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What is a YWAM Base? --- Carl Tinnion

Doubling Numbers of Bases Means??

As we think of doubling the number of bases in Western Europe what does it mean? If I say to you that there is a challenge to start a new base, what does it mean to you? How will you respond? What does it mean to you. I get the impression that many of us think of the word base and we think of the past, the large training base/building we've come from and think, "I could never do that, it's too big, I need a cook and a gardener and raise money and a team...." And you drown in the fear of what planting a team means. It is an unhelpful fear for us. What does it mean to multiply YWAM operating locations? We want to explore what it means to be a YWAM presence in a city and it certainly may mean buying a building, but you don't need a building to be a YWAM team. Buildings serve us, we don't serve them.

We almost need to be released from this. God wants to give us some free buildings. I don't know what the future is because all our futures are different. You might use a caravan, it is about presence, being light in the darkness. For many young leaders it will be liberating. Some of your DTS students could go to a town and rent a flat, pray in the front living room, turn the downstairs toilet into a prayer room, garage into an office. It isn't about numbers and training courses but the extension of God's kingdom and being a light in the darkness See the City for Jesus vision that YWAM Norway has been working on --- DTS Students go and do evangelism for 2 years!

What is a YWAM Base --- Discussion and Some of the Feedback

Can we begin to talk about this in small groups of people you don't know and ask the question, "What is a YWAM base?" YWAM York is a messy team and that is OK.

  • The people are the team, the base is where you do training.
  • Let's do away with word base -- we are freaky enough already!
  • Let's do away with the term base.
  • What is a YWAM presence?
  • Base is a bit militaristic, like an Al-Qaeda base.
  • Base -- come together to join forces to strategize?
  • What is the point of having a base?
  • I don't care what it is called -- we just do the work and be effective. Birgit said this.
  • People live on bases and are separate from the local community.
  • The challenge of big bases compared to centres in cities. Compared stories in Africa and Amsterdam and Belfast. Outreach is next door to where they live and great to have training in the context of ministry.
  • Team is more than 2 people.
  • Need to put everything on the table. If we multiply things by twice would we be more effective. But the way we do evangelism needs to change too. Our evangelism didn't change the way things were done in Africa. Postmodernism has been with us in Africa for ages. It is no good telling people that Jesus loves them, we need to go back to the foundations. Is what we are doing multipliable? We need to ask God if He wants us to do something new. It isn't a matter of reform but a radical shift.
  • Does every Dutch person understand everything that's going on? Yes, they are the world's best linguists.
  • Discussing our base. Most of us come from a rural base. We don't like the bubble and it is hard to follow Jesus. So, what is a YWAM base -- closed military place. Is that what we want. Do we want to do a DTS in our bubble and join us. If you have been in our bubble for long enough and enjoy us then you can join us in our bubble!?
  • On a DTS and have been in YWAM for less than 12 weeks so far. Heard the heading and thought, "That's really exciting." NOT! Need to read the Bible.
  • My parents have been in YWAM for a while and seen first hand experience of the base -- mobile home...and you need that sort of stuff, some villages can't support all those people because the village will triple in size. But need the big bases. The base needs to affect where it is -- wherever it is.
  • Small team in Morocco working with widows is great but also need the big bases like Kona.
  • Britt -- are we reaching the goals we have through our bases? If not, then it won't help to improve what we are doing and will have to do something different. Need community living in society. CHEW ON THAT.
  • Britt -- what do we do with the base and the ministries or do we ask, what do we do with the people that pass through? What happens to the DTS students that pass through?

What will YWAM bases look like in the future?

The Practical Bit

Take these discussions back to your community. God has given us these large training bases and they are a gift for us. They are a resource but they are a sending location, they are equipped as a resource in training and God has given them in strategic places. But we need many many more smaller teams to fulfil the vision God has given us in Europe!

Stephe -- need to change our terminology to people and not structures. It is about team and community. We call them operating locations, find your own words. Go back to your leadership team and ask them what it will take to start a new team. We have people and vision and life, what could we do? Is that OK? I don't want just leadership teams to do it, but all of us! Yan said that. Can we allow everyone to speak into this. Let's brainstorm and dream in each location. The New Teams Network is looking at the question of how to initiate more teams more easily.