When YWAM began in 1960, our main focus was giving young people opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the whole world, according to His command in Mark 16:15. Today, we still focus on youth, but we have members (known as "YWAMers") of almost every age and many of our short-term efforts have grown into long-term endeavors that have impacted lives and nations.
YWAM has a decentralized structure that encourages new vision and the exploration of new ways to change lives through training, convey the message of the gospel, and care for those in need. We are currently operating in more than 1000 locations in over 150 countries, with a staff of nearly 16,000.
Coming from many different backgrounds and working in a wide range of situations, YWAMers are united in their desire to be part of changing people's lives and have responded to the "Great Commission" -- Jesus' command to His disciples to: "go into all the world and tell the good news."
They believe the gospel of Jesus is not just about words, but also actions. So they share their faith through many different kinds of practical help -- from agricultural training to running medical clinics--as well as telling about the Christian beliefs that inspire their actions.
In addition to our full-time staff, many YWAM locations host short-term outreach teams made up of individuals, youth groups, families and churches who get to participate first-hand in "making God known" through both words and actions. We send out over 25,000 short-term missionaries each year.