Why I left YWAM (but I still love them)

A question that I get alot is why I left YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and why I am not working with them currently. I still love Jesus. I still love missions. I still love evangelism. I do not tie my passion for the harvest to YWAM. That is part of the problem, actually.

Too many people get tied up in what “group” they are part of and have more loyalty to it than they do to Christ. When you find your identity in being a YWAMer, Assemblies of God, Church of God or Baptist; you have believed the lie and become part of the evil we know in the western church. It is lie that tells us to rally to men and not the Holy Spirit. The “being planted” deception is run deep in American Christianity.




YWAM is great and I love the heart of Loren Cunningham. However, I believe that Loren does not know, or does not really think it is that serious, how bad some things have become on mission bases in America and parts of Asia Pacific. I can not speak for bases that are in places that I have not visited.

The issues that I see is organizational, theological, and missiology.




YWAM has witchcraft at work

I know some will disagree with using the term but I believe anytime that you use faith as a form of control; that is spiritual witchcraft. Jesus came to set people free; not to bind them as slaves to groups and leaders in the name of “christian service.” Any time that a person feels a need to serve, they have lost their passion to live like the Freedom giver, Jesus Christ.

The pressures placed on young people to serve is unrealistic and it has a major problem: YWAM didn’t start that way. If there is one thing that Loren Cunningham is known for, it would be writing Is that really you, God? The core of YWAM is hearing from the Holy Spirit; not blind obedience to a leader. What ends up happening is YWAM mission bases become little more than mini-kingdoms build by smart men; not the hands of the Holy Spirit.




I was raised to put complete confidence in only hearing from the Holy Spirit for myself. If a leader asked me to do something because it would help grow the YWAM base; the answer is simply no. If I haven’t heard from the Holy Spirit, I do not care what some leader wants. I am not going to do under any condition. I am about being the Kingdom of God. I am interested in building YWAM. Sorry.

The constant pressure to put the organization over the leading of the Holy Spirit is the biggest reason that I left YWAM and will not be part of the movement until something radically changes. It is sad but I really do not think it will change in my lifetime, either.

The spiritual witchcraft is very deep and it runs across the network of mission bases in alot more ways that people realize.




What about Moral Government?

The term Moral Government of God is actually known as Open Theism. As much as I hate radical Calvinism; I also am sickened by radical Arminianism and that is what Open Thiesm is.

For those who do not know what Open Theism is and why it is so dangerous; it is basically a belief that God does not know the future but can only “guess” based on historical trend. Prophetic ministry is just divine guessing. I completely and wholeheartly reject it as outright heresy for many reasons.




To be fair, many within YWAM even strongly question this teaching as well as Kingdom Now theology. I know one leader who was ready to leave YWAM and take his base with him. It is mainly alive in the mission bases in North America from what I understand.

I am as strong of a Arminianist as you find but God is very much a prophetic God and He knows what the score is. Revelation is not a guess but it is a book about the prophetic vision of the people of God.

The reality is we are not God’s plan; we are part of God’s plan. The mission of God is use us but the emphasis must be on the central point of the gospel: the savior Jesus Christ. When we think we are the hero of the story; we have lost the whole point.

I am open to differences in thought about theological stuff. I am Pentecostal and I have Baptist friends.




DTS is bad missiology

If you are not part of YWAM or know much about them, they really believe in what is called Discipleship Training School. If you believe that Matthew 28:19 should take importance over the five other Great Commission passages; you still have a problem. Discipleship should be done in the context of the church. YWAM is a not a church but a missionary group.

The problem become when people replace the great commission with DTS. Many YWAM make doing a DTS, a money maker for YWAM, into the gospel. It is sad but when the emphasis is on a program and not the blood of Jesus; that is idolatry. It is simple as that.

I could never bring myself to promote the program when I was with YWAM. Most people do not need to do a DTS; it is not a replacement to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. What people need is a Acts 2 Pentecostal experience more than some programs full of men teaching people what they think God said about Himself. The Holy Spirit alone will form young believers into mighty men and women!




I still love YWAM!

I left on good terms (for the most part). I still have many friends in YWAM and have worked with them in crusades in Africa as well as spoke in their school of missions before. I am against them but these issues are too big for me to sign on the dotted line and say I am with committed to Youth With A Mission.

In the end, we make better friends than family.




  • Alyssa
    January 11, 2016 - 4:28 pm

    I am sorry that this was your experience, but as a YWAMer myself I have to disagree with you on almost everything you posted. As someone who has traveled to many YWAM bases around the world I can say that almost all of your ponts written here are incorrect and are not taking place on many YWAM bases. Some, maybe? But not all!

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • admin
      January 12, 2016 - 8:52 am

      I have been to most bases in Asia Pacific and find them to be true.

      0Vote Up1Vote Down
  • Alyssa
    January 11, 2016 - 4:28 pm

    I am sorry that this was your experience, but as a YWAMer myself I have to disagree with you on almost everything you posted. As someone who has traveled to many YWAM bases around the world I can say that almost all of your ponts written here are incorrect and are not taking place on many YWAM bases. Some, maybe? But not all!

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • admin
      January 12, 2016 - 8:52 am

      I have been to most bases in Asia Pacific and find them to be true.

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • sosene
    January 11, 2016 - 7:42 pm

    Good article, I was with YWAM for 28 years. I never looked to YWAM to give me a ministry, part of the team who went to Kona to pioneer the University of the Nations. been out of the organization for over 16 years. very happy and creating new expressions of the kingdom in the pacific, The Holy Spirit is doing some amazing things in our country outside of the missionary focus. I started pastoring a Baptist church two months ago. having a great time …

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • admin
      January 12, 2016 - 8:52 am

      Awesome. What city you pastoring in?

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • sosene
    January 11, 2016 - 7:42 pm

    Good article, I was with YWAM for 28 years. I never looked to YWAM to give me a ministry, part of the team who went to Kona to pioneer the University of the Nations. been out of the organization for over 16 years. very happy and creating new expressions of the kingdom in the pacific, The Holy Spirit is doing some amazing things in our country outside of the missionary focus. I started pastoring a Baptist church two months ago. having a great time …

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • admin
      January 12, 2016 - 8:52 am

      Awesome. What city you pastoring in?

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • F. Ngungutau
    January 12, 2016 - 5:17 am

    Thanks for your lame excuse of why you leave YWAM and maybe you left because you cannot submit to the leadership that God has put over you. And if you claim that you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding you then I hardly can believe in anything you said. Because the Holy Spirit guidance doesn’t contradict with the Word of God. And if you think belittling and speaking negative of another ministry is the leading of the Holy Spirit then you might be out of your mind. But it’s ok, because I ‘ve seen people like you before and they come up for a while then they got lost forever and the ministry of YWAM still growing and move forward. Is it mean that they are perfect not at all but for someone like you to come out and speak negative about God’s work and the people that God call and ordained, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • admin
      January 12, 2016 - 8:51 am

      Sadly, your comments tells me you are completely brainwashed. I still love YWAM. I just came be part of it for the reasons that I laid out!

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Andrea
      February 9, 2016 - 8:38 pm

      Any time some one leaves a mission group or goes to a a different church people say it’s a probably with them and the leadership. Maybe I don’t agree with every single thing this person said but I totally understand what he’s saying about the leadership. Human leadership should never take the place of the Holy Spirit. That is Wrong!! Maybe He/she left not because they had a problem with the leadership but because there was a problem with the leadership! You talk about Ywam as if it’s the kingdom of God. Don’t do that, it’s wrong. Ywam is great!! I love Ywam but I’m also willing to say yes there are some problems just like yes there are problems in churches. That’s why Paul wrote so many letters, he would tell the people what was wrong with their local church and tell them to fix it. We need to see the wrong things in Ywam so we can work on changing it and bringing more glory to God because He is what it’s all about.

      1Vote Up0Vote Down
  • F. Ngungutau
    January 12, 2016 - 5:17 am

    Thanks for your lame excuse of why you leave YWAM and maybe you left because you cannot submit to the leadership that God has put over you. And if you claim that you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding you then I hardly can believe in anything you said. Because the Holy Spirit guidance doesn’t contradict with the Word of God. And if you think belittling and speaking negative of another ministry is the leading of the Holy Spirit then you might be out of your mind. But it’s ok, because I ‘ve seen people like you before and they come up for a while then they got lost forever and the ministry of YWAM still growing and move forward. Is it mean that they are perfect not at all but for someone like you to come out and speak negative about God’s work and the people that God call and ordained, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • admin
      January 12, 2016 - 8:51 am

      Sadly, your comments tells me you are completely brainwashed. I still love YWAM. I just came be part of it for the reasons that I laid out!

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Andrea
      February 9, 2016 - 8:38 pm

      Any time some one leaves a mission group or goes to a a different church people say it’s a probably with them and the leadership. Maybe I don’t agree with every single thing this person said but I totally understand what he’s saying about the leadership. Human leadership should never take the place of the Holy Spirit. That is Wrong!! Maybe He/she left not because they had a problem with the leadership but because there was a problem with the leadership! You talk about Ywam as if it’s the kingdom of God. Don’t do that, it’s wrong. Ywam is great!! I love Ywam but I’m also willing to say yes there are some problems just like yes there are problems in churches. That’s why Paul wrote so many letters, he would tell the people what was wrong with their local church and tell them to fix it. We need to see the wrong things in Ywam so we can work on changing it and bringing more glory to God because He is what it’s all about.

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • Sofie
    January 12, 2016 - 9:06 am

    Im sad to hear your experience. I believe God sees the world not only as many groups and churches, but he sees every individual and their heart and if they know Him! And in all churches and organization you can meet people that maybe dont know Him as well as they should to e leading, but I think putting a world wide organization that you find in “153” nation under that is abit hard!
    God can diciple us through so many ways, with me He had used YWAM in Norway and DTS as a tool, he can use anything and anyone. And if you are bitter at a organization, I think your missing it, you can not be bitter at 25 000 people that you have not met. You have to see who actually in YWAM as made you upset with their teaching and go through a prosess with that, and forgive.
    I totally get that you can meet unhealty YWAM bases, but I beleive God can correct them if the individuals there are willing to turn around. But the underline of YWAM teaching is that the Bible is Gods ultimat truth and He gave us the Spirit to lead us to Christ and in life, that makes room for diffrent inturpetations, and thats not controlling, thats letting go og all controll. And yes, with leck of control of people, Loren Cunningham does not control the people, and you can get some “bad nuts”. Tha answer them is probably NOT taking control but knowing they have to stand before God themself.

    Conclusion: I see what you mean, but Ot makes me sad how you put it. Your taking about YWAM as a whole when there is so many people. And in history theres always bern people gona off doing some bad choices. But theres where its awsome that God can correct he is mercyful. But then people have to reacive that! And welcome to this big world: YWAMers are people too ??

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Sofie
      January 12, 2016 - 9:13 am

      And it makes me sad too see some people commenting really in a bad way here! So sorry you get that… It just showes me that we all need more of Gods heart, Ywamers and non ywamers (even don I first and formost am a chilf of God)

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • Sofie
    January 12, 2016 - 9:06 am

    Im sad to hear your experience. I believe God sees the world not only as many groups and churches, but he sees every individual and their heart and if they know Him! And in all churches and organization you can meet people that maybe dont know Him as well as they should to e leading, but I think putting a world wide organization that you find in “153” nation under that is abit hard!
    God can diciple us through so many ways, with me He had used YWAM in Norway and DTS as a tool, he can use anything and anyone. And if you are bitter at a organization, I think your missing it, you can not be bitter at 25 000 people that you have not met. You have to see who actually in YWAM as made you upset with their teaching and go through a prosess with that, and forgive.
    I totally get that you can meet unhealty YWAM bases, but I beleive God can correct them if the individuals there are willing to turn around. But the underline of YWAM teaching is that the Bible is Gods ultimat truth and He gave us the Spirit to lead us to Christ and in life, that makes room for diffrent inturpetations, and thats not controlling, thats letting go og all controll. And yes, with leck of control of people, Loren Cunningham does not control the people, and you can get some “bad nuts”. Tha answer them is probably NOT taking control but knowing they have to stand before God themself.

    Conclusion: I see what you mean, but Ot makes me sad how you put it. Your taking about YWAM as a whole when there is so many people. And in history theres always bern people gona off doing some bad choices. But theres where its awsome that God can correct he is mercyful. But then people have to reacive that! And welcome to this big world: YWAMers are people too ??

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Sofie
      January 12, 2016 - 9:13 am

      And it makes me sad too see some people commenting really in a bad way here! So sorry you get that… It just showes me that we all need more of Gods heart, Ywamers and non ywamers (even don I first and formost am a chilf of God)

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • gertjan vroege
    March 2, 2017 - 4:53 am

    We worked with YWAM almost ten years , i am glad to be redeemed , This article is a very good overview of all the things that went wrong within YWAM , ” wake up o sleepers (Eph. 5)” False teaching, selling saint Mary`s, praying to the saints, building houses that fall apart, narcissistic leader ship!!! I have still friends in YWAM that try to stand for the truth, some bases are controlled by local people that abuse the finances, we are now outside YWAM and are glad we can preach the truth whiteout confusing people, Catholicisms can not go together with Christianity it is a different Gospel according to the letter of Galatians. there is much more to say look at this article ,http://op.50megs.com/ditc/youthwithamission.htmlhttp://op.50megs.com/ditc/youthwithamission.html I pray that God still keep on using YWAM for the Good for His Good , there is also life beyond YWAM , a place of peace and rest and hope and restoration In Jesus Christ the center of truth and His truth full word John 17;17 the prayer of Jesus !!!

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • gertjan vroege
    March 2, 2017 - 4:53 am

    We worked with YWAM almost ten years , i am glad to be redeemed , This article is a very good overview of all the things that went wrong within YWAM , ” wake up o sleepers (Eph. 5)” False teaching, selling saint Mary`s, praying to the saints, building houses that fall apart, narcissistic leader ship!!! I have still friends in YWAM that try to stand for the truth, some bases are controlled by local people that abuse the finances, we are now outside YWAM and are glad we can preach the truth whiteout confusing people, Catholicisms can not go together with Christianity it is a different Gospel according to the letter of Galatians. there is much more to say look at this article ,http://op.50megs.com/ditc/youthwithamission.htmlhttp://op.50megs.com/ditc/youthwithamission.html I pray that God still keep on using YWAM for the Good for His Good , there is also life beyond YWAM , a place of peace and rest and hope and restoration In Jesus Christ the center of truth and His truth full word John 17;17 the prayer of Jesus !!!

    0Vote Up0Vote Down

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: