–Compiled by Darlene Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton
Six times over the first six decades of YWAM’s existence there have been key moments in which we as YWAM have felt it fitting and beneficial to recommit ourselves individually and corporately to God’s covenantal call upon us. These moments have been captured in documents which seek to reflect upon God’s call, clarifying its full implications and unpacking fresh applications. These covenantal documents have sought to strengthen us in God’s call and realign us with His purposes. They have been successful to the degree that they helped equip us to embrace His foundational covenant, the Vision of the Waves (Legacy Word #1), that birthed us as a missions movement.
As we go forward, perhaps we will need to create new covenant renewal documents that will serve the emerging generations of leaders and propel us to the unfinished alls and everys of the Great Commission. As we do so, we can act with greater awareness and intentionality as we come to more fully discover and understand God’s purposes for us as the YWAM tribe. May we ever continue to expandin our pursuit for intimacy(to know God) and impact(to make Him known) in the years and decades ahead.
Context for The Manila Covenant
In August, 1988 some 1,500 YWAMers gathered in Manila for an International Staff and Leadership Conference (ISLC). As the event drew to a close the participants signed the twenty affirmations made in this covenantal document. It was a fitting finale to a landmark gathering. Called by Floyd McClung, the ISLC was the first such event led by a new generation of YWAM leaders. Highlights of the conference included Kalafi Moala’s message on the release of young people, women and third-worlders into missions leadership, and our commitment to become two-thirds from the two-thirds world by the end of the twentieth century. Another significant milestone was the embrace of the new name of the University of the Nations (formerly Pacific and Asia Christian University), allowing for the global inclusion of all in this missions-multiplying university.
This covenant reaffirmed our commitment to young people, stating, “We affirm the calling of the Lord upon our mission to mobilize youth for world evangelism. We express in this covenant our commitment to see young people mobilized in great numbers for world evangelism, and youthful, exuberant world changers be given every opportunity to take roles of leadership and influence in our mission.” It went on to affirm “male and female in positions of leadership” and that “our staff and leadership should be … representative of all nations of the earth” thus furthering the de-regulation of missions in innovative ways.
This document also highlighted the alls and everys in various ways: it spoke of our commitment to “evangelism, training, and ministries of mercy … so that by God’s grace, then the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we will do all God asks of us to help complete the Great Commission.” It goes on to challenge us to reach the unreached with the grid of the “nine frontiers of world evangelism” and give ourselves to see Jesus as Lord over “every sphere of life.” It urges us to the two-handed approach of the Gospel, that is “to love people in both word and deed in order to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of the Gospel” through “personal evangelism and … acts of mercy.” It concludes with a holistic call to the alls of the Christian Magna Carta.
THE MANILA COVENANT
August 4, 1988
The Manila Covenant is a statement of mission prepared and prayed over by the leadership of Youth With A Mission and confirmed by 1,500 staff workers at the YWAM International Staff and Leadership Conference in Manila, Philippines, on August 4, 1988. The covenant’s 20 affirmations declare the values, guiding principles and calling of Youth With A Mission. We invite you to join with us in the exciting challenge of reaching the world with Christ’s love.
that our calling as a missionary fellowship is to help complete the Great Commission. We celebrate the calling of the Lord Jesus upon our mission to be involved in evangelism, training, and ministries of mercy. We renew our commitment to the Lord and to one another so that by God’s grace, then the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we will do all God asks of us to help complete the Great Commission.
the calling of the Lord upon our mission to mobilize youth for world evangelism. We express in this covenant our commitment to see young people mobilized in great numbers for world evangelism, and youthful, exuberant world changers be given every opportunity to take roles of leadership and influence in our mission.
God’s calling upon our mission to focus on reaching those who have not been reached with the Gospel. We declare our desire to see tens of thousands of workers mobilized on the following nine frontiers of world evangelism: the Muslim world, the Buddhist world, the Communist world, the Hindu world, the Small Half [children], Nominal Christians, the Cities, the Poor and Needy, and Tribal Peoples.
the Lordship of Christ over every sphere of life. We commit ourselves to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that His Lordship is proclaimed over individual lives, nations, the family and home, the church in all its expressions, education, the electronic and printed media, arts and entertainment, the sports world, commerce, science and technology, government and politics. We believe that this should be done in the same spirit in which Jesus came: as a humble servant, laying down His rights and so pleasing His Father.
that God wants Youth With A Mission to be representative of all nations of the earth, and that our staff and leadership should be comprised of ethnicities from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Latin America, Oceania, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
our calling as a mission to love people in both word and deed in order to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of the Gospel. Personal evangelism and practical concern alike give witness to Jesus Christ. Accordingly, we will, by God’s grace and mercy, proclaim the Good News and perform acts of mercy so that men and women will embrace the truth of the Gospel.
the importance of doing God’s work God’s way. We declare our total dependence on God for wisdom, and ask Him to reveal to us any trace of paternalism, prejudice, or triumphalism. We choose to follow the example of the Lord Jesus who gave up His rights, defending the rights of the poor, and serving those He came to minister to in righteous humility.
that God wants both young and old, male and female, in positions of leadership and responsibility in our mission.
servant leadership and the importance of being accountable in our leadership styles and attitudes. We confirm the importance of all new staff going through a period of culturally appropriate training and orientation to help prepare them for service in God’s Kingdom. We express our desire for God to continually revive and invigorate our discipleship training programs to make them a source of encouragement, equipping, and empowering for Christian service.
the importance of a spirit of humility, brokenness, and godly transparency in our relationships with one another. We commit ourselves afresh to the principles of unity as described by the apostle Paul in Ephesians chapters four and five. We accept the responsibility to deal with any character weakness or cultural barrier in a manner that would be pleasing to the Lord Jesus and that would promote unity within our mission and within the whole body of Christ.
the importance of living a biblical and balanced life. We believe that we need Christians of all theological persuasions and backgrounds in the body of Christ. We need their godly counsel, wisdom, teaching, and help to be all that God has intended us to be.
the importance of the local church. We humbly ask God for His grace and help to enable us to multiply and build up local churches and to work as partners with them for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
the ministry of prayer and intercession. We declare our total and utter dependence upon God and ask Him to continually revive our hearts so that we will always be a mission that intercedes for the nations and seeks God for His direction and guidance. We believe God has called our mission to build everything it does on the foundation of prayer, knowing that apart from God’s leading, our best efforts will be dead works. We further declare our need for others to pray for us.
the importance of accountability between Youth With A Mission as a whole and its various bases, ministries, teams and schools. We confirm our need to be in submission to those we serve, those who are over us in the Lord, and those we work with as co-laborers. We believe that this spirit of accountability welcomes correction, encouragement, and openness in our corporate and personal lives.
the value of the individual. We commit ourselves to pursue the equipping, up-building, and empowering of all those God sends to us for the fulfillment of His ministry and purpose in their lives.
the ministry of hospitality, and commit ourselves to open our bases, homes, and hearts to all those God sends to us. We recognize this to be a biblical responsibility and we joyfully embrace the privilege of serving and honoring guests, teachers, fellow YWAMers, and the poor and needy through this ministry.
the importance of financial accountability. We declare that we as Youth With A Mission will live by the highest legal, spiritual, and ethical standards in our handling of finances.
WE AFFIRM (The YWAM Statement of Purpose)
that Youth With A Mission is an international movement of Christians from many denominations dedicated to presenting Jesus Christ 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 world.
WE AFFIRM (The YWAM Statement of Purpose, continued)
that the Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative Word, revealing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. We believe that man is created in God’s image and that He has created us to have eternal life through Christ. Although all men have sinned and come short of God’s glory and are eternally lost without Christ, God has made salvation possible through the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that repentance, faith love and obedience are necessary and fitting responses to God’s initiative of grace towards us and that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We believe that the Holy Spirit’s power is demonstrated in and through us for the accomplishing of Christ’s last commandment: Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mk 16:15).
WE AFFIRM the Christian Magna Carta which states that the following basic rights are implicit in the Gospel. Everyone on earth has the right to:
1. Hear and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
2. Have a Bible available in their own language,
3. Have a Christian fellowship available nearby, to be able to meet for fellowship regularly each week, and to have biblical teaching and worship with others in the Body of Christ,
4. Have a Biblical Christian education available for their children,
5. Have the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing, shelter, and health care,
6. Lead a productive life of fulfillment spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.
With the help of God, I, the undersigned, commit myself, by God’s grace, to fulfill this
covenant and to live for His glory.
Context for The Red Sea Covenant
In April of 1992, about a dozen YWAM leaders, forming the International Executive Committee gathered together in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. At that time YWAM had only a limited ministry among Muslims. A year earlier at the International Strategy Conference in Iguazu Falls, Argentina, God had birthed in Lynn Green’s heart the vision for the Reconciliation Walk. Then just a few weeks before this meeting in the Middle East, Gary Tissingh had an accident which resulted in the loss of sight in one eye. Tom Hallas – who also has sight in only one eye – was also present at these meetings. These personal physical needs caught the attention of the group in the place of prayer. The Spirit led them to reflect on the fact that many have come into that part of the world with only one eye for the Jews or only one eye for the Arabs. But if we wanted to reflect His heart of unconditional love for all peoples we needed to pray that we would have a two-eyed approach, a healthy, wholesome, inclusive approach, that would not exclude anyone from God’s purposes. He underlined in prayer that any love that is limited by some human divide is not God’s love. His love is limitless.
Although the words of the document do not reflect a direct commitment to the first element of our foundational covenant, the Vision of the Waves, the fruit of what emerged from this time certainly was evidence of new missional innovations. One of the concrete initiatives that was pioneered as a result of this covenant was the launch of the 30 Days of Prayer movement. Another was the Reconciliation Walk, a three-year trek from Cologne, Germany to Jerusalem which began in 1996, retracing the route of the First Crusade, during which participants asked forgiveness for wrongs committed against Jews and Muslims in the name of Christianity during the Crusades, and for misrepresentating Jesus and the Cross. Both Jewish and Muslim communities were touched in extraordinary ways through the Reconciliation Walk.
The document’s call “to keep our vision whole, seeing both Jews and Arabs as God’s beloved creation” was exemplary of how we must embrace all peoples on every side of historic divides. What was true of this particular divide in the Middle East would serve to inform our attitude as we approached other binary conflicts: Japanese-Korean; Armenian-Turkish; Hutu-Tutsi. Instead of siding with any one side of an ethnic, national or linguistic divide, we were to embrace the attitude of all and every, seeking to be God’s agents of reconciliation and redemption across every line that would otherwise separate us and limit our vision.
THE RED SEA COVENANT
The International Executive Committee of Youth With A Mission met in the Middle East in April of 1992. The Lord spoke forcefully to us that He wanted us as a mission to be more involved in the Muslim world. In one prayer time, God broke into our time of intercession with unexpected direction to call together the leaders of the mission so that we might humble ourselves before the Lord. This came to us so unexpectedly, and with such a sense of God’s presence, that we felt we were to “drive a stake in the ground” to claim what God had done in our hearts. We decided to give no room to the enemy to undermine God’s direction to us or to place doubts in our hearts. We called this response to the Lord our Red Sea Covenant.
While we gathered in several prayer times for the Muslim world, God spoke to us (through Ezekiel 47) of new depths of anointing He wants to bestow upon us, giving the clear impression that this is but a first step in an era-defining outpouring of His spirit on our mission.
He moved us to action with Isaiah 19, and seemed to indicate that at least one aspect of His dealing with our mission was to happen in the city of Jerusalem. A strong sense of our deep need of spiritual preparation was expressed in our meeting. God spoke to us about our need to see clearly with both eyes, so to speak. It became obvious that we were not to participate in the bitterness that exists between Christians, Arabs, and Jews.
God spoke to us to call a time of thirty days of focused fasting and prayer for the Muslim world. He emphasized to us the importance of public repentance for the Crusades and the great offense they have caused.
In order to seal what God spoke to us as a mission on behalf of the Muslim world, we felt it was appropriate to make a formal commitment to God to be known as the Red Sea Covenant, and to invite all who will, to sign this covenant. We therefore do solemnly resolve before God that we will:
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Context for The Nanning Covenant
Ten years later, In August of 2002, the Global Leadership Team would meet in Nanning, China. The events leading up to this gathering had been troubling. There had been a sense, shared by Loren Cunningham a year earlier at our Global Leadership Team meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, that the mission was drifting from the vision and values that God had given us. Deviations from God’s covenantal call which seemed minor at first were having profound impact on our lives and ministries. We were starting to act more like a corporation in which we defined our own destiny rather than a missions movement committed to walk in the inheritance the Lord had established for us. Relationships had been affected. Fruitfulness was compromised. A time of missional re-alignment was needed.
But all was not lost. In July, at a prayer meeting held in the Cunninghams’ home convened by the Innovations for Transformation Centre, Loren sensed, “We have hit the rock!” This phrase referred to the indelible image he had witnessed as a 7-year-old boy when he visited the massive Niagara Falls on the border between the USA and Canada with his parents. He saw a barge, wedged against a large rock right at the edge of the 167-foot drop-off, and heard the story of two men who, 24 years earlier, had found themselves adrift on a barge on the Niagara River. It seemed like the rushing water of the rapids was taking them to certain death as they approached the pounding falls. They began to pray in desperation. People along the river banks did likewise. It seemed like a hopeless situation. And then, just before the barge went over the falls, they hit a rock! The boat stuck there on the rock, on the very brink of disaster until rescuers were able to save the men.
Fresh from this experience when Loren felt the Lord spoke that “YWAM has hit the rock,” he spent three weeks in Australia in route to Nanning: weeks of prayer and fasting. There the Lord gave him a teaching on Spiritual Eldership referred to as the “Tripod Message.” It affirmed that if we were to remain an apostolic missionary movement we needed to emphasize the interplay of the individual’s freedom in the Spiritto hear and obey God in a co-creative way, together with the role ofspiritual eldershipcommitted to advancing God’s missional purposes, all held together by healthy, loving relationshipsunder the Lordship of Jesusand guided by the Word of the Lord. This teaching, referred to as “the Tripod Message” or “Spiritual Eldership,” was the key, opening message of the gathering in Nanning, laying a foundation for all that would follow.
The meetings would also be marked by the departure of Mercy Ships from the YWAM family of ministries (re-aligning our values), the adoption of the 4k framework (re-aligning our vision), and the selection of John Dawson as the next president of YWAM (re-aligning our relationships). The resulting document strongly underscored the two initial themes of our foundational covenant of the waves:
First of all, it was “a call … for a renewed apostolic anointing” in the mission because we “deeply desire God’s blessings for a new surge of apostolic pioneering.” This heart cry for Spirit-led, missional innovation affirmed our core commitment to champion young people, stating that we would “encourage the newest to the oldest YWAMers to seek to know and obey His voice in the freedom of the Spirit, and to release them into the fullness of the promises of God.”
Secondly, the call to the alls and everys was intentionally very strong, in this covenant. Not only was 4k embraced with its focus on going where we are not, but the document concluded, “we declare to God this day to be available at alltimes and in allplaces to His call and purpose in this 21st century, to be allthat we can be and do allthat we can do to fulfill his Great Commission here and everywhere.”
THE NANNING COVENANT
YWAM Global Leadership Team Declaration, 30 August 2002, Nanning, China
Gathered under Almighty God in this great land of China we purpose to renew our commitment to the Lordship of Jesus to fulfill His call to YWAM to all nations and peoples of the world.
We call unto His Holy Spirit, through whom we can do all things, for a renewed apostolic anointing.
We reaffirm our commitment to the words of the Lord that we call our Foundational Values, as well as His vision for YWAM of evangelism, training and mercy ministries.
We resolve with the Lord to follow Him into the vision of Project 4K as our next challenge as a mission, and deeply desire His blessings for a new surge of apostolic pioneering.
We agree with His word to us to encourage the newest to the oldest YWAMers to seek to know and obey His voice in the freedom of the Spirit, and to release them into the fullness of the promises of God.
We joyfully submit our personal ministries and the corporate ministries we lead to the spiritual eldership of the Global Leadership Team and the appropriate elderships at all levels under the GLT.
We choose afresh to be transparent and open in our relationships with each other, and to give fresh emphasis in our mission to God’s Word as our compass and plumbline for daily living.
We renew our commitment to our responsibilities as elders to serve and encourage those under our care with love, as loving servants, respecting their dignity and value as His children, and giving godly coaching for them to be released to fulfill the fresh new words from the Lord.
We commit to serve our leaders by submitting major leadership appointments, new visions or changes of directions, policies and practices in the ministries we lead, supporting and encouraging a spiritual environment of trust, unity, love and peace within YWAM, that we may enjoy the complete fellowship God intends for us within our YWAM relationships.
Therefore, we declare to God this day to be available at all times and in all places to His call and purpose in this 21st century, to be all that we can be and do all that we can do to fulfill His Great Commission here and everywhere.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord …” Psalm 19:14 (NASB).
Signed this day 30 August 2002, Nanning, China
* * *
Context for the Jubilee Covenant
This covenant was signed by more than 30,000 YWAMers and associates. This document was introduced at the UofN Workshop (held simultaneously in South Africa, Egypt, Switzerland, and the Ukraine) just prior to YWAM’s fiftieth anniversary year. It was a major element of the 44 jubilee “family reunion” events Loren and Darlene Cunningham traveled to around the world in 2010. Though more individual and devotional in nature than our previous covenant renewal documents, this statement expressed a sense of hope and forward thrust which came as a result of the intentional re-alignment efforts of the preceding years.
The theme of missional innovation was encouraged through a declared awareness that “God’s Spirit is at work in amazing ways around the world” and that we needed to be attentive to His call in “such a time as this” and be willing to “follow Jesus wherever” He would lead us.
The theme of alls and everys is evident in the opening declaration of purpose: “that everyindividual might be redeemed and everysociety transformed by the Gospel.” It is also underlined in the final commitment: “to do everything I can possibly do to fulfill the Great Commission.”
THE JUBILEE COVENANT
2010 – Celebrating 50 Years of YWAM
I recognize that as YWAM celebrates fifty years of ministry, God’s Spirit is at work in amazing ways around the world.
I eagerly want to do my part to make sure that “the flame goes forward” and thus help fulfill God’s dream that every individual might hear and that all nations may be impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I consider it a great privilege to be alive and called “for such a time as this” – and therefore, by God’s grace, I commit myself:
I covenant before God – together with my brothers and sisters – to make these my priorities until “the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
* * *
Context for The Singapore Covenant
This covenant was entered into by the nearly 400 YWAM leaders coming from sixty-five nations who gathered in Singapore August 27-September 3, 2014 for the “Catch the Wave” Family Gathering. Their purpose was to meet with God and one another to consider how YWAM should move forward at this time in our history.
The event was marked by extended times of worshiping the Lord with one voice, and then lingering in His presence, in inexpressible awe of Who He is, and silent expectation that He would faithfully lead and guide us as a mission into the future. There was a united cry: “If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15).
The Singapore Covenant was signed at the end of this gathering as a recommitment to the covenantal words of the past and a fresh commitment to hear, obey and trust the Lord for the future.
THE SINGAPORE COVENANT
From August 27 to September 3, 2014 nearly 400 YWAMers gathered in Singapore as a family from 65-plus nations. Because God has acted in our midst, we want to respond to Him and therefore together we say:
Jesus, we declare our longing to walk intentionally and continuously in Your presence – both individually and corporately. Father, we affirm that You are our greatest good. Like Moses we will go wherever You want to lead us as long as You, Holy Spirit, personally go with us, for it is Your presence that we most cherish (Exo 33:15-16). As we do Your bidding, we commit to do Your work Your way and never take Your presence for granted. We will guard ourselves from inappropriate familiarity with Your presence, for we do not want to touch the ark like Uzzah (2Sa 6:1-8). Rather we want to walk in the fear of the Lord. We want more than a brief, passing visitation from You, God, therefore we invite You to always dwell in our midst.
Father, we celebrate the identity You have given us as a multi-cultural and multi-generational global family. We recognize that YWAM exists because You have graciously spoken to us and included us in Your purposes. Our family story began when You met with Loren in the Bahamas in June, 1956 and has continued to this very day. We acknowledge and affirm that because of Your initiative, the vision of the waves has destiny-defining, covenantal implications for us. We remember the testimony of this encounter. Loren said, “Suddenly I was looking at a map of the world, only the map was alive and moving! I could see all the continents, and waves were crashing onto their shores. Each wave went onto a continent, then receded, then came up further until it covered the continent completely. The waves became young people – kids my age and even younger – covering all the continents of the globe. They were talking to people on street corners and outside bars. They were going from house to house and preaching the Gospel. They came from everywhere and went everywhere, caring for people. Then just as suddenly as it had come the scene was gone.” (Excerpt from Is That Really You, God? by Loren Cunningham with Janice Cunningham Rogers.)
We note that there are two key elements to this covenantal vision:
1. First of all, it was about youth, something unheard of in missions practice at that time. Therefore we recommit ourselves afresh to champion young people and to do all that we can to deregulate missions, so that all may be included in God’s kingdom purposes. We affirm our unqualified commitment to obey You, God, as You lead us to birth fresh, entrepreneurial initiatives in the Spirit in order to accomplish Great Commission goals. We will eagerly pioneer new things in new ways and encourage others to do the same as we listen to You, obey You and co-create with You those transformational activities which minister to the needs of the least, the last and the lost.
2. Secondly, it was about waves. It is about recurring and ever-expanding waves, each one building on that which had gone before. These waves came from every continent and went to every continent. All were involved; all were impacted. Therefore we commit ourselves to the alls and everys of the Great Commission. We commit ourselves to go where we are not, including all people, using every God-inspired strategy to reach each and every person on earth with the proclamation, God, of Your truth and the demonstration of Your love.
Holy Spirit, we acknowledge Your presence in our journey and Your kind leading over these many decades. Often we have not done things as we ought, but You, God, have always been gracious and faithful towards us. At different points in our family story we remembered the covenantal vision You gave us and realized we had fallen short of Your purposes for us. At times we repented and sought Your face, and renewed our commitment to You and Your purposes for us as a tribe within the family of God. On several of those occasions we wrote documents which served us as covenant renewals with You, affirming Your original design for our family, reminding ourselves of how You called us both to missional innovation and to the alls and everys of the Great Commission. We affirm these covenant renewal documents in our story:
* the Manila Covenant from 1988,
* the Red Sea Covenant from 1992,
* the Nanning Covenant from 2002, and
* the Jubilee Covenant from 2010.
To the degree that these four covenant renewal documents have helped us unpack and re-engage with the main themes of the vision of the waves, they have served us well as a mission. The first three documents were corporate in nature; the last one was more personal in its purpose.
It has been twelve years since our last corporate covenant renewal. At the time of the writing of the Nanning Covenant we recognized that we had drifted from Your original purpose for us and from the values You gave us. Instead of functioning faithfully as a family within our missional domain we had put on “Saul’s armor” of organizational hierarchy modeled after government and business paradigms rather than simply obeying the words You had given us.
In Nanning, Loren’s “Tripod Message” affirmed that to be fruitful as an apostolic missionary movement we needed to emphasize three things:
1. the individual’s freedom in the Spirit to hear and obey God in a co-creative way,
2. the role of spiritual eldership committed to advancing God’s missional purposes,
3. and healthy, loving relationships
all under your Lordship, Jesus, and guided by your Word.
Since that time we have been on a journey of realignment with You, God, and Your ways. In these past dozen years You have taught us many things. Some of the important words You have given us have been documented in our “Signpost Messages” so that we as a people can pass them on faithfully to the next generations.
You have taught us that eldership is not about guarding organizational positions, but about enthroning You as our one king. It is about circles of elders convening the family for events and converging together around the word of the Lord. It is Your presence among us and Your word to us that gives leadership over us. We remind ourselves that “the government will rest” on Your shoulders (Isa 9:6) and therefore we are to build “altars of stone, not towers of bricks” (Gen 11). We do this as we seek to minister to You, Lord, waiting on You in an unhurried and humble way, listening to You together, cultivating a heart of unity and moving in a spirit of adoption. We belong to You, God, and to one another in this family.
God, we embrace our call to evangelism and training and mercy ministries. We recognize that these are not disjointed activities but are an integrated call which fulfills Your heart for Your people. We acknowledge that the goal of this call is to do all that we can in obedience to You, God, to see both individuals redeemed and societies transformed. This goal is set before us in Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:18-20 and is reflected in our embrace of the Christian Magna Carta and the Seven Spheres of Society.
We affirm that the scope of our call is nothing less than that which was reflected in the original covenantal vision of the waves: the alls and everys of the Great Commission. Therefore, we continue to embrace the challenge of the 4k framework and seek to pioneer where we are not.
Finally, we recognize that we are most truly who you want us to be, Lord, when we intentionally care, connect, serve and build.
Therefore, God, as the YWAM family we renew our covenant commitment with You, our heavenly Father, and ask You to work in us by the redemptive work of Your Son and the powerful indwelling of Your Spirit. Help us to be all You want us to be and do all You want us to do. We will continue to declare our longing for You and celebrate whom You have called us to be. As we acknowledge Your presence with us through all our journey, we embrace Your call upon our lives. May You, Lord, be glorified and may Your kingdom come. Amen.
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Context for A Covenant to End Bible Poverty
A Covenant to End Bible Poverty had its genesis in 1967 when Loren met the woman in the faded red dress in Mexico (see Legacy Word #4). At that time God gave Loren the vision of YWAMers distributing Bibles. This led to intentional efforts of YWAMers in many countries to distribute the Word of God and help people fall in love with the God of the Word.
This passion to see God’s Word run swiftly throughout the earth (Psa 147:15) was intensified at the turn of the century as Dr. John Waters of SIL called the body of Christ to eradicate Bible poverty. At the UofN Workshop in Singapore in 2003, Loren gave us a charge to place a portion of the Scriptures in every home in the world in the mother tongue of those living there by 2020. At first this seemed beyond the realm of the possible, but then Bible translation began accelerating all over the world.
By 2010, YWAM’s fiftieth anniversary year, the call to end Bible poverty was a major theme of Loren and Darlene’s Jubilee events held at 44 locations in 35 nations around the world. Once again God spoke to Loren about ending Bible poverty in Singapore in 2014. This time he felt led to visit ten global church leaders (including the popes of both the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches, as well as the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury). This trip took him and a team of YWAMers to four countries on three continents within a span of 10 days. The goal was to create a common cause around the Word of God. The fruitful fellowship of this apostolic journey led then to the writing of the End Bible Poverty Covenant, which has been signed by people the world over – in YWAM and beyond.
A COVENANT TO END BIBLE POVERTY
Together we affirm that:
Together we recognize that:
Therefore we solemnly pledge ourselves to collaborate together to:
By God’s grace we the undersigned make this covenant together.
© 2020 by Youth With A Mission (a California, USA corporation, established 1961: “YWAM’s Covenant Renewal Documents.”