Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Someone who shaved the YWAM logo onto their head.... It's NOT a cult!

1 comment:

Why_0_skeptic said...

What do you know bout YWAM structure and finances? Just in looking at their website and your blog it seems rather curious to me.

First, the impression I get is of a "shell" organization- where most of the cash goes towards maintaining "bases" with the "youth outreach" part sort of a public relations cover or "shell" to help raise funds for building base empires.

A base looks quite expensive- with cafeteria, classrooms, offices, dorms etc etc. One favorable review of YWAM ( admits the expensive base structure- QUOTE:

"These include a manor house and a former orphanage in England, a castle in Germany and a hotel turned college campus—now YWAM’s University of the Nations—in Hawaii."

WHy this top heavy structure, duplicated at some level in so many countries? Why spend say $50,000 a year maintaining "the base" when a small cadre of leaders can go into an area, rent housing to establish a small center, and then recruit workers who likewise rent local housing and pool resources to help with other necessities like food? Churches, halls or other larger venues can be rented As Needed for bigger events rather than maintaining an expensive campus. The money saved with this streamlined structure can go a lot further in preaching the Gospel rather than sinking so much cash into "bases".

The second curiosity with YWAM is its lightweight Christian content. If you are running a shell operation such vague, lightweight content is typical. YWAM sites on the web are good in talking about "art" and training, but where is the detailed Biblical content every Christian should know to live and defend their faith? Sure there are skits, plays and music performances, but how is this any different from just another Youth organization like the YMCA? The content on YWAM sites is rather thin, again giving the impression that "bases" and perhaps leader comforts, are the primary focus, not the Gospel or real, hard Biblical content. Even favorable reviews of YWAM like the article mentioned above note that YWAM has a reputation for undisciplined organization and teaching, a holdover from its "hippie" roots, and quotes one spokesman as saying:

"..and our weakness is in being decentralized and nonhierarchical,” Green says. “‘Chaos’ and ‘anarchy’ are two words that have been used to describe YWAM, and I don’t deny it."

No one expects a YWAM campus to be run like a freewheeling bar- indeed none will not be like that- but a lack of substance, lack of real content is the impression one gets from seeing YWAM's own materials on the web, and spokesman themselves confirm the impression.

A third curiosity of YWAM is where the money is going, and whether YWAM missionaries are being abused in fundraising. Some sites indicate that missionaries or workers do not get a salary or even a stipend. They are expected to raise a quota of cash every month for their support. This is partly a practical measure- money raised helps with upkeep, but what this practice does is to create a labor or missionary force that in essence, for years, is PAYING to work in a place where they get no salary and minimal stipend. Is this part of an abusive structure being developed and manipulated by the abusive leaders mentioned in many online complaints? Are leaders getting the best of the facilities and perks while the lesser ranks labor on unquestioningly under their thumb?

What do you know about the above in Hawaii? How were you paid? Did you have a monthly quota? How in-depth was the content of what is being taught at YWAM?

Some critics also say YWAM has held an erogenous view of the work of Christ and nature of God- so-called "moral government theology" where man can be perfected through his own choices or something similar, and that the doctrine is not played up as in the past at YWAM but may still be lurking underneath. See about claimed YWAM abuses among other things.