I can’t keep every book I like or even love. I’m breaking from YWAM study notes to a few notes on a book by Darlene Cunningham. She and Loren, recently deceased, founded the movement birthing short-term ministry trips. Youth With A Mission or YWAM has thousands of well-trained people. This missions movement has effectively grown God’s kingdom. Loren had the vision when he was 20 and inspired the mobilization of millions of young people. Darlene’s book is titled, “Values Matter”. Here are some teachings that stood out. She answered the question of YWAM’s secret – 1) we listen to God, 2) We obey Him, and 3) we persevere. 12 points to remember about hearing God’s voice: don’t make guidance complicated, allow God to speak in the way He chooses, confess unforgiven sin, if you feel lost return to the last thing you clearly heard, follow others following God, keep confidence’s and avoid pride and presumption, allow people to confirm God’s leading, beware of counterfeits, how to deal with opposition, each ministry is unique, keep practicing hearing God’s voice, and remember that relationship is the most important reason for hearing the voice of the Lord. Jesus was practical. He was a carpenter, chief, caterer, event organizer, creative problem solver, and an expert fisherman. On pg 76 Darlene writes, “In YWAM we have come to understand that Christians will never disciple nations and transform society by becoming separationists. Rather, Jesus calls us to influence society by living godly lives amid a godless society, seeking the Lord for ways to impart His principles into business, government, education, etc.”. Chapter 12 is titled, ‘Do First, Then Teach’. Everyone on earth has the right to: Hear and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, have a Bible available in his/her own language, have Christian fellowship, have Biblical education, necessities, and hope for a productive life. YWAM started accepting people who you could call YOU with a mission (not youth). Darlene said, “God First; God Second; God Third…God over everything”. Pg 141, “If people are only given rules, they often can conform to them for a season of time. But if they are not taught the beliefs and values behind the rules or policies, they can easily relapse into old patterns, habits or sins when they are no longer in that defined environment”. Gather face to face. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression (we have heard that before). The three Cs: circles or relational influence, cycles or seasons of time in which to fulfill own assignments in God, and circuits or geography – places he calls us. When asked a question about casting off an old culture and embracing a new, Darlene answered, “I believe the Bible is our only textbook for defining what is godly or holy. It helps us to see what parts of culture came from God and can be redeemed by God”. Read Ps 133. Communicate with integrity. Concerning integrity, Darlene quotes C.S. Lewis – doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching, and John Maxwell – image is what people think we are; integrity is what we really are. Ps 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer”.
As a Christian missions movement since 1960, the wave of testimonies for Jesus continues. Darlene’s book, Values Matter, is an inspiring read. My comments are really limited but I hope we read it for yourself.