus' death on the cross didn't pay the penalty for our sins, we can attain a state of sinlessness by our own efforts and attain heaven by our own righteousness. For YWAM's own quotes and a side-by-side comparison of this heresy against the Bible, see Moral Government.


"Greetings! I read the ratings and was dismayed to find I'd been giving to Open Doors and VOM and thought YWAM was a good organization. How can I support WP or discern which missions that have not been infiltrated by wolves? Dawn"