An interview with YWAM’s Founder, Loren Cunningham.

Why are all YWAM missionaries required to raise support?

I think it would be wrong to say all YWAM missionaries are required to raise support, because many of them have independent support. We have those that have retired from the military, and those that have other kinds of financial arrangements where they’ve made investments, and so on. But certainly the majority would need to be concerned about what system they’re going to use in order to take care of their needs. 

Jesus Himself gives us the pattern. And I think the Jesus way of fund raising is the key. In Luke 8:1-3 it says He had a team who supported Him. It wasn’t a fund. It wasn’t someone else doing it for Him. It was relational, between Jesus and the ones He had ministered to. He was accountable, in a sense, to them because of their giving. 

How did Paul get his support? Although he was a tent maker, he also followed the Jesus way, where individuals who knew him and that he had ministered to were able to give to him.

What are the benefits of this type of funding?

I think the main benefit is that the leader is not able to use money to manipulate people. When you remove money, you remove a major area of control. And the spirit of control is one of the most devastating spirits to ministries. 

Another one of the strengths of this is that it’s all done personally. Then prayer also becomes one of the keys, not only my praying for the supporters, but the supporters will pray for me, because where they put their treasure, there their heart will be. Where their heart is, their prayer support will be. And then in turn they get the news out to their nieces, nephews, friends, relatives, sons, daughters, parents, and they might end up coming with YWAM and being part of the mission force. 

So it’s recruitment, it’s accountability, it’s good communication, it’s prayer support, it’s a stability financially. It’s a whole lot of things, but the key goes back to relationship.