“[G]iving prophetic words to another person while blindfolded – has been practiced at YWAM’s Impact DTS in Skien, Norway. A former student named Stephen – who attended this DTS in 2018 – reports that, through this exercise, God confirmed he should serve in the U.S. Army as a chaplain. Thus, he made a major life decision based on what he believes he “heard” from God during this exercise. But how do Stephen and other YWAM students know that the messages they have heard are actually from God and not from their imaginations or another more sinister (i.e., demonic) source? Such a practice is irresponsible at best and dangerous at worst.”
(Holly Pivec – Spirit of Error) This post is the third in a series on the influential Christian missions organization Youth With a Mission (YWAM). YWAM was founded in 1960 by Loren Cunningham as a way to deploy young people as missionaries throughout the world….
It’s now one of the largest Christian missionary organizations in the world, having more than 18,000 staff working in over 180 nations. Many churches financially support YWAM full-time missionaries and young adults who sign up to go on short-term mission trips with YWAM or to attend one of YWAM’s Discipleship Training Schools or other schools. Yet many of these churches would likely be surprised and concerned to learn about some of the unbiblical and spiritually harmful teachings promoted by this organization.
In the first post I outlined one significant part of YWAM’s theologically controversial history, its promotion of Moral Government Theology and Open Theism. The second post shows that YWAM has allied itself with leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation movement and has adopted many of their questionable teachings and practices.
Hearing God’s Voice
One of the cornerstone teachings at YWAM is about the importance of learning to “hear God’s voice” – or, in other words, learning to receive personalized, daily, moment-by-moment direction from God – usually via dreams, visions, and prophetic impressions.
To be very clear: this YWAM practice does not generally refer to hearing God’s voice in Scripture – at least not by reading it in context. Listening to the timeless guidance and obeying the commands found in His written Word – with regard to its literary, historical and grammatical contexts – is a sound and essential practice.
Rather, in YWAM, when Scripture is used to hear God’s voice, leaders often neglect sound interpretative practices. Instead, they frequently misuse Scripture by choosing verses willy-nilly and treating them like fortune cookies or a Magic 8-Ball. Dubious teachings about hearing God’s voice are taught at all YWAM Discipleship Training Schools during their lecture phase, as they are part of the core curriculum.
Watch Out! Apostasy Alert – naming names