01 February 2005 International YWAMer
Perspective: A Fire of Cleansing, In Every Area
YWAM Value 2: Make God Known
By Loren Cunningham
In the previous issue of International YWAMer, our International Chairman, Lynn Green, addressed the first YWAM Foundational Value: our unquenchable need To Know God! In this issue, I'd like to talk about YWAM's second Foundational Value. It's the automatic overflow of knowing Him: To Make God Known.
Many of you know my story: I was raised in a godly home by two ordained ministers: my father and my mother (along with a host of preacher grandparents, aunties and uncles)! When I was 13 years of age, at a youth rally in Arkansas, I went down to the altar to pray. There God clearly gave me a lifetime call: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). I've been actively endeavoring to fulfill my part of that call since that day.
We often refer to Mark 16:15 as "the Great Commission." But that's only the first part. The Great Commission-to Make God Known-includes:
1) Reaching every creature with the gospel (Mark 16:15)
2) Discipling the nations (Matthew 28:18-20)
3) Helping the poor and needy (Matthew 25:37-40)
But that's still not the end of the matter-you can't do the Great Commission without the Great Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength....Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:30-31).
Loving God with all your heart includes commitment (a lasting decision) and also attaching your emotions to the Lord, His concerns and His passions laid out in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes on Him will not perish, but will have eternal life." So our heart is stirred, our soul-including our whole personality-is intently focused on the Lord and becoming like Him, so that our whole being will be used for the Great Commission.
Let me give you an example of loving God with all your mind: After the great Wesleyan move of God in England in the 18th century, a handful of seven leaders got together in London. This group, headed by Wilberforce, saw that government, media and other leaders had not discerned that the great revival that had swept their land had saved their nation from a massive, bloody revolution, such as France experienced.
The leaders of their day pigeon-holed the "revival" as being something that only affected a small movement of radical Christians who met in chapels instead of churches. They didn't understand that this revival in people's souls started a fire of cleansing in every area of society, and it created a movement that touched every continent! These seven men, loving God with all their minds as well as their hearts, souls and strength, began to lay out strategies to enlighten their nation's lawmakers, judges, executives, businessmen, educators, media leaders and others. Within the next 25 years (one generation), the leaders of society understood what God had done for their nation.
What I'm saying is that "to make God known" is not just about preaching on street corners, though that is certainly a valid ministry and it includes that too. But in YWAM, we recognize God's concern for the whole of society-the gospel is to bring His "good news" into every aspect of society in an integrated, holistic way. To "preach the gospel" is not just about saving people's souls, but the gospel of the kingdom includes discipling the nations and ministering to the poor and needy. Wilberforce and the others understood that.
In YWAM, this holistic understanding of the Great Commission has given birth to ministries such as Kings Kids International, the University of the Nations, frontier missions, and International Games Outreaches. And now we have a new grid to look at the world-4K-that will facilitate our ability to strategize and measure what we and others are doing in "reaching every creature with the gospel and discipling the nations."
Let me share with you a few examples of what I'm talking about. In the area of evangelism , YWAM's Impact World Tours have gone to hundreds of towns and cities throughout the world sharing the gospel message, resulting in thousands coming to Christ every year.
In mercy ministries , a young Chinese woman started an orphanage in China. Because of her exceptional compassion, the Chinese government has asked her to help set standards for social service in every province in China.
In discipling a nation , YWAM Argentina have taken action in God's name regarding injustice. Many government leaders have come to them, requesting prayer.
In Matthew 6:10, Jesus told us to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." We will not have "heaven on earth" until Jesus returns, but we are to pray for God's will and be implementers of His transforming power into every sphere of society!
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