The Foundational Values of YWAM

“These are the values of YWAM,” our school leader said, motioning to a short list in our handouts. It was a September day and here we were; a group of teens and twenty-somethings from all over the world, hungry to know God more, with no idea what to expect from the six months ahead of us.

It wasn’t the first time I had heard about values, but as I sat and listened, I realised I hadn’t considered them quite like this before. Growing up, values were a bit of an abstract concept. I knew if you valued something it meant it was important to you and, if it was important enough, you might just make some big life decisions because of them.

But as I listened to our school leader list off YWAM’s 18 foundational values, I felt inspired. It was a picture of common purpose I had never experienced before: people gathering to hear from God and being unified in mission. “I want to be a part of this,” I thought.

The longer I’ve been a part of YWAM, the more I see a common theme in the foundational values: relationship. I’m so impressed with God’s strategy. Having a corporate set of values helps maintain integrity and consistency in our mission and it’s not possible to live out the values alone. I’ve come to understand that values aren’t meant to serve as a list of requirements or abstract ideas, but, instead, as place of common ground to gather and to create; to make mistakes and have incredible triumph, to multiply community, and to know God more. He is our highest value.


18 Foundational Values

  1. Know God
  2. Make God known
  3. Hear God’s voice
  4. Practice worship and intercessory prayer
  5. Be visionary
  6. Champion young people
  7. Be broad-structured and decentralised
  8. Be international and interdenominational
  9. Have a biblical Christian worldview
  10. Function in teams
  11. Exhibit servant leadership
  12. Do first, then teach
  13. Be relationship-oriented
  14. Value the individual
  15. Value families
  16. Practice dependence on God
  17. Practice hospitality
  18. Communicate with integrity

For a more detailed version of the foundational values visit YWAM International.

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