YWAM Was Involved in Starting New Fellowships in the ’60s
Since one of the first cross-cultural outreaches in YWAM history, the Bahamas in 1964, Youth With A Mission has been involved in church planting. At that time, a storm caused major damage. Outreach teams already in place engaged in evangelism and mercy ministries as well as planting small groups of new believers.
Ten years later, at the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism, Ralph Winter challenged the participants, including several YWAM leaders, to be involved in reaching unreached people groups globally. This call came again in 1980 in a meeting in Thailand, where many YWAM leaders were gathered. As a result of these challenges, the response of YWAM to active engagement in these unreached frontiers began to grow.
Responding to the Call of the Unreached
This answer to the challenge to reach the unreached came from different streams in the early 1980s. In Asia, it came from Honolulu through a YWAM ministry named Pioneer Ministries. In Pasadena, California, it was through a YWAM team partnering with the newly formed US Center for World Missions. The Caribbean responded with training focused on the unreached happening aboard a small ship. This later re-located to Amsterdam to become Project 2000.
These diverse streams met together in 1984 in Pattaya, Thailand, at a small informal consultation. That consultation continued to grow over the next 10 years, holding yearly conferences there before regionalizing in the early 1990s. During these years, the name of Frontier Missions was chosen to identify the common challenge and involvement of YWAM’s work among the unreached. During the 1990s and 2000s further global structure was developed to help serve the widening and deepening efforts to see Disciple-Making Movements (DMMs) among all the remaining unreached peoples of the earth.
YWAM Frontier Missions Today
Today, YWAM Frontier Missions has grown into a significant part of YWAM’s broader family of ministries. With more than 1500 workers, over 350 teams worldwide, and thousands of churches planted, we give glory to God for what He has done.
But much is yet ahead of us! We courageously build on the solid foundation laid by our YWAM Frontier Missions founding elders and continue to pursue our God-given vision to see many, many more Disciple-Making Movements launched among the Least, Last, and Lost. We are in the greatest season of increase and growth ever in our history as far as fruitfulness in the harvest. As God multiplies our impact, we want to be found faithful to our calling.
That is our YWAM Frontier Missions story.