The Covenant-Making God & YWAM

How a God-initiated, destiny-defining vision
continues to shape our mission
 January, 2012
 Gen 15
 Kinds
 b’rith (284 times in the OT)
The Narrator
29 Other Sources
 diatheke (33 times in the NT)
 Essentially do-able
 obey, keep, enter into, renew, remember, confirm,
hold fast to, observe, guard, pledge yourself to, not
violate, be faithful to, do
 break, violate, not keep, abandon, not obey, pretend
to obey, refuse to obey, reject, forget, forsake, defile,
 As we reflect on the story of our mission, YWAMers
often point primarily to our historical vision and
values as the unifying, identity-creating factors
which give our movement corporate cohesion amidst
great global diversity. This is as it should be. But to
most fully understand who we are and whom God
has called us to be, we must look not only to our
vision and values, but also to the covenant-making
ways of God.
A Covenant-Making God
 Cosmic (Jer 33:19-26)
 Adamic (Hos 6:7)
 Noahic
 Abrahamic: (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob)
 Mosaic (Horeb/Sinaitic, & Moab/Deuteronomic)
 Aaronic (Aaron & Phinehas)
 Davidic
 Pan-Ethnic (Zec 11:10)
 Messianic
A Covenant-Making God
 A God-initiated
 B Destiny-defining encounters.
1 promise-giving (blessings & curses)
2 vison-clarifying
3 responsibility-imparting
4 carrying multi-generational implications
A Covenant-Keeping God
 Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is
indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his
covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his
unfailing love on those who love him and obey his
(Deu 7:9)
 O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all
of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep
your covenant and show unfailing love to all who
walk before you in wholehearted devotion.
(1Ki 8:23 & 2Ch 6:14)
Covenant-Keeping God
 O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God
who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those
who love him and obey his commands, listen to my
(Neh 1:5-6)
 And now, our God, the great and mighty and
awesome God, who keeps his covenant of unfailing
love, do not let all the hardships we have suffered
seem insignificant to you.
(Neh 9:32)
 O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You
always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises
of unfailing love to those who love you and obey
your commands.
(Dan 9:4)
Covenant Renewal Events
 c. 1447: God makes covenant at Sinai/Horeb
 c. 1407: Moses (Deu 29:1-30:20): ratifies the covenant at Moab
(just before he dies)
 c. 1380: Joshua (Jos 24:1-28): ratifies the covenant at Shechem
(just before he dies)
 .c. 896: Asa of Judah (2Ch 15:1-18)
 c. 835: Jehoida the Priest (2Ki 11:4-12:2; 2Ch 23:1-24:2)
 c. 716 bc: Hezekiah of Judah (2Ch 29:3-31:21)
 c. 632-622: Josiah of Judah (2Ki 22:3-23:25; 2Ch 34:1-35:19)
 c. 597: Zedekiah of Judah (Jer 34:8-22)
 c. 536: exiles returning to Jerusalem from Babylon (Jer 50:1-10)
 c. 458: Ezra and Shecaniah (Ezr 9:1-10:17, nb 10:3
Covenant Renewal Events
 A Man-initiated
 B Destiny re-engaging events
1 choice-clarifying (life & death)
2 vison-reaffirming
3 responsibility-embracing (repentance)
4 aligning with the implications of God’s good & perfect
God’s & Man’s Part
God’s & Man’s Part
Covenant Made
 A. God-initiated
 B. Destiny-defining
 1. promise-giving
(blessings & curses)
 2. vison-clarifying
 3. responsibilityimparting
 4. carrying multigenerational
God’s & Man’s Part
Covenant Made
 A. God-initiated
 B. Destiny-defining
 1. promise-giving
(blessings & curses)
 2. vison-clarifying
 3. responsibilityimparting
 4. carrying multigenerational
Covenant Renewed
 A. Man-initiated
 B. Destiny re-engaging
 1. choice-clarifying
(life & death)
 2. vison-reaffirming
 3. responsibilityembracing (repentance)
 4. aligning with the
implications of God’s
good & perfect will
YWAM’s Covenant
 Bahamas. June, 1956
 “Suddenly I was looking at a map of the world, only the map
was alive and moving! I could see all the continents, and
waves were crashing onto their shores. Each wave went onto
a continent, then receded, then came up further until it
covered the continent completely. The waves become young
people–kids my age and even younger–covering all the
continents of the globe. They were talking to people on street
corners and outside bars. They were going from house to
house and preaching the Gospel. They came from everywhere
and went everywhere, caring for people. Then just as
suddenly as it had come the scene was gone.”
 A God-inspired; destiny-defining encounter
YWAM’s Covenant
 First of all, it was about youth. This was both a concrete
reality and it can also serve as a metaphor for something
more. Concretely, if we ever move away from championing
young people we have moved away from the call of God
upon us as the YWAM tribe. Metaphorically, this is the
language of missional de-regulation and innovation. Young
people were not considered candidates for missions in the
mid-twentieth century. It was simply not something that was
done when Loren saw this vision. And so it is today that this
covenantal vision continues to call us to do what is not being
done by others in the church. It calls us to lead out
apostolically to birth fresh, entrepreneurial initiatives in the
Spirit in order to accomplish Great Commission goals. It calls
us to a lifestyle of viral pioneering, co-creating with God,
doing and encouraging others to do new things in new ways.
YWAM’s Covenant
 Secondly, it was about all and every. The waves of young
people covered every nation in all the continents. It is about
being global, comprehensive, inclusive. If we ever lose sight
of the alls and the everys we have lost sight of God’s vision
for us as a movement. This is not limited only to the
geographic alls. It also includes every thematic all, as we
move redemptively into all the spheres, all the languages, and
all the other various categories of human life and experience.
As we do so, this covenant compels us to growth. It is about
recurring and ever-expanding waves. This speaks of multigenerational re-iterations of the vision that expand in fractallike multiplication. Each wave builds on that which has gone
before. Each one makes fresh impact in new ways, reaching
heights not previously achieved. It’s never static. It’s always
dynamic, focused on going where we are not.
Our Covenant Renewals
 The Manila Covenant: August, 1988
 This covenant reaffirmed our commitment to young people, stating, “We affirm
the calling of the Lord upon our mission to mobilize youth for world evangelism. We
express in this covenant our commitment to see young people mobilized in great
numbers for world evangelism, and youthful, exuberant world changers be given every
opportunity to take roles of leadership and influence in our mission.” It went on to
affirm “male and female in positions of leadership” and that “our staff and leadership
should be ... representative of all nations of the earth” thus furthering the deregulation of missions in innovative ways.
 This document also highlighted the alls and everys in various ways: it spoke of
our commitment to “evangelism, training, and ministries of mercy ... so that by
God's grace then the empowering of the Holy Spirit we will do all God asks of us to
help complete the Great Commission.” It goes on to challenge us to reach the
unreached with the grid of the “nine frontiers of world evangelism” and give
ourselves to see Jesus as Lord over “every sphere of life,” It urges us to the twohanded approach of the gospel, that is “to love people in both word and deed in
order to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of the gospel ” through “personal
evangelism and ... acts of mercy.” It concludes with a holistic call to the alls of the
Christian Magna Carta.
Our Covenant Renewals
 The Red Sea Covenant: April, 1992
 Although the words of the document do not reflect a direct commitment
to the first element of our foundational covenant, the fruit of what
emerged from this time certainly was evidence of new missional
innovations. One of the concrete initiatives that was pioneered as a
result of this covenant was the launch of the 30 Days of Prayer
movement. Another was the Reconciliation Walk which touched both
Jewish and Muslim communities in extraordinary ways over the next
several years.
 The documents call “to keep our vision whole, seeing both Jews and Arabs as
God’s beloved creation” was exemplary of how we must embrace all
peoples on every side of historic divides. What was true of this
particular in the Middle East would serve to inform our attitude as we
approached other binary conflicts: Japanese-Korean; Armenian-Turkish;
Hutu-Tutsi. Instead of siding with any one side of an ethnic, national or
linguistic divide, we were to embrace the attitude of all and every,
seeking to be God’s agents of reconciliation and redemption across
every line that would otherwise separate us and limit our vision.
Our Covenant Renewals
 The Nanning Covenant: August, 2002
 First of all, it was “a call ... for a renewed apostolic anointing” in the
mission because we “deeply desire his blessings for a new surge of
apostolic pioneering.” This heart cry for Spirit-led, missional
innovation affirmed our core commitment to champion young
people, stating that we would “encourage the newest to the oldest
YWAMers to seek to know and obey his voice in the freedom of the
Spirit, and to release them into the fullness of the promises of God.”
 Secondly, the call to the alls and everys was intentionally very
strong, in this covenant. Not only was 4k embraced with its
focus on going where we are not, but the document concluded,
“we declare to God this day to be available at all times and in all places
to His call and purpose in this 21st century, to be all that we can be
and do all that we can do to fulfil His Great Commission here and
Our Covenant Renewals
 The Jubilee Covenant: Sep, 2009 – Dec, 2010
 The theme of missional innovation was encouraged
through a declared awareness that “God’s Spirit is at work
in amazing ways around the world” and that we needed to be
attentive to his call in “such a time as this” and be willing to
“follow Jesus wherever” he would lead us.
 The theme of alls and everys is evident in the opening
declaration of purpose: “that every individual might be
redeemed and every society transformed by the Gospel.” It is
also underlined in the final commitment: “to do everything I
can possibly do to fulfill the Great Commission.”
Our Covenant Renewals
 What’s next? What can we do as spiritual elders to make
sure that we continue (and indeed be increasingly more
fruitful) in our call
 to champion youth, deregulate missions, pioneer new
frontiers and innovatively co-create with God
 To press on to fulfill the alls and everys of the Great
 “Preaching the Good News is not something I can boast
about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me
if I didn’t preach the Good News!” …
(1Co 9:16)
 … and how wonderful when we do fulfill God’s destinydefining initiative over our lives. “
Psalm 16
2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Master! Every good thing
I have comes from you.” 3 The godly people in the land are
my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! … 5 LORD, you
alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all
that is mine. 6 The land you have given me is a pleasant
land. What a wonderful inheritance! 7 I will bless the LORD
who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I
know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for
he is right beside me. 9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I
rejoice. My body rests in safety … 11 You will show me the
way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the
pleasures of living with you forever.

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